PPC Reporting for Beginners.

By Amanda Sides | Apr 10, 2009
More Articles by Amanda


A recent article in Visibility Magazine by Marc Poirier presented reporting tactics that can help any new PPC professional.  Poirier is co-founder and CMO of Aquisio.

Your insights represent the value add of having an expert manage campaigns.  And make sure to always remind your clients how brilliant your work for them is!

When you land a client, you need to set expectations with what you will provide that meet their needs. Make sure you get on the same page with what metrics you will be using, which ones to focus on and ones that aren’t of high importance; you don’t want to waste any time measuring and reporting on data that they don’t have much interest in. You also want to make sure you step back and look at your reporting tactics through the eyes of the client… They don’t see all of the work you do on a day-to-day basis, so the results are the only thing they have to go by. If you have great results, but do a less than mediocre job of presenting them, you could have your client potentially lose interest and eventually lead to looking for another agency. You need to manifest your strong points, give your agency a pat on the back; you deserve for them to know how hard you’ve worked for them.

When you compose your reports, be sure you have analyzed all of the raw data so they can quickly learn what you have accomplished in that reporting period. If you simply give them spreadsheets of raw data or keyword reports, they could possibly focus on the wrong points, get lost in the data, or completely miss noteworthy improvements.

Poirier suggests the following to include in your reports:

Executive Summary. A one pager that summarizes the remainder of the report. It’s a quick glance at the results that follow, and should be well written. This is a testament to you and your agency and is considered by some as the most important part of a report.

Recap Previous Months. Create a simple table with the most important metrics your client wants to focus on, and compare the most recent reporting period results with past periods. You can take a month-over-month (MOM) approach, or year-over-year (YOY), as well as a Quarterly measure, whatever is most relevant to you and your client.

Showcase Trends. After your analysis of the raw data, you should note any trends, good or bad. You can point out how a campaign has grown in the number of conversions it pulls in over the past three months, or show how a certain campaign has started to lose some traffic.

Graphs, Charts. The raw data and analyses are great and definitely important for you clients to view, but using several graphs and/or charts can help them visualize what the data is telling them. This can help them understand the bigger picture, or put the analysis into a different perspective.

Highlight Activities. Designate a portion of the report to discussing what changes you have made since the last report. The client will appreciate you letting them know ultimately what decisions led to the results they received. This is a factor that will help maintain a good client relationship. Transparency of your actions aids to the clients ability to trust you.

Comment on Findings. Experimenting is inevitable, but show your client what you tried, how it worked, what worked and what didn’t. Your insights will show your depth of knowledge and expertise, and show that you are approaching their account with creativity and solution-based actions. This is another example of transparency that will also help your client trust your specialized skills.

Whether you are about to create your first report, or are just trying to rejuvenate the reporting process you already have in place, consider the tips suggested above by Marc Poirier.

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