Tuesday’s Top Ten: Top Ten Things We’d Like to See in Google AdWords

By Janet Driscoll Miller | Feb 27, 2007
More Articles by Janet


While I’ll be the first person to tell you that Google AdWords has the best PPC campaign management features, there are some ways I definitely think it can be improved. Here’s some features we’d like to see incorporated into Google AdWords.

From the home office in Charlottesville, Va., it’s Tuesday’s Top Ten: Top Ten Things We’d Like to See in Google AdWords:

10. Reports for Quality Score. While Quality Score is apparently growing in importance in how ads are ranked, you cannot run a report on quality score for all of your keywords.

9. More detailed information on Quality Score. Frankly, I think Google owes this to us as advertisers. If they are going to make Quality Score a major component in how ads are ranked, then let us know how to improve Quality Score! There are three Quality Score grades: Great, OK, and Poor. Well, I advertise for my company name, Search Mojo. I currently use our home page of the Search Mojo website as my landing page for the term “search mojo”. Now, we are the ONLY Search Mojo out there. And I’m not sure how to make a landing page about my company’s name more relevant than the home page, which is all about our company. Yet, I have an “OK” Quality Score for this brand term. Hmm….

8. An Ad Library. Let me save an ad and reuse it or its “template” across campaigns. Many times, we have to reuse the same ad or a similar one across many campaigns (for many reasons, such as geo-targeting). An ad library would save me a lot of time!

7. Serve Ads More Often with Best Conversion Stats. Google currently allows me to run the “most successful” ads more often. However Google defines a “successful” ad as one that receives the most clicks. An advertiser might disagree that clicks are what makes an ad successful. As an advertiser, I want the ads with the best CONVERSIONS to run more often, but I don’t have that option today.

6. Column for Number of Conversions. While the conversion rate and cost per conversion are very helpful stats in the campaign summary, it would be great to see a column showing the number of conversions. One problem many advertisers face is comparing the actual number of conversions from Google’s tracking to actual conversion in their backend sales systems. It’s an easy column to add (relatively speaking) because the number of conversions can be determined by multiplying the conversion rate by the number of clicks. But it would be nice if I could see this at a glance — especially for larger accounts! Besides, this is available in the reports… why not have it as a column in the campaign summary?

5. Take Campaign Summary Column Customization a Step Further… Allow me to determine the order of columns. While I respect Google’s layout abilities, it would be helpful to see associated information in adjacent columns. For instance, I often want to compare the daily budget with the daily cost column. These two columns are far apart, making it more challenging to compare data at a glance.

4. Fix Position Preference! For some reason, we’ve seen that position preference seems to truly screwed up. In one client we worked with, we wanted to ensure the ad was at #1. So use position preference, right? No way. The Quality Score appears to be more stringent with position preference applied than without. In the test, we bid the highest amount first, and our Quality Score was OK. The ad showed up as #1. Then, when position preference was applied, the ad no longer appeared. We’ve seen this with several clients using position preference. Many advertisers want to use this feature because certain positions convert better than others. Please fix this!!

3. More Accurate Traffic Estimates. This tool is terribly inaccurate. From our estimates, and those of other SEM professionals, we’ve found that the traffic estimator tool only shows about 33-50% of the actual traffic. We found this through some testing with one client who wanted his ads to show 24 hours a day, for every search on his terms. As we tested, we found that the estimator only showed, for his terms, about 50% of the true traffic. It seems it would be in Google’s best interest to show the full traffic — to encourage advertisers to spend more money!

2. Apply Geo-Targeting Options and Scheduling Options Data to the Traffic Estimator. The traffic estimator currently does not take geo-targeting or scheduling options set in the campaign into account. So, a campaign you have set to run in a certain geographic area, such as a city, is not applied to the traffic estimator results — ergo, you will see traffic for the whole US, as an example, instead of just Los Angeles. Not very accurate. As advertisers use the geo-targeting and scheduling options more, it’s crucial for them to get a realistic idea of what to budget for these campaigns.

1. Allow Download of Traffic Estimator Data. As an SEM firm, I try to provide the most comprehensive view for a client of the cost of keywords, expected traffic and proposed costs. So I use the traffic estimator for much of this data, but I can’t provide this data easily to a client in a report. If you copy the traffic estimator results table, it also copies a bunch of extra table cells, images, etc. It would be very helpful for me to be able to download this data as a CSV file for reporting to clients.

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