One of the most important elements of running a successful pay per click advertising campaign is reporting. As a PPC service provider, we hate to hear that most people that engage in paid advertising call PPC reporting and analysis their biggest time sink. Reporting, honestly, is time-consuming and a bit complicated and cumbersome sometimes, but there is no way you should skip that part.
If half of the PPC is creating personalised campaigns to reach people that are most interested in your business, the other half is tracking your results and analysing where you need improvements. PPC reports are crucial because they provide campaign managers or business owners with a complete and comprehensive performance review. The figures in those reports clearly demonstrate what your campaign has accomplished or missed the last month.
Having generated hundreds of reports at Inbound Leads for our PPC marketing clients, we have come to learn a few mistakes advertisers make without realising that they are sabotaging the campaigns and end results.
#1. Reports Are Generated Too Soon
PPC reports are created to evaluate the progress of your campaigns and determine successes and problematic areas to make improvements to your account. By looking at the reporting data too soon, marketers may miss out on the real results that take time and pull out of their campaigns thinking they are a waste of time and money.
Note that conversions (and sales) will only happen after people click on an ad, so KPIs that use metrics like clicks and costs may look terrible at the start of a campaign but then gradually get better.
Now if an ad tends to drive conversions right after the click, Google Ads may report the two events at the same time, but if there is a longer average time-to-conversion, the delay will cause the report to make it seem like your ad is not performing well.
So, the bottom line is the longer you wait, the more conversions will be captured, the greater number of invalid clicks will be filtered out and the better your KPIs will look.
#2. It Lacks a Purpose
Just like you set certain goals for your campaign so that you know what results you want to achieve with them, your PPC reports need to have a clear purpose too. This will help you choose appropriate charts, tables and metrics to include in your reports.
A PPC report should be able to help the advertiser in at least one of the following ways:
Show the “what” and “why” behind the ad performance
- If things are great, the report should clearly show the reasons why the performance of your campaign changed positively over the last days or months.
- If the campaign has hit a rough spot, the report should explain the underlying reasons.
Make strategic, informed decisions
- The reporting data should identify top performing campaigns as well as underperforming campaigns to help the PPC manager decide where to cut budget or where to spend more for better ROI.
Provide key data numbers to the client
- The report should provide the client with certain metrics after a fixed period to analyse the changes or improvements.
Without a specific direction or purpose, it is too easy to meaninglessly add wrong visuals to a report, making unwanted points and misleading the client. Though visual elements make a report easy to look at, read and understand, do not forget that a report is created to provide something insightful or critical in the first place.
#3. It is not segmented
There is a fine line between sharing too much and too little detail in your PPC reports. PPC analytics provides marketers with an abundance of data which, when presented in an effective format, can offer a lot of value and help make important decisions. The advertiser must provide their client with a report that is not only insightful but easy to understand and actionable.
For this, it is important to break down analytical findings by key segments like networks, hours of week, keywords, devices, audiences, etc. With data broken down in different segments, the report will be concise, clear and ease to understand.
4# It Does Not Include Conclusions
The analytics of PPC reports should give more than just facts or numbers. These insights should help advertisers or business owners to build an even better campaign.
Marketers often make a mistake of not planning for the future. What does your report indicate about the future? What improvements can you implement to make your campaign perform better?
When you generate a PPC report, it is important to include a section explaining how the available reporting data can be used to move the campaign towards better results. The clear conclusions in the report will give marketers a bigger picture of where their campaigns are going and what changes they need to make in order to drive higher ROI.
5# You are spending too much time in reporting
With all that data in hand, many PPC managers are tempted to include every bit of detail in reports to make it as easy as possible for their clients to understand what’s happening. More often than not, they end up spending several hours in reporting in an attempt to create super customised, overly granular reports only to make it more complicated and confusing for the client.
PPC reporting can be time-consuming, but fortunately, there are ways to save time without compromising on the quality of your report. One way to do that is to copy an existing report and swap out the data insights. You will still need to make small adjustments and QA test it to make sure there are no mistakes, but it will anyway save you from creating a new report from scratch every time.
Another thing you can do is automate your reports. The reports can be customised to the client’s needs and scheduled ahead of time, so that metrics are automatically updated, and campaign managers do not have to remember to send it to the client.
A report is an insightful presentation of the results of a PPC campaign. It shows the audience what has been accomplished, what has been missed, and what benefits the business gained from that campaign. Business owners and PPC managers can look back to the monthly PPC reports anytime to determine the action they need to take for better marketing and revenue.
PPC reporting is as important as your campaigns. A well-constructed report goes beyond the story and figures, it helps shape ongoing PPC campaign strategy through valuable insights. It is important to understand the results of your campaign and how you can leverage those results to meet your pay per click advertising goals.