February 4, 2015 was the first Swydo receipt I received. Well, according to my email inbox (which, obviously, never lies). Over five years ZATO® has been utilizing Swydo to send our clients monthly reports.
I’ve analyzed and sent hundreds of Swydo reports to clients I manage personally, along with our team, and know the platform well. That hasn’t kept us from being aware of alternatives, though. Unbeknownst to Swydo, there have been two times in the past five years I specifically investigated switching reporting platform providers. One time, I tried a more expensive solution, and one time I tried a cheaper solution. You know, just to see if there were better alternatives to what we were using. Nope, we continued on with Swydo, sending our client monthly reports month after month.
When Jerrel of Swydo asked if I would be willing to write a guest post for them, I was honored! We’ve clearly been a fan of Swydo for years, and it wasn’t hard for me to jot down 7 reasons we have continued to use Swydo over the past 5 years.
1. An Intuitive Platform And UI
I asked the team what they would include on a blog about Swydo, and one of my team members asked if I had good experience with their customer service. I had to pause and think, “I don’t know, to be honest, I never have to use their customer service because I never have trouble in the UI!” We agreed that was probably a good thing to include! I’ve found Swydo’s UI to be intuitive and easy to use. It just works. For busy advertisers like us, we need “just works”.
2. Simple And Intuitive Report Building
Speaking of intuitive, that’s the second thing I like about Swydo. The report building is quite simple. When we train a new hire, I’ll usually tell them to hop into Swydo and figure it out themselves after a brief training session. It’s just, not really that complicated. Add a Widget here, add a KPI here, boom! In the past, we had been sucked into the possibility of a more advanced and customizable solution that allowed us to design the kitchen sink into every report. Then I realized, I don’t need that. I just need a solid, affordable solution that does what I want to do and looks good too.
3. Ease Of Automation And Scheduling Reports
Something we have begun to use more regularly is the report scheduling feature, which has become invaluable for our new Google Ads for Small Budgets Program. For reporting at ZATO with our Full Service clients, we have always had a more customized nature to it. We like to dig into an account, build our takeaways, draw our clients’ attention to what’s important, and show them what we are doing in the future. With our Small Budgets option, we have streamlined our processes as much as possible so we can keep this program affordable for even the smallest businesses, but that means we need a lot of automation. With Swydo, we build our reports and schedule them on a monthly basis knowing even our smallest clients are getting access to the KPIs they need to make good business decisions.
4. Option For Helpful Internal Reports
Speaking of report building, we discovered a valuable use for Swydo we hadn’t thought of before working within its environment. We realized the reports we were sending to our clients were customized for them, to allow them to get instant access to the KPIs most valuable to them… so why couldn’t we do the same for our own purposes? We began to build separate, custom internal reports with our clients’ data in Swydo to be sent to us automatically with specifically the KPIs we cared about, often with more detail than what we send to clients on a monthly basis. We developed a couple of specific use cases for this.
One of them is the ZATO Daily Glance. This allows us to see, at a glance, every single client in our book of only a handful of the most essential KPIs. This allows us to get a human looking at every account daily, and we have caught more than one drop of some sort this way that allowed us to investigate further into the account and catch the issue.
Another custom report I have added as the business manager is one that tracks all of our client pricing and monthly budget amounts (since our pricing matches our spend), and I review this monthly to help me with invoicing.
5. Best Value for Price Award!
As the business owner, hands-down the thing I like the most about Swydo is the price 😜. You would be hard-pressed to find a reporting solution that gives the other benefits I mentioned, at the pricetag Swydo offers. It is this pricing that has helped cement Swydo as the obvious choice for us, as it has allowed me to keep my overhead lower, but still have a great looking reporting solution for our clients.
6. Custom Reporting Entities
We value 3 ways we can add customization into the templated widgets within the report.
- The Front Page: We add our own branding and style to the front of every report (saved as a template of course) so every report looks professional and fits with our ZATO branding.
- Notes: While ZATO prefers to add most of our notes in email form, we value the ability to add custom takeaways directly in each report as well, and for our Small Budgets Program we have begun to add templated metric definitions to our clients! This allows us to answer some of their common questions (what is CTR?) right within the report itself.
- Custom URL: we recently added our own URL into our client reports, so we can send clients links to their reports and in their viewpoint, the reports are hosted on zatomarketing.com. A cool customized touch!
7. Team Management Support
Finally, I have begun to value this more as I have moved from a solo consultant using Swydo, to a small agency team. That is, we can seamlessly assign roles and connect on client reports within our team. It’s nothing complicated, but it works… and as I said earlier, “it just works” is something I value more and more as my time becomes even more limited in a growing agency!
While I’m sure this seems like it was ghost-written by a Swydo employee because of it’s glowing, positive nature, it wasn’t! I genuinely value Swydo, and I’m not getting reimbursed for writing this blogpost (though once they sent me a sweatshirt, it’s really comfortable!). I just wanted to thank a software that we have used a lot over the years, and if you are considering using Swydo I would highly recommend it.
Kirk is the owner of ZATO®, his micro-agency focused only on Paid Search Advertising, and has been working in Digital Marketing since 2009. He has been named one of the Top 25 Most Influential PPCers in the world by PPC Hero the past 5 years, and is known for his Ecommerce PPC articles across various industry publications. Pre-COVID, he was an international conference speaker presenting on all things Paid Search (especially Shopping Ads) around the world but now sticks to podcasts and online conferences to share his latest tips on Google Shopping Ads. Kirk currently resides in Billings, MT with his wife, 5 children, books, and little sleep. You can follow him on Twitter @PPCKirk