The importance of effective reporting in PPC
Why do we need reporting in PPC?
To some, reporting is just a task that’s carried out on a weekly or monthly basis. But, handled correctly, it’s so much more, and there are other ways to conduct effective reporting in PPC, outside of providing an overview of performance.
There are many factors to consider when building reports, such as visibility over brand traffic or campaign performance in the UK vs other countries.
The ability to drill down into different areas, like campaign types and markets, means that we can optimise and make decisions to ensure that performance and activity align with business objectives.
A clear view of performance by hour and day can help identify if there have been any positive trends or issues – something which is especially helpful during peak trading periods such as Black Friday. For example, monitoring the Google Ads overview tab by hour or creating a specific looker studio report can highlight if there has been an unexpected increase or decrease in spend. This issue can be investigated straight away rather than being spotted the day after it has occurred.
Reporting is also important for forecasting, future planning and budgeting. A report should always contain historical monthly data from the previous year or two, as this can help forecast what performance might look like in the future. A retail client will likely have peak periods throughout the year depending on seasonality, so it’s essential to view key metrics during these months to help devise targets and plan budgets.
In terms of budgeting, utilising an up-to-date budget tracker in reports helps track current spending against budget requirements and predict budget phasing throughout the month accurately. Again, this is particularly helpful during peak months, such as November, to ensure you can capture the increase in search demand in the lead up to Black Friday.
The benefits of robust reporting
One of the main benefits of having an in-depth, automated reporting solution is you can spend more time making impactful changes based on data-driven decisions. This not only increases productivity but also maximises staff value as more time is spent on more purposeful actions and activities.
Practical examples of making impactful changes based on data
Brand CTR has decreased over the last four weeks, but competitors haven’t increased their aggression or launched a sale. This could indicate that the ads aren’t resonating with the audience as well as in previous weeks and that new ad copy should be tested in the form of an ad variation or custom experiment.
On Performance Max, shopping CTR has been decreasing over a long period. It might be time to review the product feed within the Merchant Center to identify any opportunities to optimise the quality of the product titles. Optimisations can include structuring titles in a way a user searches and including as much relevant information as possible within 150 characters, such as product type, colour and size.
On YouTube, the view rate starts to decrease, which could be for several different reasons. It could be because of ad fatigue, the creative itself or a high frequency of impressions per unique user.
- Ad Fatigue is more likely to impact overall performance. If you’ve been running the same creative for a while or only using one creative asset, it will lose its impact. The action here would be to add new creative to the campaigns to help improve engagement.
- Does your creative voice have a voice-over? If not, then this is another factor which could contribute towards a decrease in view rate. To test this theory, you could test the same creative but with a voiceover and compare the view rate between the two.
Increased accuracy is also a huge benefit to an automated report as there is reduced human error compared to what there might be from manually adding data to an Excel doc or a Google Sheet.
The future of reporting
Consumers see privacy as a fundamental human right that they expect to be respected. This has led to Google heavily investing in a durable, privacy-first cross-channel measurement platform – GA4.
The shift towards GA4 ad automation has put analytics at the heart of an optimisation cycle:
We need effective reporting in PPC to use data to make effective decisions regarding campaign optimisation, budget management and future planning.
If you have any questions on this or need help on how to create a robust reporting suite – please reach out to the Journey Further team.