Best Practices for SEM Reports

By Philip | Google AdWords

Jul 09

An integral part of PPC account management is reporting on account performance. Reports allow account managers to provide data and insights on wins, loses and areas of opportunity.

You should discuss your reporting needs with your agency before commencing a campaign to define business KPIs that are consistent with your other marketing strategies.

Thorough reporting can be time consuming and reporting too often can be counterproductive – as the time spent on it could be used to optimise and manage an account – while not reporting often enough can be detrimental to an account.

In this post we have highlighted the 6 common reports distributed from the agency to a client.

  •  Daily Reports

Typically these are small automated reports that gives basic top level KPI’s of the past day’s performance. Clicks, impressions, conversions, spend and revenue is usually highlighted in these reports.

  •  Weekly / Fortnightly

Similar to the daily report, except this report usually contains a few more bells and whistles such as graphs, charts, comparison data and even strategy for the coming week.

  •  Monthly

This report should contain top level KPI’s, graphs and charts, commentary, performance broken down by campaign, top performing keywords, category performance (brand competitors, etc.), wins and losses for the past month as well as revenue, profit and ROI performance metrics, if available.

  •  Quarterly

This would be similar to the monthly report but not as granular, as three months of data can become overwhelming very quickly for the reader.

More focus would be on spends, revenue, ROI and other sales and conversion related data, as well as top level KPI’s. Strategy and insights for the coming quarter should also be included.

  •  Yearly

This report would be the same as the quarterly report but would also contain more year on year comparison data without being too granular.

All clients have different reporting needs that depend on their business model, and it is very rare for someone to require a report for all the time periods noted above.

While not everyone would require a daily or weekly report, all clients should receive the minimum of a monthly report. Monthly reports are the basic reporting standard and show performance for the past month compared to the performance of previous months.

Again, monthly reports also allow an agency to highlight key wins or lose, as well as communicate the strategy and plan of attack for the coming month.

Not all clients require the same reporting insights either, and reports should be customisable in order to be more relevant to specific needs. Your business, for example, may require more visual reports such as graphs and charts while others prefer more text based reports – and custom reporting would cater to these needs.

Conclusion

In this post we have highlighted the 6 most common reports sent over of the course of an SEM project. While most agencies will only provide a selection of these, it is important to understand which reports you require to track your investment in SEM and integrate these insights with your other marketing strategies.

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