The dimensions tab in AdWords can prove to be one of the most valuable features for gaining insights into the performance of your campaigns and using them to optimise your AdWords conversions. 

Simply put, according to Google, “The Dimensions tab lets you slice and dice your data by the dimension of your choice across an ad group, a campaign, or your entire account. You can use Dimensions to view statistics that cut across other AdWords tabs. For example, you can view your total stats by month, hour, or geographic region. You can customize your table to compare your total clicks in January across ad groups, or see individual cities where your clicks came from.” 

google adwords

If you are currently not tracking any form of conversions in AdWords I would recommend that you do so as soon as possible so you can begin to attribute value to your AdWords campaigns. This can be done through AdWords Conversions tracking or importing your Google Analytics goals through connecting Analytics to AdWords. If you’re unable to set up any form of conversion tracking, you can set up smart goals in Analytics and import these in to your AdWords account.

Once your conversion tracking or smart goals are set, viewing dimension reports at ad group level will provide more of an accurate view of data for each individual ad group, which can provide great insight into what exactly is performing well, helping you to distribute your budget to your top performing campaigns.

For this blog we are going to look back and glean data from our AdWords campaigns in 2015. We will then use the data obtained from the dimensions reports such as top converting days of the week, top converting hours of the day, top converting geo-locations and top performing search terms to optimise our AdWords campaign for 2016.

From the many dimensions tab reports available we are going to focus on the ones we find most useful, informative and which provide simple learnings which can be applied easily to your current campaigns; Time, Geographic, Search Terms and Automatic Placements.

The Time dimensions tab report is split out into 7 sub dimension reports:

  • Day of the week
  • Day
  • Week
  • Month
  • Quarter
  • Year
  • Hour of Day

We are only going to concentrate on two of those; Day of the Week and Hour of Day.

Time – Day of the Week

Looking at the day of the week dimension report we can view a variety of data about how our AdWords campaigns perform on specific days of the week including which days have the highest conversions.

google adwords

Using this data we can create a custom ad schedule for that campaign, increasing the bid adjustment for the days of the week that perform the best. Alternatively, if there is a particular day of the week that is not performing well or is generating a cost per conversion that is not feasible for your business, we can apply a negative bid adjustment to decrease the amount we spend on that particular day.

Quick Tip: In order to create a custom ad schedule you must have ‘All Features’ selected in the settings of your search campaign.

google adwords

Time – Hour of Day

Once we have identified the top performing days of the week, we can use the hour of the day dimension report to view what times of the day are performing the best.

Using this information we can create an even more in-depth custom ad schedule. By increasing the bid adjustment during specific periods of the day that we know perform best, we can maximise our visibility during these time periods to increase campaign performance.


There are a wide variety of targeting options in AdWords that we can use to target specific locations where we believe our customers are including country, city, postcode and radius targeting. It is likely that many advertisers are targeting on a country or city basis. If you are targeting England for example, different cities within England will have various levels of performance. Using the geographic report we can view in which cities our ads appeared to users and identify high and low performing cities. We can then add high performing cities as a location in settings and apply an increased bid adjustment to maximise visibility in that city.

google adwords

For low performing cities we can apply a decreased bid adjustment, or add the city as an excluded location to prevent our ads showing there at all.

It’s important to note that if your locations options (advanced) were previously set to “Target People in, searching for, or who show interest in my targeted location” then data in this report may include locations which you are not actively targeting. You can also view the user location report to see the location of these users.

Quick Tip: I would recommend that you change your location options to “Target People in my targeted location” to increase the relevancy of your ads.

google adwords

Search Terms

The search term report provides us with the actual search term a user searched in Google that triggered our ad to appear. So whilst me may be bidding on the keyword ‘adwords conversion tips’ at phrase match and we can see that this keyword resulted in a conversion, the actual search term the user searched may have been ‘top 10 adwords conversions tips.’ We can then use this data to add high value keywords we were previously unaware of to our keyword list to increase our campaign performance.

We can also use the search term report to identify keywords that we don’t want to appear for. These keywords should be added to the negative keyword list to prevent our ads being triggered for these keywords in the future which will allow us to maximise our budget on our high performing keywords.

Automatic Placements

If you are currently implementing a remarketing campaign then this report is very important! We know that our remarketing ads are targeting users who have previously visited our website based on a set of criteria that we created in our AdWords or Analytics remarketing audiences across the Google Display Network, but we aren’t sure just exactly where these ads are displaying. 

This report allows us to view each of the placement websites that Google are displaying our remarketing ads on and make decisions based on performance of each placement whether we wish Google to continue displaying our remarketing ads there or not.

For placements that are not performing well, you can add them to the exclude list which is at the bottom of the Placements tab within the display network tab.

Some insights that you discover may require you to set up new campaigns or ad groups. For example, looking at a dimension tab Geographic report at ad group level, we can see that certain locations perform better than others however location settings can only be set at campaign level. This may require you to create a new campaign to specifically target high performing locations. To do this create a new campaign and then copy the high performing ad group and paste into the campaign. Set the targeting locations to only target the high performing locations and exclude these locations in the original campaign.

We use AdWords dimension reports as standard for all our AdWords clients and, along with highly targeted search and display campaigns, have seen some clear increases in conversion rates which can be directly correlated to putting in a bit of time to apply to current campaigns what we have learnt from the past.

Take a look at our CosyRoof case study to read more about one of these AdWords success stories!

Related articles