Reporting Is the #2 Biggest Time Sink for PPC Managers – Is There a Better Way?


Over the past six months or so, I’ve been conducting an informal survey before all of my PPC webinars. I ask attendees to tell me how much time they spend doing PPC every week, as well as which task is the biggest time sink in PPC management. For the first question, answers vary from less than an hour up to 40 hours a week. For the second, they’re a bit more consistent. I averaged the answers from the past several webinars and found that PPC managers find keyword research to be the single biggest time sink in PPC (wow, you guys really spend a lot of time on keyword research). This was followed closely by reporting and analysis:

AdWords Reporting Stats

Why do advertisers spend so much time on PPC reporting? Because the available PPC reporting tools are often too complex. You go into AdWords or Analytics to check on a metric and end up falling into a rabbit hole. Two hours later you can’t remember why you logged on in the first place. And the reports you deliver to your manager – or, if you’re an agency, to your clients – are dense, bland, and incomprehensible to anyone who doesn’t live and breathe Excel.

WordStream has always made tools that aim to make keyword research faster, easier, and more effective. Now we’re tackling the second biggest time sink in PPC with our new PPC Success Report. Our new reporting tool creates intuitive visualizations of your PPC results so you can:

  • Save time on reporting and analysis.
  • Better understand your PPC results.
  • Communicate PPC success to your team and your clients.

You can get a quick overview of how it works in the video below:

Where to Find the PPC Success Report

Customers can access the PPC Success Report by clicking on the "Success Report" tab at the top of your WordStream Advisor screen. This instantly generates a beautiful, easy-to-read report full of insight into your account performance.

The PPC Success Report contains three sections, which I’ll talk about in more detail below.

Search Performance Funnel – The Big Picture on ROI

The first section in the PPC Success Report is the Search Performance Funnel.

Google AdWords Reporting

The Search Performance Funnel is a visual representation of key stats including:

  • Budget Spent
  • CTR
  • Conversion Rate
  • CPA

The funnel illustrates how your PPC costs are translating into clicks, conversions, and your bottom line. You can also see the percent change from the previous month and some quick analysis on your numbers – so it’s ready-made to deliver to your manager or client.

Account Health and Trends – Track Progress on Key Metrics

Next is the Account Health and Trends section:

AdWords Reporting Metrics

This section includes some charts and graphs that show you how your impression-weighted Quality Score, click-through rate, average CPC, total cost, and cost per acquisition are trending month over month.

AdWords Reporting Costs

We’ve selected these key metrics to highlight to help you avoid analysis paralysis – too many PPC managers get bogged down in overly complicated AdWords reports and miss the big picture. The PPC Success Report quickly shows you the most important PPC metrics that provide the clearest view of how your account is performing. Used in conjunction with the 20-Minute PPC Work Week, you’ll be able to visualize your progress, then take fast action where your account needs it most, all in about half an hour.

Top Performers – What’s Working Now

The final section is Top Performers, where you can see your best-performing keywords and text ads.

Visual AdWords Reporting

The Keywords subsection includes a word cloud so you can instantly see which keywords are driving the most clicks and impressions.

You can also see total conversions, CTR, CPA and total cost for your top 5 keyword performers.

The final subsection shows you your top performing text ad and provides some quick analysis on how you can improve keyword and ad performance.

Faster, Easier, More Beautiful PPC Reporting

WordStream’s new AdWords reports make PPC management and analysis even easier for small and medium business advertisers and agencies. Let’s review the benefits:

  • Generate beautiful reports with one click – WordStream aggregates all of your account data and constructs a visually stimulating, infographic-quality report that is easy to read and beautiful to behold. No more boring reports filled with Excel charts and tables!
  • Gain fast insight into your account performance – The software reviews the most important aspects of your account and presents that data in an intuitive format so that you can easily understand how your PPC account is performing, and easily communicate that performance to other stakeholders.
  • Quickly identify areas of success and failure – You’ll instantly see where you are succeeding or failing in your account and get actionable advice to ensure future success.

I know our customers are going to love the new reports. I think you’ll love them too! If you want to see them for yourself, sign up for a free trial of WordStream Advisor, connect your account and click “Generate Report.” Let me know what you think!

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Randall Magwood
May 29, 2013

I've never thought of PPC in this way. Typically I only setup a campaign, create an ad, add relevant keywords, and launch. But i've never thought of PPC "science" in this way. Very helpful information.

May 30, 2013

I just tried new success report. WOW, that's really a hit! It definetly saves time, and is such an eyecandy...Thanks!

Elisa Gabbert
May 30, 2013

Eye candy, I love it! Thanks, Rolands!

Shawn McCarthy
Jun 03, 2013

I'm surprised at how much time is spent on keyword research and reporting. The majority of my time is probably spent on the opposite (writing ads).

Aug 07, 2013

hello, is there a way we could use this reports for our customers?automated monthly reports?thank you for info.cheers, moritz

Aug 28, 2013

This looks great but we need rhe ability to choose date ranges, save as pdf and create automated reports

Feb 23, 2014

Thank you for sharing this. It really helping me out to have an overview of Adwords report. Now i do know what report should I include and how to analyse it

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