Google Analytics Custom Reports: Paid Search Campaigns Analysis

Sharp-Focus Every Analysis Ninja knows that standard reports are lame. The lameness stems from the fact that they are created for everyone, stuffed with as much "stuff" as anyone might want and hence in the end satiate no one.

Custom reports on the other hand are, well, hand crafted by you for a specific purpose with a set of guiding principles ("Acquisition, Behavior, Outcomes! ") that ensure that they don't so much deliver data as much as deliver insights.

In this post I want to share with you three insightful custom reports for effective paid search (PPC) analysis. These insightful reports are from the six I'd created for my latest video for the Market Motive Web Analytics Master Certification course . [Checkout the detailed course description by clicking on the Curriculum tab.]

One of the hallmarks of our course (my course!) is that the content is constantly refreshed. Every few quarters we (I!) throw away 30% of the content and add more current knowledge. Makes the course a bit of a pain for the creators (me!), but substantially more relevant and useful for the students. Rewiring the brain Teaching is hard work. :)

My latest video was on how to find meaningful insights, faster, when performing paid search analysis with web analytics tools (rather than, say, the AdWords or Bing UI). My emphasis was on getting Analysts to move outside the paid search silo, look more broadly at search engine marketing, and to not stop at keywords but rather dive into astonishingly important data elements like Ad Groups, Matched Query Types and more.

If you use Google Analytics then you can download these reports directly into your account and starting having immediate sexy data fun. If you use Baidu Tongji or SiteCatalyst or WebTrends or other Digital Analytics tools you can learn about the recommended analysis and recreate these reports inside your tool using its custom reporting feature.

The first part of my Market Motive video covers the best way to identify optimal starting points for improving bottom-line impact right away (I call it campaigns, keywords, outcomes) and how to find opportunities for making immediate fixes (optimizing ad copy, landing pages, match types ). After those critical steps we dive a little deeper…

#1: Optimization Lessons: Paid Search vs. Organic Search

One of the biggest mistakes perpetuated by siloed execution of SEO and PPC strategies is that the groups that own each piece rarely learn from the other party's work. Criminal behavior.

Search Engine Optimization will have a large source of your search traffic (surely you are not just renting traffic from Bing, Google, Yandex, right?). You can learn so much from bounce rates on SEO landing pages, the Per Visit Goal Value (or even better $index value) delivered, layout of the content, effective calls to action and so much more from your SEO dataset.

Likewise the secret gift of Paid Search is that you get to control the user experience, rather than the search engine. You decide what the keyword is. You decide what the ad copy is (your promise to the user). You decide the landing page experience. There are a ton of lessons you can learn from this controlled process that you can then turn around and implement on the rest of your web experience (and your SEO efforts!).

So why don't more people do it? Some if it has to do with company organization structure and incentives.

But there is also a tool reason. In Google Analytics specifically it is GA's annoying UI / user experience.

Paid Search is in a silo under Advertising (where nothing else exists, all other advertising you do is conveniently hidden away under, get this, Traffic Sources > Sources > Campaigns!). Organic Search is in hidden successfully under Traffic Sources > Sources > Search (where once again you'll see Paid in a silo but with different reports and options than under AdWords in the Advertising section!). The Overview report is in the Traffic Sources section and it shows a "dead end" breakdown of paid and organic. Oh and don't click on Search Engine Optimization, that has nothing to do with your keyword data (it is valuable but different, webmaster tools data, but does have keywords).

You can only compare paid with organic if you know a secret: Click on the small text called Keyword on the sixth of nine layers of nested horizontal navigational elements in Overview report. #omg

But what Google Analytics taketh away (the ability to do sane straight forward analysis), Google Analytics giveth (custom reporting).

Here's the custom report that will start your day off right… no data puking or fragmented silos, just the data you need to rock a little more everyday…

paid vs organic search performance report-sm

(Click on the image for a higher resolution version, or here: Paid Organic Search Performance)

Two lines at the top that show you quickly the balance between paid and organic search. This company could use some improvement but overall not bad. What you don't want is for the blue line to be really close to the orange, or across it. :)

You get immense focus in the scorecard (summary) using just the Acquisition (Visits, Unique Visitors), Behavior (Bounce Rate, Pageviews – proxy for content consumption) and Outcome (Transactions, Average Value, Revenue) metrics and Key Performance Indicators.

Underneath that performance for your individual keywords, again in an easy to understand layout.

You can see how this type of report can quickly show issues and opportunities.

If in your case you see that the PPC bounce rate is higher than that of organic visits then you should be sad. You are paying for this traffic, how dare it leave your site at a higher rate! In the above screenshot it is amazing that the PPC campaigns are a fraction of the traffic and yet greater than half of the transactions! For your first two keywords you can see that paid is indeed performing better than organic. So what can we learn from those landing pages? Go visit them. Look at the referring keywords. Why do they have a bounce rate twenty points, or more, lower than the organic landing pages? Why are the conversions so strong? What are the paid people buying compared to organic? What was the ad copy in AdWords, and is that distinct from the content on our organic landing pages? What else can we learn from the Visitor Flow report about content consumption (pageviews) for the two segments of traffic? What are the implications on improving the site user experience? What are the matched user queries for the better performing AdWords keywords, and are those actual user queries the ones you've done search engine optimization for?

Incredible questions, insightful answers for which, from your analysis, can have a immediate and material impact on your business.

As you dive deeper into the data you'll find places were your PPC campaigns are stinking, and organic rocks…

paid vs organic drilldown

Similar questions. Find answers and make even faster improvements to your campaigns because remember every paid search visit to your site is costing you money!

Fun right? It really is.

Here's what the simple, but gorgeous, custom report looks like…

google analytics custom report paid vs organic sm

(Click on the image for a higher resolution version, or here: Paid vs. Organic Analysis)

A couple of things to note when trying to awesomize your custom reports:

1. Never create a custom report without Acquisition, Behavior, Outcome metrics. Each element gives context to the others and saves you from embarrassing jumping to conclusions.

2. Notice the drill down to Landing Pages from Keyword. Always try to figure out the most direct path to insights, and then build those dimensions directly into your custom report. And be brave enough to know when to stop. If two levels are all you need, two is all you should keep.

3. Leverage the built in Filters, they are god sent. Notice the critical choices I'm making above.

When you create custom reports using the Keyword dimension, Google Analytics sub-optimally does not realize you are doing search analysis and tries to get all traffic (!). I don't want that (and neither do you), so I filter out "not set." Less annoyance directly leads to a longer life span.

Second, since October 2011 searches made by users who are logged into their Google account you are going "not provided" and the keyword. We are trying to learn from performance of known keywords, so in this unique case I choose to filter out "not provided" as well. That might be an important chunk of your traffic, but you can't learn from people you know nothing about. In this case.

[Bonus read: Smarter Data Analysis of Google's https (not provided) change: 5 Steps]

Be ruthless when you create custom reports. Be insanely relevant (pick the critical few metrics). Be insanely focused (filters, drilldowns).

Ready to do this with your own data? It is a simple two step process…

Log into your Google Analytics account and then click on this link: Paid vs. Organic Search Performance. Or copy and paste this url into your browser:

Save the report to the appropriate GA profile.

When the report is open choose the following standard built in advanced segments and click Apply…

search advanced segments

Boom! You're in business.

Do your happy dance. Call your mom. Tell her how cool this is. Get back to work and answer questions. Make your mom proud!

#2: Campaign Optimization: Matched Search Queries Analysis

Now let me, gently, try to "unteach" you a small part of what I'd recommended you do immediately above. :)

When you log into AdWords and add Keywords to your Ad Groups, along with key elements like the price you're willing to pay, you also select your Match Type. Depending on your choice of Broad, Phrase or Exact your bids will be matched to relevant queries users type into the search engine.

So technically speaking your ads don't show up for your keywords, they show up for "Matched Search Queries." The words typed by the users. Yet most Marketers/Analysts rarely focus on them.

Here's a great illustration of this. We'd bid on the keyword "android notebook," and because of the way we'd structured our campaigns you can see that the actual user queries that our ads were matched with were quite varied…

adwords keyword matched query type

Hence real optimization of your campaigns can't be achieved by merely doing keyword analysis of your AdWords campaigns. It will come from understanding what user queries those keywords/ads are getting matched for.

For example if "android notebook" gets matched to "android tablet" (most likely via broad match) then is that ok? Do we really want our ads to match people looking specifically for Acer notebooks if we have nothing to do with Acer? If not then perhaps we want to add a negative keyword (Acer) to our campaign to focus our money and ads.

That's just one example.

I like looking at the keyword reports as a great starting point. I love looking at the actual user queries because they reveal intent that is often hidden in the keyword report. Besides intent I also look for optimization possibilities to fine tune my ad groups because that will determine if my ads are shown by Google. And of course I'm looking for negative keywords to focus my AdWords.

To accomplish my analytical goals, I skip the standard matched search queries report as the hierarchy is not optimal and the metrics I want to report are more unique.

Here's what my custom report looks like…

google analytics matched query type custom report

You can see that per best practice I've chosen my critical few Acquisition, Behavior, Outcome metrics. Feel free to change these as you see fit in your Google Analytics / SiteCatalyst front end.

Then I start at the highest level and gradually drill down to the exact data I want. Source is the search engine (Google, Bing etc). Then the keywords I've bid on. Then the match type and finally which user queries are my ads being matched for.

You will notice that again to overcome the "here's a puke of all the sources in the universe" issue I've added a filter to my report. I'm using a regular expression to match values for Medium for just paid search campaigns. You can see the complete regular expression when you download the report into your account (below).

Here's how the report looks like, after I've drilled down two levels to identify the performance of matched search queries for one important head keyword I'm bidding on…

keyword match type matched search query drilldown report-sm

(Click on the image for a higher resolution version, or here: Matched Search Query Drilldown)

The keyword is calico toys and you can see a whole swath of user queries my ads are showing up for. Some, like Toys R Us, I probably don't want to match, others I might want to double down on.

The view you see above is just for Broad Match. The sweet thing about this custom report is that now you can go and look at what is happening to your Exact Match user queries (0.00% conversion rate! OMG! That is astonishingly rare for Exact Match!!). And then drill down to Phrase Match. In this case after my analysis we learned from what the matched user queries were for Broad Match and fine tuned that, and turned up the heat on Phrase Match (it should do much much better than it is currently).

Notice I'm not using Revenue or Average Order Size, rather I'm using Per Visit Value. I like using PVV, because I want to be a slave driver (sometimes :)), to drive the team to understand better how much money we can extract from each visit. AOV only tells you about each person who converted, which is good, but I like pulling the lens a bit higher.

Best Practice: While I love Per Visit Value, I really looooove using Per Visit Goal Value. PVGV tells me the business is focused on maximizing the value of every pay per click campaign visitor by measuring the economic value of macro plus micro conversions. That is not just winning, that is winning to the power of ten!

Ready to do this analysis? It really is super cool and super impactful.

Log into your Google Analytics account and then click on this link: PPC Keyword/Matched Query Report. Or copy and paste this url into your browser:

Like keywords, love matched user search queries!

#3: Marrying AdWords Performance with Site Performance: End-to-End View

The universal challenge of web analytics is that our entire existence is subsumed by everything that happens after the click shows up on our website. Rarely do we care about what happens upstream. Often because we don't have access to that data, or sometimes because there are no incentives for us to care.

If your company is spending money (display advertising, YouTube campaigns, Bing, AOL, email campaigns, and Facebook ads) then you should go the extra mile, regardless of your job description, and try to understand what's happening upstream that is causing the clicks/visits to show up. Remember every one of those visits is costing you money. Yes increase revenue for those campaigns, but also obsess about reducing the cost.

For AdWords our life is made infinitesimally easier because by linking your AdWords account to your Analytics account rich AdWords data shows up automagically allowing you to have an end-to-end view of campaign performance. So lovely.

Here's my go to custom report, drilled down to the second level, for end-to-end AdWords analysis…

paid search analytics end to end custom report sm

(Click on the image for a higher resolution version, or here: Paid Search End to End Analysis)

Pink highlights are the metrics showing AdWords performance, in green are the metrics showing onsite performance. Eight million (!) impressions result in 66k visits (what is up with that!). The average cost per click is 52 cents, the average revenue per click is 58 cents. Obvious question: Are we actually making any money on this? Remember the product/service you are selling still costs you money. What happens to the bottom-line, profit, on a six cent cost to revenue gap?

The sorting above is by RPC (where am I making the most amount of money, and how much is each of that click costing me ). It is hugely heartbreaking when you sort this report by CPC. After you wipe off your tears (and hide the reports from the HiPPOs) you'll log into AdWords to start optimizing the losers.

My other secret agenda with this particular report is to encourage you to understand the AdWords account structure that drives so much of your paid search advertising. Yes keywords are important, but in AdWords you set up Campaigns, inside each Campaign you set up Ad Groups which contain Keywords and ads that the themed for those keywords.

adwords account structure

So when you do analysis of your AdWords campaigns an effective strategy is to set up the custom report to mimic the above structure. In my custom report I've done that by having an optimal dimension drilldown structure…

adwords analtyics end to end report sm

(Click on the image for a higher resolution version, or here: Search Campaign End-to-End Custom Report)

As always we have our Acquisition, Behavior and Outcome metrics (from the search campaign and our website). The dimensions then allow us to drill down from Campaigns to Ad Group to Keywords to the Match Type. We are once again using regex for Medium to filter and report on only the PPC campaigns.

I'm not kidding when I say that you could spend a lifetime understanding everything that is happening here and optimizing your campaigns. Though typically as a Web Analyst your job might be to identify valuable insights from this report and funnel them to your dedicated Paid Search team. They'll take it from there and do detailed analysis using deeper data available inside the AdWords UI (or your custom PPC bid management tool) and then take appropriate action.

Where you can really really help your Paid Search team is to put all this data in the broader site context and in context of all other non-search campaigns. They rarely look at that, you can then be your company's knight in shining armor by riding in on your white steed and rescue the Prince.

Ready for your happily ever after?

Log into your Google Analytics account and then click on this link: E2E Paid Search Report. Or copy and paste this url into your browser:

So there you have it… three custom reports that are focused on just what you need to do, are a delight to use, and help identify insights you can action to deliver an impact on the company's bottom-line.

Bonus: If you are a member of Market Motive or a student in the current Web Analytics Master Certification course then please watch the video on the site to download an additional three awesome custom reports for paid search analysis.

As always, it's your turn now.

How deep are your paid search analysis efforts? Does your company use the web analytics tool, or a specialized search platform for analysis? Have you use the metrics and dimensions used in the three reports above? Got ideas for how I can improve my custom reports? Or, better, do you have a favorite custom report that you use to analyze your pay per click campaigns?

Please share your experience, critique, examples, ideas and feedback via comments.

Thank you.

Couple other related posts you might find interesting:


  1. 2

    Thanks for these, Avinash.

    I loved your PPC report that shows match type and matched keywords the best. These are great sources of new organic keywords to target, especially since the notorious (not provided) has been around.

    In general there is far too little SEO/PPC cooperation out there.

  2. 3

    Great post and thank you for the custom reports. They are very helpful.

    I often find that match type is really the factor that can make or break the performance of a campaign. I also like the option of being able to see how each of the match types perform against the organic version of the keyword. What "keyword" means in GA for an broad-matched AdWord is very different from what "keyword" means for organic. However, "keyword" for an exact-matched search should be a 1-1 equivalent comparison for organic "keyword". Bringing them all together in one view gives me better insight and context.

    An easy way to do this is to slightly modify your 1st report by inserting the Match type dimension below Keyword and above Landing Page. Also, instead of choosing paid and non-paid advanced segments, I only choose the "search traffic" advanced segment. That way I can see Broad, Phrase, Exact, and (not set), which is really my organic traffic.

    With that I have in one quick view the ability to compare apples to apples between exact and organic as well as have the context of the other more generalized match types.

    FYI – I think you may have the first screenshot mistaken, because the AdWords bounce rate is better than the organic rate as well as better than the site average. No big deal but as a result, the story told by the screenshot does not match the text below it.

    • 4

      Micheal: Your suggestion for the modification is delightful. Thank you.

      And thanks also for pointing out the misread. I think in my rush I read it as 58 and 65 rather than 56. No more late night blogging. :) I've fixed the text.


  3. 5

    definitely when I grow up I wanna be like you…

    Wonderful Ninja Like Report I'll be implementing it today!!!


  4. 6

    Thanks, Avinash, these are awesome as usual. I'll be adding them to when I have a chance. It would be great if you ever have some free time to participate over there!

  5. 7
    Theresa Zook says

    An awesome job, as always, Avinash. Not only creating these amazing reports, but explaining them to those of us who aren't that great with Analytics yet!

    I'm slipping these into a couple of client accounts and tinkering with them already. (The Matched Search Query drilldown doesn't seem to be working right yet, but I assume that's because I'm not doing it right :) and am taking it as a challenge!)

    Thanks, again!

  6. 8

    "…having immediate sexy data fun"

    This! Winning statement of the day for me. We're all in the business of providing drool worthy reports that's easy to understand and manipulate and is not littered with eye candy that doesn't add substance.

    Does your company use the web analytics tool, or a specialized search platform for analysis?

    – Both. We usually get people to use the Web Analytics tool with client permissions access to get custom data and reports. After that, we use a specialized search platform for analysis.

  7. 9

    Killer Blog Post Avinash,

    2 quick questions:

    1. How does report 3 look upstream? I was hoping to see something around first click attribution

    2. Do you have any previous reports that show cross channel attribution?



    • 10

      Patrick: 1. All the data in these reports will just look at last click prior to conversions. If you want to look at the earlier path please see the Multi-Channel Funnel reports in Google Analytics, or the Search Funnel reports in Adwords. Both will give you visibility to earlier clicks, for free! :)

      2. See the Multi-Channel Funnel reports, and if you are using Google Analytics Premium then please use the multi-channel attribution models built into the tool.


  8. 11
    Alex B says

    Never thought about the matched search query report– I'll start using that immediately. Always something new!

    One thing you reminded me of that is also worth looking at, is a deeper understanding of where your ad(s) showed up on Google (top vs side in Google parlance). Frequently, people are concerned about uncapping their bids (with good reason at times), but by being afraid to increase their bid(s), they often lose out on the volume of the top 3 slots, which can be 10X the side.

    One report worth running effectively looks at all keywords that demonstrated a conversion rate of X, but where Y impressions were on the side.

    e.g, keyword X: Impressions Top 50, Clicks 30. Conversions 3. Impressions Side 100, Clicks 0, Conversions 0.

    For every one of those keywords, up the bid. Sounds overly granular, but if the account is large enough, there can be thousands of these terms, shown to convert, but which are losing out on valuable opportunity.

    This is actually easier to accomplish in Adwords than in GA, but if you wanted to do it broadly in GA, you could do it at the Adgroup or Campaign level, and, if the results were not to your liking/too broad, dig down into the keyword level in Adwords + Pivot tables.

    e.g: Campaign Dimension -> Ad Slot Sub-Dimension (or Ad Slot Position).

  9. 12

    Thank you Avinash, for these great reports. I just tried making these reports on some clients of ours and found some very interesting insights.

    Will look more at the other related posts now!

    I would just love if the new AdWords "Keyword Details" + "Auction insight" data was available in GA, so that I could advise wether or not a possible up/down trend, was because of market trends or because of increased competition. Often we need to look at insights/trends to explain loss/decrease.


  10. 13

    Nice article.

    Thank you for sharing the valuable reports.

  11. 14
    Rishi pal singh says

    Thank you so much Avinash!

    I am really big fan of your analysis….

  12. 15

    Hi Avinash, great great post. THX a lot.

    We will test your custom reports today…

    Best from Germany

  13. 16
    Josh Fulfer says


    I owe you a big thank you. These are awesome reports that will save me time & money, and make my clients happy.

    The E2E Paid Search reports is exactly what I've needed. Being able to compare CPC to RPC is the most helpful report I've downloaded from you yet.

    Thanks again. You're a big help and an inspiration.

    -Josh Fulfer

  14. 17

    This is a good example on how to customized your Google Analytic reports. Brilliant tutorial until the last thing that I wanted to know. This had help us a lot to know how to execute better reporting in our clients.

    Thank you and looking forward for some post like this…

  15. 18

    Thank you for sharing the valuable reports. I learn so much today!

  16. 19

    Great post as usual Avinash. Is it possible that we use the Omniture campaign IDs (scid) in GA to track campaigns in GA?

    I have a campaign running which is being tracked in Omniture. I was wondering if in GA I can go into Admin>Tracking>Advanced and then select “My online campaigns from other providers use different tags than those used by Google Analytics”.

    Here is it possible to indicate that all referrals with “scid” be recognised and reported as a campaign?

    • 20

      Rohit: You can most definitely experiment with that feature, it has been designed to work in that scenario (SiteCatalyst or WebTrends or other campaign tags). To test just land on any page with a made up SCID and filter the campaign report using the inline table filter to ensure it worked.

      Another way in which you can look at other parameters that might be in the url query string is to create an advanced segment using the Page dimension. Create a segment, apply to the All Traffic Sources report and that should give you what you are looking for.

      I'll be remiss if I did not say that I've persistently advocated staying loyal to one web analytics tool. It is hard enough to get one to work properly and have time to do analysis AND take action. It is impossible to do that with two. If you've got Site Catalyst properly implemented, stick to it.


  17. 21
    Sarah Peduzzi says

    Great post.

    These reports will definitely be in my arsenal for the next rounds!

  18. 22
    Rick Sanchez says

    This was an extremely helpful article and your timing was impeccable. The discrepancies in data between the traffic reports and the campaign, organic and paid search were throwing me for a loop.

    Creating a custom report seemed to clear things up but after reading this post, I know that there is much more valuable insight to be found if I dig a bit deeper.

    Thanks much!

  19. 23

    Great article and definitely considering signing up to your course. One thing that appears a little counter intuitive when I create the initial report is that the number of visits is lower than the number of unique visitors being recorded.

    A review of the data shows a lot of long-tail traffic recording a unique visitor through PPC but not a visit to the site. The page views are recorded as is the bounce rate.

    Any views why this could be happening?

    • 24

      Wyndham: That is a little bit weird. If the two numbers are off by a little bit that is ok, but if they are off by a lot then that would be worrying.

      The best option for complex GA requests is to hire a GACP to go through your account/data and validate and recommend the right path. You'll find a list here:


  20. 25

    This was another great knowledge bomb!

    After reading this post, I quickly applied these reports (and slightly customized) for the rest of the marketing team and all of our brands.

    Thanks, and looking forward to more customized reports and analysis.

  21. 26

    Beautifully presented report… really fab!

  22. 27

    Hello Kaushik,

    I'm facing a new metric right now in Google Analytics, maybe it was there before but I've never noticed, but either way, the Excel Plugin: Excellent Analytics doesn't have it in its list of metrics.

    This metric is called "Visit Starts", in my language it's called "Inícios de Visita" wich seems to mean the count of how may visits have started.

    Well, where am I facing it: at the custom variable report (we got a custom variable to track the ID of a customer at an ecommerce website), it only does that, nothing else.

    "Visit Starts" doesn't match the "Visits" metric, so I'm wondering if "Visit Starts" is exactly what I'm thinking of: how many sessions, or visits have the User (custom variable) started (i guess have to say that the custom variable value is 0 if the user is not logged in, and an ID number if the user is logged) – wich seems to bring an interesting metric to life: the count of visits your site actually had independing if you are using Pages or similars as Dimensions or in Filtering or in Advanced Segments.

    I just guess this might be interesting for a new post, or a totally useless drepecated matter….

    • 28

      Alexandre: Two things….

      1. The Visit Starts metric you are seeing in custom variable reports is supposed to be Visits. Just read it as Visits.

      2. This will be fixed in GA in the near future. It will go back to being called Visits.


      • 29
        Igor Gromov says

        Thank you very much for explanation.

        I almost have broken my head trying to understand what custom reporting is about.

      • 30

        Thanks for this Avinash Kaushik – your blog is an oasis of info in a desert of Google Analytics info.

        Can I just check I have this straight though – are you saying the the 'visit starts' metric is currently broken? I am hoping you are as my 'unique visitors' figure currently stands at about 30x greater than my 'Visit starts' figure.



        • 31

          Kristen: Please compare your Unique Visitors number with the Visits number you see in any standard report. If you see UV as 30x (or even 1.2x) of Visits then something is magnificently wrong with your data-set. You should hire a GACP to help you sort through this, you'll find a list here:

          Ignore Visit Starts.


          • 32

            Thanks so much for getting back to me. UV seems fine across the rest of GA so I reckon it's juts an anomolie with Visit Starts just now. I will take your advice and ignore these.

  23. 33

    If you are an adwords advertiser and you are not seeing adwords data in your google analytics reports, what are two things you shold check? (select two)

    a) check whether autotagging is enabled

    b) check whether the "apply cost data" checkbox is checked in the profile whose data you are viewing

    c) make sure that you apply a custom filter that filter out "google/cpc" data

    d) check whether you are receiving direct traffic

    e) check whether you have created more than one profile

  24. 34
    Jason McElweenie says

    Thanks again as always, Avinash.

    If you could only take 1 custom report with you to a deserted island what would that be?

  25. 35

    Hi Avinash,

    Thanks a lot for another great post. As I am using modified broad, my PPC keywords come up in GA with the + therefore I cannot see the SEO equivalent.

    Is there a fix for this?

  26. 36
    @amanda_westbook says

    This is a great post! I'm always looking for ways to improve my custom reports.

    I'm wondering, though, why you don't account for shipping or tax out of your revenue? You can see the custom report I use:

    Would you not recommend factoring it out to get the true ROAS?

  27. 37
    Stephen Kavita says

    For the last one year my aim has been to learn all their is to know regarding SEO and site ranking. I was wondering where to go and learn about search engine marketing.

    Now I know where to go when I begin: my PPC campaigns.

  28. 38

    Hi Avinash

    I have a question on the end-to-end metrics:

    When I can, I try to combine two sets of reports, one from our digital agency on the digital campaign performance and another from our site tracking tool (omniture or coremetrics) so that we can see the end-to-end performance.

    So the question is, Unlike Adwords which is also part of Google, what are the drawbacks to combining these two sets of reports?

    Given that the measurement tools are vastly different for those giving Impression & Clicks to the Visits and Goal Conversion. Is it fair to be putting this report together?



    • 39

      Madhu: If your digital agency is pulling data from the AdWords API and they are ensuring that the primary key, your paid search campaign tracking is clean, complete and consistent, then by manually "putting data together" you are doing what Google Analytics is doing automatically.

      Hence that should work.

      Just make sure the two things outlined above (data source and 3c's of campaign tracking) are done correctly.


  29. 40
    Robinsh says

    I never thought that Google Analytics can do this much of analysis with a right approach and that's why came here at the last of the comment section to say thanks to you Mr. Kaushik.

    Keep posting such article now I'm the email subscriber and would like to get more articles in my inbox related to the Google products what is also a big in list if I will count how I use them in my day to day life being a blogger.

  30. 41

    Thanks for the hint Avinash.

  31. 42

    Thank you so much… i need this but dont know how to generate reports in analytics.

    Really useful to us.

  32. 43

    Full of insights again, your blog style cant come closer to the "How-to-read-to-your-target-audience". Magnifique..

    One novice question; i was not able to exclude the (not set) (not provided) from Report 1 when building the report myself rather than copying yours. How do you actually exclude them? I manually typed them where there appear on your example, as i could not find a suitable dropdown…what have i missed?

  33. 45
    Jan Wiggers says

    Thats was exactly what is was searching for. Was doing a Shop-Analysis for a friend of mine.

  34. 46
    Prachiti Pandya says

    Hi Avinash,

    I have a website whose internal search does not support search query parameters. Thus in order to trap the internal site search keywords in Google Analytics, I created an event and added the event label as internal search keywords on the website.

    How should I able to know what page is displayed when a certain keyword is searched on the website? I tried "Landing page" and " page" as secondary dimension in top events report, but the pages it shows me is absolutely not the one shown on the website when keywords are searched???

    Any comment??? or help ???

  35. 48

    Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge and the reports. You the man!

  36. 49

    Thanks so much Avinash, you've made life much easier for me, I love these reports.

    I've been looking for ways to save my time, so I didn't have to learn how to create these myself. And, you just did them for us, I appreciate you VERY much!

  37. 50
    Theunis Stoffberg says

    Hi Avinash,

    What does RPC stand for? and what is it's relation to CPC. Which of these weight's is most important in analysis of campaign performance.?


    • 51

      Theunis: Revenue Per Click.

      Depending on what your goals are you could choose either one. Though it is important to have a balance between the two to ensure you are making money on what you are spending.


  38. 52

    You wrote: "What you don't want is for the blue line to be really close to the orange, or across it"

    Why? I mean I can see why I would not want to pay for a keyword that is not even used organically but are there any other reasons?

    Thanks, G.

    • 53

      Gin: You will adapt your strategy to your strengths and weaknesses.

      My point with those words was that you don't want your overall strategy, that is what that graph is showing, to show that your company is completely reliant on paid search to get your search visitors.

      You want a balance of paid (where you are weak in organic) and organic (where you are strong with high page one results with lots of universal search items).

      Good paid plus good organic equals huge search success.


  39. 54

    I thought I found the answer here, but it seems the Analytics interface has changed since the article was written. I am not seeing the options you laid out so well here….

    So I am still wondering how I can find my Unique Visitors Metric for Paid Vs Organic search in Google Analytics for my monthly client report… Any insight would be welcome.

    Thanks Suzanne

    • 55

      Suzanne: Click on Customization. Then New Custom Report.

      Now in the Metrics area type in Unique Visitors.

      In the Dimensions you'll end up using something like Source/Medium with a filter to identify ppc (you can see examples of this in this post).


  40. 56

    Hi Avinash,

    Thanks for the reports.

    I have a problem with the PPC Keyword/Matched Query Report as the only keyword I see is Not Set. Not sure what I am missing. Will be great if you can tell me what's missing.


  41. 58

    Just a small point but I'm sure your logical mind will appreciate this. You say:

    "…the metrics I want to report are more unique."

    However, something is either unique, or not unique. Something cannot be 'more unique'.

    I love your reports, thank you for sharing them.

  42. 59

    Thanks so much for the custom reports, they really help a ton and are pretty awesome!

    Just added them to my GA account and they are working nicely. Feels like I just got some for free that is worth something!

  43. 60
    Amit Ramani says

    Avinash, thank you again for another insightful post. I have read the comments here and did not find the answer.

    Regarding your statement, " What you don't want is for the blue line to be really close to the orange, or across it. :)": In my case, I see the exact opposite on my ecommerce site i.e. the blue line is well above the orange line. I am guessing this is because the number of organic search terms that are being revealed by Google are very low (primarily because of "not set" and "not provided").

    If I remove the filter to exclude "not set/not provided", I see my organic visits take up the lion share.

    Do you think I am correct in my reasoning?

    • 61

      Amit: It is imprecise to draw those two lines using just the organic keywords you see.

      You should compare the overall Paid Traffic vs. the overall Organic Traffic for an optimal comparison in context that the graph is trying to show.


  44. 62
    Andy Desher says

    Thank you Avinash.

    Your customizations still apply in Google Analytics even though this was written some time ago. This is a great example of how to create better reporting for clients.

    Absolutely genius.
    Hope you continue to create these posts.


  1. […] Google Analytics Custom Reports: Paid Search Campaigns Analysis 1 Upvotes Discuss Flag Submitted 1 min ago Himanshu Analytics Comments […]

  2. […]
    Google Analytics Custom Reports: Paid Search Campaigns Analysis

  3. […]
    Google Analytics Custom Reports: Paid Search Campaigns Analysis,

  4. […]
    Avinash Kaushik posts “Google Analytics Custom Reports: Paid Search Campaigns Analysis,” at Occam’s Razor.

  5. […]
    Start plowing through Google Analytics tutorials, nose buried in Avinash Kaushik’s blog, polishing up your analytics skills. All that knowledge is pretty gratifying, right? You know what feels even better? Struttin’ your stuff.

  6. […]
    Seguimos con la analítica web, esta vez con un texto del conocido Avinash Kaushik que trata sobre los informes personalizados en Google Analytics y como sacarles el mayor provecho para realizar un análisis de campañas de pago en buscadores. Google Analytics Custom Reports: Paid Search Campaigns Analysis

  7. […]
    Google Analytics Custom Reports: Paid Search Campaigns Analysis — Avinash tells all and reveals how to set up a custom report to compare your paid search and organic search traffic in Google Analytics.

  8. […]
    Avinash Kaushik shares some more analytics ideas on his Occam's Razor blog: Google Analytics Custom Reports: Paid Search Campaigns Analysis

  9. […]
    Analytics: Rapoarte personalizate pentru campaniile AdWords
    Google Analytics iti permite sa creezi mai multe rapoarte custom care sa vina in ajutorul tau cu date utile despre campaniile tale AdWords. Poti inclusiv compara rezultatele SEO cu PPC si afla mai multe informatii despre cuvintele cheie performante.

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    Google Analytics ти позволява да създадеш няколко персонализирани отчети, за да се притечеш на помощ с полезни данни, относно твоите кампании в AdWords. Можеш да сравняваш резултатите, включвайки SEO и РРС, за да добиеш повече информация относно изпълнението на ключовите думи.

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    Basado en un post de hace algo más de un mes de Avinash Kaushik (“Google Analytics Custom Reports: Paid Search Campaigns Analysis“), compartimos tres informes personalizados para optimizar campañas de PPC.
    Publicidad en buscadores versus resultados orgánicos
    En Google Analytics es complicado comparar la efectivicadad del PPC frente al SEO porque sus datos se encuentran en sitios distintos y no existen informes estándar con ambos datos.

  12. […]
    I also believe that it is a huge asset for businesses to be able to manage the search results. I quite agree with what is said on Occam’s Razor: ”…the secret gift of Paid Search is that you get to control the user experience, rather than the search engine. You decide what the keyword is. You decide what the ad copy is (your promise to the user). You decide the landing page experience.” That means that the companies want to help us save time and effort. And since the company itself is the writer they themselves can give us the promise they believe they can live up to. I think it is a complete win-win situation.

  13. […]
    To satisfy your jonesing for Avinash, here’s an oldie but a goodie from his blog, Occam’s Razor: Google Analytics Custom Reports: Paid Search Campaigns Analysis.

  14. […]
    Я недавно публиковал отчет по этой теме: Google Analytics Настраиваемые Отчеты: Аналитика Контекстной Рекламы
    Проблема с анализом SEM в том, что люди либо фокусируются только на том, что происходит в самой поисковой системе (Яндекс, Google, и так далее); на контекстной рекламе; либо они слишком фокусируются на том, что происходит на их сайте (внутренний анализ). Чтобы действительно хорошо анализировать, нужно совместить эти стороны.

  15. […]
    As long as that’s all sorted, log into your Analytics account then come back and click this link: End to End Paid Search Report. It’ll generate a custom report that will show, per keyword, how much you’re paying for the traffic you’re getting and how much revenue is generated as a result of it. Have a dig around and read more about the report and how to use it over on Avinash Kaushik’s website (he’s the one who made that custom report).

  16. […]
    My report is primarily beneficial to non ecommerce websites because it focuses on conversions. However, if you are running AdWords to an ecommerce site (with ecommerce tracking set up), apply Avinash Kaushik’s report to your account to see revenue per click and more.

  17. […]
    In fact, if you set up multiple goals using any of these tools, you can start to measure advanced metrics: my Google colleague Avinash Kaushik is particularly fond of “per visit goal value” – and rightly so. Once you’re able to measure the real value of your search advertising, you can set superior bids for every single keyword. Note that you can also use Conversion Tracking in AdWords to set different (but static) values for different conversion types.

  18. […]
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  19. […]
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    Сотрудники готовы разбираться с этими данными, засучив рукава. Раз в неделю они будут писать вам о том, что нашли в инфомассе, и всё. Не нужно говорить им, что делать или рассказывать о том, что вы нашли. Просто дайте отчет и не мешайте. Инфомассу можно создать с помощью Google Analytics, Adobe, WebTrends или любого другого инструмента. Например, в этом посте есть отличная сводка с результатами работы для сотрудников, занимающихся контекстной рекламой:

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