How to determine why conversions are down on Google Adwords

CrystalOpsGraphDec08I recently answered a forum post from a person experiencing lower impressions and clicks for his FL-based business over the last 6 months. His question was how to determine why his traffic and conversions were down. This seems like a fairly common question. Here is my answer.

It could be that less folks are searching on the keywords that used to give you higher volumes of clicks and conversions. In order to really figure this out, you need to run a Search Query report for the ad group or ad groups that have decreased in impression and click volume. You need to do this by month (there is an option for ‘monthly’ in the reports section). You could then take the data into Excel and do a pivot table in order to understand impression volumes and click volumes by actual search query, and not just by keyword. The reason this is important is that Google does change up which search terms are matched to which broad-match keywords. So, a broad-match keyword might have increasing or decreasing impressions not due to underlying user search query trends, but instead due to Google making a change as to which search queries it is matching to which broad-match keywords.

I would also go in and do a ‘campaign’ report, by month, and include ‘impression share’ data – check all the ‘impression share’ options, which might be abbreviated as ‘IS’. You can then see whether you are seeing less impressions and clicks due to lost impression share, and further you can see if this is due to budget settings (mostly likely it is not) or due to your ads ranking lower on the page.

Another way to see if your keywords are getting less searches would be to use Google Trends, which can be a good tool to see search trends for specific search queries over time.

These few steps should help you determine the reason of the decreasing. Do you have other ideas? We look forward to reading your comments.

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