Apr 14, 2020

How to build the ultimate LinkedIn Ads performance dashboard & spend tracker [including 2 free templates]

9-MINUTE READ | By Anna Shutko

DashboardsGoogle SheetsLinkedInLooker Studio (Google Data Studio)Performance Marketing Analytics

[ Updated Oct 31, 2023 ]

LinkedIn provides great targeting options and lead quality, but at a higher cost-per-click than other platforms. To get the best results at an optimal cost, you’ll want to have a good budget tracking solution in place.

We joined forces with AJ Wilcox from B2Linked, a specialized LinkedIn Ads agency, to create two templates that will help you measure the performance of your LinkedIn Ads and accurately predict your ad spend: a LinkedIn daily ad spend tracker template in Google Sheets and the ultimate LinkedIn Ads performance overview dashboard in Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio).

In this article, I’ll explain what these templates are all about and how you can use both of them. These templates work seamlessly with the Supermetrics LinkedIn Ads connector that does all the boring data collection work for you. 

All you have to do is activate the templates and you will already see your LinkedIn Ads spend projection (doesn’t this sound great, or what?). Let’s get started!

LinkedIn daily ad spend tracker template in Google Sheets

This template will show you how much you have to spend on a given weekday or weekend of the month, based on your past spend data and the amount you have budgeted. 

With this template, you can analyze the spend projection for one account. If you work in an agency and want to see how multiple accounts are performing, you should try out the ultimate LinkedIn Ads overview template in Looker Studio.

The 4 key metrics of the daily ad spend tracker

There are four metrics you have to know about when looking at this report: total spent, projected spend, goal spend, and cumulative spend.

Total spent is the amount your account has spent on a given day. These metrics are automatically pulled by Supermetrics.

Projected spend is the number indicating how much you generally spend on weekdays and weekends, based on your past performance. This is how much you can expect to spend, assuming that your bids were not adjusted. Projected spend equals total (amount) spent for past dates. If a date is in the future, the formula will predict how much your account is likely to spend.

Goal spend is the amount your account has to spend on a given day to achieve the budget goal, without under-spending or overspending. Your budget goal is the only number you’ll have to input manually. Ideally, projected spend and goal spend numbers should be the same. 

Cumulative spend shows how much your account has spent during this month to date. 

You can put your notes into the “Special” column to explain particular spend patterns during holidays, for example. 

Goal spend projection calculation

Now let’s dive in a bit deeper and look at how the goal spend numbers are calculated. The right side of this dashboard has the formula for automatically calculating the goal spend.

There are four components in this formula: amount spent (spent already), goal, weekday/weekend ratio and the amount to be spent (spend). Let’s look into them one by one.

Spent already is the sum of total amounts spent each day (or the last cumulative spend number).

Your goal is your monthly budget, which you input manually.

Weekday/weekend ratio is calculated from average spends on weekdays and weekends (i.e. average weekday spend/average weekend spend.). These calculations are based on your historical data. You’ll find them on the “Last 60” tab of this template. 

Based on AJ’s experience, compared to weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays require half the budget. That’s why the average spend numbers for weekdays and weekends are calculated separately to make the budget projection estimate more accurate.

Why are these calculations based on the last 60 — and not 90 — days of data? As things can change in an account very quickly, you need to take into consideration the most recent changes in the account. However, you need a dataset that’s stable and representative enough to make predictions (assuming that no significant changes were made).

If you recently made changes to your campaigns, you can pull the last 14 days of data instead. To do this, open Supermetrics sidebar and put your cursor on one of the yellow cells at the top. 

After the query information appears in the sidebar, click “Modify”:

Next, open the “Date range” section, select 14 days, instead of 60 and click “Apply changes”:

The weekday/weekend ratio indicates how much the account is likely to spend each day based on how weekends and weekdays spend on average. 

Spend is the amount your account needs to spend to reach the goal (it is the goal amount – amount spent already).

The goal spend is calculated with the following formula: spend / ((weekend/weekday ratio * the number of weekends left) + the number of weekdays left + 1).

The reason for adding +1 is that when AJ was doing calculations on how much needed to be spent for the remainder of the month, the calculation was always too high by exactly 1 day. He thinks it’s because the current day’s spend field is empty until the end of the day, which means that we have to account for the missing data with an extra day.

How to get started with this template

Open the Google Sheets template file and click “Use template”. Only choose one LinkedIn Ads account for the template to work correctly. If you want to use another account with this template, open a new Google Sheets file and add the template there again.

The ultimate LinkedIn Ads account overview Looker Studio template

In addition to the Google Sheets budget tracker we have created a handy Looker Studio account overview dashboard that you can use with multiple LinkedIn Ads accounts. This dashboard will provide you with all the necessary graphs for tracking your LinkedIn Ads account and campaign performance.

The dashboard consists of six pages: account health, budget projections and trendline, campaign metrics, video ads metrics, landing page stats, and campaign A/B testing.

LinkedIn Ads account health

The first page provides a good overview of your key LinkedIn Ads performance metrics.

At a quick glance, you’ll see how much your account spends, what the cost per lead is, and what the trends are for the key performance metrics. 

This data will help you see when the audience of your campaigns is becoming saturated, indicating you should refresh your ads.

Budget predictions and trendline

The second page of this report takes data from the spreadsheet described earlier in this post. 

This overview is convenient if you want to track the total spend and compare it to your projected spend to see how well your campaigns are pacing. This way, you don’t have to jump between Google Sheets and Looker Studio to have a clear performance overview.

In order to connect the Google Sheet to Looker Studio, select all the empty graphs on the second page of the template titled “Budget predictions and trendline” and click “New data source” under the data sources tab.

Next, select “Google Sheets” and add the first page of your Google Sheets LinkedIn Ads tracker template. 

You might need to choose the correct metrics/dimensions to be displayed by editing each individual chart in Looker Studio, as well as your budget predictions and trendline page is complete! 

Campaign metrics

Page 3 shows how your campaigns are performing against the key KPIs. This view is almost the same as it would be in a LinkedIn Ads campaign manager with the difference that you can conveniently surface only the metrics you want to look at without having to switch between different tabs. 

You will instantly see which campaigns are performing well and which ones need adjustments. 

Video ads metrics

Videos are becoming a more and more popular format on LinkedIn as they can convey more emotions than text ads. However, video production is much more costly, and so you’ll probably want to track the ROI of your videos. 

This page is a good health check of your video creatives that you can show to your manager.

The top left graph shows your cost broken down by video completion percentage. Analyzing video views is important as you can easily see how interested the audience is and how much it costs you. 

This page will show you how you can calculate the cost of getting someone to view your video. Also, you can analyze drop off points in your videos to identify the optimal video length.

Landing page stats

To get this information from LinkedIn, you have to download the “Account performance” to an Excel spreadsheet, strip off all the UTM parameters from the links, and run a pivot table to break all the key metrics by landing page. This can be quite a lengthy process and this is why marketers don’t do it as often as they’d like.

This page has all this manual work done for you. You will instantly see all the performance metrics split by your landing page. Is the white paper or the webinar campaign bringing more leads? This page will give you an answer in seconds.

Campaign A/B testing

One of the keys to success on LinkedIn is to test as many ad variations as possible to see what works best for your audience. The sooner you start testing, collecting, and analyzing the data, the sooner you’ll find the right tone of voice. Are your customers more responsive to FOMO or encouraging messaging?

In order to easily analyze different campaign variations, name them with a convention that lets you easily tell your A variations apart from B, i.e. “010520 A”.

Another great feature of this table is that it allows you to analyze your data on a granular level: you can see which creative text or creative title performs best and adjust other texts and titles accordingly. The best part is that you don’t have to use Excel’s pivot table to play around with the data!

To get the template, open this file, press “X” on the popup window and follow the instructions in the template’s header. Follow the above steps to set up the template.

Getting started

We had a lot of fun building these templates with AJ, and I really hope that you’ll find them useful!

If you have any questions about your LinkedIn Ads reporting, feel free to tweet at us @Supermetrics.

Or check out Anna and AJ’s recent webinar recording, where they teach you how to use these templates.

Happy reporting!

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