Understanding the Basics of AdWords Reports

Marketing Advice - 31.03.16

Have you ever looked at your AdWords report and felt unsure about your ads performance because of the terminology used?

Here’s a run-through of all the top terms that will appear on your search campaigns report.

Account Structure

Before you start setting up your campaigns it is important to understand the structure of your account. Your account is laid out in a certain way: Account > Campaigns > Ad Groups > Keywords.

  • The account is where all your account information is held (e-mail, password and billing information).

  • Campaign level is for budgets and options for where your ads will appear.

  • Ad Groups are a set of similar ads that aim to target specific keywords.

  • Keywords, as mentioned above, belong to the ad group level. You can add or remove keywords whenever you wish. Just make sure that they are relevant to your ads.

Default Max CPC

This is the amount you’re willing to pay every time a potential customer clicks on your ad. Note, the higher this bid is, the more likely you are to appear on the results page. There is also a possibility to bid higher on specific keywords if you feel like they could perform better.


Impressions or displays simply mean how many times your ad appears in the search results (or as a display ad). This helps you know how many times your ad was shown.


This is the basic measurement of the effectiveness of your campaign. This will be counted each time that a user clicks on the ad.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

This is the ratio between the number of times your ad was shown and the number of clicks you received. The higher this percentage is, the better.


When it comes to costs, you’re in control. There’s a daily budget that you can set for each ad campaign. You can decide on the spend per day and you can change it whenever you want.

Average Position

This is the position where your ads appear on the results page. If your position is anywhere between 1-4, it generally means that your ad is showing among the top ads on the first page of results. Your position will be affected by the quality score (quality of the ad, keywords and landing pages) and relevance. So even if you’re paying more than your competition (by setting a higher Max CPC) you won’t be guaranteed a higher position if your ads aren’t relevant or of low quality.

Conversion Rate

This is the percentage of people whose clicks on the ad have resulted in a certain action afterwards. For an e-commerce site, this could mean tracking customers who add an item to their basket or complete a checkout process. If you’re not an e-commerce site, a conversion could simply mean filling out a contact form or completing a download.

If your campaign is still unclear to you and you would like help on setting up a Google AdWords or Display campaign for your business, please do not hesitate to call us on 01 681 4440.