5 issues your Google Looker Studio PPC Dashboard should have

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If you happen to’re simply getting started with Google Looker 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 concept 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 Looker Studio Report Gallery has a number of), it’s nonetheless robust to know tips on how to customise it to completely suit your wants.

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

1. Titles, subheads and context

If you add a chart in Google Looker Studio, you choose the info 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’re taking an additional step to incorporate it in your dashboard.

The 2 graphs beneath present equivalent knowledge visualizations. Determine A contains solely the chart, whereas Determine B contains written titles and context.

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

You may make your graphs and tables simpler to know at a look with the following pointers:

  • Give your knowledge visualizations a title.
  • Use subheadings and microcopy for extra 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.

Methods to do it:

  1. Add a textual content field and write out your titles and descriptions.
  2. This can open up a “Textual content Properties” panel to edit fonts, textual content measurement, and styling parts.
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It’s well worth the small guide effort it takes so as to add a textual content field and embody context!

2. KPI scorecards

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

However whilst 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:

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Not as afterthoughts on the finish of a desk:

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Not solely do tables make it onerous to determine KPIs, for languages which can 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 targeted in your key development metrics like lead quantity, income, or return on advert spend (ROAS), reasonably than vainness and visitors metrics like impressions and clicks.

Methods 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 measurement within the Type Panel.

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

3. Purpose pacing

Some advertisers use mounted month-to-month or annual advertising and marketing 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 method, your dashboard ought to reply the query:

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

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

Happily, Looker Studio offers you a lot choices for including goals 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 may anchor efficiency to a objective:

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Methods 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 tips on how to interpret efficiency knowledge.

4. Developments and historic comparisons

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

Perhaps you fell wanting the objective, however you all the time miss it as a result of it’s unrealistic.

Perhaps you hit your objective, however you’re down in comparison with final yr, and you might want to take corrective motion.

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

Snapshot (single-metric) comparisons

Tables and scorecards provide you with a simple approach 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).

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Methods to do it:

  • Below “Date vary,” choose your comparability date vary:
    • Mounted
    • Earlier interval
    • Earlier yr
    • Superior
  • Within the Type Panel:
    • Management the colour of optimistic or adverse change arrows
    • For Scorecards solely, you possibly can choose whether or not to indicate absolute or share change and whether or not to incorporate an outline of the earlier time interval (comparability label).
    • It’s also possible to format Scorecards to show both YoY and MoM comparisons.

Line charts

You may get a whole image of efficiency developments utilizing time collection charts. 

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

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

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

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One other approach 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 through the Covid-19 pandemic:

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Methods to do it:

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

A couple of essential notes for developments and historic comparisons – 

  • Solely use these on 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 cause to indicate day by day granularity in these charts. Zoomed in that intently, you’ll miss the sign for the day-to-day noise. Search for developments at a month-to-month stage.

5. Categorical tables

Okay, so tables aren’t that glamorous. 

But when your Looker 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 match 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
  • Ultimate 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 varieties, and different classes
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Methods to do it:

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

It’s straightforward to construct tables and add metrics, and it’s straightforward 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 tip:

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 could not study something new, however they’ll really feel like they realized one thing new.

Maps are an awesome instance. 

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

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

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

Placing all of it collectively

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

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

These don’t must (and may’t) all be discrete sections. One scorecard can embody 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 achievement and provide you with a dashboard well 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 here.


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About The Creator

Amy Hebdon

Amy Hebdon is a Google Adverts conversion skilled and the founder and managing director of the Google Accomplice company Paid Search Magic. Since 2004, she’s managed Google Adverts for purchasers starting from Fortune 10 to SMBs at companies, in-house, and freelancing. Her articles have been revealed 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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