How To Create PPC Reports That Will Impress Your Clients

Writer:
Catherine Lovering
Editor:
Published: Jun 06, 2024
Last Updated:
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As an agency, being able to show prospective clients how you stand out from the competition is critical. One surefire option is to give them free insights about what makes you an effective strategic partner in their work. 

PPC reports not only allow clients to see the results of their PPC campaigns, but when you take your reporting to the next level, gives them data upon which they can base future decisions about their online marketing strategies.

What Are PPC Reports?

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a digital strategy where your clients pay every time someone clicks one of their ads. PPC reports show you and your clients how well that strategy is working — and offer valuable insight for future decision-making

Beyond campaign performance, the best PPC reports offer a comprehensive picture of the customer journey for a campaign: how much was paid to get their attention and which channels were most successful at moving them down the funnel.

To really impress your clients, you’ll want to use pay per click reporting that’s more than a series of data points. The relevant metrics have to be included, of course, but the more important step is telling a story with your report. Essentially, a PPC report should detail the success or failure of your clients’ paid search campaigns, highlighting ways to fix what’s falling short and double down on what’s working well.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for developing your PPC reports for clients. 

8 Tips for Creating Your Pay-per-Click Report

There are a number of potential formats for a PPC performance report. You can use any one that best supports your PPC campaign analysis, but it should include a few essential elements. 

The idea is not only to get down to brass tacks on PPC strategies, but for your clients to understand the rationale you’re using to arrive at your conclusions. Include notes about attribution models and plenty of data visualization.

A PPC performance report has to be comprehensible to your clients, but it also needs to pack a punch in order to convince them of the right next steps. 

1. Include a Report Summary

Start your report with a snapshot of important takeaways, such as the overall return on investment (ROI) of your PPC campaigns, growth or decline in key audience segments, and notable changes since the last time you produced a report for this client. 

The summary should highlight items of particular interest to the client, such as progress toward reaching a target audience, and performance with reference to key benchmarks. It gives the client an at-a-glance overview of what the report has to say, in an easy-to-follow narrative. 

It should also leave out the nitty gritty details, as those will be examined in-depth in the remainder of the report.

2. Highlight Your Campaign Goals

It goes without saying perhaps that your clients should gauge their PPC campaign success against their campaign goals. It’s important to remind clients of those specific goals and the performance metrics you are using to analyze success. 

Key metrics of PPC campaigns are best understood in context. For example, your monthly reports for a client might show a steady increase in click-through rate for Google ads targeted at a specific keyword, for example. That’s great news, but a mere side point if increasing click-through rate was not the main goal of the campaign.

If you’re producing a comprehensive PPC report, all indicators of performance are potentially meaningful to the client — but the focus should be on the metrics targeted at the start of the campaign. Perhaps they revamped ad copy to increase clicks, or invested in landing page optimization to get more conversions. Your reporting should speak to those goals.

3. Explain Your Attribution Model

The customer journey is long and can be complex, so there are often multiple touchpoints along the path to conversion. Attribution models allow you to determine which touchpoint should receive the credit for a customer conversion. There are several possible attribution models, so be sure to explain which one you're using within the report.

One common attribution model is multi-touch attribution, which gives equal credit to all touchpoints. 

Let’s say a client’s customer searched for a product in Google using a target keyword. Seeing your client’s PPC Google ad, they clicked through and arrived at the landing page. Reading the landing page copy, they decide to go ahead and follow through with the call to action. Under a multi-touch attribution model, equal credit would lie with the organic search strategy, the PPC campaign, and the landing page optimization.

By contrast, in a last-touch attribution model, only the last touchpoint would receive credit for the conversion. In this example, it’s the landing page — so you can thank your expert team of copywriters. 

Regardless of how you choose to model attribution, it’s important to call it out for clients in your PPC reports, so they can fully understand how you’re measuring the effectiveness of their marketing strategies.

4. Include Date Range and Comparative Data Points

Let’s say you present your client with a PPC report that has a single data point: “your latest campaign made you $1.50 for every $1.00 you spent on ads.” That’s potentially good news for your client, but it doesn’t say much. The fact that the client’s bringing in more than they’re spending lacks sufficient context to allow them to make meaningful use of that data.

That’s why date ranges and comparative data points are essential. Date ranges allow clients to map on strategic changes with results. If they’ve just shifted their PPC campaign strategy, the results — or lack thereof — should be evident within a certain timeframe. Including clear data ranges on your reporting helps clients to quickly understand whether they’re starting to see an ROI for the new strategy. 

Remember in your reporting to also highlight the sources of your data and the potential lag time in receiving relevant information. A client might assume all metrics are up-to-the minute; if they are not, you should lay that out clearly in your report with an “as of” date or similar marker.

Comparative data points are also essential for context. Let’s say your client was making that $1.50 for every $1.00 in the latest monthly report, but in the prior month the ROI was $2.00 for every $1.00. That’s a significant decrease in profit and might be part of a trend that requires attention. 

Consider comparative data points to compare not only returns but impacts on PPC channels, such as Google ad campaigns versus social media PPC campaigns. There’s real value in those comparisons, including how the efficacy of campaigns shift over time. 

5. Use Data To Tell a Story and Answer Questions

Embedded within all of the common metrics in a PPC report are potential answers to your clients’ key questions. However, the data alone isn't always enough to tell clients the whole story.

Use the data to flesh out a narrative for your clients. For example, that most of their target audience is clicking through ads on social media and, compared to Google, it’s those who arrive via social media who are more likely to convert. Explain that they might have to pay more for a Google ad based on a competitive keyword, but that those click-throughs result in a higher monetary value for each average sale.

Your PPC reporting goals are to provide meaningful data, but also to make that data make sense. Developing a narrative that is based on solid numbers can help achieve this goal.

6. Report on Goals Based on Customer Journey Segments

Remember that customer of your client’s — the one who started off with a Google search, which led to a click on a PPC ad, and resulted in a landing page conversion? That journey is not atypical; in fact, few customers arrive at a landing page ready to follow the call to action.

As part of your PPC reporting framework, you can break out the effectiveness in meeting client goals at each segment of the customer journey. At some stage, they’ve encountered the client’s PPC ad, but the path to get there can vary.

By breaking out your PPC reporting to offer greater insight into these segments, your clients get invaluable data on how to better nurture those pathways.

7. Include Relevant PPC Metrics and KPI Definitions

It’s easy to throw around phrases like “performance metrics,” but when you develop a PPC report you have to choose which of those data points are most essential for your clients.

PPC reporting platforms often give you a sense of what’s relevant to these types of campaigns. While it ultimately depends on client goals, there are a few basics every client wants to know. 

Show Business Value Through Cost-per-Acquisition (CPA)

The ultimate goal of any advertising campaign is to acquire new customers. A valuable metric for a PPC strategy, therefore, is cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This tells you how much you had to invest in a prospect, on average, to convert them to a customer. 

The formula is generally simple: CPA is equal to your PPC spend divided by the number of new customers you gained. The result is a dollar figure: if PPC spend was $10,000 and 2,500 new customers came into the fold, the CPA is $4.00.

Remark on Your Campaigns' Revenue With Your ROAS

ROAS is short for “revenue attributable to ads.” With this metric, you’re looking at your client’s earned revenue from a PPC campaign divided by the investment in that campaign. The result is a ratio: for example, if you make $7 in revenue for every $1 you spend on ads, your ROAS ratio is 7:1.

If that number is flipped — say it’s $1 in revenue for every $7 in spend — the client is losing money and might want to investigate more closely.

Highlight Your Conversions

An across-the-board KPI for any digital marketing effort is the number of conversions.

Highlight this figure in the report as a key indicator of what’s working well. Of course, you’ll need to contextualize this figure as well; if conversions from PPC have taken a nosedive since the last report, or are experiencing an upward trajectory, your clients want to understand why.

Report on Your Ads' Effectiveness With Your Ad CTR

Having an ad appear on Google is one thing, but these impressions only count for so much. Ads are designed to be clicked, and although your client has to shell out a bit of cash for every click, it’s those clicks that become conversions. 

Click-through rate (CTR) says a lot about the appeal of your client’s online ads. The higher the CTR, the more effective the ad design and ad copy are at attracting the attention of your client’s target audience. 

8. Leverage Data Visualization Strategies

Your clients are busy people — and they might not have time to do much more than read your PPC report summary and skim its details. That’s why data visualization of important points can be so effective. Graphic representations can bring home key takeaways at a glance. 

A bar graph can demonstrate a period-over-period increase in CTR, for example; a line graph can show a downward or upward trend in CPA. Data visualization can make your PPC reports easier for your clients to navigate at a glance.

Best Tools To Streamline PPC Reporting for Clients

If you’re looking for a PPC reporting solution, you have a number of options. You can employ one of these solutions for reporting alongside separate keyword research tools, or you can find a comprehensive tool that includes everything you need to support client campaigns.

For PPC reporting, some options include:

Some PPC reporting platforms give you the option to produce “white label” reports, where you can attach your agency’s branding to the report.

Final Thoughts

PPC campaigns can bring your clients substantial returns. PPC reporting not only impresses those clients but offers them a value add in terms of data they can use to make strategic marketing decisions.

By incorporating your own insight about performance metrics and KPIs, your reporting can support your clients in achieving their PPC campaign goals.

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