Google Analytics Reporting for Agencies

Published March 24, 2014

More and more frequently, I'm getting contacted by agencies - digital marketing agencies, web design firms, SEO firms, etc. They want to provide their clients with monthly or weekly reports populated with Google Analytics data, but branded with the agency logo and containing written text describing the insights behind the numbers.

Use Google Analytics for Better Content Marketing

Published March 19, 2014

A common question in content marketing is "What content should we promote?". If your site or blog has a lot of content, and you are looking to put some advertising behind it - or promote it in some other way - its important to choose pages that stand out. Google Analytics can help with that analysis.

Help, my client doesn't know what Google Analytics reports they need!

Published March 14, 2014

"What analytics should we be looking at?", asked a client recently. I've been asked that question dozens of times, but it still caught me off-guard. I assume when I'm hired for a Google Analytics project, the client knows what information they need & my job is to make the analytics produce it. Now, what do I do?


Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?
The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.
Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.



When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:



It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
One of the most exciting and important aspects of digital marketing is the ability to understand exactly how your customers are finding you. It informs every single part of integrated campaigns and helps determine which efforts are working and which ones need to be revisited. Google Analytics allows you to zero in on the performances of different marketing channels to evaluate everything from brand awareness to social media messaging. To get the most insight from that data, it’s crucial to understand exactly how Google sorts your traffic.
Channels in Google Analytics are high-level categories indicating how people found your site. While the Source/Medium report shows you in more detail where people came from, Channels are broader, more “user-friendly” names lumping visits together in buckets useful for high-level reporting categories.
For instance, Facebook Sessions often show up in multiple ways in the Source/Medium report. They may appear as,, and, all of which are variations of the same source. The Channels report will include all of these in the Social bucket, so you can see less granular, aggregate numbers on social media performance.