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How you provide performance reports or insights can impact the rest of your project.
If a client or boss doesn’t understand your analysis of what’s happening in their PPC accounts, that can lead to more questions and stress for all parties – even if you’re doing great work.
The three steps outlined below will give you a solid foundation for PPC reporting that keeps everyone on the same page, establishes trust and makes your job easier in the long run.
The first step is easy. Simply review the account’s performance metrics, add a comparison date range and note any significant trends.
What someone thinks is “significant” may vary depending on who the report is delivered to.
It’s best to focus on the most relevant metrics before highlighting anything else and tailor your approach as needed.
Example 1: The main goal for a B2B software client is to drive leads efficiently.
Example 2: The main goal for your ecommerce company is to drive sales.
Secondary metrics (for any account) might include click-through rate, cost per click, cost per thousand impressions (CPM), or search impression share. These give you a sense of overall visibility, efficiency and engagement.
While clicks and impressions can help identify trends in traffic and search volume, the focus should be on actual results – especially if you’re presenting to people at the executive or C-suite level.
This means that clicks and impressions may not be the best metrics to hone in on in your analysis.
It’s also important to highlight negative trends in addition to positive ones.
Transparency builds trust, prevents stakeholders from getting caught off guard by lower performance and helps you better control the narrative and next steps.
Dig deeper: 3 ways to stay on top of PPC performance
The next step is to define what your highlighted metrics actually mean.
Many people forget to do this because they know the terms. But not everyone knows as much as you do!
Providing that extra context ensures all parties interpret the data properly and prevents people from drawing inaccurate conclusions or focusing on things that might not matter in the long run.
Some common metrics and what they translate to in real terms include:
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The last step is to note any potential causes behind the trends you called out. This is where you can flex your expertise and let people know the value you bring to their organization.
Give yourself some credit and highlight those changes in the report!
It’s also important to do this for negative trends because identifying the cause of a decline will help you determine the next best course of action.
For example, you see a decrease in impression share and an increase in average CPC.
You review the Auction Insights and notice a new competitor has entered your market.
Now you can strategize an approach to the situation and present a solution before it causes a bigger dent in performance.
That said, there might not always be a clear-cut reason for performance shifts.
In this situation, taking a step back and looking at the industry at a macro level can be helpful.
By approaching reports using the process above, your analysis should end up looking something like this:
The result is a clear overview of:
In turn, clients and stakeholders typically feel more comfortable with the numbers they see and hear.
They may then have a greater appreciation and understanding of your work, leading to more trust and a willingness to test more. And that’s a win for everyone!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.