Sharpen Monthly Performance With These 3 PPC Reviews

A few months ago, we released a great list of recurring tasks for account work. Some of my favorite reports and reviews to run fall under the “monthly review” category. These are reports that sometimes can be forgotten about when more important tasks, like an ad copy review, pop up. However, these tasks can really clue you in on some quick wins that can improve your monthly performance.

(Bonus: I included screenshots of the new AdWords interface and how to find each report that I mention.)

Here are a few quick reviews that can help sharpen your accounts.

Auction Insights

This report helps you to compare your performance with other advertisers who are in the same auctions. Auction Insights are available for campaigns, ad groups, and keywords.

This is an interesting report that you can turn into a comparison report with the help of Microsoft Excel. When looking at a long-running account, I like to split the year into a couple of different sections, depending on the client and their goals throughout the year. Splicing the data also allows you to identify if there were more or fewer competitors in different time periods. By downloading these reports and comparing them side-by-side in Excel, you can see whose position above rate, outranking and impression share changed. You might also identify some new competitors that you didn’t know you were competing with.

This option can be found in the new AdWords interface by navigating to the Ad group tab and clicking the “More” dropdown.

You can also find Auction Insights by selecting your data and clicking “Auction Insights” in the blue bar.

Keyword Trends

One of my favorite Excel reports to run is the pivot table. It’s handy for so many things. In this case, I filter for top performing keywords over the last year.

You can put any parameters or segments on this that you want to, but I don’t like seeing keywords that only generated 1 impression or that are currently paused so I typically pick a couple filtering metrics before generating my report in AdWords or Bing.

Before you download your report, use the Segment feature to Segment by Month. This will show your keyword performance by month.

In the new interface, you’ll want to utilize the “filter” search bar above your keywords.

Then you’ll want to navigate the 3 dots symbol on the right side to access the download options.

Select Download, then More Options to add Segments.

There’s a Segments search bar that allows you to search for your option or find it in the drop-down.

Once you have the data in Excel, create a pivot table. If you add the month, or another time period you’re reviewing, as a row field in your table, you can see performance in an easy-to-review format.

Reviewing Network Performance

I like to use the Segment by Network feature to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. This is an important performance factor to check in on from time to time because performance can be drastically different between Google and the Search Partner Network. Occasionally, you’ll find something shocking here and you’ll be so glad you checked this out.

To do this at the keyword, ad group or campaign level in the AdWords interface, locate the data you want to review, select it and click the circle Segment button on the right side of the navigation bar and then select “Network (with search partners)”.

Once you have segmented the data you are reviewing, it will look similar to the view below.


For the ins and outs of exactly how this review can be useful for your accounts, here’s a great post about how segmenting by network.


These are my favorite monthly reviews. They’re often my go-to reviews if performance takes a swing and I’m not sure what should be done. I hope the screenshots of how to locate these in the new interface are helpful!

What are you favorite monthly reviews? We’d love to hear them in the comments!