The most complicated part of building marketing reports is that you need to include so many different channels in one scope. You are tasked with reporting everything from email campaign results to social media marketing effectiveness.
Although there needs to be cross-comparisons so clients can make final decisions on the amount of money they want to spend on your services, there are still some considerations you should be making based on the channels reported.
While the metrics may all be related, each channel source report should still have its own characteristics that makes it a unique, standalone mini report. For example, in your SEO report, you shouldn’t have information on ads and quality score, whereas in the PPC report, you should most definitely have that information presented. But then there may be some similarities between SEO and content marketing, where you’re focusing on keywords that are helping with the total conversations and clicks.
When it’s time to create individual reports, you must take into account source differences. This will make you look more professional, and it will also help your clients follow along and digest everything in one sitting.
Although we can’t go through what should be included in every single individual report, we will provide you with the examples of what you should focus on with SEO and PPC:
Your typical SEO report will contain the following: keyword performance, landing page performance, rank improvements, increase in organic traffic, conversions, top performing content, improvements made to content, overall optimizations, inbound traffic, backlinks, and a general overview of what it all means. Remember that the viewer is not an expert on digital marketing like you are.
With PPC, you will want to highlight that your efforts are driving more traffic and leads. Therefore, your report should include metrics such as: average position, cost per click, overall cost, clicks, click-through rate, impressions, conversions, overall conversion rate, cost per conversion, quality score, keyword performance, individual device performance, and overall PPC performance.
With PPC, your client will probably request that you provide a weekly report as opposed to a monthly report. Yet, something like social engagements may only require your attention a few times per year.
Despite the differences, all reports should still contain a summary, as well as lessons learned, goals, what you plan to do in future.
That brings us to another hotly contested question in the world of digital marketing reporting: how often should I generate reports?
If there were a one size fits all answer for this question, we would definitely provide it! However, the reality is there are always different elements and moving parts that should be considered with this kind of answer.
You will need to set expectations early with your client. Talk with them about how frequently they want to see their reports. As the expert, you should tell them that it’s normal to want to see biweekly PPC reports, whereas social reports are only a quarterly necessity. They will listen to you and follow your lead.
Remember they are not the experts, so be sure to explain to them that things like SEO are slow and really won’t show any big changes even on a monthly basis (same with social). If they know this ahead of time, they won’t contest you on your efforts.
A daily report will not be quite the same scope of a monthly digital marketing report, but it can help you do everything on a daily basis at a faster pace. Using these reports, you can make an action plan every morning, comparing it to what you accomplished the day before, and what you intend to accomplish tomorrow. Doing this will enable you to interact with the data in real-time, diving into the tinier details that can get lost during a 30-day timeline.
These reports will also aid in faster experimentation – you will be able to test out ideas and changes on a smaller scope before it turns into anything big and potentially terrible. You can avoid wasting money by carefully working with certain numbers on a day-to-day basis. A lot of things are out of your control in this kind of arrangement, but when you pair together several days in a row you will be able to indicate a trend. Why wouldn’t you pursue this kind of analytics record keeping?
We’re not saying tie yourself up with this kind of daily reporting. However, we are suggesting that making a habit of checking on certain statistics will make you more effective and productive at your job. Here are some of the KPIs you should absolutely be tracking on a daily basis:
Websites are typically where you make the final kill. It’s where you get the lead to finally click, buy, donate, invest, or opt-in to your emails. Websites are the resting platforms that finally turn these prospects into actual customers. After you arrive at a traffic goal for the month, you can divide it by the number of days in that month to set a daily target. Maybe you want to convert 2 leads per day. By monitoring these numbers more closely, you can see how they related to your other lead generation efforts, like social media posts and email marketing.
Monitoring your daily website traffic will help you identify a sudden rise or drop, enabling you to act right away with experiments that might uncover the secret sauce. This is an easy way to explore options that the client might not initially approve of. But on such a small scale, you can figure it out on your own and boast your findings on the next monthly digital marketing report.
You’ve probably heard the phrase: engagement is key. That’s because it’s true. For your brand to be known, shared, and loved on social media, consumers need to engage with it. That’s why you should be posting every single day on social media, responding to comments, and working on new campaigns that will catch others attention. No one discusses the brand that last posted on social media 4 months ago. Find the channels that work best for your brand (more visual brands will do better on Pinterest and Instagram; serious brands will do better on LinkedIn, etc.) and help you reach your target audience more effectively. Develop a strategy of posts that you have seen do well in your analytics, as well as the optimal time to post them.
By tracking these stats daily, you can harness social media posts that do the very best for that client, translating into lucrative analytics that you can share with them every quarter. Track how effective your post was and do it all over again the next day.
Beyond social media analytics and website traffic, there are some other analytics you can check every 5-7 days. What are they?
Blogs generally have a shelf-life of 5-7 days, mainly because your social media sharing that you coupled with their posting will generate some traffic for the first few days anyways. One study also confirmed that after a week, a blog’s traffic will decline by 90%. Therefore, if you want to know how much traffic a blog generated, you would be able to check this at the end of the week so you can move on with your strategy. Of course, there will always be cruising traffic that comes through your SEO endeavors – but, checking on the finalized blog metrics at the end of the week should help you compare it to previous blogs and fine-tune your strategy moving forward.
Yes, we’re back to website traffic. Not only is it beneficial to review it daily, it’s also beneficial to review it weekly, breaking the traffic down into channels. Analyzing which ones are bringing in the most leads will help you approach the client with a proposition to spend more money on X channels.
If you are spending someone’s money in online advertisements, you should definitely make it a habit to monitor how it performs. Any kind of PPC, Facebook Ad, etc. should be something that you check in with at the end of the week. You don’t want to be spending $100 per click (depends on the industry). This can cause you to spend more of the budget than what the client had intended, which isn’t a good look for you. If you see the numbers are down for a particular ad, it can signal to you that it’s time to create a new one.
The more you generate these tiny reports and make them part of your everyday habit, the better you will become. It’s as simple as due diligence! At the end of the day, the purpose of reporting analytics is to make better informed decisions, both for you as a digital marketing expert, as well as for the client.
If you would like to dive deep into all things related to digital marketing reporting check out our ebook: Digital Marketing Reporting Explained.