What Makes A Good PPC Report?
An important part of running PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns is a good PPC report. You need to know if your PPC campaigns are on- or off-track, and understand what the track is in the first place. There’s no denying that PPC reports can be full of technical jargon and metrics. However, a truly great PPC report should come with context and lead to further insights.
Good PPC reports are also great for keeping your agency accountable, and to see if they’re really doing the job you’re paying for. So what makes a good PPC report? Here are some critical features your PPC reports should have.
A Good PPC Report is Goal-Focused
It should be pretty clear what you’re trying to achieve with your PPC campaigns. A good PPC report should tell you whether or not you’re hitting your goals. Goals differ between businesses, and it’s common for a business to have multiple goals with their PPC campaigns. Now when I say “goals”, I don’t mean broad things like “increase awareness” or “make more sales”. I mean clear, measurable things.
Some good examples are:
- “keep the cost per conversion under $50″
- “achieve x number of leads per $x spent”
- “an ROAS above 200%”
A good PPC report will show you if those goals were achieved in the reporting time frame. Ideally, it should also be clear how well you managed to achieve those goals; and if you didn’t achieve them, how far off were you? Either way, when you open that huge list of metrics, the first thing you should be able to tell is “did it work?”
Metrics and numbers are nice, but they need to be put in context
There’s no doubt you’ll see some core metrics like Clicks, Impressions, CTR, Average Position, Impression Share, and so on. That’s all very nice, but these metrics and numbers need to be given a context. It’s good to have the report explain why things are the way they are. If your CTR went down, what does that mean? Why might it have gone down? Was it necessarily a bad thing? Giving context and an explanation of changes that were made, and how they affected your numbers, not only keeps your PPC manager accountable, but it can give you some useful insights.
The numbers you see are a reflection of how well your lead funnel is set up, how refined your audience or keywords are, the effectiveness of your messaging, and the optimisation of your website. If you understand your metrics more than just “it went up” or “it went down”, then you can truly assess your business, who you need to reach, and how best to reach them.
Comparing your numbers over time
A good PPC report should show you your numbers in relation to your goals, but also show you how things have changed over time. If you receive a PPC report each month, it’s great to see how things have changed in comparison to last month. I’m also a big fan of historical tables showing you month-to-month stats going back a year or two. This allows you to see if any trends are apparent, and if the results you’re seeing this month might be impacted by the time of year. Comparing how you did this month to how you did last month, or this time last year, is just another way you can put things in context. Plus, it can often be a great feeling to see just how far your PPC campaigns have come, so why not celebrate with every report?
What’s a report without recommendations?
After you’ve seen whether your PPC campaigns have reached their goals, why the numbers look like they do, and how you’ve tracked over time, the big question is – what next? Any good PPC report will come with a recommendation of what the plan is going forward. That way, you and your PPC manager will be on the same page of what the next steps need to be and what actions need to be taken.
Not sure if you’re getting a good PPC report?
Here’s what to do next
If you’re looking at a PPC report and you’re not sure what you’re seeing, you’re not alone. Many business owners receive documents full of metrics, numbers and graphs and find them a bit meaningless. Here’s few things you can do as a business owner to make your PPC reports more useful;
- Ask your PPC manager for a written summary of the report so that you can gain context on why things are the way they are.
- If you don’t know what metrics mean, don’t be afraid to ask! There are no stupid questions when it comes to PPC!
- Make sure you have clear and measurable goals for your PPC campaigns, and make sure your PPC manager knows what they are.
- If you get reports on a regular basis, don’t hesitate to ask for additional ones that cover longer periods of time. For example, you might want to see an annual or quarterly report.
If you’re still not sure if your reports are providing you with the information you need, feel free to get in touch. We’re always happy to provide a second opinion and provide reports that will help you move your PPC campaigns forward.
Written by Gemma Renton