For many businesses around the globe, AdWords reporting and analysis is a painfully time-consuming process. Users log into Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) with the goal of keeping a close eye on certain metrics or tracking a campaign.
In a perfect world, crafting the perfect Google Ads and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) reports for your business isn’t just another item to cross off your to-do list.
But what information is needed to produce a good report? Before we start offering specific guidelines to help make sure you’re creating effective reports, let’s first lay the groundwork and highlight some of the differences between PPC and Google Ads.
What You’ll Learn:
- What does PPC stand for?
- Using Google Ads for PPC reporting
- Helpful tools for Adwords reporting
What is PPC?
PPC stands for pay-per-click, which is an internet marketing tactic where advertisers pay a fee every time someone clicks on their ads. Instead of earning web visitors organically, PPC allows others to purchase visits to your site.
While there are numerous types of PPC ads out there, paid search ads are one of the most common. Paid search ads appear when people perform searches online using search engines like Google, particularly when they are looking up items they want to buy.
What is Google Ads?
Relatedly, Google Ads is the most popular PPC advertising structure in the world. The Google Ads platform empowers organizations to launch ads that appear on Google’s search engine pages.
With Google Ads, users can bid on keywords and pay for each time a user clicks on their ads. Whenever a search is initiated, Google scans its pool of Google Ads advertisers and elects which ones can appear in the prime ad space on its search results page. The chosen are selected based on a mixture of factors, including the quality and significance of their ad campaigns, as well as how robust their keyword bids are.
Key Metrics for PPC Reporting
Building your own PPC report template can be useful for two main reasons:
Productivity: Once you create your report, you can use it to build new PPC reports without needing to start from scratch each time.
Customization: By designing your own template, you can leverage the data in a way that’s most relevant to your business.
While every organization requires different types of data, here are some suggested PPC reporting templates that could come in handy regardless of what industry you’re in:
Campaign Volume Over Time
This report is a necessity as it helps you visualize your data more effectively. After all, the consistent fluctuation of your account performance is rooted in a mixture of campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. But, by collecting all this information and having your campaigns reflected on one single graph, you can easily monitor which campaigns are performing the best.
And if you come across a problematic campaign, you can continue to drill in by running a similar report to further explore that campaign’s ad groups or keywords.
Impression Share by Device Over Time
This line graph helps you identify which platforms people are using when they see your ads. If you notice that your ad impressions are currently waning on one type of platform or another, try to find out why. It could just be that the search terms people use on mobile differ from the ones they use on a desktop.
Don’t forget that Google frequently brings ads in and out of the auction to optimize for the best possible search experience. And with more than 50 percent of impressions coming from mobile these days, marketers should not overlook low impression share on any device.
Cost and Performance by Region
Data points like search volume, competition, and user intent all vary by region. This bar graph shows you how each of your regions is performing. You can then use the graph to see where you need to update your geo bid modifiers. The idea is to allocate ad spend to whichever areas you are most successful in. Use the Cost and Performance by Region report to establish geo bid modifiers wherever appropriate.
Click Type by Device
With mobile users wanting more and more information at their fingertips, ad extensions offer a valuable alternative to navigating on a small smartphone screen. Comparing click type by device demonstrates this.
If you aren’t seeing a range of click types on mobile, maybe it’s time to review the status of your ad extensions. If they’re approved, but not performing as well as expected, consider including ad site links with a mobile device preference. This distinct mobile extension can speak directly to users who are always on the move, as well as improve your ads’ relevance.
Performance by Hour of Day and Day of Week
As the name suggests, this report allows marketers to gain a deeper insight into how their ads are performing by the hour and the day of the week.
Since user intent and competition fluctuates at different times throughout the week, this report can pinpoint at which specific times the competition changes. Based on your results, marketers can set bid multipliers or tweak their daily and weekly ad schedule.
Key Tools for AdWords Reporting
As previously mentioned, the most popular PPC program is Google Ads, accounting for roughly 90 percent of PPC ad dollars.
With the right tools, you’ll be able to get a piece of that Google pie and drastically cut down the time it takes to manage your Google Ads account. Here are some of the top tools that will help you achieve the best results possible from your campaigns:
Google Keyword Planner
This free keyword tool is built into Google Ads and free to use. Not only does it offer you suggestions for new keywords, but it also provides you with information regarding search volumes and estimated cost per click.
With Google Trends, you can track how the search volume changes over time for a given keyword. It enables you to see whether there is a higher demand for a certain product or service at different points throughout the year. You can then use this information to optimize your Google Ads accordingly. It also lets you see if the peak demand for a particular keyword has already occurred.
Bulk Keyword Generator
This keyword tool is designed specifically for small businesses and generates industry-specific keywords. After selecting your business type and city, the Bulk Keyword Generator will generate a list of the best keywords for your local Google Ads campaign.
A popular alternative to Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets allows you to build and format spreadsheets. Like Excel, you can also share these sheets with others and edit them simultaneously, all without the added worry of losing any of your work or ending up with several versions of the same document.
Plus, Google Sheets can also perform many of the same functions including data sorting and filtering as Microsoft Excel, making it a convenient tool for analyzing and managing data from your Google Ads campaigns.
Google Ads Editor
The Google Ads Editor is a critical tool because it streamlines the process of making bulk changes to your campaigns. You can easily create new campaigns and ad groups by copying and pasting existing ones. Plus, this tool has a variety of bulk editing tools that lets you make changes across your whole account in just a few seconds, as opposed to dedicating hours doing them online directly in your Google Ads account.
One of the most popular analytics services used today, Google Analytics features a variety of reports designed to help you analyze the performance of your Google Ads campaigns, in addition to the behaviors of the people who stumble upon your site via Google Ads.
Google Data Studio
Data Studio essentially allows you to create easy-to-understand, readable reports by pulling together data from Google Ads, Google Analytics, and numerous other sources into one user-friendly dashboard. You have the option to build your own dashboard from scratch or use one of the free templates delivered by Google.
Google Ad Preview
This tool allows you to input your ad copy and get a sneak peek at how your ad will look once it appears in the Google Ads search results. You also have the ability to add site links, callouts, and various other ad extensions to your preview ad.
Which Data Matters Most to You?
With a seemingly endless stream of data coming from Google Ads, it’s important to keep in mind that the best PPC and AdWords reports communicate information in a way that’s easily digestible. This will not only make your job easier as a marketer, but your work will become more visible.
While there’s no such thing as the perfect template, with the right metrics, you can build a customized report that suits all your business needs.