A good place to start is to look at trends. For example, you may begin with a chart like the one below that shows Sessions and Users over the last 6 quarters.
To create a chart like this one, you would use the Megalytic date picker to select a Period of "Quarterly" and a Date Range of "Last 6 quarters".
Here, we have intentionally selected a rolling date range - "Last 6 quarters" - so that when the calendar rolls forward into next quarter, the chart will keep pace and always show the most recent 6.
The chart above was created using the Metric Timeline Widget - which can be used to display many types of metrics beyond just Users and Sessions as shown here. For example, you could look at Goal Completions, Average Session Duration (Time on Site), etc.
In an in-depth Quarterly Report, you are probably going to want to show this kind of a trend chart for a variety of important metrics. Rather than starting from scratch for each chart, you can use the Megalytic duplicate feature to create copies of the original chart and then simply change the metric in each copy to show the desired results.
We'll show how to work with duplicates in the next section where we focus on organic traffic.
Because this is an SEO report, it makes sense that you would want to focus some particular attention on organic traffic. The chart shown above looked at Sessions and Users from all traffic sources. To create the same chart, but only looking at the organic traffic, start by clicking on the gear symbol to open the widget editor and then click on the duplicate icon to make a copy of the widget.
The copy of your widget appears directly below the original. To make this widget show results for organic traffic only, open the widget editor and scroll down to the Segment selector. Click on it and pick the segment named "Organic Traffic." You can also double-click on the title and change the name to "Organic Traffic - Last 6 Quarters."
Notice that, unlike the overall traffic, which dipped in the first quarter, the organic traffic kept growing from Q4 2014 to Q1 2015.
Search Queries (Keywords)
Another important SEO component of a Quarterly Report is an analysis of the organic search queries (keywords) that bring visitors to the website. Because most organic keywords are now obscured as "(not provided)" in Google Analytics, this data must come from Google Webmaster Tools.
Megalytic currently provides 4 widgets for displaying data from Google Webmaster Tools. To look at Search Queries (Keywords), we use the "Top Queries" widget. By default, this widget sorts the Queries by Impressions, but in this case, we are interesting in seeing which are bringing the most traffic to the website, so we would rather have the data sorted by Clicks.
To do that, we open the widget editor and rearrange the columns by dragging "Clicks" into the first position.
Next, we use the date picker to select the last day of the quarter - in this case March 31. Also, for the Date Range, pick the "Last 90 days." The result is a table showing the Search Queries sending the most traffic to the website during the previous quarter.
You can also include a summary of where the website's inbound links come from by using Megalytic's Links widget. As with the Search Queries widget, we set the date to March 31 - the end of the previous quarter.
In any given quarter, it is likely that you ran multiple campaigns. And in a detailed Quarterly Report, you probably want to give your readers a summary of at least the most important campaigns.
A typical approach is to provide a summary for the top 3 - 5 campaigns in a single table, and then to show drill-down results for each of these campaigns in subsequent tables. Megalytic makes it easy to do this.
Use the Campaign/Keyword Traffic widget to list the campaigns that you want to highlight. In this example, we want to focus in on the top 3 campaigns for the past three months: "Blog," "Search - General," and "Display - Placement." To show only these campaigns in the widget, we use a Megalytic filter.
We want to create a filter that matches any of those 3 campaign names. To do that, we select the regular expression (Matching RegExp) filter, and for the expression, we simply use the 3 campaign names, separated by "|" like this:
Blog|Search - General|Display - Placement
After applying the filter, the table looks like this - with four columns: Sessions, New Sessions (%), Avg Session Duration, and Pages / Session. Those are the default columns.
Suppose, however, that you would like to include a little more information about the campaigns, such as the number of New Accounts created during Sessions from each of these campaigns. To do that, we can add another column to the table to show the Completions metric. Open the widget editor, scroll down to the Columns selector, pick the "Completions" metric and click "Apply Selection".
By default, the Completions metric shows the sum of all goal completions. Since we only want to count the New Accounts, we need to select that particular goal completion. To do that, scroll down the list of columns until you reach "Completions." Click on the down arrow to open up the options. Then, select the "New Account" goal. Close the widget editor, and the table now shows stats for the top three campaigns, included the New Accounts.
Once we have the summary table, the next step is to provide a drill-down on each campaign. For example, we may want to drill down on each campaign's results by geographic region (such as US State).
To do that, we can use the Traffic by Geography widget, and we apply a filter to select for each campaign. So, for the first drill-down widget, we use a filter like this to select the "Search - General" campaign.
To configure the widget to show data by US State, we select "Region" as the Dimension and in the geographic filter we pick "United States."
The resulting tables provides a detailed breakdown of the campaign traffic by US State.
To create drill-down tables for the other two campaigns, we can use the technique described above. Make a duplicate of the widget we just created. Then, edit the Filter to change the name of the campaign. That's all there is to it!
Creating a Reusable Template
Once you have created a Quarterly Report that meets your needs, you can save it as a template and use that template to create them for all of your other websites.
The template capability is a major time-saving capability in Megalytic. Put in the effort to create one really great report. Turn it into a template. Then use that template over and over again to quickly generate a large number of high quality reports.
Quarterly Reports should provide a broad overview of performance as well as drilling down into the details. Megalytic provides tools that help make this easier, such as a comprehensive widget library, powerful filtering, widget duplication, and an easy-to-use date picker. In this post, we've illustrated how to apply these tools to create your own Quarterly Report.