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AdWords has recently released one of my favourite new features since broad match modified keywords.

It was added quietly in December 2014 - so quiet that even Inside AdWords didn't do a write-up (yet). Preferring to manage campaigns the old-fashioned way (without third-party tools) it's slightly embarrassing how excited I was to find this hidden gem.

I'm talking about custom columns.

No, not customizing which order you want your columns...you're now able to actually create new columns and even your own column descriptions for when you hover over the question box.

Finally advertisers can create columns for conversion metrics based on conversion action names and much, much more.

For the longest time, it's been best practice among many (including myself) to only track macro conversions, like completed transactions and lead captures, within AdWords.

with custom
columns,
advertisers can
create their own
conversion columns
This has allowed PPC managers to optimize accounts with their primary objective in mind and quickly assess ROAS within the statistics table.

This single focus strategy has unfortunately led even the most experienced advertisers to make poor decisions in the account - neglecting keyword groups that didn't convert well but supported top-of-funnel goals or offline business objectives.

Blending multiple conversions points looks great to the unsuspecting eye, but over-reporting performance makes optimization and the review process more difficult, and will eventually lead to unwanted (though warranted) issues in the future.

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With the addition of Google Analytics columns in AdWords, advertisers were blessed with the ability to take cues from visitor engagement to make more informed decisions within AdWords - which helped non-converting keywords prove their value in the account.

AdWords has already made many improvements to conversion tracking. Popular column additions, including assisted conversions, phone call conversions and the ability to import offline conversions, have positively transformed how advertisers manage their account.

Now, with custom columns, advertisers can create their own conversion columns using existing conversions created in the account. This is a particularly helpful feature for advertisers who value both macro and micro conversions and want to evaluate each unblended action against Campaigns and Ad Groups.

Not only can you pull each conversion into the statistics table, you can also create cost-per-conversion and conversion rate columns for each of your conversion points and export the data too!

Read Google's guide for creating and using custom columns here: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/3073556?hl=en

If you liked this, you might also enjoy Currently Running AdWords? Here's Why You Should Also Be Using Bing Ads by Lindsey Knapton