You don’t need superpowers to create PPC reports that look good and keep your clients happy.
But creating good PPC reports without help is no cakewalk. They’re time-consuming, tedious, and ineffective when done poorly.
The reality is that reporting often gets lower priority for busy PPC pros. And when client budgets get slashed or expectations rise, advertisers are put to the test delivering reports that provide a solid enough snapshot to keep clients happy.
Beyond that, PPC reports build better client relationships and promote agency expansion. For that, a static monthly PDF of tables and charts is no longer enough. Your reports need to inform as well as excite your clients, and convince them to keep doing business with you.
What are the signs of a best-in-class PPC report?
A good report begins with a high-level overview of account performance, works its way down to granular data that support your results, and should provide clear next steps.
Building a strong PPC report is a lot like telling a good story. Be truthful without embellishment, go into as much detail as possible, and make the account the hero. If you can nail this, your reports will provide great leverage when you have that discussion to extend or renew your contract.
Here are six proven tips to help you create PPC reports that do just that.
1. Go beyond the numbers
PPC reports are more than numbers on a page; they provide the right context to those numbers. After all, data in isolation is just noise. Pairing it with insights into your customers or how the numbers support business goals shows your clients that you understand them.
Rather than pulling all types of data together, first, understand what’s most important to your client. It’s good to revisit overall business objectives before building your next report to fine-tune what you should be reporting.
2. Pick metrics that matter to the business
Once you have a clear understanding of what your client’s goals are, find out what parameters support these goals, and what a good result looks like. Treat your reports as a way to understand what you can do to take your accounts to the next level — better conversions, lower CPCs, more revenue, etc.
Reports can also highlight areas that need more attention, as well as showcase where the business is doing well. So be mindful of the metrics you pick.
Some of the most common metrics that advertisers use in their reports are:
- Return On Investment (ROI)
- Click-Through Rate (CTR)
- Cost Per Click (CPC)
- Conversion Rate
- Keyword Performance
- Customer Actions
3. Segment by intent
If you focus just on conversions, you might make the account performance look poorer. After all, not all campaigns are about driving conversions.
Segment your report based on the different stages of the customer journey, according to intent or awareness. Not only does that tell you what works and when, but it can build credit for initiatives that help your lower-funnel campaigns convert.
Take this opportunity to experiment with different attribution models to understand which channels support different types of campaigns. This is an essential insight that can be the difference between simply regurgitating data and actually being a strategic asset to your client.
Optmyzr’s Tip: Check out our recent PPC Town Hall on attribution modeling for ideas on how to approach attribution.
4. Look for truly helpful reporting tools
Some PPC advertisers still use Google Sheets or Excel to create their weekly and monthly reports. While there’s nothing wrong with the classics, they are time-consuming and can get frustrating if you’re not a data geek or have to work with really large data sets.
This is where the magic of automation truly shines. There are plenty of reporting tools that can save you time and produce outstanding reports, many with pre-built templates to make your job even easier. While Google Analytics and Data Studio remain favorites, many PPC pros turn to tools like Supermetrics for more automated and integrated reports.
Optmyzr also does reports quite well, if we say so. You can build new templates or customize one of ours, include widgets for virtually any metric and level you need to show, and automate delivery to your client’s inbox. They’ll get a link to an interactive report rather than a static PDF, allowing them to hover over charts and data to get deeper insights.
5. Visuals are important
Steve Hammer, president at RankHammer, said about the importance of data visualization in PPC reports, “I like to assume that I have 2 minutes of somebody’s time when I’m showing a PPC report. I like to present everything in a one-pager and make it as simple as possible.”
Visuals help your clients understand data faster and in a simpler format. Crucial information on performance, successes, and failures is easier to process visually. This is the key to showcasing more information in less space, while still making it easy to consume at a glance.
But the ocean of data visualization is vast and deep, so make sure to find out what formats your clients respond to best. They may have a preference for line graphs when all you’ve been serving is pie.
6. Add your own insights
You don’t need an advertising or analytical mind to pull data and create reports from a template. It’s making sense of that data and helping clients understand the lay of the land that makes you a valuable partner to them.
Draw on your experience with similar accounts and campaigns to add your own insights to those reports. Explain how the numbers correlate with business goals, where you’ve seen good things go bad (like complacency), and what you think should be the next course of action.
But be fully transparent and tell the entire story. Some advertisers compensate for sliding numbers by exaggerating good results to keep clients in their favor. Give your clients the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And then get ready to answer questions and discuss their suggestions though.
Truly compelling PPC reports take planning and effort. Before you get elbow-deep in data, understand the purpose of your marketing campaigns. Know what matters most to your clients, and what insights or courses of action would be most meaningful to their business goals.
Remember, data and analytics are just numbers. It’s the empathy, insight, vision, and intuition that YOU bring to the table that allows anything meaningful to come from those numbers.
For more advice, check out this SEJ post on the latest PPC reporting strategies. Or try Optmyzr’s tools to help you create compelling PPC reports. If you want to see how they can help you improve reporting quality and efficiency, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and mention this blog post!