Getting the most out of your Google account dashboard
Every PPC manager and their team will tell you that one of their top priorities is finding an easier way to gather and understand ad campaign data.
Metrics are what fuel budgeting and decision-making, so quickly visualizing, understanding, and reporting on data is crucial to success. If you’re running Google Ads campaigns, you’ve probably already heard about the Google account dashboard.
In this post, we aim to teach you more about Google dashboards in order to help your team better analyze performance statistics, gain insights, and spot issues and opportunities within the numerous accounts managed on a daily basis.
Google account dashboards and their advantages
First of all, what exactly is a dashboard? A dashboard is a business intelligence tool that stores and displays data for an easy-to-interpret overview of business information. The main purpose of dashboards is to provide insights and drive decisions.
For Marketers using Google Ads, the Google Data Studio is where marketing and advertising dashboards can be created. Google defines their dashboards as a “visual and customizable summary of your account’s performance data”. It’s where you can view all of your performance data in one spot, in different formats: scorecards, charts, tables, and notes.
There are numerous benefits to adding Google dashboards into your toolkit:
- Google Data Studio is free and has unlimited reports (although only 10 reports per dashboard).
- It provides a central location for data collection and measurement, while still being completely customizable for your business needs.
- Collaborate on dashboards with other administrators or email/download your dashboard to share it with others.
- Google offers extended data management options: Data can be pulled from hundreds of sources, data is updated in real-time or can be customized by date range, and different data types and formats can be used.
- Typically, reporting is where marketing teams struggle the most. Take the stress and hassle out of your monthly reporting duties by connecting all data sources and setting up automated reports.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to start gathering and measuring data, a Google account dashboard is the perfect place to begin!
How to set up a Google Dashboard
It’s extremely easy to create a new dashboard, following these 5 steps:
- Sign in to your Google Ads account.
- Click the reporting icon at the top of your account.
- Select Dashboards.
- Click the plus button to start your new dashboard.
- Add a scorecard, table, chart, or note.
Setting up data and reports can be a headache for even the most experienced marketers. Luckily, Google makes it easy with hundreds of pre-built templates for marketing and more. Some of the most popular marketing reports include the Account Health report, Adwords report, YouTube Channel report, and Google Ads Auction Insights, among others.
Once you’ve chosen an in-built template or added your own charts, you can customize the layout and theme according to your brand and business needs. Rearrange and resize reports on the grid. Choose from different visualization methods. Then, you’re all set and ready to go, as long as all your data points are connected (more on that below).
Finally, as previously mentioned, anyone with access to your Google Ads account can view and collaborate on these dashboards… in real time!
Google Account Dashboard Best Practices
Before you jump in, there are a few best practices you should keep in mind to make your dashboards effective from day 1:
- Connect all data sources to Google: What good is a dashboard without the right data coming in? The first thing you want to do when creating a dashboard is connect all your systems, like your CRM and advertising campaigns, for example. Google Data Studio integrates with over 250+ connectors, including Google Ads, Google Analytics, Quickbooks, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Shopify, and more.
- Design your dashboard with KPIs in mind: It’s not enough to connect all your data sources and choose a few pre-built templates. You need to think about your overall objectives and build dashboards around the most important metrics to inform decisions. One tip: always keep ROI in mind. According to FiveStones, “insights extracted from your dashboard can be used to drive cost efficiency savings of up to 30% and increased revenue of up to 20%”.
- Customize for all involved stakeholders: Who will be reviewing these reports? You and your team or clients and superiors? Depending on who is going to see your dashboard, set it up in a way that’s easy to understand with minimal time and effort, and that answers their questions. It has to be practical and easy to extract insights, otherwise viewers won’t pay attention or won’t be able to gleam any insight from it.
- Pay attention to the design elements of your dashboard: You can enhance the user experience by using filters, hover effects, colors, sizes, and different visualization types (including line graphs, Gantt charts, heatmaps, time plots, tree maps, etc.) To customize your Google Data Studio report elements, choose the chart you’d like to change and click on “Style” on the right-hand menu.
- Customize your dashboard data: First of all, customize data according to date range; for stakeholders, they might want to see a monthly account, whereas your team may be looking at stats daily or weekly. Furthermore, use data control options to choose which data source you’re using for each report; select the source from the drop-down list to change and compare. Check out calculated fields to perform calculations on your data for even more insights. And don’t forget about Google’s predictive analytics capabilities for comparing actual data and predicted results.
- Deliver marketing reports on time: Never again forget to turn in a marketing report or skip a reporting cycle because your team is too busy to collect and analyze data. Use Google Data Studio’s scheduled delivery option to send recurring reports, with Google automatically refreshing the report data for each time period.
With these 6 tips in mind, you’ll not only create visually stunning and highly customized dashboards for your team and stakeholders, but you’ll also save so much time and effort on reporting and analysis.
What’s not included on Google Dashboards
With hundreds of templates and connectors, you’d think that Google would have everything covered. Unfortunately, that’s not the case and you will need some supporting tools if you really want to round out your data reporting capabilities.
Quality Score Dashboard
Quality Score is crucial because it determines the level of adequacy and relevance reached by your ads. It gives a key indication about how relevant your ads are and how well they’re likely to succeed. But Google doesn’t offer the possibility to analyze Quality Score and its factors over time using historical data and this makes it hard to see whether your changes are actually effective or not. Luckily, Orbital Ads has created a powerful dashboard capable of collating and displaying the 3 Quality Score components over time. Furthermore, while Google only reports on Quality Score at a keyword level, Orbital Ads has found a way to batch the values of the scoring in different clusters for a faster identification of variations across different levels (campaign, ad group, account, etc.).
The main purpose of analyzing your results is to establish improvements that will either correct a negative move or help boost a positive one. But Google Dashboards are limited to the observation part, making the whole optimization process more complex than it could actually be. Our Watchers allow you to compensate for that! Not only do they give you the opportunity to evaluate the status of your account and key indicators, but they also allow you to directly take action on those presenting any kind of discrepancies. That way, you maintain higher control over your performance analysis and streamline the optimization processes.
The search for easier reporting is over! Use Google account dashboards in combination with tools from OrbitalAds to organize and understand your ad campaigns’ metrics. You and your team will soon be on your way to more effective decision-making and more successful Google Ads campaigns.