PPC REPORTING· 9-MINUTE READ · By Ana Kostic on May 20 2016
Reporting is a huge time sink for PPC managers. We all try to optimize it and make it as painless as possible. The main problem is despite actual report and data visualization are the key points in our everyday job, report building in most cases is a troubling procedure.
My own goal and motto in regards to reporting is “The time you save building a report, is time you can spend analyzing and solving issues”.
So how did I solve my own PPC reporting problems?
My PPC reporting Journey:
Reporting issues for my case came along with the growth of my client base together with the complexity of channels we were dealing with.
The first reporting steps
Early in my career, I primarily dealt with Excel reports and templates. In most instances I would export data from Google AdWords, save data files on my computer, and then import them into a client daily dashboard to monitor daily campaign performance.
Apart from this, I had weekly/monthly client reports in Excel, of which the data was imported from data files exported from AdWords.
At this point my report building was very manual. I had to spend a huge amount of time downloading, saving, copying and pasting data.
The daily dashboard took me about 5 minutes to update each morning, and 15 to 20 minutes to set up with each new client. Depending on the complexity of the client, I invested 30 to 60 minutes in building each report. The situation was not ideal, but manageable.
Growing client complexity, channels and PPC reporting time
The problem emerged when I started to serve a growing number of clients with greater needs, and of course, a greater amount of PPC channels to work with.
Expanding a PPC campaign beyond the AdWords wall in order to be competitive, is mandatory today. It arises from the growing number of channels for each campaign I managed, which led to my PPC reporting nightmare.
My daily dashboard became more difficult to update as I had to export data from 3 to 4 different channels, each with different names, data sets, file formats and exporting processes. This process became so overwhelming that importing all the paid traffic channels into excel was no longer an option.
One ought to know that certain payment methods in Spain do not allow one to have client’s account in one MCC and at that point I had seven different Bing Ads accounts with seven different logins. (yes, seven 😀 ).
My monthly reports were heading the same way, doubling the amount of time needed to build each one of them.
The situation became so bad that some accounts were not even imported into my daily dashboard, which put me into a lot of big drama. I became blind to campaign performance and directed my interests to the data blindness drama, which ate up my time that was supposed to be used to sort out this issue.
Solving the problem
I have a pure marketing background and well developed excel skills as a result of my PPC consulting years. The first thing that would come to anyone’s mind concerning my problem is to use macros, visual basic or any other more tech oriented PPC reporting options. My colleagues, who tried to help me with this, had less time for their own work. It also became a problem as I fully depend on their availability every time I had a reporting issue. Repetitively asking for help and pushing my colleagues also made me uncomfortable.
It was clear to me that I needed some reporting solution which would allow me to integrate all the channels I was using and automate the client’s monthly reports.
Most PPC reporting tools I tried had common problems. They all had rigid reporting templates and interfaces. Some PPC reporting solutions were visually great. Nevertheless, the data had to be organized and represented in a specific way. Another option was missing in almost all these tools was monthly and yearly data comparison.
I had to adapt to a tool and accepted that I could not represent the data in my desired manner. The data I often used for analysis and drawing conclusions was missing. There are powerful data tracking and PPC reporting tools in the market that would allow me to solve these issues. But their prices were out of the question, simply too high for my small agency to afford.
One day I crossed paths with Supermetrics which was familiar to me as an Excel add-on. However, the Excel add-on had a pricing structure of charging for each PPC channel. The sum was higher than what I budgeted for. But thank God, to my rescue came the Supermetrics Google Sheets add-on.
Before and After
As soon as I started testing the Supermetrics add-on, I realized that it was the solution I was looking for. It became possible for me to build the exact same report I had before in excel, with all my complex tables and data comparison segments. I was able to get all PPC channels that I was working with in one place and in the same place, Google Sheet.
Once all my reports were moved from Excel to Google Sheets, built with Supermetrics add-on, it nowadays takes me just 5 seconds each morning, which the spreadsheet needs to automatically refresh, to update my daily dashboard. Checking whether the formats and charts are okay for my monthly reports takes me around 10 minutes; because Google Sheets charts are not very authentic and need to be double checked. This has reduced my PPC reporting time to a third of what it used to be by having the same reports I had before, refreshed and delivered to my email automatically by Supermetrics.
Thank you Supermetrics 🙂
About Ana Kostic
Ana Kostic is a PPC Expert and Consultant at Bigmomo and a guest writer for Supermetrics. Expert in PPC campaign design and implementation, as well as optimization focused mainly on the return of investment and goal consecution and especializad in international and multilingual campaigns. Passionate about PPC, Online Marketing, Reporting and Data Analysis. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.