Shafique Niazi

Associate Director, Amazon

The Report Editor Rises: What You Need to Know About Google AdWords’ Latest Tool

SEM advertisers love data. We slice and dice it every day to discover the insights that help us make better decisions about where, when, and how we spend our advertising dollars. And, for the most part, Google AdWords lets us do that.

But, as we all know, there are time-consuming limitations for AdWords. I like to call it the “Export to Excel Blues.” Before we can even find the insights that help us optimize our accounts, we need to first pull out the raw data and format it. This could take anywhere from 5-15 minutes per report, and that’s assuming we only need to pull one report.

For instance, let’s say you spent 15 minutes crafting a campaign report and when you pull it out for formatting and editing, you realize that you also need to cross-reference on the keyword level. In the past, that would mean going back into AdWords to re-setup your report in the appropriate tab, export it, and then re-format it in Excel – all just to get the report ready for analysis.

Over the next few months, Google is rolling out its brand new Report Editor in AdWords. In Google’s own words, the new Report Editor “…allows you to engage with your performance data through multi-dimensional tables and charts. With the ability to create these multi-dimensional tables and charts directly within AdWords, the Report Editor eliminates the need to download your data in order to thoroughly explore it.”

To be honest, I thought this was a little vague. So, what exactly is new? Susan Waldes at Search Engine Land got to take a sneak peak at the editor. Here’s what she learned.

Upgraded Visuals

The Report Editor introduces pie charts and bar charts to AdWords. While it may not be the most robust style of reporting for SEM, this update provides a clean way to visualize the data.

Also, line charts are getting a serious upgrade. Currently, we can only compare two metrics (for example, cost and conversions) over one X-axis value: time. In the Report Editor, advertisers will be able add segments and more metrics for comparison. This allows us to cut the data however we like, whether it’s by geography, device, or other segments.

Enhanced Reporting

Now that we’ve whet our appetites on pretty graphs, let’s get down to the bread and butter of this update: enhanced reporting. The Report Editor itself has a simple drag and drop functionality that allows for quick report customization. Once you’ve dropped in your desired fields, you can easily sort, filter, or pivot your data all without having to export anything from AdWords. This allows us to start analyzing complex data sets with efficiency. You can even save these new reports in the editor for quick reference.

Remember earlier, when we needed to cross-reference keyword data with campaign data? Well, with the Report Editor, all we have to do is drop in the keyword metric, click the pivot button and boom! The report is ready for analysis.

To get a firsthand look at using the Report Editor’s functionality, check out the Google+ Your Business video below. I promise you won’t be disappointed.


Enhanced Geo Modifiers

For those of us who know the importance of keeping up-to-date advertising schedules and geo modifiers, Waldes found an amazing functionality that I look forward to using on day one of this roll-out. Advertisers are able to view both hour-of-day and day-of-week simultaneously with conversion metrics.

Normally, this report would take at least two pulls and a few pivot tables. Now, we can view it quickly and easily in the editor for instant, actionable insights in a couple clicks.

The best part is that the Report Editor is not even released for public consumption. Once this new functionality hits the general populace, we’re going to see an explosion of awesome techniques we can use to create reports that matter.


Now for the bad news. Google first announced the Report Editor on April 22, 2014 (over a year ago!). Since then, the beta has been rolled out to approximately 100 AdWords accounts. This means that if you like what you see, you will more than likely be waiting a while before it comes to an AdWords account near you.

Either way, the Report Editor’s new functionality looks amazing and I cannot wait to get my hands on it! If you’d like to talk more about these updates and what they may mean for your brand, reach out to Rise.

07/02/2015 at 12:00

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