ppc reporting tips

Whether you run a Pay-per-Click (PPC) campaign on Facebook, Google, YouTube, or Instagram, you pay the platform each time someone clicks or engages with your ads. This means you need detailed marketing reports to help your business understand if you are wasting your marketing dollars.

This report also keeps your marketing agency accountable, so it’s a good idea to know what to expect from a PPC report if you work with an outsource Google Ads or use outsourced PPC services for all of your marketing needs.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to include in a PPC report for your clients. We’ll cover the essential metrics to track, how to present the data, and some best practices to follow.

What is a PPC report?

A PPC report is a document that outlines the performance of your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising campaigns. It includes essential metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), conversion rate, and return on investment (ROI).

The report helps you understand how your PPC campaigns contribute to your business goals and where you can improve. Ideally, you should have a report sent to you each month to show ongoing performance and you can use that report to direct PPC audits each month to optimize your account.

As a small business owner, marketing director, or marketing agency owner, you’ll want to include these metrics in your report to show the value of your PPC campaigns to your clients or stakeholders.

How to structure a PPC report

Your digital marketing plan will guide how you invest your marketing budget, so you need to know if your PPC campaigns are performing at their best. You may use different platforms like Google Search Ads, YouTube Ads, and Facebook Ads for different purposes in your business.

You should expect a general structure for a PPC report to understand how your campaigns are performing. Here is the most common structure that your PPC report should have to provide you with valuable insights:

  • An executive summary: This section provides a high-level overview of the PPC campaign performance. It should include metrics such as total spend, impressions, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), conversion rate, and return on ad spend (ROAS). This section should be concise and highlight the most important findings you can scroll through to get the “5,000-foot view” of your accounts’ performance.
  • A detailed breakdown: In this section, you should receive detailed performance data on your PPC campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. This includes metrics such as impressions, clicks, CTR, CPC, conversion rate, and ROAS. You can also segment the data by device, location, and time of day to gain further insights.
  • Visual aids such as charts and graphs: Visual aids can make the data easier to understand and interpret. The use of bars, lines, and pie charts to show the performance data. Ensure the visual aids are clear, easy to read, and accurately represent the data.
  • Insights and recommendations: This section should provide insights into what the data means and how to use it to improve your PPC campaigns. For instance, consider pausing or adjusting the bids if you notice a particular ad group or keyword performing poorly. You can also suggest testing new ad copy, landing pages, or targeting options to improve the performance.
  • A conclusion: This is the final section of the PPC report, and it should summarize the main findings and recommendations. You should provide a clear call to action (CTA) on the next steps for your PPC campaigns. For instance, if you’re working with a marketing agency, schedule a meeting to discuss the findings and next steps. You could use the findings to make data-driven decisions on your PPC campaigns if you’re a small business owner.

No matter what platform you run ads on, you should expect a regular PPC report showing your ads’ performance. This will keep your PPC marketing agency accountable throughout the month and ensure you use your marketing budget effectively on underperforming campaigns and ads.

The key metrics to include

You need a PPC report that demonstrates the value of your PPC campaigns, especially if you are a marketing agency owner or a marketing director who has to report to clients or stakeholders.

No matter what platform you run paid advertising on, you should include some basic metrics in your PPC reports to show value to your audience and highlight the hard work you and your team are performing.

Campaign goal & KPIs

Before creating your PPC report, you must define your campaign goal and key performance indicators (KPIs). Before a campaign launches, you should work with your PPC marketing agency to understand the KPIs that matter to you, your clients, or other stakeholders.

Once launched for ongoing maintenance, your PPC service provider must agree to the KPIs set, and your PPC reporting should reflect these goals and KPIs.

Key metrics to include in your PPC report may include click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), conversion rate, and return on ad spend (ROAS). It’s essential to have each of these KPIs described to you and then show how each metric supports the goal of your business.


Most PPC campaigns are set up to have customers engage with an ad through a click. While some brand-building campaigns don’t put a lot of weight on clicks, most PPC campaigns do, so you should expect a PPC report to include this metric 90% of the time.

A click is an essential metric in PPC reporting because it represents the number of times a user engages with your ad and is directed to your website. This metric is crucial because it indicates the level of engagement your ad generates and can help you understand the effectiveness of your ad copy and targeting.

Most PPC reports will show the number of clicks generated in a given period (like 30 days) and compare that amount to the previous period. You may also want to display this information over a more extended period to see patterns in the market.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-Through Rate (CTR) is related to the number of clicks your PPC campaign generates, but this metric also considers the number of times the ad was shown on a platform.

While clicks tell you the number of times an ad was engaged, CTR shows you how effective the ad is because you can compare the number of clicks to the number of impressions within a given period.

A high CTR indicates that your ad is relevant and compelling to your target audience. It also means that your ad is generating traffic to your website so you can balance that metric with other considerations as you look at the health of your PPC campaigns.

This metric should be shown using a simple number field: divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions and multiply by 100 to get the percentage. You can also use graphs or tables to show the trend over time.

Conversion rate

Unless you run a branding campaign, you likely want to know how effectively your ads turn clicks to buying customers. This metric is crucial when you run Google Responsive Search Ads, where you pay Google each time someone clicks on your ads.

Conversion rate refers to the percentage of people who take the desired action on your website after clicking on your PPC ad, such as making a purchase or filling out a contact form. This metric is essential for a PPC report because it shows how well your landing pages perform, along with messaging between your PPC ads and your landing page content.

As a small business owner, marketing director, or marketing agency owner, tracking your conversion rate helps you understand how effective your PPC campaigns are in generating leads and driving sales.

You can also compare the conversion rate with other metrics, such as click-through rate and cost per conversion, to get a more comprehensive picture of your PPC performance.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Many metrics and PPC data are used to tell how many people engage with your ads or landing pages, but CPA is a metric that tells you how effectively you spend your advertising budget.

CPA refers to the average cost for each conversion, such as a purchase or a form submission. CPA is essential because it helps you understand how much you spend acquiring each customer or lead.

This metric is helpful because it helps you determine what campaigns are performing better overall, and it is a good indicator to find opportunities to maximize your marketing dollars.

This metric can uncover underperforming campaigns or help you find ads that need to be optimized. It can also help your marketing agency understand if they need to restructure your PPC account or if your landing pages need to be optimized.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

Many marketing agencies and even marketing directors with an in-house team use ROAS to determine how to allocate funds between various PPC campaigns. This is because ROAS is a metric that helps you to measure the revenue generated for every dollar spent in a PPC campaign.

This metric is a central KPI for any campaign because it tells you if your campaigns deliver a positive return on investment (ROI).

This metric can be displayed in your PPC report as a percentage or a dollar value, depending on your preference. Tracking ROAS regularly and making necessary adjustments to optimize your campaigns for maximum returns is essential.

Tips to make a great PPC report

As a small business owner, marketing director, or marketing agency owner, you already have enough reports to consider throughout the day. This is why your PPC should focus on the data clearly and concisely.

If you use Google Ads for small business or you are a larger organization you should make sure that your PPC reporting only includes the essential metrics that align with your business goals and highlight the areas of your PPC campaigns that are performing well and those that need improvement.

A great PPC report can help you communicate the value of your PPC management services to your clients or stakeholders and make data-driven decisions to improve your results.

Tell a story with your data

Data is only as valuable as the story it tells, so your PPC reports will help lay out the data of your PPC campaigns and build a story about performance. This data needs to support your campaign goals and support your business.

How your PPC report is set up will depend on your advertising platforms and overall goals. However, here are a few general guidelines that you should keep in mind as you look at your PPC reports to ensure they help tell a story and give you deeper insight into the performance of how your PPC campaigns work:

  • Illustrate data visually: Numbers can get overwhelming, so your PPC reports must visualize your data to communicate complex information more effectively. Your reports can include different charts or graphs to display your data and ensure it’s easy to read and understand.
  • Provide context: Numbers can lose their meaning if you don’t connect each metric to the larger goal of your business, clients, or stakeholders. Provide background information on your campaigns, target audience, and business goals to make the metrics more tangible than simple numbers on a page. This context can help your audience understand the significance of your data and make better decisions based on your report.
  • Use clear and concise language: Your audience wants to avoid reading a bunch of text when reviewing a PPC report, so make sure you make each part of the report as quick to review as possible. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that your audience may not be familiar with. Use clear and concise language to explain your findings and ensure your report is accessible to a wide range of readers.

Make sure there are clear takeaways

When you hire a PPC agency or outsource with a white-label PPC agency, you must have them provide clear takeaways from the data on a PPC report.

Simply listing a bunch of data is not helpful for your business, your clients, or your stakeholders.

These takeaways should be actionable insights that help them understand how your PPC campaigns contribute to their business goals and how they can improve their results.

To achieve this, highlight the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter most to them, provide context around the data, and offer recommendations for optimization.

By providing clear takeaways, you can demonstrate the value of your PPC campaigns and help your clients or stakeholders make informed decisions.

  • Focus on the key metrics: As discussed, your PPC campaigns must be set up based on pre-agreed-upon points and KPIs. Different metrics may be more relevant to different stakeholders depending on the business goals. Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter the most to your audience and highlight them in your report.
  • Offer recommendations: The report should describe the data and offer actionable recommendations to improve campaign performance. Based on the insights and trends observed in the data, suggest changes to the campaign strategy, such as adjusting the bidding strategy, targeting a different audience, or refining the ad messaging.
  • Offer next steps: At the end of the report, summarize the key takeaways and actionable next steps. This could include a list of recommended optimizations or changes to the campaign strategy. Be clear about what action items you expect the client or stakeholder to take, and set realistic goals for future performance.

Get into a PPC reporting cadence

The only way to prove the value of your PPC campaigns is to provide regular reporting and recommendations. If you are a small business owner, you should expect to receive a PPC report each month. The same is true if you outsource Google Ads management, and you should always expect to have a regular cadence for PPC reporting to show your clients or stakeholders.

A weekly or monthly report can be an excellent starting point for your reporting cadence. If you are spending $10,000 or more a month on PPC, then you should expect to receive a weekly report, but if you are spending a small amount each month, a monthly PPC report should be good enough for your needs.

This cadence will also vary based on your industry, PPC platform, and target audience, but the bottom line is that you should expect a PPC report to be sent to you frequently.

Check against industry benchmarks

It can be difficult to know if PPC advertising works for your business, but you can look at performance metrics from your industry to determine how you compare to your competitors. You can find useful information in the Google Ads Auction Insights report to help understand how your ads perform compared to your competitors.

Industry benchmarks provide context for your metrics and help you understand how you perform compared to your competitors. By comparing your metrics to industry benchmarks, you can identify areas where you’re underperforming and make data-driven decisions to improve your campaigns.

For example, if your click-through rate is below the industry average, you may need to improve your ad copy or targeting. Including industry benchmarks in your PPC report can help you provide a clear and comprehensive overview of your performance and show your clients or stakeholders that you’re committed to achieving the best possible results.

Here are some quick tips for Google Ads management to consider as you look to have competitor benchmarks in your PPC reports:

  • Identify the right industry benchmarks: If you’re running Google Ads for a B2B software company, you might look at the software industry or B2B advertising benchmarks.
  • Use reliable sources for your industry benchmarks: Include reputable sources when you add industry benchmarks, such as Google Ads benchmark data, industry reports, or reputable third-party sources.
  • Highlight areas of success: Be sure to highlight where you’re performing better than industry benchmarks and where you’re falling behind. Use this information to form your recommendations for the next steps to show that your ads adjust to market trends. This can help you show your clients or stakeholders where you’re excelling and where you need to focus on improving.
  • Use industry benchmarks to set realistic goals: The only way to show your campaign performance is by using realistic goals for your campaigns and tracking your progress over time. By setting benchmarks for your campaigns, you can make data-driven decisions to improve your results and achieve better ROI.

Be transparent

Transparency is key when it comes to creating a great PPC report.

It’s important to be open and honest about the performance of your PPC campaigns, even if it’s not as good as you hoped. Transparency builds trust with your clients or stakeholders and shows them that you have their best interests in mind.

You should expect each PPC report to be clear about the goals, the metrics tracked, and the results you achieved. Don’t hide any issues or challenges you face; instead, provide solutions to improve your campaigns.

Being transparent in your PPC reporting can help you establish long-term relationships with your clients or stakeholders and achieve better results in the future.


PPC reporting is critical to your digital marketing strategy, providing insight into your campaigns’ performance and helping you make data-driven decisions.

By understanding the key metrics and utilizing PPC reporting tools, you can successfully optimize your PPC campaigns and drive more leads and sales for your business. Remember, the more you know about your PPC campaigns, the better your results will be.

Are you looking to maximize your online marketing ROI? StrategyBeam’s outsourced PPC management solutions are designed to help businesses of all sizes drive more leads and sales through targeted, data-driven campaigns. Once you have lots of data from your campaigns, you can use AI to manage Google Ads by writing better headlines, descriptions, and CTAs based on the data you collect and report on.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your goals!

PPC Reporting FAQs

PPC reporting is the process of analyzing and presenting data related to your pay-per-click advertising campaigns. This includes metrics like clicks, impressions, conversions, and ROI.

A PPC report should include a summary of campaign performance, key metrics, trends over time, and insights for future optimization. It may also include competitor analysis and recommendations for improving ad copy, targeting, or bidding strategies.

The frequency of PPC reporting depends on the goals of your campaigns and the size of your budget. At a minimum, you should receive a monthly report, but more frequent reporting may be necessary for larger campaigns or if you are making frequent changes to your ad strategy.

About the Author: Chris

Chis is the Lead Strategist at StrategyBeam with over 19 years of marketing know-how up his sleeve. He loves transforming business marketing campaigns into success stories by boosting efficiencies across all campaigns. When not strategizing, he can be found laughing at the monkeys at the zoo.

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