One of the first thing sI do, when taking on a new Google Ads account, is set up columns. It’s an essential first step to correctly understanding & analyzing Google Ads performance.
Many advertisers & business owners overlook this important setting and base their hypotheses & decisions on partial and incomplete data.
This post should help you set up the right columns inside your Google Ads account.
Starting from left to right, I like to have “settings columns” at the beginning:
✅ Bid strategy type
Having each campaign’s target visible without going to the campaign settings speeds up the daily overview and saves time.
Competitive columns are going right after –
✅ Search Impr. Share,
✅ Top Impr. Share,
✅ Absolute Top IS
✅ Search Lost IS (ad rank)
✅ Search Lost IS (budget)
✅ Impr. (Top) %
✅ Impr. (Abs. Top) %
The Impr. Share shows us, out of the total number of impressions we were eligible to get, the percentage which we got.
It’s a great KPI when analyzing how much more a campaign can grow.
Top IS & Abs. Top IS tell us, out of all impr. we could get in 1st or top 3 positions, how much (%) we ended up getting.
Impr. (Top) % & Impr. (Abs. Top) % tell us the actual percentage of auctions (no. of impressions) where our ad was in 1st or top 3 positions.
Being in the top 1-3 position doesn’t mean you were on the first page of Google – it could be a 2nd or 3rd page, too, as long as you are above organic results.
Search Lost IS (ad rank or budget) tells us how often our ad didn’t show because of the low ad rank or lack of budget.
“Funnel” columns come next; I prefer to keep them in chronological order, how a user is moving through the funnel:
✅ Conver. rate
✅ All Conv.
✅ View-through conv.
✅ Cross-device conv.
In E-commerce accounts, also include:
✅ Conv. value / Cost (ROAS)
✅ Conv. value
✅ Avg. order value
When defining a conversion in Google Ads, you can set it as either primary or secondary.
Primary conversions are included in the “Conversions” column, and the algorithm learns and optimizes based on them.
All other, micro conversions (Add to Cart, Initiate Checkout, Newsletter Subscription, Registration…) that are set as secondary will be grouped under the “All Conversions” column, making it harder and slower to analyze.
Creating dedicated columns for a few of the most important micro conversions is a good practice.
I usually create a column for the total number of the given conversions, cost per given conversion, and conversion rate.
Micro conversions are valuable input, especially when used as an early performance indicator when testing new targeting options.
At the keyword level, also add:
✅ Quality Score
✅ Ad Relevance
✅ Landing Page Experience
✅ Expected CTR
If you’re running video campaigns, also include:
✅ Avg. CPV
✅ View Rate
✅ Watch Time
✅ Avg. watch time/Impr.
✅ Video played – 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%
Many more default columns in Google Ads are interesting and can tell you a lot.
Feel free to play around with columns and expand my list to suit your business and your account.