How to Write a PPC Report That’ll Impress Your Clients

Know Your Audience

Before you can start crafting your report, consider who your audience is and what they care about. This is one of the first rules in marketing. Reporting is no different.

First, figure out who the report is being sent to. Your point of contact on the account might be at the manager level, but it’s very possible that they share the report internally with VPs or members of the C-suite.

Executives often care the most about high-level revenue metrics such as return-on-investment (ROI) or return-on-ad-spend (ROAS). However, it’s likely that your point of contact will want to see more granular details such as clicks and conversions.

You also must consider which metrics are the most important.

Most PPC reporting tools are designed to provide you with an abundance of different data points that help you track campaign performance. But just because you have access to many different metrics doesn’t mean you should include all of them in your report.

This goes back to how you and your client defined success when your partnership began. Write down your high-level goal. Then work backward to isolate the metrics that are most important for communicating how campaigns are tracking toward the goal.

Start With Your Primary Metrics

Begin your report with a refresher on goals: what is the desired business outcome of this PPC campaign?

This is often referred to as a “north star metric” (NSM).

Your NSM is the high-level goal you assigned to the campaign at the beginning, such as traffic, leads, or sales. This goal guides all of your activities and shapes the build of your campaign.

Leading with your NSM provides context for the rest of the report and reminds your client what the greater goal is. This data should be displayed prominently at the top of your report.

From there, zero in on the most critical primary metrics that influence this goal (and that your clients expect to see).

For example, if your NSM is revenue, here are some additional key PPC metrics you may want to report on:

  • Conversions
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost-per-click (CPC)
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS)

You can stray away from your core metrics, but only if the data is compelling enough and points to additional insights about your campaign.

Share Data that Tells a Story

Without context, numbers are just numbers.

To make sense of all the data in the report, organize it in a way that follows a narrative. Then, relate that narrative back to your campaign goals.

If you’re running multiple campaigns across several different platforms, it’s best practice to organize the data by platform first. This way, you can clearly see how each platform is performing compared to the next.

As mentioned earlier, don’t be afraid to stray outside the core campaign metrics if additional data that would help paint a clearer picture. For example, let’s say you see a sudden dip in performance. You dig into the data and find out that mobile users have suddenly dropped.

Although you might not normally feature “device type” data in your report, it’s useful in this case as it’s likely a sign that there are mobile usability issues on your client’s website.

It’s also a good idea to include a brief executive summary somewhere (usually at the beginning). Again, great reporting is all about context. Providing a summary is useful because it gives your client a quick overview of the key points without having to get into nitty-gritty details.

The goal is to make the results crystal clear to your client. By glancing at the report, they should be able to get a good understanding of what’s going on with the campaign so they can give appropriate feedback.

Use Eye-Catching Visuals

Forgetting to include visuals in your report is a surefire way to cause your client to lose interest quickly.

A strong report will feature data visualizations that help the client understand the numbers and what they mean. What these graphics look like will depend on the metrics themselves as some numbers are better represented in specific formats.

At the same time, be cautious not to throw in an image just for the sake of it. A PPC report isn’t the right place for filler images. Every graphic you choose should serve a clear purpose and help communicate the data in a more compelling way.

Additionally, try to separate big blocks of text with bullet points, colors, or changes in formatting such as bolded or underlined text. Even changing small details, such as highlighting upward trends in green and downward trends in red instantly help elevate readability.

Address the Negatives Head-On

Not all of your results are going to be in the green all the time—that’s the nature of digital marketing.

PPC campaign performance fluctuates based on a variety of different factors. Clients expect you to accurately communicate these changes, give a hypothesis as to why they occurred, and have a clear plan for how you’re going to fix them.

Transparency is key.

A good rule of thumb is to always lead with any performance challenges. Clearly display any downward trends and offer a data-backed explanation for why you think this is happening. This shows that you’re aware of what’s happening and actively working to fix it.

Performance fluctuations happen. It’s how you bounce back from them that will really “wow” your clients.

Highlight Wins, both Big and Small

Last but not least, make sure you highlight all of the positive performance results.

Did changing the ad copy increase click-through rates? Are you seeing positive results with a new lookalike audience strategy? How are these results positively impacting your NSM?

Make sure your report clearly communicates what’s working and why, along with how you plan to maintain these results moving forward.

This is also a good opportunity to share new ideas you may have for improving performance. When a client sees that your existing approach is working, they’re more likely to be open to hearing new, innovative suggestions.

Conclusion

PPC reports can be tough to craft.

However, that doesn’t discount just how valuable accurate reporting is to the agency-client relationship. With these tips in mind, you have everything you need to create compelling PPC reports that highlight your efforts and leave your clients feeling thankful they chose to partner with you.

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