Why it’s important to look beyond Google Ad performance.

Monday, October 9, 2023


Written by

Senior Paid Media Specialist

PPC’s can be blinkered, only reviewing in-platform data without considering wider platforms their clients may use. 

Why do I need to look outside Google Ads I hear you ask? Because Google Ads activity can influence other channels, and therefore having a more holistic view of performance across multiple channels and data points can provide a more well rounded and robust paid strategy. 

Here’s 5 things that you should check when reviewing paid performance. 

3rd Party Attribution and conversion modelling tools

Some of our clients make use of attribution tools such as Triple Whale, Ruler Analytics and Segment Stream. Each has their uses, and provides us and our clients with clarity on which channels are performing outside of in-platform metrics (which are usually biased towards awarding themselves the conversion). It can also help to identify which channels are working well together i.e paid social might generate brand awareness, and a user then converts through a branded paid search ad.

For instance we’ve previously seen that some search campaigns don’t appear to be achieving the desired ROAS target when analysing in-platform metrics, however they are in fact driving valuable revenue when analysis through attribution tools. Without this insight, we’d potentially pause this particular search campaign and lose customers as a result. 

Heatmap Tools

We’ve spoken about it A LOT, but your PPC campaigns won’t achieve anything without a solid landing page to send traffic to. A solid landing page needs to be relevant to users, and offer a clear path to conversion. Improving this path to conversion and subsequently increasing conversion rate and UX on landing pages can be achieved through understanding what users are doing on that page, any pain points, any content they spend more time on etc. Paid platforms such as Mouseflow and Hotjar can provide this insight, or there are free tools available  such as Microsoft Clarity. By reviewing this data, you can make improvements to landing pages which will subsequently improve results for paid activity by improving quality score which subsequently can reduce CPC’s.

Internal data

It should go without saying, but validating performance against internal figures is important to understand if there’s any nuances or errors in your data. 

Whether they log data in a platform like Salesforce, or are an ecommerce client on Shopify - having visibility of this data can only strengthen PPC output and ensure recommendations are aligned with what’s being reported internally to key stakeholders. 

Merchant Centre

Yes, you can see product data in Google ads, but Google Merchant Centre offers a plethora of reports that you can’t access in Google Ads. If you have shopping campaigns, whether that’s standard shopping or P.Max, checking out the extra insights available in Merchant Centre is super valuable and can give you that competitive edge.

Here’s an example of the relative visibility trend report that looks at the difference in visibility of competitors, based on product impressions in a selected category when compared to your products.

Click fraud platform

If you make use of click fraud protection, take a look around the platform to check there’s not any insight you’re missing out on. You’ll see what keywords are driving lots of fraudulent clicks for example, which can help to refine your KW portfolio. 

To summarise, looking beyond the ads platform can often generate a more robust strategy that better aligns with wider business goals, and helps to drive performance forward. There’s data in most platforms that can be valuable in some capacity, it’s just making the time to review them and pull out what you need.