When we are discussing our services with a potential client, it’s not uncommon for them to inquire exactly what they will get for their X number of dollars per month. One of the invaluable tools we provide as part of a monthly campaign is a performance report. These reports contain a vast amount of information including monthly and yearly recap of overall visitor traffic data, mobile-specific data, performance of branded and non-branded keywords, rankings on 3 major search engines and much more.
We follow these steps when generating reports for our own clients however not every report requires all sections (i.e. Paid Efforts, Social Media, etc.)
Executive SummaryThis is a one page effort to provide clients with an abridged summary of ongoing activities, including visitor trends, any significant traffic fluctuations and strong recommendations for current and future improvement of the website’s online footprint. Created with a more time-starved department manager in mind, it features only the most important snippets of information, allowing for expanded detail in the following pages.
As mobile traffic continues to increase month after month, accurately tracking and reporting that data becomes more and more critical. This includes geographic, mobile device specific data which can also be applied to any other metric. With more websites (including many of our own clients) embracing responsive design, this focus on mobile data will only grow.
Traffic generated from referring websites can be some of the most valuable and relevant. By featuring the Top 10 referring sites and noting any significant fluctuations for the month (i.e. Was there a new referring site as a result of a recent backlink?), it provides clients with an effective measurement of backlink efforts as well as any otherwise unknown referring sources (i.e. Why are there so many referral visitors from Reddit.com this month?).
Regardless of whether a client’s website is to generate brand awareness, provide visitors with information about the organization or to sell physical or virtual products and services, tracking whether or not visitors convert is the most important and effective means of providing a measurable online ROI.
What constitutes as a conversion? Whatever the client decides. It can be a contact form submission, download of a file (such as a PDF, or software trial), viewing a specific promotional page, or even a specific series of pages (otherwise known as a sales funnel).
A basic, yet effective addition to a report is listing the Top Viewed pages. It is important to stress to clients however, that while a certain page may generate more visitors than others, it may not necessarily correlate with increased sales. The top pages can also fluctuate depending on a number of factors including search rankings.
Is an inner page receiving more visitors than the home page? Why?
These types of questions and more are answered in this section of the report.
Paid Efforts (Pay-Per-Click, Newsletters, etc.)
Depending on the client, they might be actively engaging in paid online marketing efforts such as Google AdWords, Microsoft Advertising or even weekly/monthly E-Newsletters. Regardless of the type of campaign, as long as it contains the necessary tracking codes, conversions and data can be measured very accurately including the originating paid source. This is an exceptional way to measure cost effectiveness and ROI of online ad campaigns.
Social Media Performance
Whether a client is strictly B2B or B2C, having a strong social media presence is never a bad thing. Ensuring that a potential client can find you is the first step towards obtaining any potential inbound lead. While there are hundreds of social media tools and platforms to engage with, the strongest tools are typically Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Having a presence is one thing however, keeping visitors interested with regularly scheduled, frequent updates can be a more difficult task.
Some online marketing agencies (including us!) can populate Facebook walls and Twitter feeds with highly relevant, interesting updates while forwarding interested followers to the necessary channels at the organizations.
If there are any fluctuations in social behaviour or opportunities for improvement, they are listed in this portion of the report.
While blogs can be (and usually are) fed into corporate websites via RSS, we generally handle blogs as separate entities to the main corporate website, thus they receive their own summary and distilled version of analytics. This can include as few or as many of the sections included in the main report, including their own referrals, top pages viewed, and keyword lists.
There is a considerable difference between ‘Branded’ and ‘Non-Branded’ keywords in regards to organic search results. The term Branded typically refers to ALL keyword results, which includes the corporate brand and domain names. Non-Branded includes all keywords with the very specific omission of all Branded terms.
More often than not, the top keywords for a corporate website include the organization’s name or even URL. When these words are omitted in the Non-Branded report, a much clearer list is provided.
Search Engine Rankings
We provide a custom chart depicting the client’s most relevant, competitive and sought after keywords, across the 3 major search engines. These statistics are displayed alongside a comparison to the previous reporting period. If there are any substantial fluctuations, a more in depth analysis may be performed.
OK so I lied… there are 11 steps… however, this one is really optional. If you feel it’s necessary to reiterate a strong recommendation or if there are any outstanding issues with a client’s social presence, referring sites or blog, they can be noted here. Also, reaffirming the actions that will be performed during the upcoming period alerts the client in regards to what they should expect to see.
So, what does all of this give you? Well, something similar to this.
We are constantly finding new ways to present clients with their data, so this report may or may not feature some data that we have since revised.
Do you think we’ve missed anything? Why don’t you let us know in the comments below?