I’ve been doing quite a lot of PPC recently. When doing PPC, it’s primary to give clients, or your boss, the control over your work and therefore to write periodic reports.
To do so more efficiently I built a template for PPC reports that I’m sharing with you today. I’m hoping to help you to show your boss that what you’re doing a great job.
Of course, every report will be different, you can’t just pull numbers and expect readers to be happy with it. The report needs to be personalized and show your understanding of customers’ problems.
However, after writing tons of report, a pattern emerged, and I’m going to share it with you today. Keep reading to discover the ultimate PPC report.
I compiled all the insights in this post in a template you can use for your own PPC reports. Click here to download it.
Firms have very different objectives. You might want to acquire new users, or you might want to raise awareness about your brand. There are no fixed objectives.
Objectives will always depend on your business and what you’re trying to achieve. Objectives might include:
- Increase website’s conversions
- Increase free trials conversions
- Raise Awareness
- Educate users
It’s primary that you adapt all of your reports to your customers and their objectives. Failing to do so will result in the wrong impression to your readers.
What to include?
The very first thing you want to include are the dates that you’re working with. You are going to conduct an analysis and you want your reader to know on which period you are analyzing.
Later on, if you are comparing several periods (e.g. last month), make sure to include the specific dates.
Stating the dates will allow them to verify your analysis is true on their bottom line. Many businesses will want to verify you’re providing accurate results.
Depending on how busy your readers are, they might not have the time to read the full report. Basically, you’re summarizing the report that follows.
In this section you want to give them a quick summary of what has been done and what will happen next.
Doing PPC requires using several platforms to serve more ads and drive more traffic. You can use Facebook Ads or AdWords but you need to mention it somewhere.
You may also want to separate your analysis depending on the medium and write different things for each of them. You’ll then have to consolidate the results to avoid losing your reader.
Tasks & Experiments
You readers want to know what you’ve been doing during the period. You should just list out the tasks that have been executed.
If you’ve run Experiments (e.g. Ad Testing), you want to include them as well.
If you’re writing for technical people, or for later use, you should include the results of the experiments along with a statistical significance test (like IsValid).
Mentioning Experiments goes along with mentioning your Learnings. You want to show what you’ve learned and what you’ll be able to do in the future to leverage these learnings.
During the period, you probably looked at a lot of different metrics to measure the health of your campaign and optimize your spending.
It’s now time to show your work and present metrics to your reader. However, you need to do it carefully. You probably want to show all the metrics like: CPC, CPM… Your reader couldn’t care less about these.
You need to show the metrics that support the Marketing Objectives cited above.
As an example, if you’re focused on Conversion, you should show:
- Conversion Cost
- Conversion Rate
All the other metrics are (almost) irrelevant. If you think other metrics are relevant, ask yourself the question “Does it matter?”.
It is now time to prove you are actually helpful to the company. You want to show how much money they made because of you.
Mention how much money has been spent and how much the company earned as a result of the ads.
You also need to put the ROI in perspective. If you want to acquire free trials, you need to mention that the complete ROI won’t be accurate until the free trials end.
Besides generating ROI, you are also here to analyze the results and understand why are you here.
If you realize that the cost per conversion has been going like crazy, you need to explain why and what you’re going to do to change it.
If you noticed your conversion rate fluctuates between devices and days of the week, you should mention it here.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of what I look at every time:
- Demographics: Age / Gender / Location
- Timing: Day of the week, weekly fluctuation
- Targeting: Keywords, Interests…
- Landing Pages
Look at all your data and answer the question “so what?”. That’s why you’re getting paid. Everyone can pull numbers.
Now that you’ve explained everything that happened before, you want to show what you’re going to do next.
The next steps are the logical next steps after your analysis.
- If you noticed a low CTR, you’re going to experiment new ads.
- If you noticed a low conversion rate, you are going to design new landing pages, or value proposition.
You got the idea.
You are probably familiar with what CAC, CPC, CPM means. That’s great. However, you need to understand that your readers aren’t necessarily familiar with them.
Even if you think they’re familiar with these terms, you should define them in case they forward your report to someone else.
You should therefore include a definition of all the technical terms cited in your reports, table and graphs.
By doing so, you’ll show your reader you are going the extra mile and that they don’t need to be rocket scientist to understand you.
Now that you know what to include in your report, I want to outline some of the challenges that come with reporting.
Properly doing a PPC report is all about putting things in context. You want to do work that is personalized to your readers.
If your main objective is to drive Free Trial acquisition, showing the number of impressions is completely useless.
When you start to pull data & metrics, ask yourself: Why? Does it make sense? Do they care? So, what?
When should you send out reports? How often? With what depth?
If you start sending out a full-length report every week, you’re wasting a lot of time for useless reporting.
Instead, you should send a weekly report outlining:
- Conversion Rate
- Weekly ROI
Along with a monthly report including all the elements mentioned above.
By doing so, you ensure that your customers know what’s going on at every point in time.
Know your readers
When you’re doing PPC for someone, you should know what they’re interested in. Different people will expect different things from you.
Knowing your readers will ultimately change your way of doing things. Maybe you’ll realize your reader doesn’t care at all about weekly reporting but only want to have a monthly report.
To do so, I always ask my customer at the beginning of the mission what do they want exactly:
- What are you expecting from our relationship?
- How often do you want to hear from me?
- Are you interested in technical matter or only high-level strategies?
By doing so, you ensure that you’re personalizing your services for your readers and that you care about them.
It’s also important that even if your reader isn’t interested in a few things you still show them that you’re working and that their money is well spent.
I love extrapolating data. Really. I love it. However, for a PPC report, it’s often the wrong thing to do.
Knowing all your conversion rates, you could compute your CAC without acquiring any real customers. Let us do the math:
You could then confidently say: I’ll get one customer each time I get ~120 clicks. So my customer will cost me $60 (CAC).
Okay… What if these 120 visitors you acquired are completely untargeted? You may not convert one customer at all.
Try not to extrapolate any data. You want actual data to support your claims, not educated guesses.
If you want to extrapolate data, you’ll have to mention that your analysis is based on general data and that it will fluctuate in the future.
Otherwise people will be disappointed in your services: “you told me we could acquire customers at $3, but right now our CAC is $30”.
I already wrote for you a PPC Report so that you can save a ton of time. Click here to download it.
You now understand that reporting is primary if you want to success in your PPC campaigns, it’s the perfect way to report your learnings and show your readers what is happening.
You should definitely download the template to save you a lot of time while doing your monthly reports.
It’s your turn now. What do you include in your reports? How do you properly balance Metrics / Analysis?