Is the AdWords Keyword Performance Module of any use?

PPC

Elizabeth Marsten Jan 19 2009

A couple of months ago, Google AdWords launched another tool to their already hefty arsenal of pay per click optimization and monitoring devices: the keyword performance module. If you already know what that is, great! Let me know what you think about it.
If not- it can be found on your Campaign Management tab under Account Snapshot in the lower left hand corner, all tucked away down there. Granted, there’s this handy move tool where you can re-arrange the boxes on this page in any way you want, but if you didn’t know about it, it would have continued to silently brood in the corner until the one day you scrolled down.
AdWords-Keyword-Performance-Module.png
I’ve gone ahead and moved mine up under alerts on certain accounts just so I can see if it truly is useful or not and to remind me to use it. The nice thing is that while Google offers all these different tools it can be hard sometimes to remember them all and their applications!
Features are:
*Being able to export to a CSV file
*Setting a custom date range
*Multiple categories: All Keywords, Best Performing Keywords, Worst Performing Keywords, Keywords with No Clicks, Expensive Keywords and Competitive Keywords.
*Link to the Keyword Tool
I found little use for the link to the keyword tool and the category for All Keywords. Those are simply things I would regularly access from within the account while working on it. (Or use the AdWords Editor for.)
The categories I found most useful were the Expensive and Competitive Keywords. The Expensive Keywords tool shows you which keywords you’ve been paying the most for. This comes in handy if you’ve got many keywords that come in at different costs at different times. For example, you sell 1200 different products online and it varies from month to month what is popular. This is great for seeing those trends and costs up close and at a glance. This tool isn’t great if you only sell one or two types of things and the main keywords are super high volume, high cost keywords, like “wedding invitations.” The same keywords will always appear as the most expensive. The other downside being that if just two keywords are overshadowing the rest, cost-wise, than anything else in the account, you’ll only see those two instead of a list of say, the top 10.
However, the Competitive Keywords view is nice in that instead of choosing and picking and then running search estimates in the Keyword Tool, you can see right away which keywords you’re either paying the max cpc cost for or really close to. This includes the match type, current bid and CTR. This is my favorite feature of the module.
AdWords-Competitive-Keywords.png
The Best Performing and Worst Performing Keyword categories is great if the overall goal of your account is only to drive traffic for as little spend as possible. If it’s an Ecommerce goal, it’s helpful, but not nearly as helpful as having Conversion Tracking within your AdWords account. The problem is that the way that AdWords is determining which keywords are “Best” and “Worst” is based on CTR averages only, no cost or revenue data is factored in.
Worst is defined as:
“These keywords have less than half the average CTR during your chosen time period. Data shown is for Clicks, Impressions and CTR.” And then for Best it’s keywords that have twice the average CTR.
Last but not least, is the Keywords with No Clicks feature. This is pretty handy particularly with new accounts. It lets you see all the keywords within your account with no clicks over your selected period of time, which is helpful when you’re trying to figure out which keyword is the culprit of creating thousands impressions but no clicks right away.
Bottom line: The Keyword Performance Module is of use, just not a great use. If you’re like me, you often skip the Account Snapshot screen and have it set to go straight into Campaign Summary so you can get right to the meat of the account. Particularly since you’ve worked in it so much you already know what you’re watching and what to watch for. This could however, be quite a useful tool for new accounts or transferred accounts that you’re familiarizing yourself with still.