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Reporting on Google My Business Listings

Published February 22, 2018
Digital marketers can strive to reach audiences around the world but they can also focus on the users right next door. For brick and mortar businesses, it’s mostly the latter. When your market is your own community, it’s your local website users that are the most important to understand and study.
 
Reporting on local data is an important role for agencies and in-house analysts. To gather information and build action plans, Google My Business (GMB) dashboards hold a number of useful insights about how local customers are finding you online.
 
Until fairly recently, the ability to export this data outside of the GMB environment was fairly limited and required some manual workarounds. Fortunately that’s no longer the case because GMB added some convenient export functionalities. These exports provide easier ways to analyze and leverage this data. In this post, we’ll review some basic considerations, best practices and ideas for reporting on the data you’ll find in Google My Business listings.

 

Tips and Advice for Landing Pages

Published February 15, 2018
Ahhhh, landing pages. Hello, old friends.

The Value of Automated Reporting for Digital Marketing Agencies

Published February 8, 2018
Digital agencies often have a love/hate relationship with client reporting. On the one hand, agency accountability and performance is almost always assessed, at least partially, through data-based reporting. In that sense, the data in reports is essential to account management and long-term client retention. Reports are the lifeblood of agencies and when agencies succeed and can clearly show their value to clients, they love to report on it. Who doesn’t love pointing to a win?
 
We can now track a single user across multiple devices, channels and through all of the touch points that led up to a sale. But at the end of the month, there’s an odd asymmetry between the types and amounts of data a typical agency tracks and records and the workflows used to gather, analyze and report on it. Simply put, there’s too much button pushing. Data scattered across multiple spreadsheet exports need to be gathered and then massaged together. Charts and graphs are often manually created and then moved over to a document or slide deck. It’s an arduous process that needs to be repeated every 4 weeks.
 
But there are easier, quicker (and better!) ways for agencies to report. Whether it’s through periodic reports that update automatically or real-time dashboards, there is much promise in automated reporting and capabilities get better every year. Finally, the sophistication of reporting processes can match the sophisticated technology used to run campaigns!
 
In this post, we’ll discuss some of the advantages and the value that automated reporting brings to agencies and their clients.

Reporting on Display Ads to Clients

Published February 1, 2018
When you read or hear the term “display ads”, it’s easy to immediately associate it with just banner ads. You know – the ones no one ever clicks on, right? And while banner ads certainly constitute one familiar kind of display advertising, let’s be honest, these aren’t your father’s display networks anymore. From traditional text & images to video rolls to native advertising to in-app ads, the formats, reach and functionalities of display advertising networks have never been richer and more promising.
 
However, the performance of display advertising can vary tremendously, particularly when compared to other channels and traffic mediums that clients are more accustomed to. As such, all the cutting-edge capabilities in the world matter very little when you cannot communicate their value to clients.
 
In today’s post, we’ll review 3 higher-level considerations for reporting on display advertising.

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

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 facebook.com, m.facebook.com, and l.facebook.com, 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.