AdWords Top Movers Report: What It Is & What It Should Be

Each morning, millions of people log into their AdWords and Bing Ads accounts to see how their performance was on the previous day. This often includes reviewing which keywords drove the most traffic, how that new ad text you created is performing, and how you’re pacing against your client’s goals.

Each SEM manager most likely has their own approach and set of reports they run. Unfortunately, to truly understand how your account is performing, it can take some time. Thankfully, Google has released a new feature: the top movers report.

Per Google, this report will “show you which campaigns and ad groups have experienced the largest changes in clicks and cost, and highlight changes you made which might have contributed to those moves.”

Running the Top Movers Report


The top movers report will be found under the Dimensions tab. You’ll need to select two consecutive time periods of equal length.

Once the date has been selected you will be shown the campaigns and ad groups that experienced the largest change during that time period. You can compare periods of 7, 14, or 28 days, or look at reports generated in the last 90 days, according to Google.

What Data is Available?


Once the report is created you will be presented with a roll up of information such as Top Increases, Top Decreases, Total Change and more. These data points will be available for both cost and clicks.

When you drill down further into the top movers data, Google will actually provide a “possible cause” of why the change occurred. Per Google’s AdWords Blog you could see “bids were increased” or “new keywords were added”.

You will also be provided with additional information as the exact change that occurred (example: an increase of 100 clicks), the percentage of change as well as additional information such as impressions, CTR, Avg. Pos and Avg. CPC.

How Can You Use the Top Movers Report?


At first glance this new report seems quite helpful. SEM managers will be able to log into their accounts run one single report and know what campaigns and ad groups need to be focused on. You’ll easily be able to see if the changes you made to your account have had a positive or negative affect on the performance of your account.

This report can also be super helpful to those accounts which have multiple SEM managers touching them. In most agencies you’ll see a lower level employee making the day to day adjustments on the campaign and the more senior manager overseeing the optimization efforts and client relationship. With this report, the senior team member can easily see what has caused the fluctuation in account performance.

When creating reports, access to insights and changes in performance will be easier than ever. Simply select the date range and any major change that caused fluctuation in performance is within reach.

What Can Google Improve?

i-can-fix-it-girlWhile these reports definitely will help streamline a SEM manager’s workflow, it could be even better. With data only appearing at the campaign and ad group level, there is still a level of granularity missing from the report that will cause the SEM Manager to dive deeper.

If you took the time to set up a very granular account structure this report will save you quite a bit of time. If you happen to have larger campaigns and ad groups that don’t have a clear structure strategy behind them, you’ll still be spending your morning shifting through keyword and ad text level data to determine what really occurred.

The next most obvious and glaring need for improvement is the inclusion of conversion data. For most SEM managers, spend levels and total clicks aren’t KPIs. Having data points such as cost per conversion, conversion rate, and even total conversions would be extremely informative and actionable.

In Google’s blog post there is no mention of device level data. It would be extremely beneficial to understand if the change in performance was related to desktop and laptops or mobile devices.

You’ll also notice that the top movers are selected by total change (number of clicks) instead of percentage of change. If you happen to ad groups that drive a significant amount of traffic compared to others, I’d expect to see them quite often.

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