First, get yourself some kind of automated reporting system. We use Swydo. Once it’s set up the report populates automatically, you just set the date range. For new clients, you just copy over the template and change the account source.
You can also provide a dashboard so clients can go in to look at numbers whenever they want… many appreciate this.
As for what we include:
1. All major KPIs relevant to the account, cost, conversions, CPA, CR%, impressions, clicks, CPC, CTR, impression share, etc. etc.
2. Historical table (6 or 12 months) showing month over month, most important KPIs are those from #1 above. To me this is the most important part of the report because it tells a story of whether performance is improving or not over time.
3. Breakdown of performance by campaign, ad group, keywords
4. Breakdown by conversion goal (important if the client has calls, form-leads, newsletter sign-up, sales, other)
5. Breakdown by device, audience, locations
Add other reports as it makes sense for the specific client… e.g. maybe it’s super important to break out branded search. If they run shopping, do a product group breakout.
But in general, that’s all you need. This is usually 4-5 pages if you export to PDF, but I recommend sending an online link, it looks better without page breaks and takes less time to prepare and send.
For the write-up, what did you implement/optimize in the period? What important changes were there in performance? Why did that happen? What’s your plan for next month.
If these are small or mid-size accounts, up to $10K/month ad spend, single platform, you shouldn’t be spending more than 30-minutes to put this together.
Importantly, if you worked directly on the account you already are familiar with what’s going on… you shouldn’t have to dig much into numbers or account changes to write this up.