Did you just get started with Google Data Studio? Or somebody just suggested that you begin using it, but you are not sure of what it is?
You get your data source connected, open up a new file, and you have no idea what to do next?
There are no instructions, No guide rails, just you and an empty page to fill.
Although you can start with a template (Google Data Studio Report Gallery), it’s still difficult to know how to customize it to perfectly fit your needs.
Here are some tried-and-true items to include in PPC dashboards and reports to avoid blank page syndrome and provide your stakeholders with the information they seek.
Title, subheads and context
When you create a chart in Google Data Studio, you choose the data source, dimensions, metrics, and date range from the Data panel to build your visualization.
However, unless you take the extra step of including your chart in your dashboard, your reader will not be able to see the data panel and would have no idea what your chart is about. To make your graphs and tables more understandable, follow these guidelines
- Make a title for your data visualization.
- For more context, use subheadings and microcopy.
- Make use of legends.
- If the date range isn’t included in the graphic, mention it (Note: auto date range defaults to last 28 days)
- If your dashboard uses many data sources, make sure you know which ones are used in different displays.
Steps to do it
- Include a text box. Fill up the blanks with your titles and descriptions.
- A “Text Properties” panel will appear, allowing you to change text size, typefaces, and stylistic elements.
- It’s well worth the work to include context and add a textbox!
It is not necessary to read an article to learn that your dashboard should incorporate your key performance indicators (KPIs).
Pay great attention to where you want to put them on your dashboard as you design it out. Your KPIs are the most important in your report and should be given priority.
That implies using scorecards to display your KPIs, such as this
Not as afterthoughts at the end of the table
Tables not only make it tough to locate KPIs but tucking KPIs to the far right of the table in languages that are read left to right indicates to your readers that these indicators are low priority.
Instead of vanity and traffic indicators like clicks and impressions, focus your reader’s attention on essential growth indicators like lead volume, revenue, or return on ad spend (ROAS).
Steps to do it
- Make use of the chart>scorecard option.
- Add your KPI to the metric part of the data panel. Repeat as necessary.
- In the style panel, you can adjust the format and size.
Having KPIs appear in tables and other charts isn’t a problem; nevertheless, scorecards can help draw attention to them.
There are advertisers who employ fixed monthly or annual marketing budgets with no room for adjustment.
Some advertisers have sales or efficiency goals that they must meet with flexible budgets.
Whatever method you use, your dashboard should answer the following question
How do we know if we met our objectives?
Account goals are not standardized, and neither is the method for incorporating objective pacing into our dashboard.
Fortunately, Data Studio has a variety of methods for adding goals and pacing, ranging from charting against an aim to adding a written explanation of the purpose.
Steps to do it
- Option: Include a header that states the goal.
- Option: Utilize a pacing chart like a bullet or gauge
- Option: Add a calculated field with progress to the goal (target/metric)
- By giving a goal and pacing, your reader will be more confident in interpreting performance statistics.
Trends and historical comparisons
Trends and historical comparisons allow your reader to see if things are becoming better – or if they need to be improved – over time.
You may fall short of your goal, but you will always miss it because it is unrealistic.
You may meet your objective, but your performance is below that of the previous year, and you must take corrective action.
Your reader won’t be left wondering whether the current performance is ordinary, down, or the “greatest month ever.”
Single metric comparisons
Tables and scorecards make it simple to show your reader how one period’s performance compares to another, with color-coded arrows indicating the direction of change.
Steps to do it
Below the date range select your comparison date range:
- Previous period
- Previous year
In the style panel
Control the colour of change arrows that are positive or negative.
Only for scorecards, you can choose whether to show absolute or percentage change, as well as whether to include a description of the previous time period (comparison label)
Scorecards can also be simply formatted to show both YoY and MoM comparisons.
Using time-series charts, you can get a thorough picture of performance trends.
Instead of simply comparing the current period to the previous one, you should have a whole history that reveals seasonality, market influence, and other trends.
You can also specify a comparative time period or utilize a consistent time series chart. As a Year Over Year (YoY) Time Series Chart, this is how exact data appears.
The point to be noticed is that the comparison period will display as a lighter shade of this period’s line.
A line chart with a time period as a breakdown dimension is another technique to depict historical performance.
Steps to do it
To compare two periods of time: Select a comparison date range using a Time series chart.
For comparing three or more time periods (shown here for years)
- Pick a line chart
- Set the dimension to month
- Set the breakdown dimension to year
- Set the sort to month
- Set the secondary sort to year
Few essential trends and historical comparisons
Use them just for KPIs or measurements that have a direct impact on your KPIs. Don’t just include a CTR trend chart for the sake of having one.
In these graphs, there’s practically never a purpose to show daily granularity. You’ll miss the signal for the day-to-day noise if you zoom in that close. Look for trends on a monthly basis.
Are you one of those that think tables aren’t that attractive?
But when your knowledge Studio Dashboard doesn’t have a desk, one thing in all probability is lacking.
Why? As a result, there will be moments when your viewers must match multiple classes across multiple metrics. And nothing does that better than a table. Tables are useful for assessing default classes such as
- Key phrases
- Advert teams
- Ultimate URLs
- Search Phrases
Tables can be created for the following purposes, depending on the complexity of your PPC dashboard
- Channels and Networks
- Model vs Non-brand
- Engines and Platforms
- Pivots of time segments, conversion varieties, and different classes
- Funnel/intent/ phases of consciousness
Steps to do it
- Dimension (S): the class or classes you need to evaluate
- Metrics: Your KPIs and supporting metrics
- From the Fashion Panel, you may format your desk to incorporate bars, targets and heatmaps
- Chart>Desk (or Pivot desk)
Although your data studio can include anything you want, it should at the very least have the five items listed above.
These don’t have to (or can’t) be all separate parts. A KPI, pacing, time comparison, and title can all be included in a single scorecard.
There are a plethora of alternative images and visualizations that may elevate your PPC dashboard from decent to outstanding. Starting with this list will put you on the right track to success and present you with a dashboard that is well worth the effort it took to create.
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