How to Talk About PPC Results with Your Boss

Posted by on Jun 28, 2017 in Advertising, Reporting
How to Talk About PPC Results with Your Boss

PPC industry terms and acronyms can seem like a foreign language to those not managing digital media.

It’s important to translate how performance metrics impact overall business goals. Slim your reports down to the key metrics that matter, and explain trends in common terms.

Report on PPC Metrics in Common Business Terms


From an outsider clicks don’t seem all that valuable. Is it unique clicks? Clicks to what exactly? Describe these are active searchers, who were looking for your industry, product, or service and were interested to learn more.

Use instead: Web Visitors


This indicates the total amount of money the company owes for running ads. But, what is it in relation to? The C-suite allots budgets to departments based on performance and goals. How does this expenditure relate to your monthly/ quarterly/yearly budget? 

Use instead: Budget spent or spend


This is a broad universal term used for when a goal is achieved. How is a conversion defined in your business? Replace the word conversion with your objective:

  • Lead generation for sales
  • Email address capture
  • E-commerce purchase

Use instead: Lead, sign-up, or purchase

Cost Per Conversion

Is this relative cost high or low? Some conversions are worth thousands, others worth a few dollars. Use a more descriptive term to easily gauge value.

Use instead: Cost per lead, cost per form fill, or cost per sale.

Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)

This formula reveals the net revenue gained from your ad campaigns.

ROAS = (Revenue – Cost) / Cost

Use instead: Return on investment (ROI)

This is how your CEO/CFO reports company health to the company, board, or investors. Don’t just provide the percentage – also include a ratio. Ex: 300% ROI. Or, a 3:1 return. Currently, every $1 spent is yielding $3 in return on average.

Tips for a Good MonthlyReport

1. Provide a highlight summary at the top

  • Include bullets on performance trends of the most important metrics.
  • Sum up performance across channels, accounts, and campaigns.
  • Include next action steps.

2. Visualize performance trends in graphs

Your CFO and you might love seeing all the raw data, but for others, it’s time consuming and hard to draw conclusions.

Appeal to visual learners by showcasing a slice of data within a graph.

AdWords Conversion Trends

Provide additional context with the graph. 

Example: Within this graph, you can see that total lead volumes have been increasing (total conversions), while the average cost per lead (cost per conversion) has been declining since May.

3. Explain how your results impact the business as a whole


Include other department insights or metrics if available. Examples:

Goal: Lead Generation

Over the past 3 months we generated 95 additional leads on the same budget, compared to the last quarter. This has translated into 60 additional sales demos ran, netting 15 new sales, totaling $105,000 in new revenue.

Goal: E-commerce

The warehouse manager noted there is a large stock of chainsaw inventory sitting in the warehouse for months. We created new chainsaw campaigns with promo discount pricing to move more products. The campaign sold 65% of the overstocked inventory, netting $85,000 in revenuespending just $35,000 of our total monthly budget.

Wrap Up

Remember, the executive team often is faced with making complex decisions with limited time. Whittle your report down to the essential viewpoints they can understand quickly. Finally, explain how paid media initiatives are aiding the company’s top line growth and net profits.

AdStage Report CTA

What Makes a Good Monthly PPC Report?

Posted by on Jun 27, 2017 in Reporting
What Makes a Good Monthly PPC Report?

Take Your Monthly PPC Reports from Good to Great

PPC reporting is a necessary evil in our line of work. Though nearly all of us would much rather be making campaign optimizations based on all the data we’ve accrued, it’s important that we’re sharing with stakeholders and able to convey what’s going on to them in a meaningful way.

So what actually makes a good PPC report? It’s not terribly difficult, but it’s easy to put together just a mediocre report if you’re not paying close attention. Great PPC reports require some foresight and a little effort upfront to ensure they’ll have maximum impact. Let’s walk through some of the most important aspects that I try to focus on with each report I send out.

Start with the End Reader(s) in Mind

Before you begin to build your reports, it’s important to think about the recipient. More than likely they have their own areas of focus and style of communicating. Before you strike your first key or make your first chart, ask yourself questions that can help drive what your end product looks like:

  • Who is the recipient of this report?
  • Are there multiple levels of personnel I need to convey information to?
  • What is important to the recipient(s) and what do they to want to know?
  • What is important for them to know, whether they’re interested in it or not?
  • What questions will they have about what I’m presenting and how can I answer them?
  • What level of knowledge does the end user have? Can you utilize industry jargon or do you need to explain things more explicitly?

This certainly isn’t a complete list, but each of these guiding questions can help you determine what should and shouldn’t be in your reports and how you convey that information. For the remainder of this post, I’ll show you the questions I hear in my head while I’m putting together my monthly reports based on a fictionalized client to ensure I’m covering my bases.

Call out the portions in the data that are important to each stakeholder. (If you don’t, they’re just going to ask you about them later.) For a CMO, you might stick to higher level discussions about account trends, competitor trends, and ad messaging. For a fellow Marketing Manager, you might be better off digging further into the details and zeroing in on a couple specific areas of focus for them.

That said, your reports shouldn’t just include pandering information. It’s also critical to call out things that are important to account performance, whether they want to hear them or not. Use your expertise to identify important positive/negative aspects of the performance and address them in the report. Who knows, maybe one of these days folks will stop worrying about tenths of percent changes in CTR when CPA is fluctuating by 20%.

Visualize What’s Most Important

In a perfect world, our report recipient would have endless time to read, review, and digest the amazing reports we’ve put together for them. And some people might make that time. But most will not. I’ve found it valuable to make the top two to three takeaways from the month into visuals.

You might be saying, “But I already use charts to highlight the data in my report”, and that’s great! But odds are you’re showing some iteration of clicks vs CPC, conversions vs CPA, or ROI compared to average order value throughout the month. And you’re showing that every month. Again, that’s great and can be valuable, but it’s not what I’m referring to.

Similar to calling out your recipients focus areas, find a way to visually represent the top pieces of the month. If you’ve been trying to make non-brand search a larger share of the budget and you made some good strides this month create a before and after style pie chart calling out the progress. This might not be a permanent staple of all your reports, but it’s important for this month and something you want to make sure your client/boss remembers.

Pro tip: it’s important to make sure your visuals are telling the right story. Check out this post to get a little insight about making valuable charts.

It’s the Data, Stupid

It’s fairly obvious that it’s hard to have a great PPC report without the actual data, but it’s even harder to have one that doesn’t make a couple of pretty common mistakes. Let’s go through the two biggest mistakes with data in PPC reports.

Data Dumping


Just because you have lots of data doesn’t mean you have to throw it in people’s faces. The people you’re reporting to don’t have time to dig through the data like you do. That’s why they hired you in the first place. Distill things down to what they need to know. In my mind that consists of the following:

  • A high level summary of important metrics that show how your efforts are performing overall.
  • Breakdowns of channel statistics and performance.
  • Insights into campaign groups within channels when applicable (i.e. Retargeting vs Search vs Display).
  • Top performing ad variants and keywords.
  • Insights into specific tests of interest.

That’s about it. Otherwise, you run the risk of including so much data that someone simply can’t wade through it all and come out the other side with a concise understanding of what happened. They’ll be all over the place.

If there are other areas of interest that are frequently discussed, like top performing geographies or mobile insights, then certainly look to include those. As we’ll cover a bit more here in a moment, you want to include the stats that the stakeholder is interested in, but be conscious of data dumping and don’t throw data at them just for the sake of doing it. Include the high level, things that need action, and the points they care most about and leave everything else for another day.

Leaving Out the Goals

More than likely, when you began the month there were clear goals as to what you wanted your campaigns to achieve. If you’re not calling those out in your report and whether you crushed those goals or fell short, then your reporting needs to have a change in focus.

If you’re needing help figuring out how to add goal numbers, there are a couple different ways.

In the Data Itself

Create some charts that show your PPC goal metrics

Create some charts that show where your goal metrics are and where you ended up, then call out the surpluses or deficits. Sometimes it can be very easy to just add an additional column to a table or a new chart to the report to directly, visually compare actual performance to goals.

In the Written Portion of the Monthly Report

“In May, we spent a total of $73,136 (1% below goal of $74,000) and generated 1,283 conversions (7% over goal of 1,200) bringing our end demo CPA to $57 (7% below goal of $61.50).”

You can also include them in a written portion of the report. This can be a bit easier since it won’t require additional formatting, but can be more easily overlooked by your recipient.

It’s not so much important as to where you put them, it’s that they’re included and a major point of the report.

Give Context to Your Data

Numbers without context are effectively meaningless. It’s up to you to provide the context so your client/boss can understand what you’re showing them. Be sure you’re making clear, high level context to what the numbers mean and what that means for your accounts.

Outline the Strategy Changes and Their Impact

Each report should call out what your actual strategy was for the month.

  • Did you decide to launch new channels?
  • Were there changes to your call to action?
  • Did you decide you want to be in position 1 no matter what?
  • What things were different last month that would have impacted the stats?

If you’re not calling out the changes made you’re losing context as to why the numbers are what they are.

Draw Conclusions About the Strategy

If you’re not drawing conclusions about strategies, you’re leaving it up to your client or boss to do it, and that’s not their job. That’s your job. Draw conclusions about the strategies based on the data and context you’ve provided.

Did your strategies work?

Did they fail?

Somewhere in the middle?


Call Out Outside Influences, Unforeseen Problems

Best laid plans

Your strategy isn’t the only thing that can greatly impact performance. Were there delays getting the strategy in place? Did an outside force affect your campaigns and either give your efforts a boost or squash them?

It’s important to give context around the things outside of your control but that influenced performance. Again, without this you’ll be painting an incomplete picture and leaving the recipient wondering why things were so different without a good enough reason.

Compare to Historical Performance

Although you’re tying numbers back to goals for the month, it’s also important to keep an eye on bigger trends. Great PPC reports should include some form of historical data to provide trend insights.

Some examples would be:

  • Month over Month: good for showing recent fluctuations in performance.
  • Year over Year: important if seasonality is in play and more recent comparisons won’t yield true comparisons.
  • Rolling 3 or 6 months: great for showing a long term trend in a positive or negative direction.

Each of these has their role to play, but again, don’t include too much data. Find the historical reference that’s most important for the particular month and focus there. In future months you can call out other ranges if needed.

Ok, What’s Next?

If you’re a fan of The West Wing, you’ll know that one of the famous quotes from President Bartlet is “What’s next?” It sounds simple enough, but in the context of the show, it’s full meaning was “I’ve understood what you’ve said and I see where we’ve been. Let’s close that chapter and move on. What are we going to do next?”

I’ve always felt that the folks who completely ‘get’ PPC would have similar discussions with me about their PPC reports. “I understand the full picture of last month’s performance and findings and how that compares to the past. Now what are we going to do next month to make things even better?”

All great PPC reports should end by looking forward to the future. Based on everything that’s come prior in the report, what are the strategies for the following month? Do we need to stay the course or make big swings in strategy? How are you going to improve performance next month?

If you’re having regular calls with your client/boss, odds are you’ve already begun discussing strategies for the future. Those should also be included in this section of the report. Discuss what you’ll be testing and why you’re giving that strategy a shot. Bonus points if you can tie any future strategy pieces to the specific stats in the report.

Writing a great PPC report isn’t rocket science, but it’s certainly not something that can be done on autopilot. Spend a little time upfront to fully understand your audience, then craft the report in ways that are meaningful to them and don’t just drown them in data.

Lastly, give them a full understanding of where they’ve been and where they’re going. They’ll appreciate the extra effort, you’ll like that they start paying more attention to the report you’ve worked so hard on, everyone wins. And isn’t that what we’re all after anyway?

AdStage Report CTA

Quick Guide to Amazon’s Advertiser Audiences

Posted by on Jun 26, 2017 in Advertising, Reporting
Quick Guide to Amazon’s Advertiser Audiences

Amazon Announces New Lookalike Audiences Tool

Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is intriguing news that’s been covered by just about every major media outlet, but the company quietly announced another addition to its capabilities in the past few weeks. One that marketers may find even more exciting.

Amazon, in its blog post, describes Advertiser Audiences as “a new self-service capability that allows advertisers to securely engage their customers and extend campaign reach on and off Amazon.” If you haven’t yet considered Amazon as an advertising channel, this could be a good time to start testing.

Advertiser Audiences allows you to reach existing customers – of which Amazon says case study participant Burt’s Bees saw click-through rate increase by 2x, consideration rate increase by 9x, and purchase rate increase by 4x to 8x – but the real power lies in creating lookalike audiences. To do that, advertisers anonymously match a list of their customers with Amazon shoppers to create new targeting segments to use in Amazon advertising campaigns.


Pros of Advertiser Audiences

Unlike other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest, people looking at Amazon are the farthest along the funnel, and couldn’t be closer to a purchasing decision. This allows marketers to shape messaging accordingly. Instead of spending time and money on ads that inform, educate, or interest, messaging can be much more blunt and aggressive.

While you won’t get direct insight into Amazon’s customers, campaign results, if interpreted correctly, will reveal behavioral data for those people who have made it nearly all the way through the funnel. This information can inform future advertising decisions, even outside of Amazon campaigns.

Cons of Advertiser Audiences

Currently, Advertiser audiences is not an easy-to-use, intuitive platform. It’s a manual process that unless you’re experienced (or very patient) may require agency assistance.

As mentioned above, the tool will help you reach lookalike audiences, but don’t expect a huge dump of data in return. Some analysts have described Amazon’s advertising offerings as “black-box,” and this one is no exception.

Only Amazon advertisers (advertisers placing buys directly with/through it) have access to the channel and can use it only for their Amazon campaigns.


Advertiser Audiences In Action

Amazon worked with Burt’s Bees to test and ramp up Advertiser Audiences. Over the last holiday season, Burt’s Bees wanted to focus on their gift packs and stocking stuffers. Using Advertiser Audiences, they discovered 68% of their website customers also used Amazon for online purchases. They used that info to build a lookalike segment and saw that matched customers purchased 4x more.

How to Get Started

Though technically Advertiser Audiences is a self-serve platform, Amazon suggests you contact your account exec to get started. Pay close attention as he or she walks you through the process so you can take over from there and not have to depend on someone else to launch future campaigns.

As part of Amazon’s terms to use Advertiser Audiences, you will need to anonymize your customer email list using either a self-service user interface or if you know how, you can pre-hash your list before submission. (A search for “SHA256 generator” turns up quite a few encryption options. SHA256 refers to the algorithm that carries out the anonymizing).

AdStage Report CTA

Data Visualization: When and How to Use Graphics for PPC Reporting

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 in Advertising, Reporting
Data Visualization: When and How to Use Graphics for PPC Reporting

Technology, an increasing demand to squeeze the most out of every minute, and the desire to objectively present information are driving our world to become ever more visual. Whether in news media, on social, or in daily business reports, there exists a need for detailed information to be presented and understood quickly.

You probably deal with mounds of data every week, but it’s often hard to sort through what really matters, and when it does, how to effectively tell a story with the numbers. No doubt you’ve come across a graphic before that either didn’t make any sense or did little to present information in a way that illustrated a point. Visualizing data isn’t always necessary, but when used correctly at the right time, can be crucial in getting your point across.

Reasons To Use Data Visuals In PPC Reports

Popping a graphic or two into a report can give it a professional look and save space where’d you otherwise need to use a bunch of text, but before you go drawing up a complicated line graph, make sure there’s a valid reason for the graphic. A few of the more obvious include:

  • Presenting and understanding complicated info quickly – Your client just sent a request for week over week CTR data for each active social platform going back 6 months. Instead of dumping it all into an Excel sheet and leaving them to decipher it, a simple graph can tell a story that might otherwise need a thousand words.

adstage CTR by week

  • Highlight emerging trends – Laying all the data out in a visual manner is often the easiest way to predict where certain trends are headed. If you’re seeing a bump on a piece of creative featuring a certain style of your retail client’s denim, you could use a data visual to help them see why another look at their website promotions and store layout could be an effort with a huge payoff.
  • Spot overlaps and patterns – Let’s say you’ve been A/B testing creative and you want to show your client why they should funnel their budget into creative A, even though they love creative B. A line graph could help show the disparity between the two pieces, and the power of reallocating the budget to the winning creative.

You don’t want to spend time on a meaningless graph, but you also don’t want to miss the opportunity to include valuable information that tells a powerful story. Make sure there’s a compelling reason to visualize a chunk of data and it’ll be a natural part of your report.

When To Use Certain Visuals

Pie charts, line graphs, bar graphs, Venn diagrams. Just hearing that list can bring back middle school memories of math class. Sometimes it’s obvious which chart type is most appropriate, but other times – not so much. Figure out what the goal of your chart is, and you can easily discern between which to use.


If you have many key players referring to the data, and each will be interested in his or her own piece, a table or metric is a good call. In this example from the NY Times, a table is used to show how common certain birthdays are, based on how many babies were born on that date between 1973 and 1999.

While it’s interesting to see how your birthday might compare to another one, you’re likely only looking for information that pertains to you and then moving on. One thing to note is that unlike other data visualization options, a table won’t bring your audience to an immediate conclusion, rather it will simply organize and present the information for reference.

how common is your birthday


The very structure of a line graph is set up for data to be shown over time. In this interactive chart from USA Today, four bar charts show why Apple recently cut the price of the iPad – starting with declining market share, then slipping quarterly sales, declining tablet shipments, and finally a comparison to other tablet manufacturers. The first three graphs are shown on a year over year scale, helping highlight the iPad’s rise, plateau, and decline – a strong indication it’s time for Apple to make decisions to reverse the drop in sales.

google table market share

Tailored Visualization

Depending on what you’re trying to present, a traditional chart might not do the job. If that’s the case, you have to get creative. Time does a great job categorizing and then visualizing the daily routines of famous creative people in this interactive chart.

daily routines of famous creative people

How To Use Data Visualizations

No matter what type of data visualization you’re using, you must set the narrative. On a basic level, all graphics should be correctly titled, and all data clearly labeled. Providing the right context will help avoid misinterpretation of objective data.

AdStage’s Report product takes care of all of that for you, and helps you generate better PPC reports in minutes. As we highlighted in a previous post, the cross-channel dashboards in Report offer customizable widgets for advertisers to select the data set and the visual components of the dashboard, such as tables, metrics, graphs, and charts.

How to Easily Bring All Your Marketing Data into One PPC Report

Posted by on May 30, 2017 in Product Updates, Reporting
How to Easily Bring All Your Marketing Data into One PPC Report

Introducing New Report Table Upload Widget!

View data from your CRM, Marketing Automation apps, BI tools, and billing systems in a single PPC report

Your customers frequent across many different channels, devices, and touchpoints. Understanding how to pull different levers in the buyer’s journey is crucial to driving successful ad campaigns.

Advertising data reveals great insights into performance metrics such as conversions or web actions (such as a form fill). But, analyzing ad metrics in a silo doesn’t reveal how cross-channel campaign performance impacts deeper business metrics such as lead quality, opportunity size, and revenue (sales).

Add Custom Tables to Your PPC Reports

Now you can add custom data tables to your PPC reports for a 360° view of campaign performance. Table uploads give you the flexibility to compare ad performance data with your CRM, marketing automation tools or third party data in one report.

Quickly add any table Excel, csv or Google Sheets to visually present ad performance down the marketing funnel, and better understand campaign impact on ROI. For example, you can include metrics such as email, organic, event, and sales data to round out your ad campaign reports.

Add Custom Tables to Your PPC Reports

Try Manual Upload Tables

How Can Custom Tables Help Your PPC Reporting Workflow?

(1) Measure Return on Ad Spend by Opportunities Closed

  • Drop in your monthly opportunity and revenue reports from Salesforce into your cross-channel reporting views.

(2) Track Top-of-Funnel Conversion Trends

  • Pull a campaign level performance report from your marketing automation system to see the landing pages or content driving the most conversions from your campaigns.

(3) Get a 360º View of Cross-Channel Top Performers

  • Add in metrics from other channels, such as email, event, or organic social performance data.

(4) Add Custom Tables with Google Sheets

How to Get Started with Custom Tables

(1) Select the ‘Table Upload’ widget in any existing or new report dashboard.

How to Get Started with Custom Tables

(2) You can upload your table three ways

  1. Drag csv or xsl file from your computer and drop it in the widget creation flow
  2. Click ‘Upload’ button and choose your csv or xsl file
  3. Paste a shareable Google Sheets link in the provided fieldAdStage Report Custom Table Upload

(3) Click ‘Save’ and you’re all set!

Wrapping Up

Table uploads give you the flexibility to combine ad performance data with your CRM, marketing automation tools or third party data in one report. Take the internal business / customer data you’re already collecting in your marketing automation tools and CRM, and add it alongside your ad performance data for a deeper understanding of impact and ROI.

Go ahead and give AdStage Report Table Upload a try

What’s New in AdStage: May

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Automation, Product Updates, Reporting
What’s New in AdStage: May

Welcome to the May edition of What’s New in AdStage! We spent the last month building a ton of feature enhancements in Report and Automate.

Let’s take a look at the latest and greatest in Report and Automate below👇.


Bring All Your Marketing Data into One PPC Report

New Table Upload Widget

Take any excel, csv, or google sheets data table you have and upload it directly to Report!

Use Table Upload Widgets to Help You:

(1) Measure Return on Ad Spend by Opportunities Closed

  • Drop in your monthly opportunity and revenue reports from Salesforce into your cross-channel reporting views.

(2) Track Top-of-Funnel Conversion Trends

  • Pull a campaign level performance report from your marketing automation system to see the landing pages or content driving the most conversions from your campaigns.

(3) Get a 360º View of Cross-Channel Top Performers

  • Add in metrics from other channels, such as email, event, or organic social performance data.

(4) Add Custom Tables with Google Sheets

  • Customize your reporting views using Google Sheets to show data from your custom formulas. When uploading a table from Google Sheets, you’ll always have the most recent data – no need to worry about data accuracy problems 🙌 .
  • Get step-by-step help with Google Sheets 👉  How do I upload a Google Sheet into Report?

Save Time Creating Reports with Dashboard Settings

Set Default Data Source at the Dashboard Level

Now you can choose to view data from specific account groups, accounts, folders, campaigns, ad groups, or ads at the dashboard level by setting a ‘Data Source’.

The data source you select in the dashboard settings, will now be the default level for any newly created widget.

Filter Your Performance Data Views Faster

New Widget Creation Layout 

The widget fields now have natural language making it easier to breakdown performance data by any level of your ad account, and uncover deeper KPI insights from your reports.

New Widget Creation Layout Filter Performance Views via

Easily Identify Top Performing Networks at a Glance

We Standardized Network Colors!

Now when you create a cross-network widget, you’ll see each network has a standardized color. These network colors will be consistent across all dashboards and reports.

Standard Network Colors AdStage Report via

Standard Network Colors AdStage Report via

See Your Copy Next to Your Ads in Performance Tables

Add Headline, Image, and Description Columns to Ad Tables

We added the ability to see ad creative next to performance metrics,  so you can diagnose which creatives are working, and what’s not, faster.

Add an ad level table widget to your reports for a side-by-side comparison of winning headline, image, and description combinations.


Sequence Ads Together to Tell Your Brand Story

New Automate Flighting Feature!

Drum roll please……introducing the latest addition to Automate: Flighting!

Now you can show campaigns, ad groups, and ads in an ordered sequence to reach your target audience at every buying stage (resulting in higher CTRs and conversion rates🤑 ).

Top Direct-Response and Brand Awareness Flighting Strategies

(1) Funnel-Based Storytelling

  • Increase CTR and conversion rates using a specific series of sequenced ads to walk potential customers down the purchase funnel with relevant call-to-actions.
  • For example start with a brand awareness message (Step 1), product information / value proposition message (Step 2), and finally use a targeted CTA to convert potential customers via signup form or make a purchase on product page.

(2) Prime-and-Remind Storytelling

  • Use different ad formats to both “prime” people with the brand’s story using video ads, and “remind” people of the video narrative with display ads.

(3) Progressive Promotions

  • If you are running a promotion with different percentages off per week, you can flight your ads to show accurately and timely.
  • Easily schedule specific times to run your first week 10% Off Promo (Step 1), second week 20% Off Promo (Step 2), and third week 30% Off Promo (Step 3).

Have questions about Flighting? Check out the full product update for Flighting templates and getting started guides.

Let Your Alerts Do the Optimizing for You

Convert Performance Alerts into Optimization Rules with Just One-Click

Now you can easily convert your existing alerts into rules to automate the same actions you’re already taking on your accounts after you receive an email notification.

AdStage Automate Convert Alert into Rule via

Automate Convert Alert to Rule AdStage via

Your converted rule will have the same conditions as your alert, but now you can specify an optimization condition to apply once the rule is triggered. In other words, you can save yourself a ton of time on performing tedious management tasks.

Common Alert → Rule Use Cases to Save Time & Boost Results

1. Avoid Wasting Spend on High CPA Ad Sets

  • IF Cost Per Result > $100 AND Spend > $250
  • Using Data from Last 30 Days
  • THEN Pause Ad Set
  • Run Every 6 Hours
  • RUN & EMAIL results

2. Pause Low Performing CTR Ads

  • IF Status is Active AND Impressions > 5000 AND CTR < .05%
  • Using Data from Last 7 Days
  • THEN Pause AD
  • Run Every Monday at 10am PST
  • RUN & EMAIL results

3. Maximize Your Daily Budget

  • IF Spend < $15
  • Using Data from Today
  • THEN Increase Bid Amount by 30% with Max. Bid = $10
  • Run Daily @ 2pm PST
  • RUN & EMAIL results

Common Alert → Rule Use Cases to Save Time & Boost Results via

Wrapping Up

We always love hearing from you! Let us know what you think about the May product updates in the comments below.

P.S. Want to check out the full product release?

Visit our product updates portal, where we’ll be keeping you up-to-date with the latest and greatest from the AdStage labs!

Crash Course on Facebook Reports: Part 1 – Organic Results

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in Reporting, Social
Crash Course on Facebook Reports: Part 1 – Organic Results

Oh boy, have Facebook reports have come a long way. If you can remember back to 2013 (when “poking” was still the rage), you’ll probably recall the hours you spent pulling reports for data that, today, feels incredibly simple. Just four years ago marketers were relying on demographics information that only went as deep as age and gender.

Today, Facebook can tell us a lot more about current and prospective customers, what and how competitors are doing, and provide real-time updates on content performance. Part of Facebook’s goal to bring value to advertisers through data is a more robust reporting hub called Facebook Insights.

Any business page with 30+ fans will automatically populate an Insights tab. Find yours by navigating to your Page, then look for the Insights tab at the top. There, you’ll find interactive charts and graphs under five main topics:

  • Overview
  • Likes
  • Reach
  • Posts
  • People

Let’s look at the information you’ll find in each category and how you can use it to your advantage.

Facebook Organic Performance Overview

This section is the quickest way to get an overall look at your Page’s performance. Here, you’ll see data over the past seven days for three main points:

  • Page Likes: Total and new likes
  • Post Reach: Total number of unique people who looked at your Page and posts
  • Engagement: Total number of unique people who engaged with your Page, and a breakdown of the types of engagement

When you’re in Overview, you’ll also see your five most recent posts, and a snapshot of how each performed, including type of post, targeting, reach, clicks, engagement, and spend. You can click on individual posts for detailed information, or navigate to the other category tabs to get a look at Likes, Reach, and Engagement across all posts for the timeline you specify.

From Overview, you can access another helpful tool called Pages to Watch, which shows you what similar businesses are posting, and how their posts are doing. Getting a look at what the other guys are posting can be a powerful springboard for your own creative.


This report is exactly what it sounds like, but goes beyond simply recording total Likes. It offers handy information on what’s effective in getting people to Like your page. As you move your cursor around on the Likes graph, you’ll discover you can drill down into daily activity to see the number of Likes you got on a specific day.

Facebook Reports For Organic Results

Use the data selector to pull Likes for a longer span of time, and scroll down to get a look at unlikes, organic likes, paid likes, and net likes (likes minus unlikes). It’s from this graph you can determine where your Likes are coming from – directly from your Page, from Page suggestions, or paid ads. This helps you determine what’s working so you can do more of it.



Pull a report from this section to learn everything these is to know about what happens to a post or ad once it’s published. That includes users who looked at your Page through organic or paid efforts, post engagement through Likes, Comments and Shares, and negative actions through Hide, Report as Spam, and Unlikes.

Outside of your own efforts, you can also see any activity related to your page, like posts from others referencing your page, mentions, and check-ins.

Anytime you’re trying something new with your content strategy, like posting at a different time of day or increasing the frequency of posts, you’ll want to keep a close eye on activity under Reach. Use the date slider to compare before and after to see if your changes are effective.


This tab will look similar to Overview, but you can get a more in-depth look at individual Post performance here, including the ability to sort by engagement for a clearer look at your strongest posts. The coolest part of the Posts tab is “When Your Fans Are Online,” which shows you when your audience is logged into Facebook.

The best time to serve up posts is when your audience is most likely to see them! Keep this data close the next time you’re scheduling posts.

Crash Course on Facebook Reports For Organic Results: Part 1 via

Next to “When Your Fans Are Online” is “Post Types,” where you can get a snapshot of how your different post types perform, based on reach and engagement. Make a note of what’s doing the best, then scroll down to individual post data where you can use the drop down arrows at the top right of the table to look at reach between fans and non-fans and positive and negative engagement. Dissect the top-performing creative according to this criteria to come up with new ads that are likely to do well.


The information you get in the People tab is one of the major reasons Facebook continues to give advertisers the most bang for their buck in comparison to other social platforms. A detailed profile of engaged customers is one of the most valuable pieces of information a marketer can get, and that’s exactly what shows up in the People report.

Within the tab, you’ll see three breakdowns for “Your Fans,” “People Reached” and “People Engaged.” Your Fans shows you gender, age, and location of the people who’ve liked your Page. People Reached gives you an overview of who’s seen your posts in the past 28 days. People Engaged is the real goldmine.

This report lets you see who has Liked, Commented on, Shared your posts or Engaged with your Page in a 28 day period. This information gives you an idea of who you’re already resonating with so you can tailor future posts to speak to this audience profile.

Facebook’s Insights hub gives you reports for two other elements – Page Visits and Video – which aren’t as statistically important as the other reports but can be beneficial, depending on your goals.

Visits shows you the number of times each tab on your Page was viewed, and the number of times people visited from a website off of Facebook. It’s always a good idea to have your Page updated with accurate details to help customers quickly navigate to the info they need.

The Videos section gives you an idea of how engaging your videos are, including how many times your Page’s videos were viewed for 3 seconds or more, and and the number of times your videos were viewed for 30 seconds or more. You can also sort by most viewed videos.

Clearly, Facebook reports have changed drastically in just the past few years and will continue to seek deeper information and offer actionable insights. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we discuss Facebook Reports: Paid Results!

Have PPC expertise to share? Join us for a guest post!

Have PPC expertise to share? Join us for a guest post!

Write for The AdStage Blog

Have an opinion about Facebook’s newest feature release? Want to share your tips on managing Demand Gen teams in modern agencies? Think you have a game-changing hack for optimizing your AdWords campaigns? Then we’d love to have you write a guest post for our blog. We’re always looking for fresh perspectives from the sharpest minds in search and social digital advertising to provide our audience with actionable, in-depth content that helps them better plan, execute, optimize, and report on their PPC campaigns.

A few of our favorite guest posts to date include:

How to Write an AdStage Guest Post

  • Submit your contact information and your blog post idea in this Google Form. Please allow us 7 business days to get back to you.
  • Next, once we give the go-ahead, send us a full draft of the post in google doc format. Include images! Please allow us 7 business days to review and provide edits/feedback.
  • Include a bio (50 words max), include 150 x 150 high-res photo of yourself.
  • After final edits are made and the post is approved, we will queue it up in our content schedule.
  • Lastly, we will let you know the publish date and time so you can co-promote on the launch date.

Who are our ideal guest post authors?

We accept pitches from PPC marketers of all stripes. Whether you’re working in an in-house, agency, or consultant role, everyone brings unique perspectives that are valuable to our audience.

You should have at least a couple years of experience in the PPC world. Previous pieces in published on other high-authority blogs are a plus.

Which Topics Do We Cover?

Our audience consists of data-driven marketing directors, in-house PPC managers/specialists, and PPC agency marketers from around the world. The types of articles that do well with our readers include:

  • Anything to do with planning, organizing, or executing PPC campaigns or accounts.
  • Specific Ad Network features digital advertisers can take advantage of to get the most bang for their buck (top Ad Networks include Facebook, Instagram, AdWords, LinkedIn, Bing, and Twitter).
  • How-to guides for medium to advanced PPC professionals.
  • Bonus points for focusing on PPC reporting or automation!
  • Tips for PPC Reporting for Agencies, A/B testing, Conversion Rate Optimization, Automation, B2B Lead Generation, PPC Landing Pages, Ad Creative, Re-Targeting–if it’s PPC, are all great topics!

Guest Post Requirements

  • Your post must be at least 1,000 words.
  • You must propose a target keyword.
  • We request that you use the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to come up with your headline, and submit one with a score of at least 65.
  • Your post must be original content.
  • If your post is published, we’ll ask that you respond to all comments for the first seven days after it’s posted.

What’s in it for you?

  • Exposure to our ever-growing audience of PPC experts
  • A potential feature in our weekly newsletter
  • Shoutouts from AdStage social media accounts
  • A chance to share your expertise and build your reputation as a PPC thought leader

We look forward to hearing from you!

Have PPC expertise to share? Join us for a guest post! via


The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting

Posted by on Apr 4, 2017 in Reporting, Social
The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting

With more than 400 million daily users, Instagram is one of the world’s largest social networks, behind only Facebook and Whatsapp.

It’s no surprise, then, that Instagram’s ads sales are growing like crazy.

In 2017, it’s estimated that three quarters of American companies with more than 100 employees will start using Instagram to grow their business.

The reason why so many companies are using Instagram ads is simple: it’s good for business.

According to Shopify, Instagram posts have a 1.08% conversion rate, which, compared to Twitter (0.77%) and Pinterest (0.54%), makes it one of the best in the industry.

Also, Instagram users spend on average $65 per referred sale which, compared to Facebook ($55), and Twitter ($46.26), makes it the highest converting social network.

You probably already know this. That’s why you got started with it some time ago.

The key question then becomes, how do you measure the results of your ad campaigns? How can you ensure you’re stacking up to and even exceeding these industry averages?

The answers lie in this guide to Instagram Ad Reporting.

Start with Your Goals

If you want to measure your Instagram ad performance, you first need to be clear on what goals you are trying to reach with your campaigns. This isn’t just a theoretical idea; your Instagram ads depend on the goal you have defined for your campaigns, since the metrics for which you measure the success change with each goal. Otherwise, your metrics will be skewed from the moment you begin your campaign.

Since Instagram ads are under the Facebook ad campaign structure, the goal-setting process for the two are very similar. The only difference is that when you create Instagram ads, you can only choose from 7 of the 11 available goals:

  • Brand awareness: Useful to increase your follower rate
  • Reach: Best used when trying to put an ad in front of as many people as possible
  • Traffic: Great to get more clicks to your website
  • App installs: Useful only if you have an app
  • Engagement: Relevant if you want to increase the number of likes and comments in your publications
  • Video views: Useful only if you have videos
  • Conversions: Best used for e-commerce stores and software business that want to optimize their campaigns for conversions (like lead generation, sales, and signups)

Once you’ve chosen your goal, you can then move to analyze the results of your campaigns to see how they have performed.

Customize Your Instagram Ad Reporting

When analyzing an Instagram ad campaign, the first mistake some people make is using the standard reports that you can find on the Ads Manager or Power Editor. The problem is, most default reports aren’t nearly as effective as the ones you create just for yourself, as they use very standard metrics that may not be relevant to you.

Instead, consider creating a custom report that fit your exact needs.

First, go to the Ads Manager, and click on your campaign.

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting + via

Next, in the Ad Set level, you will see all your ad sets with their basic performance metrics. These metrics are based on the standard “Performance” column arrangement, which in most cases is good to start, but not relevant enough.

instagram ad reporting

To change the order of the columns, you will click on the “Columns” drop down.

instagram ads

Once you do that, you will see the list of column arrangements that Facebook recommends. You can then click around and see what other metrics they show. Some of the best ones you could use (although aren’t recommend) are:

  • Performance: Results, Reach, Costs, Amount Spent, etc.
  • Delivery: Reach, Frequency, CPM, Impressions, etc.
  • Engagement: People Taking Action, Reactions, Comments, Shares, etc.
  • Video Engagement: Impressions, 3s Video Views, Cost per 3s Video Views, etc.
  • App Engagement: Mobile App Installs, Mobile App Actions, Cost per Mobile App Install, etc.
  • Carousel Engagement: Reach, Frequency, Impressions, Clicks, etc.
  • Performance and Clicks: Results, Reach, Cost, etc.
  • Cross-Device: Website Actions, Mobile Apps Install, Website Action, Conversion Value, etc.

These column orders won’t necessarily be relevant for you. That’s why you will likely want to go to the bottom of that list and click on the “Customize Columns” button.

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting + via

Once in there, you will have to select the columns you feel are most relevant to you. I can’t tell you exactly which ones you should use. I can, however, recommend which are most suited for each goal:

  • Brand awareness: Reach, Frequency, Impressions, Cost per 1,000 people reached, CPM
  • Reach: Reach, Social reach, Cost per 1,000 people reached
  • Traffic: Cost, Link Clicks, CTR (Link), CPC (Link)
  • App installs: App installs, Mobile app installs, Cost per app install, Cost per mobile app install
  • Engagement: Post comments, Post engagement, Cost per post comments, Cost per post engagement
  • Video views: 3-second video views, 10-second video views, 30-second video views, Video watches at 25%, Video watches at 50%, Video watches at 75%, Video watches at 95%, Video watches at 100%, Video average watch time, Video percentage watched, Clicks to pay video, Cost per 3-second video view, Cost per 10-second video view, Cost per click to play video
  • Conversions: Total conversion value, Adds to cart, Checkouts, Leads, Cost of Adds to cart, Cost of Checkouts, Cost of Leads, Adds to cart conversion value, Checkouts conversion value, Leads conversion value

The columns you should always plan on using are the “Results,” “Relevance Score,” and “Amount Spent,” as they give you a good idea of how the whole ad set is doing.

Now, let’s say your Instagram ad campaign’s goal was to increase your brand awareness. The first thing you would do once you are in the “Customize columns” is select the most relevant columns:

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting + via

Arrange the columns in the order you prefer and click the “Apply button”. Then, click the “Columns” button once again, and where you see the “Custom” button, click the “Save” link.

instagram ads manager

Give it a name that’s relevant for you and click “Save.”

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting + via

You can use this same report to analyze your campaigns and your ads. This is an important piece to remember, as in many cases an ad set’s bad performance isn’t related to bad targeting or bids, rather it’s due to the fact one ad is bringing the whole ad set down, and skewing your analysis.

With that report created, now it’s time to start analyzing the data it shows you.

Analyze the Results

Depending on the objective you chose when you started your campaign, your analysis will be focused on different metrics and goals.

In the example used before, if you created a brand awareness campaign, your goal would have been to get the highest reach and most impressions for the lowest cost per thousand impressions possible (CPM). As a consequence, you should follow how those specific metrics perform as the campaign goes. If those metrics don’t perform well enough, then you will have to adjust your ad sets’ bid, your ad’s creatives (image, headline, description), or even change the campaign’s goal.

The same thought process needs to be applied for each of the 7 goals and the metrics recommended for each one. As mentioned before, you should use your report to analyze your whole campaign (or campaigns, if you have more than one), your ad sets, and your individual ads.

Look for big differences of performance between ad sets and ads. If one ad is performing much better than the rest, think what could be causing that. Could it be the targeting? Or could it be the bid? Perhaps you need to cycle in fresh creative? Whatever it may be, write it down, and create a new ad set or ad (depending on what you are analyzing), and double down on what you think works. Then, come back and see if you have replicated the good performance. If so, keep scaling until you stop getting the results you’re looking for.

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Ad Reporting via

Today you have learned how to create simple reports for your Instagram ad campaigns. Now it’s time you start playing around with different column arrangements, dig the data and analyze the results.


5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Reporting, Search, Social
5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights

Google Analytics is the undisputed market leader when it comes to analytics insights for business. It is estimated that Google Analytics is present on over 50 million websites. That’s 1000% wider coverage than the world’s second favorite, Yandex Metrics. Smart marketers and salespeople are using Google Analytics add-ons everyday to improve their insights and find actionable steps with their data.

Google lists its technology partners here, but it’s not the easiest place in the world to find in a Google search (funnily enough). Therefore, we’ve surfaced five beneficial Google Analytics integrations to take your analytics to the next level and milk the business benefits without the need for lots of research and legwork.

CallRail – Enables you to track which marketing campaigns result in which prospects calling you

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via

What does CallRail do?

CallRail is a self-service app that enables marketers to track calls from online and offline marketing campaigns, view which campaigns are driving the most conversions, and record calls for lead qualification. Their call tracking software can reveal what exactly is driving phone call conversions, which is massive for showing ROI on marketing and advertising campaigns. Their app also uses voice intelligence technology to automatically analyze the content of a call to determine if it’s a lead or not in real time.

How does it work?

CallRail has a free 14-day trial and, to get started, you just copy and paste one line of JavaScript on any webpage with a phone number. Sounds technical, but it’s very simple. CallRail works by displaying a campaign-specific tracking phone number to each visitor on your website. Website visitors dial the number, CallRail forwards the call, and you answer your main phone like you usually do. As a result of all this you get a much better and more accurate overview of online and offline marketing campaigns, and find out what’s leading to new business opportunities.

Leadfeeder – Uncovers the website visitors who don’t fill in contact forms so you can sell to them

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via

What does Leadfeeder do?

There are many potential customers browsing your website but the vast majority leave without giving their contact info. Typically for B2B companies it’s around 98%. Leadfeeder is a simple web app with a free 30-day trial, and it connects to Google Analytics to show you these missed leads; all in a couple of clicks. Leadfeeder also connects to CRMs like Pipedrive and Salesforce so salespeople get new web leads straight to their pipelines.

How does it work?

Leadfeeder is all about providing sales leads from Google Analytics. Most salespeople aren’t using Google Analytics and Google Analytics isn’t designed for easy B2B lead generation, but one thing’s for sure: salespeople are forever in search of good leads. If B2B organizations are not capitalizing on interesting companies visiting their website then sales teams are missing out.

Content marketing is all about driving traffic to your website but the vast majority doesn’t convert, which leaves marketing people with the headache of finding leads elsewhere and sales people sending cold emails to companies that have never heard of them. Leadfeeder notes on their website that companies that have heard are you are about 400% more likely to become customers. The great thing about Leadfeeder is that you can be 100% non-technical and are still able to sign up and benefit.

Live Site Search Visualisation – A dashboard visualizing live search activity on your site

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via

What does Live Site Search Visualisation do?

This dashboard allows you to visualize user search activity on your site using colorful tiles. Search data is pulled from your site using the Real Time Reporting API, which allows the data to be available as people are performing searches on your website. By visualizing the searches, you can track what people are looking for on your website. It’s a dream for content marketers because it can flag any gaps in your content.

How does it work?

It’s free, so simple and there’s absolutely no need for any technical knowledge to get started. Imagine these bright colors flashing up on your office widescreen giving your content writers and customer champions ideas for how to be better converting website visitors and serving existing customers throughout the day. It’s just a simple few clicks to get started and you’ll see up to 25 searches on colorful tiles at once. You can even see Google searches.

Wordsmith for Marketing – Wow your clients with awesome reports without all the work

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via

What does Wordsmith for Marketing do?

Wordsmith for Marketing automatically creates sophisticated, white-labeled client reports for marketing companies. They reckon that on average this saves four hours per report which over a month can amount to a saving of $12,000 for a typical agency. By proving an agency’s ROI in no-nonsense English, their hope is that it gives the feeling of getting a personalized report directly from a human analyst.

How does it work?

It takes five minutes to set up Wordsmith for Marketing and it’s as simple as giving them access to your Google Analytics data. At that point you also add your branding, like logo and colors, so when reports are generated for you automatically, they look unique. From this point on, a lot of time is saved. They pull data from Google Analytics and AdWords and break down how each channel drives conversions. This comes in the form of detailed written notes, tables, and charts; stuff that – according to the agency’s reviews – even “sophisticated clients love.”

The good news from a time-saving perspective is that reports can be scheduled and automatically sent to clients every week, month, quarter, or time period of your choosing, and reports can cover all of an agency’s efforts, including SEO, advertising, social media, and content marketing. On top of this, marketing agencies can review the entire report before it goes out: edit every word, add charts and tables, and add a custom conclusion.

AdStage – Build, schedule and customize your Google Analytics reports

5 of the Best Google Analytics Integrations to Improve Customer Insights via

What does AdStage do?

AdStage is a self-serve, cross-network, online advertising platform with full management and analytics for campaigns across search, social, and mobile ad networks like Google AdWords, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter Ads.

“The Google Analytics integration in AdStage is a huge step toward our grand vision of consolidation for the online advertiser, as we bring the variety of workflow solutions into a single platform,” said Jain. “We’re helping advertisers create, track, and measure campaign performance with a simple self-­serve interface through direct and external data integrations, furthering the idea of an open platform.”

How does it work?

The Google Analytics integration allows users to build, customize and schedule report from within AdStage. The integration will continue to develop to offer a more capabilities for measuring revenue and attribution performance across channels — Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter — along with support for auto-tagging, custom columns and other features.

Once you perfect your template, schedule it as a recurring report through email. Add your team members or clients with ease. Send reports daily, weekly, or monthly with simple scheduling options.


Are you using Google Analytics integrations? What are some of your favorite add-ons and tools? Let us know in the comments or reach out on Twitter @adstage.