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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Playing Favorites … Which PPC Platform Has The Best Reporting Features?

I spent a good part of the weekend creating and looking at PPC reports. I am hip deep (easy to happen with my [not so] grand stature) evaluating the existing PPC accounts of new clients. I want an overview of how their campaigns are setup and organized. I’m looking at:

  • How many campaigns with each PPC engine?
  • How many adgroups with each campaign?
  • How many keywords are associated with each adgroup?
  • Which page are they using for their landing page?
  • Are URLs defined at the keyword level?
  • What kind of keyword matching are they using?

When I get the foundation down, I’m going to start looking deeper at Keyword bids, CTR, Conversion Rate, and Cost/Conversion. I want to pull all this information into one workbook so I can take a look at everything all in one place. It’s simple enough to open data from the .csv with Excel, but it’s a matter of getting the report to include all the information I want before I export to the .csv.

I spent a long time playing with the different reporting options with each of the engines. Essentially I was using the keyword performance reports, they come the closest to giving me everything I need. Google’s AdWords Reporting Center is by far my favorite. I like that I can choose which columns display or not. If the same feature exists in Yahoo! SearchMarketing I didn’t find it. MSN adCenter gives me a little more control, but I still like Google AdWords best.

Yahoo! SearchMarketing and MSN adCenter are harder to work with. I couldn’t find where I can get the URL to display with the keyword, the adgroup or the campaign. Another feature I like from Google AdWords (and MSN adCenter as well), is that you can export directly to a .csv file. I don’t like having to export the Yahoo! SearchMarketing to a .zip and then have to unzip. Why can’t I just open the file?

We were asked which is our favorite PPC engine, and AdWords beat the pants off everybody. I’m curious to find out what BUILT IN reporting tool is favored. What is your favorite reporting tool – and why? I like the flexibility of AdWords reports.

Max Speed

If the Pole Position Marketing team had a muse—and it does—it would be Max Speed. We love Max’s occasionally off-color, usually amusing and always pointed “Maxisms.” (Maybe “Maxims” would be a better word.) Max gives voice to some of the things we think but, bound by professional decorum, aren’t permitted to say. At least, not out loud.

2 Responses to Playing Favorites … Which PPC Platform Has The Best Reporting Features?

  1. Igor M. says:


    You’re right about AdWords. I find that AdWords is the easiest to use. AdCenter is very slow and broken up into parts that don’t always go together.

    When looking into the PPC campaign I find that it’s crucial to tie your Search engine ad data to the data you get from your 3rd party tracking providers (Indextools, ClickTracks, etc). A high CTR is great but what happens when all these people get to the landing page?

    A very hight bounce rate? Well maybe it’s not the keyword but the ad that’s misleading.

    I always look into the bounce rate, time spent on site, conversion, referring domain (google search might be good, but check out their partners who might be contributing a lot to the high bounce rate) and few other indicators that help me tweak my PPC campaigns.

  2. Diana Adams says:

    Hi Igor –

    I really think that Yahoo has my least favorite built in reporting tool. Second party tools always give much more information like bounce rates, unique vs new visitors, pageviews and time on site, but that is a topic for another post (and a good topic at that!)