Custom reports are very powerful and can be incredibly helpful for any and every PPCer at any level.
What can it do?
Instead of utilizing one of our Template Reports, you might want to create a report that will suit your specific requirements. PPC Robot’s custom reports are incredibly robust and allow you to generate reports in ways never before made available. Not only are there many report types, but you can also utilize our custom metrics and apply them over more report types. In addition, you can setup one or more custom notifications to have all important information regarding your accounts sent directly to you. The possibilities are really endless, but for now we will show you the basics of how to setup your own custom report, and how to make the most out of the output.
Step by step guide to setup custom reports
Step 1: Select custom report
From the Reports overview screen in PPC Robot, click on “+ Create A New Report” and then select Custom Report.
By default the Google Ads system tab is selected, so be sure to switch to Sklik if that is the system you are using.
Step 2: Choose report type and name sheet
One great thing about custom reports is that you can choose from many different report types, from Account Performance to Keywordless Query Performance. For now we will just focus on Campaign Performance for this guide, but be sure to check out the report types page for more specific information about each type.
Another great thing about custom reports is that you can have multiple sheets in each report, which will translate to sheets in the Google Sheets or Excel output. And in each of these sheets you can have a different report type with completely different metrics, settings, and notifications.
In order to name the sheet, double click on “Sheet 1” and type in whatever you would like to call the sheet, for example “Campaign”. Then click the the check mark to confirm.
To add another sheet, click the "+" button on the right side to create a new tab/sheet.
Step 3: Choose your metrics
In addition to all the standard Google Ads API metrics, you can also utilize some of our custom metrics for your custom report. Each report type comes pre-loaded with the basic and most common metrics (including segments and attributes), but from there you can add or remove them to suit your needs.
To add a metric to the report, simply click on the search field and start typing the name of the metric. Then click “+ Add To Report”.
Or, if you aren’t sure what you are looking for by name, you can click on “Show All” and see a list of all available metrics by category with descriptions. Once you have found the right metric, simply click and drag it to the list on the left.
You can also click and drag to rearrange the metrics in the left column. This is the order that the metrics will appear in your report. For this example, we’re going to remove the Network and Device attributes, rearrange some of the metrics, and add some of our custom sparkline and trend metrics.
Step 4: Include rows with zero impressions
Just below the metrics selection box you will see an option to select “Include rows with zero impressions”. This is very helpful if you want to see data included in the report that hasn’t had any impressions for the selected duration. For example, if you would like to know which campaigns are not performing due to some error or for any other reason, you will want to check this box. By default, PPC Robot does not include data in the reports when there are zero impressions.
Step 5: Freeze rows and columns
If you click on the drop-down arrow next to “Freeze Rows and Columns” you will see a check-box (that is already checked) which says “Freeze rows containing table header”. This is the default because we think it is very helpful when you have a lot of data but you want to see the first row which contains the column names. Under this check-box you will be able to enter the number of columns you would like to freeze. This is helpful if you have many metrics, and therefore many columns, and you always want to see the first column or columns. For example, if the first metric you selected is Campaign and you freeze 1 column, in your output whenever you scroll to the right the campaign column will remain visible.
Please note, in Google Sheets, row and column freezes are only applied when a new sheet is created. If you need to change frozen rows and columns after the sheet has been created, then you must change them in the Google Sheets interface.
Step 6: Filter
By default, PPC Robot will include the necessary filters for the report to function correctly. So in this example, we will only see data for campaigns that are enabled.
However, you can also run the report for campaigns that are paused or removed; or you can remove this filter altogether and add the “Campaign Status” metric which will include all campaigns and allow you to sort and filter in the report.
You can add as many filters as you would like as long as they work together without creating any errors (PPC Robot will let you know if an error will occur). Simply click the “Add Filter Field…” box under “AND”and search for or start typing the name of the metric you would like to filter by. Then select the operator, and select or fill in the condition. Some conditions are drop-downs while others are fill-ins, and some can even be compared with another field (i.e. CPC Bid < 1 x First Page CPC - in the Keyword Performance report type).
If you change your mind about a filter, simply click the “x” in the red box to the right of the filter to delete it.
Also, any filtering done in the report output (for Google Sheets only) will be saved even after the report is updated with new data. So, in this way, you can apply filters in both PPC Robot and Google Sheets. Keep in mind that PPC Robot filters out the data before the report is generated so that it is not included in the report, whereas doing filtration in the report output will retain all the data, even the data that is filtered out. For more on this see the output section below.
Step 7: Sort (optional)
You can pre-sort the data so that when you open the report output it is already sorted how you prefer. For example, one very popular way to sort is descending by cost.
With PPC Robot, you can utilize multiple levels of sorting. So, for example, you can initially sort descending by cost and then descending by conversions.
Unlike filtering, any sorting done in the report output will not be saved, and the sorting settings here will override or reset the data when the report is run again.
Step 8: Set duration
From the drop-down menu select the duration of time for how far back the data will go. You can select all of the standard durations (i.e. All Time, Today, Yesterday, This Week, This Month, etc.), and you can also utilize our custom date range where you specify how many days or weeks you would like the data to go back.
Please note, if a metric has a specific duration specified in it’s name or description, then the duration you select will have no effect on that metric.
You can use this to your advantage by selecting a date range that is not covered in the metric and including the default metric along with the other date range metrics to see how the data has changed over time.
For example, you can set the duration to 90 days and include the metrics CPA, CPA 30 days, CPA 7 days, CPA yesterday and in your report you will have 4 CPA columns right next to each other with data from the last 90 days, 30 days, 7 days, and yesterday for easy comparison.
Step 9: Setup conditional formatting (optional)
Conditional formatting allows you to quickly identify positive or negative trends in your data, and with PPC Robot you can add as many custom conditional formatting rules as you would like. Simply click on the Conditional Formatting drop-down menu and select the metric you would like to focus on. Keep in mind that you can only select from metrics that you currently have included in the report.
Then, in the next drop-down menu, select the formatting type, either Gradient or Condition. If you select the gradient type, you will get a series of drop-down menus that allow you to customize the Start, Middle, and End values to fit any desired outcome. The default, which gives you a nice gradient between the highest and lowest value, is seen here:
Gradient type formats the data in the selected metric’s column by comparing all the data in the column and applying the color based on the number of impressions (highest = green, middle = orange, lowest = red, with gradient colors in between).
If you select the Condition formatting type, you will get a series of drop-down menus that allow you to specify the condition (<, <=, >, >=, =, !=, Is Between), the value, the background color, and whether or not the data will be in bold.
The Condition formatting type can be very useful in, for example, easily spotting which accounts have zero impressions, which can mean a depleted budget or another urgent problem.
Once you have created a conditional formatting rule, simply click the “Add Formatting Rule…” drop-down under the first rule to add as many additional rules for other metrics as you desire.
Step 10: Setup notifications (optional)
PPC Robot is able to notify you, not only within the UI, but via email as well when a specified situation occurs in a report (see the Notification Center page for more information).
There are three options in the Notifications drop-down menu - “If the table is not empty”, “If the table is empty”, and “If the table contains at least … matching rows”. For this guide we will use the third option only, but for more on notifications see our Custom Notifications page.
The “If the table contains at least … matching rows” selection can be very helpful for you. For example, if there are zero impressions then there is most likely some problem with the account and you will want to know about that right away. PPC Robot can be set to notify you via email every morning before you arrive to your office so you can see if there are any urgent issues that need your attention right away.
To set this up, once you have selected the “If the table contains at least … matching rows” rule, fill in the minimum number of rows that must contain the specified condition, select the metric by clicking the drop-down and begin to type the name of the metric, select the operator, and fill in the value or select “Compare with another field” and specify the field and multiplier. You can also combine conditions using the AND option so that all conditions must be met in order to receive a notification. Then create a custom Send message so that you know exactly which notification rule you are being notified about, and select the Category. If you would like to create more than one notification rule you can do that by repeating the process just below the first rule.
The possibilities here are quite numerous, so if you need more help or ideas on what you can do here, go to our Custom Notifications page for a more thorough explanation with examples.
Step 11: Download/upload parameters (optional)
If you would like to save and share your custom report setup, or if you would like to use someone else’s, you can easily download and upload the parameters using the options at the bottom of the report.
Step 12: Name report
Once you have your custom report setup how you like it, click “Next” in the bottom right-hand corner to go to the Output Settings and Account Selection screen. Here you can add a report name that will help you to identify your custom report in the Reports Overview screen. Since we have created a Campaign Performance report, we will name this one “Campaign Performance”.
PPC Robot automatically prepends the account name followed by a colon to the report name that you type here. So the final report name will be “Account: Campaign Performance” for each of the accounts you select.
Step 13: Select output type
There are two options for output, Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel (XLSX) stored in Google Drive.
Both of these options will create a file in your Google Drive (in the folder called PPC Robot which is automatically created by PPC Robot).
With Google Sheets you will be able to simply click on the report name in the Reports Overview screen and be taken to the online spreadsheet. With the Excel file, once you click on the report name, the report will download to your default local downloads folder on your computer.
The benefit of Google Sheets output is that it is saved online, it is easy to update, and it is easy to share with others. Also, any filtering, formatting, or additional columns added after the last column in the report will be saved even after updating the report (more on that below).
The benefit of Excel output is that there is no limit to how many cells the report may contain. Google Sheets has a limit of 400,000 cells, a maximum of 256 columns, only 40,000 cells containing formulas, and other limitations.
If your account is small enough and your report will not exceed the limit, we recommend using the Google Sheets output for ease of viewing, sharing, and updating.
Step 14: Set update frequency
You can select from Monthly, Weekly, Daily, and Hourly for the automatic update frequency of your custom report. We recommend that you select daily and an early hour so that your report is up-to-date when you arrive at the office in the morning.
And, if you utilize the Email Notifications, we recommend that you set those to arrive in the morning after your reports have run.
Step 15: Select Accounts
One of the great aspects of PPC Robot is the ability to apply your custom report to any and all of your accounts, and you can do this a number of ways. You can simply "Select All" to create the report for all of your accounts, or you can click on the account names individually, or you can search by account name or label by beginning to type them in the search box.
You can always come back later and add more accounts to the same report.
Step 16: Save and run report
The final step is to click "Create" which will take you back to the reports overview screen. Then you can find the report using the search filter, and click on the play button to run the report for the first time.
Now we can take a look at the Google Sheets output from our example to get an idea of what your custom report can look like (each report will look different based on many factors like report type, metrics, filtering, conditional formatting, etc.). We will also look at some of the extra things we can do to get even more out of our custom reports.
You can see that we have the custom formatting in the impr. column with zero impressions. You can also see the nice color coding from our sparkline and trend custom metrics (ideally your report will have less red, but we just wanted to let you see what the options are). And you can see that our data is sorted descending by cost.
Now, we can do a few extra things to our report output to make it do even more for us, specifically: filtering, formatting, and formulas.
We’ve already filtered out any unwanted data in PPC Robot, but perhaps now I want to filter the data further. For example, I may want to filter campaigns that are Search only and not see any Display campaigns. If I have some labeling system while naming the campaigns in Google Ads, I can filter by the campaign name label. Once I do this, the spreadsheet will automatically save, and any time I rerun the report in PPC Robot the output will still be filtered with Search only campaigns, while still containing the hidden Display campaign data.
This can be used a number of ways, and on multiple columns, so be creative!
You can also adjust the column widths and row heights however you like and these settings will be saved and not overwritten when the report is rerun. This is especially nice when you want to adjust the size of the sparkline graphs, making them slightly bigger to see the changes more easily.
Please note, the name and order of columns cannot be changed as they will revert back to the way you set the metrics in PPC Robot.
PPC Robot already has many great custom metrics available that will give you all sorts of data about your accounts. However, perhaps you want to add your own formula to the report output. Not only is this possible, but PPC Robot will not remove these columns as long as you add them after the final column in the report. Do not insert a new column between columns A-K (from our example) otherwise your column will be overwritten. But, if we insert a new column, L, and add any numerical formula (for our example we will divide Cost by Conversions to get CPA using an “IF” function) this column will remain.
When we rerun the report in PPC Robot, the data remains and is recalculated with all new data.