Report Theory: The Right Level of Data at the Right Time | Search Scientists

Report Theory: The Right Level of Data at the Right Time

Know your data, know your PPC campaigns!

Today we’re sharing how we’re using data display to improve our internal processes and the PPC game for our clients.

Data display VS. the act of reporting

Report – reporting, potayto – potahto… you’ll say.

Actually what we’re going to show you is not a reporting theory. It is simply the way we display data reports for a better understanding of the PPC campaigns that we’re managing.  

Setting Up Principles and Goals for Your Reports

No doubt, knowledge is power and this applies to paid traffic too. Getting to know your PPC campaigns like the back of your hand is easier if you apply these two principles:

Principle 1: Reports should be 100% automated.

Principle 2: They should be able to answer 80% of your questions without having to log in anywhere else.

Different Reports for Different Purposes

You own a business, and your marketing department has three managers and ten PPC’rs.

Is everybody looking at the same performance metrics every day? Of course not. Because a report for a business owner versus a marketing manager versus an AdWords account manager is always going to be really different. Adapt the content of your reports to the person that report is for.  

Our “Dig Deeper” Report Rhythm:
One Google Sheet, Dozens of Sub-sheets

With multiple channels, funnels, and metrics to watch, having an overview of your advertising performance plus a granular view per device, keywords or audience, the process doesn’t seem like a walk in the park.

Our “dig deeper” approach – create one Google Sheet with dozens of sub-sheets.

This way, you can keep track of the top level performance where you have an instant health check of your accounts, and dig deeper into your marketing funnel, by having access to the MOFU, BOFU, and TOFU campaigns’ performance.            

Our "Dig Deeper" approach to track performance

Our “Dig Deeper” Report Rhythm

Immediate Diagnosis of your PPC performance

Google Sheets are a marketer’s best friend. I’d go even further. Actually, conditional formatting and IF formulas are.

Color coding, ranking by performance, by relevance score or by ROAS target – they can give you an immediate action plan on how to optimize your PPC campaigns.

Utilizing color coding in the Google Sheet

Color coding for faster decisions in optimization

You can even set up “don’t make me think” formulas that tell you what to do next.     

Ad diagnosis for whether to pause a campaign

Ad diagnosis - to pause or not to pause

Data Should Answer Questions & Inform Actions

And that can be done in the blink of an eye. If you know your data, you know your business.

That being said, watch this week’s video for more data display goodies:

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Andreea Popa

Andreea Popa

Andreea is an enthusiastic full-stack marketer. She enjoys connecting multiple facets of a business. She's mixing and connecting data from multiple channels, from PPC campaigns to content creation, audience engagement, and different inbound strategies. She'd like to have more time for writing about PPC.

3 Replies to “Report Theory: The Right Level of Data at the Right Time”

  1. Challenges that stuff up your ability to achieve 100% automation: Custom built CRM with no capability to push data to Google Sheets via scripts/API, split-testing using 3rd party software, attribution reporting, CRO using 3rd party tools (conversion funnels, form analytics, etc), long sales cycle whereby you need to constantly recheck customer LTV as it span over 5 years, cross-category purchase (total campaign cost acquired on one product but they end up buying another product), variable revenue business with no set average conversion value (e.g. travel packages) is asking that you constantly export and calculate ROAS within the sheet, variable target ROAS since some products have much higher profit margins, moving targets due to seasonality…

    Conditional formatting is definitely a lovely thing (see my daily report filled with it) 🙂 I like it bright and wonderful

    1. I knew I liked you 😀
      Great comment, and those are absolutely things that muddy reporting.

      That said, wouldn’t you say those are separate reports for separate purposes?

      i.e. if you have CRO 3rd party tools, you would simply look at CRO reporting on its own tab..

      If you always take the top of the top (top ad, top landing page), you will be on the slow march to stronger metrics over time.

      tldr: data is never perfect 🙁

      1. I really really like your way of thinking in terms of keeping data within one sheet with multiple tabs. Your team members are lucky to have access to pre-recorded videos that form part of their training 🙂

        Ouchie for the muddy reporting – but you are completely right with your statement.

        I would definitely vote for having your CRO and other metrics sit within its own tab if possible.

        “If you always take the top of the top (top ad, top landing page), you will be on the slow march to stronger metrics over time.” I like this approach. It makes me think of this article that sparked a new way in which I organise my campaigns: “Keywords. Treat them like employees. If they are not working, fire them” —- It boils down to your argument of honing in on selecting the top of the top.

        A bit off-topic, but kinda relates to your “don’t make me think” suggestion:
        Don’t you reckon it’s just better to set custom rules/alerts or create custom scripts to eliminate you even having to import data to spreadsheets? I mean write a script TO NOTIFY the ads manager via email if keywords/ads/campaigns meet certain conditions. Even better – apply the changes if it meets certain criteria. I mean this will keep your reports even cleaner.

        My next quest is to set up reporting dashboards to display on TVs within our office. Aforesaid coupled with spreadsheets = massive winnings! Klipfolio even allow you to set target goals.

        Thanks once again for creating content and frameworks that challenge the standard 🙂

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