On some days, knowing what exactly is happening in your PPC account can be a challenge... knowing why it’s happening can be even more so. As someone who’s done more than his fair share of account audits and deep dives, I know your pain. Change histories, search term reports, and meticulous records were necessary to keep track of the many different moving pieces in each account. Luckily, we now have tools available now that make that scavenger hunt obsolete, tools like the Top Movers report.
What is the Top Movers report?
The Top Movers report, introduced back in August 2014, can be found in the Dimensions tab of the Bing Ads interface. There, you’ll be presented with a performance comparison detailing your metrics over the last 7, 14, or 28 days versus the previous period ending on a date of your choosing. Basically, it’s a one-stop-shop to see how account spend, clicks, and conversions are faring over time.
Pretty useful, right? Well, it gets better.
By clicking on those boxes, you then get Campaign and Ad Group-level breakdowns of how those numbers came to be, as well as some potential reasons why. It even includes network and device-level breakdowns if you’re looking to get specific. In essence, it’s a way to tie consequences back to your actions; you can see the direct impact of a bid, budget, or keyword optimization on your overall metrics.
So how can we use this to examine account-specific issues?
Troubleshooting Dips in Performance
Let’s take this Top Movers report as an example. We’ll be looking at the last 28 days, comparing it to the previous period of the same time length. This is for an ecommerce retailer specializing in a pretty wide spread of products, so I’d expect a little bit of seasonality now that we’ve passed the holidays. What do the numbers tell us?
We see a slight decrease in spend, coupled with a more pronounced drop-off in clicks. The big red flag, though, is definitely the 13.81% drop in conversion volume.
Based on these metrics, my guess is we’re seeing an increase in our Average CPC due to competition. Spend is steady, but we’re seeing a drop in click volume, meaning our efficiency has been impacted. The holiday has probably also thrown a wrench in our conversion rate, so when you pair that with the drop off in traffic, the numbers make quite a bit more sense.
That hunch is based off of years of doing PPC, so I’m very curious to see what the Top Movers Report says (I promise that I didn’t cheat and look ahead -- scout’s honor!).
Here’s where we lost the bulk of our clicks:
I’ve highlighted the three areas of interest:
- In two of these campaigns, our bids are no longer competitive compared to other advertisers, so we see a drop in both Average Position and CTR as a result even though CPC was fairly steady across all three campaigns.
- We also seen an instance of severely decreased spend in that second campaign, even though it isn’t called out. It’s probable that spend merely shifted from this campaign to other, higher-CPC campaigns and search terms at the expense of this one.
- Finally, we also see an instance of seasonality/targeting issues being brought to our attention, as the number of eligible search queries decreased for that third campaign.
For our traffic issues, this is pretty close to my guess above, but do we see the same insights reflected in the Conversion report?
In short, yes. Though there aren’t any instances of "possible causes” here; the numbers tell the story. Conversion rates are down in three of these four campaigns. One of them appears to have resolved some tracking issues, as the 83.33% reduction in conversion rate is pretty harsh -- going from 24.49% to 4.40% will impact your metrics no matter what. We also see evidence that the competition and traffic issues have impacted that third campaign, which is in line with what we learned from that click volume report.
Knowing why something is happening provides us with the tools to counteract the problem. If competitors are muscling you out on high-value terms, you now know which ones to bid up. If you inadvertently paused something you shouldn’t have, you’ll see that too… along with a link to your change history so you can see the evidence first-hand.
That last point is huge, because the Undo functionality has now found its way to the Bing Ads Change History interface. Essentially, you can now undo any changes right from the change history grid, no extra navigation required. In conjunction with the Top Movers report, it’s now easier than ever to revert harmful changes, or to course correct when needed.
If you have any feedback on the Top Movers report, or specific elements you’d like to see, feel free to let us know below in the comments or ping us on Twitter.