Running Google Ads campaigns by yourself can seem daunting, but that’s why you hired a marketing agency! After a few months and few thousand dollars worth of ad spend, you’ve built a great relationship with them. However, despite their transparency, your lack of day-to-day interactions with your Google Ads account has left you in the dark. Come to think of it, you rarely see your ads in the Google search results. How do you really know if your ads are showing up for the right search terms? More importantly, how do you know that they’re showing up above your competitors’ ads?

Here’s what not to do: Do not try to find your ads by searching for keyword phrases that you think they should be appearing for. Countless variables can prevent your ad from showing up: your company is excluded because you’re obviously not the target market, you don’t fall under the campaign’s targeting, or you’re searching for an irrelevant and/or expensive keyword that isn’t in the account.

Luckily, Google Ads is a treasure trove of data. At the end of the day, your main focus should be on conversion-based metrics because they are the strongest indicators of success. But you can still ask your marketing agency to provide these 2 reports to really understand if your paid search ads are showing up.

Search Terms

According to Google, “the search terms report is a list of search terms that people have used, and that resulted in your ad being shown and clicked”. Search terms are different from keywords, which are words or phrases that you choose to help determine when and where your ad can appear. Your ad is eligible to appear based on the similarity of your keywords to the person’s search terms. The search terms report will show hundreds of search terms and the amount of times your ads have appeared for each of them over a specified time frame. That amount of data is much more valuable than a single Google search at one point in time.

Auction Insights

Now that you have search terms report, it’s time to understand how your ads stack up against your competitors’ ads. The Auction insights report lets you compare your performance with competitors who are participating in the same auctions. Similar to the search terms report, this report is better than performing a single Google search because it will show averaged metrics over a specified time frame. Use this report to understand where you’re succeeding and where you may be missing opportunities for improved performance.

Even though your marketing agency might be very transparent, it’s understandable to feel out of the loop when you’re not managing the day-to-day activities. Ask for search terms reports and auction insights reports when you really want to understand if your paid search ads are showing up. Of course, these reports aren’t the only ones to review to measure success, but they might shed light on some lingering concerns.