Understanding Basic SEO, PPC & PLA Reports


During the years, I had to explain really basic metrics to many sites owners who were engaged in SEO, PPC and PLA retainers and did not quite knew what was happening and how well their advertising budget was managed.

We will focus on the basic metrics that should be well addressed in any decent SEO, PPC and PLA report.


Enhance your SEO and search experience!

The main SEO KPIs should relate to the overall contribution of organic data to the whole performance cake.
The main goals of SEO are to increase organic traffic and organic revenue, and gain more rankings for related queries.

We can use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to pull these insights.

– Organic traffic and revenue increase: we would want to see gradual growth or at least ‘growing stability’ that usually indicates on an optimized organic performance. However, the main indication should be the revenue line that derives from this channel.

  • Main pages are enjoying most organic traffic: further traffic analysis should show that the most important pages are getting most organic visits.
  • Rankings: the number of rankings should increase gradually, and desired keywords should eventually rank for. Ranked queries could be reviewed on Google Analytics or Google Search Console.

For the most part, these would be the main metrics we would want to examine regarding SEO performance.


Smart PPC campaign will SAVE YOU MONEY! Make sure it’s optimized!

PPC is a broad term that relates to many paid marketing practices. For this matter, we will refer to Google AdWords, Bing Ads or Facebook Ads as PPC channels.

Being very complex marketing platforms, there could be many key performing indicators for PPC, however, the bottom line always remains the same and needs to focus on one thing only: revenue.
The main goal of any PPC campaign of an eCommerce brands that sell goods online is revenue and ROI. The revenue must be greater than the expense, and must completely be profitable. EARNINGS MUST MAKE SENSE!
Main metrics we should look into in PPC:

  • Monthly budget management: all campaign must operate within a given monthly spend without being maximized. Smart PPC marketers would apply advanced savings strategies in order to allow full performance 24/7.
  • Targeted keywords are having high QS (Quality Score): keywords with high quality-score perform better, period. Make sure all or most keywords have high quality-scores of 7-8 and up.
  • Scheduling: make sure that scheduled bid adjustments are applied.
  • High ROAS: high ROAS indicates on the efficiency of marketing campaigns. Eliminate keywords with low ROAS and focus on keywords that drive most bang for the buck.
  • Focus on what is working: smart marketers must have the ability to quickly understand what is good for the business and what’s bad. Some campaigns do absolutely nothing but simply waste money, while others could work more efficiently. Once you recognize a campaign that works and has good metrics (high conversion rate, many conversions, high ROAS, etc.) focus on that rather than on other campaigns which underperform.
  • Strictly business: Personally, when I used to manage campaigns, I would always recommend to completely stop non-performing campaigns, while constantly testing new ones and heavily supporting the ones which do perform. That way the spend is optimal and very restricted to whatever works best.
  • For advanced users: application of scripts to avoid unnecessary spend.

Auditing these metrics will provide great insights and potentially save money.


Often times the highest ROI is found on PLA campaigns.

For those merchant considering using Google Shopping, this chapter is for you.

Running Product Listing Ads (PLA) campaigns is also part of PPC since the advertiser is being charged only when a user clicks on a PLA ads. However, the structure of the PLA campaign is unique and different from the regular AdWords or Bing Ads search or display campaign settings. Therefore, the KPIs would also be slightly different. To run a successful PLA strategy several components should taken into account:

  • Revenue from PLA campaigns: the main eCommerce element that we would want to look in a PLA campaign would be the revenue. Like always, the performance of this channel needs to make financial sense, so the ROI must be positive. In many cases, we should pay close attention to CPA and make sure that it is not exceeding the actual price of the product, speaking of low price items.
  • Products with high ROAS: make sure that items with high ROAS are having competitive bids.
  • Percentage of PLA income of the whole revenue cake: make sure that the overall expense on PLA is justifying itself and contributes to the total revenue.
  • High number of active items on the Merchant Center: higher number of live products ensures in most cases broader reach.

Just like with all marketing channels, the final word for eCommerce brands is the revenue. The PLA channel must be profitable and generate more money than it spends. We need to make sure that the data reflects optimized PLA performance and smart spend too. In many cases, merchants tend to apply the same strategy over all the stock – which is improper and could lead to waste. Here is our post about how to optimize the basic data feed strategy.

These metrics should help determine on the success level of a marketing channel and should be analyzed frequently. Every decent marketing report must cover most parts of these metrics in order to communicate the overall success of the marketing efforts.