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The 4 Steps of using Secondary Data in Your AdWords Campaign

The following post is by Ashleigh Betvardeh who is Click Click Media’s campaign statistician. She utilises her experience in statistics and research to help guide, direct and optimise our clients campaigns.

This article contains an extremely valuable often overlooked side to optimising your AdWords and is a must-read for anyone serious about understanding how to improve their campaigns.

The 4 Steps of using Secondary Data in Your AdWords Campaign

As PPC Marketers, we are challenged by having to continually change our thinking to accommodate different industries. Many of us learn a lot about from our client’s consumer without even realising it, this is valid information about their consumer behaviour. When starting an AdWords campaign, the keyword research stage is fundamental to learning about our client’s customer. As we know society changes, thus human behaviour is affected. For instance the introduction of tablets and mobiles has had a huge influence on consumer behaviour which ultimately has changed the structure of your campaigns. By learning as much as possible about our clients industry, we can help them utilise their budget and understand their market share.

AdWords Managers are constantly faced with the test of being asked “How’s my AdWords campaign going?” Which is a very hard question to answer, because your AdWords account is not only faced with the data you accumulate, but is affected by variables outside your control: such as legislation, social factors, economics, politics and seasons. This is where secondary information can be used.

Secondary information is data that comes from sources different sources, such as journals, newspaper articles and speeches. Basically, you do not collect the information; it has been collected for you. Secondary information can be used and applied to your AdWords campaigns because it can help you to figure out your target market, learn about where you target market is located and about their demographics. In turn this secondary information can help you with your AdWords campaigns by figuring out settings and how to utilise your budget and help your client convert. Ultimately, the more research you conduct in the beginning of an AdWords account, the more you will understand your client’s target market which inevitably leads to a stronger relationship with your client. This research can also help you learn about the jargon used in your client’s industry and to underdstand the buying cycle of their potential consumer.

Undeniably, your client’s AdWords account accumulates a lot of useful data, which can help you learn about your client’s consumer behaviour. For example, one my clients had a high search term volume for a specific brand of swim wear, I had a look through secondary research, and found out that brand was one of the most popular brands in Australia, in turn my client decided to stock more of this brand; we created a promotion and saw her sales over doubled that month. Without the secondary information, we would have lost a significant amount of sales, because she wouldn’t have stocked the right brand.

There are 4 main stages we can go through to use secondary research:

Stage 1: Research question

During this stage, you have asked yourself a question that you need to find out information on. You can use the data you have accumulated from your AdWords campaign. For example, if you see a repeat search term in your AdWords campaign, you can research about it and learn why people are researching this term, or you can read widely about an industry, and come up with a research question to test from the secondary information you have found.

Stage 2: Secondary research

In this stage, I would see what studies are available that can help me about my potential consumer. When using secondary information, I tend to read widely about the same topic to ensure the quality of information.

Stage 3: Experiment

With the information you have found using secondary research; you can easily run an experiment using AdWords. For example, my client wanted to advertise over 100 tyres online but his budget does not allow him. I would use secondary information, to find out what the top 20 brands, and build the AdWords campaign from there. I read widely and found this article ‘Best Tires to Buy List Released by Consumer Behaviour’ by (Sami Haj-Assaad, 2013). The article summarised an independent consumer behaviour report conducted about tires. It even found that some tires perform better in different seasons, which would be good to test for our AdWords campaign.  


By crossing-checking the top brands, I was able to develop an AdWords campaign to maximise their budget.

Stage 4: Measure Results

After you test your research questions, you need to measure your results. Whether it is positive or negative, you cannot deny the fact that you have learned from the data.

Remember to keep this process going as you discover more questions to gather secondary data about!

I hope this article has demonstrated how to use secondary data for your AdWords campaign. PPC Markets need to learn to evaluate the information they have found before using the data.

However, it is undeniable to deny the amount of secondary research is available, even freely. This could be what your AdWords account requires to achieve or increase its efficiency.

If you have any feedback or questions please leave in the comments below!

Posted on September 11, 2013 by


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