In the world of digital marketing, there is no arguing about the effectiveness of SEO, or search engine optimization. One of the best ways to ensure that your content makes its way to the first page of search engine results it to use Google AdWords. While tremendously effective, Google AdWords is often underutilized. Here, I explain the five features of Google AdWords that every marketing professional should be using.

1. Auction Insights Report

In the battle to have the most targeted keywords, knowing your competition is vital. For high-performing keywords, you can use create an Auction Insights Report, which will tell you exactly where you stand compared to others using the same keyword. You can also determine who has the highest impression rate as well as where you overlap. This is definitely one of the most helpful Google AdWords features, because it lets you learn from your competitors and watch your rankings rise over time in the areas where it matters most. To get there, click keywords tab > details > auction insights.

2. Sorting By Basic Conversion Statistics

One of the most important Google AdWords features you should be taking advantage of is the ability to sort by basic conversion statistics. This lets you take a closer look at your keyword performance and find out which keywords are having the most success at bringing people in and converting readers. You can sort by conversion in order to highlight the most effective words, but you can also sort by cost per conversion, which may be a more budget-friendly way of identifying what you’re really paying for conversion throughout your marketing campaign. To get there click the tools > analysis tab > conversions. From here, alternate through the search funnels to analyze your conversion statistics.

3. Ad Extensions

One of the rarely used Google AdWords features that can greatly improve your CTR, or click through rate, is Ad Extensions. This feature allows you to have more than one link come up on search engines. For example, beneath the listing for your main page, you could have a link for contact, a link for hours, a link for services and a link for reviews. This can multiply the links you have on a page and sent users straight to the information they need. I strongly recommend using Ad Extensions, particularly because it is so cost effective for marketers. To get there choose your campaign and click the ad extensions tab, then view > sitelink extensions > edit and add your choice of links.

4. Display Ad Builder

It is no secret that text ads receive fewer overall impressions than graphic ads that catch the eye. However, many marketers are worried about the expense of hiring graphic designers to create more effective advertising. I am shocked to find that many people don’t realize you can create effective graphic ads right on Google AdWords. The Display Ad Builder doesn’t require extensive design knowledge, but the results will be visually engaging and more likely to result in impressions for your page, campaign or brand. To get there, once in your desired campaign, click the +AD tab, select image ad and then follow the prompts to create your display ad.

5. Time Lag Reports

When analyzing your existing marketing techniques, one of the handiest Google AdWords features to utilize is Time Lag Reports. A function found under the Search Funnels tab, Time Lag Reports show you exactly when consumers convert to your site after viewing an ad or clicking on your site. For example, you might find that a number of viewers are only taking the plunge a full 10 days after viewing a video ad. If that is the case, then a text ad refresher could be a smart move to boost conversion rates. To get there, go to your tools and analysis tab > conversions > search funnels > time lag.

6. Search Terms Report

One of the most useful and rarely used features in Google Adwords is the search terms report. It allows you to download the exact search terms typed by your visitors before clicking on your ads. This is usually a very useful learning. It is also a great way to find negative keywords to exclude. For example, a client of Timelapse was recently advertising on Google Adwords to sell “bike fleets” to companies and universities. We found that some people were googling “road bikes fleets”, which was irrelevant to my client’s business. We excluded the term “road” using a negative keyword. You’ll find the search terms report under Keywords > Details > All. Here are more details on how to understand your search terms report from Google.


Google AdWords is one of the most widely used tools in digital marketing. I strongly recommend that professionals in this competitive industry take full advantage of the many underused features available through the service.