Documenting the results of pay per click marketing is necessary, regardless of whether you’re part of an in-house team or an agency dealing with outsourced work. The best and most complete way of doing this is via regular reports.

According to Search Engine Watch, there is much discussion regarding the type of data that can be gained to measure PPC progress. However, there is less of an understanding of what data should actually be presented in these reports, and how it should be shown.

Here is a summarized version of some the key items that should feature in a good PPC report:

  • The numbers must have a context – In many cases, PPC reports will simply repeat numbers from web analytics tools and AdWords. While experienced PPC pros will have a good idea of what these numbers represent, they are unlikely to be able to define whether the results are positive or negative without any context.

SEW state: “A good PPC report relies less on the numbers themselves, and more on why the numbers are meaningful.”

Remember to ask yourself questions such as: ‘What knowledge can be you gain from the data?’ and ‘What’s the current situation and what does it mean to the advertiser?’

  • Numbers should recommend – Although in a PPC report you’re effectively reviewing past performance, you shouldn’t ignore looking forward. SEW defines this as: “A good PPC report should include recommendations and plans forward, so the client or boss knows what will happen next.”

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