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The Final Google Adverts Pacing Dashboard For 2023 (Free Looker Studio Template)

It’s been a 12 months since I revealed my Google Adverts Pacing Dashboard to Search Engine Journal, and digital advertising adjustments fairly rapidly in a 12 months.

Google Knowledge Studio modified the way it handles blended information, then modified its title altogether (Hiya, Looker Studio!).

What hasn’t modified is that we nonetheless can’t add targets and targets to the Google Adverts platform, so we nonetheless want separate dashboards to trace pacing and progress.

The Ultimate Google Ads Pacing Dashboard For 2023 (Free Looker Studio Template)Screenshot of Looker Studio, November 2022

On this tutorial, we’ll cowl how you can entry and use the pacing dashboard, what’s new, and how you can get essentially the most out of it.

Then, we’ll take a broader take a look at what a terrific pacing dashboard should have that will help you in your profession.

Step 1: Entry And Prep Your Templates

A completely automated pacing dashboard requires actuals, targets, and a option to mix the 2:

The Ultimate Google Ads Pacing Dashboard For 2023 (Free Looker Studio Template)Picture created by creator, November 2022
  • Actuals: Google Adverts Account Efficiency Knowledge: A direct connection to a Google Adverts account offers you real-time spend and conversion information and historic traits.
  • Targets: Inside Objectives and Targets Set Manually in Google Sheets: By recording KPI targets in a Google Sheet, you’ll be able to populate month-to-date and each day pacing targets.
  • Mixed: Looker Studio Blended Knowledge: Looker Studio will use blended information to calculate metrics from each Adverts and Sheets.

Now that you simply perceive how it will work, it’s time to get your templates.

1. Seize The Templates

First, use this hyperlink to obtain your free templates.

There are two dashboard variations to select from:

  • Conversions (for lead technology).
  • Income (for ecommerce).

As defined above, you want each the Looker Studio and Google Sheets recordsdata for this pacing dashboard to work accurately.

2. Replace Your Copy Of Google Sheets Pacing Template

That is the place you’ll enter necessary data like your account title and targets.

  1. Click on “Make a duplicate” of the Google Sheets Pacing Template.
  2. Change the title of the Google Sheet to mirror your account(s).
  3. In Column A, enter the title of your Google Adverts account. (The account title features because the blended information “be part of key,” so it should match precisely!)
  4. Enter your spend and KPI targets in Columns D and E.
The Ultimate Google Ads Pacing Dashboard For 2023 (Free Looker Studio Template)Screenshot of creator’s Google Sheet template, November 2022

That’s it for this sheet! All the things else is calculated mechanically.

3. Replace Your Copy Of The Looker Studio Dashboard

  1. Open the Looker Studio Pacing Report and click on the three dots on the highest proper to “Make a duplicate.”
  2. You’ll be prompted to decide on New Knowledge Sources. Choose your Google Adverts account and the Google Sheets pacing template you simply created. You might have to “Add New Knowledge Supply” to entry them.
Image of Looker Studio prompt to copy reportScreenshot from Looker Studio, November 2022

Step 2: Assessment The Dashboard Format

We’ll undergo the Income Dashboard part by part right here.

Replace your information and templates earlier than strolling by the dashboard, so you’ll be able to verify for inconsistencies and establish customizations you’ll make within the subsequent step.

Your Google Adverts information and month-to-month targets ought to be correct, however you’ll have to make some changes to the each day pacing charts and widgets afterward.

KPI Relationships Part

The dashboard leads with KPIs for spend and income (or conversions, relying on which model you’re utilizing). You’ll know precisely what the purpose for the month is, what real-time efficiency is, and the way you’re pacing.

Monitoring MTD purpose progress towards how a lot of the month has handed lets you understand whether or not it’s time to watch or time to behave.

Key efficiency indicators in a number of codecs (uncooked numbers, ratios, percentages) present pacing and information relationships with out requiring you to divide massive numbers by 30.4 in your head to reach at each day averages.

The Ultimate Google Ads Pacing Dashboard For 2023 (Free Looker Studio Template)Screenshot from Looker Studio, November 2022

Charts And Scorecards Used:

  • Month Progress: Right this moment’s date, % of month accomplished, and remaining.
  • KPI Aim Scorecards: Income (or conversion) purpose and month-to-month finances.
  • KPI Pacing Widget: A single-cell desk that returns an announcement primarily based on pacing.
  • MTD Goal Scorecards: MTD goal worth, % completion of MTD goal, and whole month-to-month purpose.
  • Gauge With Vary: KPI efficiency up to now with progress visualization.
  • MTD Scorecards: worth distinction between precise efficiency and targets.

Return Ratio

This part compares spend to return. The goal is mechanically populated primarily based on targets and doesn’t have to be set individually.

You’ll see a unique part relying on whether or not you’re utilizing the Income or Conversion Dashboard.

The Income Dashboard for ecommerce shows ROAS (return on advert spend). The Conversion Dashboard for lead technology and basic conversion monitoring shows CPL (price per lead).

roas target vs actual screenshotScreenshot from Looker Studio, November 2022

Day by day Progress And Course Correction

Right here, you’ll be able to see the way you’ve been doing (common each day efficiency) and the way you might be doing (latest each day efficiency).

schreenshot of daily pacing for revenue and cost mtd dataScreenshot from Looker Studio, November 2022

Within the account used on this screenshot, my each day income will all the time path under the goal. That’s due to conversion lag time, and I’m going to notice it however not fear about the truth that yesterday’s income is just a 3rd of the each day purpose. In two weeks, it would inform a unique story.

Charts And Scorecards Used:

  • Day by day Pacing Goal: Goal divided by days within the month.
  • Efficiency Scorecards: Right this moment, yesterday, and common.
  • Time Collection Chart: Cumulative efficiency in comparison with pacing goal.

I’ve discovered that additional particulars, comparable to MTD tables with each day variance, distract my focus from the larger image (are we pacing to hit our targets?), so I didn’t embody it within the dashboard.

When you’re the form of one that desires to see the specifics of previous each day efficiency each time you verify in on pacing, you’ll be able to actually add it to your report.

Historic Efficiency Part

Most of us don’t have a photographic reminiscence of how seasonality impacts every account, so there’s a reference part for that within the dashboard.

screenshot of charts showing past 30 days and past 13 months performance on a google ads accountScreenshot from Looker Studio, November 2022

These historic charts offer you development information and context for real-time efficiency.

Charts Used:

  • Time Collection Chart: Final 30 days for KPIs.
  • Time Collection Chart: Final 13 months for KPIs.

In case your base information seems correct, it’s time to maneuver on to customizations. (When you see errors, soar all the way down to Step 5 for troubleshooting assist.)

Step 3: Customise And Replace Your Dashboard

These edits and customizations offers you full management over the dashboard to mirror your individual wants and preferences. Don’t skip this part, or your targets gained’t match your precise targets.

1. Replace Chart Pacing Targets

To get chart ranges to match your targets, you’ll have to do some gentle customization. As a result of it entails laborious coding, you’ll need to maintain them up-to-date if you get new targets.

Hardcode The Gauge Chart Max Axis

The “Axis Max” on the gauge charts gained’t mirror your goal with out handbook enter.

Enter the axis of your gauge charts by doing the next:

  • Choose the gauge chart within the dashboard.
  • Choose the Fashion panel.
  • Change the Axis Max to match the month’s purpose proven above the chart.
screenshot of entering pacing targetScreenshot from Looker Studio, November 2022

Hardcode The Time Collection Pacing Metric

Create a continuing each day pacing goal with these steps:

  • Choose the each day pacing time collection chart within the dashboard.
  • From the Setup panel, choose the calculated Pacing metric.
  • Replace the primary quantity within the system to match the pacing goal above the chart. (Be aware: “[Metric] * 0” doesn’t have to be up to date, it merely calculates as “0”, which is required for the system to validate.)
screenshot of style axis max updateScreenshot from Looker Studio, November 2022

The Day by day Pacing Goal above the chart will mechanically replace as the times in a month change. You’ll simply have to edit the hardcoded Pacing Metric within the time collection chart to match that new worth.

2. Modify The KPI Pacing Widget (Non-obligatory)

Subsequent to every KPI is a color-coded button indicating the pacing standing. You may customise the colours, textual content, and intervals.

screenshot of various pacing widget buttonsScreenshot from Looker Studio, November 2022

Edit the dimension’s calculated subject to vary phrasing or interval. The finances pacing subject will seem like this by default:
WHEN (Price/MTD Spend Goal) < .9 THEN "Underpacing"
WHEN (Price/MTD Spend Goal) >= .91 and (Price/MTD Spend Goal) < 1.1 THEN "On Monitor"
WHEN (Price/MTD Spend Goal) > 1.1 THEN "Overpacing"

You may change the values if, as an illustration, you need “on monitor” to be inside 5% of the purpose relatively than 10%. You too can create extra variants or edit the return statements.

To vary the background and textual content colour, merely edit the conditional formatting within the Fashion panel.

screenshot of conditional format sectionScreenshot from Looker Studio, November 2022

Different Customizations

As a result of the template is 100% customizable, you can also make any updates you need, from altering the forex to setting completely different weekend/weekday and even each day pacing targets. You too can arrange a single Google Sheet as an information supply for all of your studies.

Step 4: Use Your Dashboard To Make Choices

I don’t just like the phrase “let the information resolve” as a result of information doesn’t make choices. We do.

The great thing about this pacing dashboard is that it offers you prompt entry to the information you want to make strategic, knowledgeable choices.

A script can mechanically pause campaigns when spend is excessive, however it may possibly’t seek the advice of together with your consumer about how to reply to market adjustments.

Since most of us handle accounts that have to hit conversion targets and never merely “spend X finances each month,” figuring out precisely how spend and returns are pacing towards targets can elevate your administration expertise.

Right here’s how one can take motion on dashboard insights in a manner that positions you as a strategic accomplice on your shoppers.

paid search pacing matrix: spend and returnPicture created by creator, November 2022

Scorching/Excessive: Alternative.

When efficiency is stronger than anticipated, discuss to your consumer about rising the finances to satisfy the demand, so that you don’t go away gross sales and leads on the desk.

Scorching Spend/Low Returns: Optimize.

Once you’re overspending and don’t have a lot to point out for it, it’s time to optimize for effectivity. Decrease bids and budgets, and pause or take away poor performers.

Chilly Spend/Excessive Returns: Examine.

When the spend is low, however the return is above the purpose, the temptation is to have fun. Earlier than you do, take a deeper look into how you can use the out there finances for top-of-funnel efforts or larger returns.

Chilly/Low: Regulate Expectations.

If the demand simply isn’t there, it is likely to be finest to regulate the finances, shifting allotted funds to a interval that wants it.

Step 5: Troubleshooting And Upkeep

If one thing isn’t working in your dashboard, begin by checking these areas:

“Null” Or “No Knowledge” Errors

  • Is the blended information “be part of key” in Looker Studio precisely the identical in each your Sheets and Google Adverts information sources? Test the title of the account within the prime left nook of the dashboard and ensure there are not any typos within the cell AI of your Google Sheet.
  • Are you utilizing the proper information supply? Be aware that this template works instantly with the Google Adverts platform, not Google Analytics information about Google Adverts campaigns.

Pacing Or Accuracy Errors

  • Is the date vary set to customized (month up to now, and many others.)? It ought to be on customized, not auto.
  • Have you ever accurately hardcoded the axis and pacing fields together with your targets? Assessment Step 3 above.

Do not forget that as a result of the pacing template requires some laborious coding for visualizations, you’ll have to edit your targets within the dashboard to remain present when your targets change.

The Use Case For The Google Adverts Pacing Dashboard

As paid search managers, generally we don’t have all of the instruments we have to do our job. Even easy duties like Google Adverts pacing will be a lot tougher than they need to be.

That’s as a result of you’ll be able to’t enter your finances or conversion targets instantly into the platform.

With out that fundamental context of targets vs. actuals, it turns into laborious to know the suitable motion to take.

Most third-party software program and DIY pacing sheets making an attempt to resolve this drawback simply aren’t helpful to paid search managers.

They’re both too fundamental to supply insights or too busy to be understood at a look.

Screen shot of single donut chart that is too basic, and spreadsheet that is too busyPicture created by creator, November 2022

As a result of I couldn’t discover the right automated dashboard, I made a decision to construct my very own.

Pacing Dashboard Necessities

A pacing dashboard wants to offer you quick access to information that drives strategic choices and motion.

Right here’s my very own top-five want listing for what I would like in a pacing dashboard. As you’ll be able to see, this listing instantly knowledgeable the template I in the end constructed:

  1. KPI snapshots and relationships. I want to know the connection between what ought to occur (targets and month-to-date targets) and what’s taking place (actuals).
  2. Present each day progress. I need to see the each day pacing targets wanted to succeed in month-to-month KPIs and whether or not the account is constantly hitting these targets. What course correction, if any, has occurred? What adjustments nonetheless have to be made?
  3. Present context. I need to see how this month’s efficiency compares to latest and longer-term traits.
  4. Automated. Until my finances or income targets change mid-month, I shouldn’t have to the touch or replace something.
  5. Accessible and shareable. Let me entry and share with my workforce or shoppers with out logins, downloads, or attachments. (Studies are simply sharable from Looker Studio.)


Having prompt entry to efficiency targets and actuals offers you insights that may make you a extra strategic paid search marketer.

This Google Adverts pacing dashboard isn’t completely plug-and-play, however hopefully, you’ll discover that the worth you get from it far outweighs the “funding” of preserving it up to date.

Use the dashboard to satisfy the calls for of your individual pacing wants and drive higher administration choices on your shoppers.

Extra Assets:

Featured Picture: fizkes/Shutterstock



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