5 things your Google Data Studio PPC Dashboard must have

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In the event you’re simply getting began with Google Information Studio, you’ve in all probability skilled blank-page syndrome.

You get your knowledge supply linked, open up a brand new file, and you don’t have any thought what to do subsequent.

There aren’t any directions. No information rails. Simply you and an empty web page to fill.

And whereas you can begin with a template (Google Data Studio Report Gallery has a number of), it’s nonetheless powerful to know find out how to customise it to completely suit your wants.

Listed here are some tried-and-true components to incorporate in PPC dashboards and reviews that may banish blank-page syndrome and provides your stakeholders the insights they crave.

1. Titles, subheads and context

If you add a chart in Google Information Studio, you choose the information supply, dimensions, metrics and date vary from the Information Panel to populate your visualization.

However your reader doesn’t see the Information Panel and gained’t know what your chart is about except you are taking an additional step to incorporate it in your dashboard.

The 2 graphs beneath present an identical knowledge visualizations. Determine A consists of solely the chart, whereas Determine B consists of written titles and context.

Determine A leaves questions in your reader’s thoughts that Determine B solutions.

You can also make your graphs and tables simpler to know at a look with the following tips:

  • Give your knowledge visualizations a title.
  • Use subheadings and microcopy for added context.
  • Use legends.
  • State the date vary if it’s not included within the chart. (Notice: “auto” date vary defaults to final 28 days.)
  • If a number of knowledge sources are used all through your dashboard, make clear which is utilized in particular charts.

Find out how to do it:

  1. Add a textual content field and write out your titles and descriptions.
  2. It will open up a “Textual content Properties” panel to edit fonts, textual content dimension, and styling components.

It’s definitely worth the small guide effort it takes so as to add a textual content field and embrace context!

2. KPI scorecards

You don’t want an article to let you know that your dashboard ought to embrace your key efficiency indicators (KPIs).

However when you’re planning out your dashboard, pay particular consideration to the place to incorporate them.

Your KPIs matter most in your report and deserve prime billing.

Which means showcasing your KPIs with scorecards like so:

Not as afterthoughts on the finish of a desk:

Not solely do tables make it laborious to establish KPIs, for languages which might be learn left to proper, tucking KPIs on the far proper of the desk tells your reader these metrics are low precedence.

Hold your reader centered in your key progress metrics like lead quantity, income, or return on advert spend (ROAS), reasonably than self-importance and visitors metrics like impressions and clicks.

Find out how to do it:

  1. Use Chart > Scorecard.
  2. Within the “metric” part of the Information Panel, add your KPI. Repeat as wanted.
  3. Management format and dimension within the Fashion Panel.

Having KPIs seem in tables and different charts isn’t an issue, however give them added consideration through the use of scorecards.

3. Aim pacing

Some advertisers use mounted month-to-month or annual advertising budgets with no room for changes.

Others have gross sales or effectivity objectives they should hit with versatile budgets.

It doesn’t matter what the strategy, your dashboard ought to reply the query:

Are we assembly our aims, and the way do we all know?

Account aims aren’t standardized, and neither is the strategy for together with objective pacing in your dashboard.

Thankfully, Information Studio offers you a lot choices for including aims and pacing, from actually charting in opposition to a objective to including a written description of the goal.

Listed here are some examples of the way you would possibly anchor efficiency to a objective:

Find out how to do it:

  1. Choice: Add a header that states the target
  2. Choice: Use a pacing chart similar to bullet or gauge
  3. Choice: Add a calculated discipline with progress to objective (metric/goal)

Together with objective pacing offers your reader confidence in find out how to interpret efficiency knowledge.

4. Tendencies and historic comparisons

Tendencies and historic comparisons let your reader know if issues are enhancing – or want enchancment – over time.

Possibly you fell wanting the objective, however you at all times miss it as a result of it’s unrealistic.

Possibly you hit your objective, however you’re down in comparison with final yr, and you could take corrective motion.

Don’t make your reader wonder if present efficiency is common, down or “finest month ever.”

Snapshot (single-metric) comparisons

Tables and scorecards offer you a straightforward strategy to present your reader how efficiency for this era compares to a different, utilizing color-coded arrows to point the course of the change (delta).

Find out how to do it:

  • Below “Date vary,” choose your comparability date vary:
    • Fastened
    • Earlier interval
    • Earlier yr
    • Superior
  • Within the Fashion Panel:
    • Management the colour of constructive or destructive change arrows
    • For Scorecards solely, you possibly can choose whether or not to point out absolute or proportion change and whether or not to incorporate an outline of the earlier time interval (comparability label).
    • You too can format Scorecards to show both YoY and MoM comparisons.

Line charts

You will get an entire image of efficiency developments utilizing time sequence charts. 

Fairly than simply evaluating this era to the final interval, you’ve bought a complete historical past revealing developments in seasonality, market influence and extra.

You need to use a steady Time sequence chart (proven above) or designate a comparability time interval.

Right here’s how that very same knowledge seems as a Yr over Yr (YoY) Time sequence chart. Notice that the comparability yr will present as a lighter shade of this era’s line:

One other strategy to present historic efficiency is with a line chart that makes use of a time interval as a breakdown dimension.

This Line chart is from a report evaluating CPCs earlier than and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic:

Find out how to do it:

  • To match two time intervals: Use a Time sequence chart and choose a comparability date vary.
  • To match three or extra time intervals (proven right here for years):
    • Choose a Line chart
    • Set the “Dimension” to Month
    • Set the “Breakdown Dimension” to Yr
    • Set the “Kind” to Month
    • Set the “Secondary type” to Yr

A number of necessary notes for developments and historic comparisons – 

  • Solely use these in your KPIs or metrics that immediately contribute to your KPIs. Don’t add a CTR pattern chart only for the sake of together with a pattern chart.
  • There’s virtually by no means a purpose to point out each day granularity in these charts. Zoomed in that carefully, you’ll miss the sign for the day-to-day noise. Search for developments at a month-to-month degree.

5. Categorical tables

Okay, so tables aren’t that glamorous. 

But when your Information Studio dashboard doesn’t have a desk, one thing’s in all probability lacking.

Why? As a result of there are occasions when your viewers wants to check a number of classes throughout a number of metrics. And nothing does that extra effectively than a desk.

Tables are nice for evaluating default classes like:

  • Campaigns
  • Advert teams
  • Key phrases
  • Search phrases
  • Remaining URLs

And relying on the complexity of your PPC dashboard, you possibly can create tables for:

  • Engines and platforms
  • Channels and networks
  • Funnels / intent / levels of consciousness
  • Model vs. nonbrand
  • Pivots of time segments, conversion sorts, and different classes

Find out how to do it:

  • Chart > Desk (or Pivot desk)
  • Dimension(s): the class or classes you wish to examine
  • Metrics: your KPIs and supporting metrics
  • From the Fashion Panel, you possibly can format your desk to incorporate heatmaps, bars and targets

It’s simple to construct tables and add metrics, and it’s simple to get carried away. Train some restraint and restrict the variety of metrics in your desk, so it stays helpful to your reader.

Bonus: Shiny charts

Our record constrained us to 5 classes, however right here’s one bonus for making it to the top:

Shiny charts.

What are shiny charts?

Shiny charts are visualizations that your viewers loves and will get enthusiastic about, even when they’re not tremendous actionable.

Your readers might not be taught something new, however they’ll really feel like they discovered one thing new.

Maps are an important instance. 

Many dataviz specialists say not to use map charts; there are higher methods to speak location knowledge. 

However attempt to discover a shopper or stakeholder who doesn’t like to see efficiency knowledge on a map. Go forward. I’ll wait.

Certain it’s a bit counterintuitive once you’re making an attempt to construct out an actionable dashboard. Possibly even a bit controversial. And also you don’t must do it. However a chart that makes your viewers really feel good only for seeing it has its personal advantage.

Placing all of it collectively

Whereas your Information Studio dashboard can technically embrace no matter you need, it ought to at a minimal embrace:

  • Title and context
  • KPI scorecards
  • Aim pacing
  • Historic comparisons
  • Categorical tables

These don’t have to (and may’t) all be discrete sections. One scorecard can embrace a title, KPI, pacing, and time comparability.

There are numerous different charts and visualizations that may take your PPC dashboard from good to nice. Getting began with this record will set you up for fulfillment and offer you a dashboard definitely worth the time it took to construct.


Opinions expressed on this article are these of the visitor writer and never essentially Search Engine Land. Employees authors are listed right here.


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About The Creator

Amy Hebdon is a Google Adverts conversion professional and the founder and managing director of the Google Associate company Paid Search Magic. Since 2004, she’s managed Google Adverts for shoppers starting from Fortune 10 to SMBs at companies, in-house, and freelancing. Her articles have been printed in Search Engine Journal, Unbounce, PPC Hero, Supermetrics, Copy Hackers and CXL. Collectively along with her husband James, she additionally runs the Fb group Google Adverts for Savvy Digital Entrepreneurs.

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