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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.

Clients Want Data


Clients want data

We live in the age of big data. Everything is being quantified for us. So, if you own or work for an agency, its probably no surprise that clients are looking for reports that quantify the results they are getting from you. Google Analytics provides a wealth of data you can share with clients. Every one of your clients should have Google Analytics installed on their website and you should review the installation and help them understand how to use it at a basic level.

Clients will not become Google Analytics experts

Very few of your clients will have the time or inclination to become experts at Google Analytics. As their agency, they will look to you to help them use Google Analytics to extract useful data and report on it in a way that is easy to understand and meaningful to their business. There are a few useful metrics that you can report to clients using Google Analytics "out of the box". For example, the Audience Overview will show you trends over time for Traffic (Visits, Unique Visitors) and Average Engagement (Pages/Visit, Avg. Visit Duration, Bounce Rate). Likewise, the All Traffic report under Acquisition, will break down where the website traffic is coming from. This can be of great interest to a client the first time they see it.

However, to really add value for your clients, you will need to configure Google Analytics to track metrics that are particularly meaningful to their individual businesses.

Goal conversions

Tailoring Google Analytics to a client's specific needs usually starts with setting up some Goals. In Google Analytics, you can implement a Goal for virtually any important activity that a website visitor completes. Common examples include: making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, signing up for an account, or even visiting more than 5 pages.

Google provides some good tutorials describing how to set up and work with Goals. Here's a good place to start: Set up and edit Goals. Avinash Kaushik (a well-known Google Analytics blogger) also has some good tips here on how to decide what goals to set up and how to assign value to them: Identify Website Goal Values.

Generating client reports

Virtually any report you see in Google Analytics (standard and custom) can be emailed to a client. Simply click the "Email" menu item found at the top of the report. Many agencies, however, find that this is not the most effective way to send reports to their clients.

For one thing, agencies usually like to have some branding on their reports - like a logo or a cover page. Secondly, you probably want to combine a few charts and graphs, along with some explanatory text, in your reports - like this (note: if you are using Chrome, please view this PDF in Adobe, as the Chrome viewer doesn't do it justice).

Thirdly, your agency probably has a bunch of clients. You need a standard report template (or two or three), that you can use for all your clients. This report template will include some standard charts that are relevant to everybody (like visits, pages/visit), but it will probably also report on goal conversions, which are different for each client.

Use Megalytic!

Yes, this blog post is a shameless plug for agencies to use Megalytic for client reporting. But, that is what we designed it for!

With Megalytic, you an set up a few report templates, and then use them across multiple clients. For goal conversion reporting, you can simply pick the goals that are most appropriate for each client. Once a client's report is set up, Megalytic will email it out monthly, weekly, or on whatever schedule you choose. You can also simply send out the report manually.

Save time and sell follow-on business

A big advantage of using Megalytic, as opposed to cutting and pasting from Google Analytics, is that you will save a lot of time, and put out more insightful reports. Another advantage of providing clients with regular reports, is that you create opportunities to discuss and solve problems with them. This leads to more business for your agency. Check out this blog post for more details on how reporting can be used to grow your business.

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

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.
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.
Digital marketers spend a lot of time focused on PPC and SEO campaigns in order to drive desirable traffic to a website. The phrases we’re ranking for and bidding on get meticulous attention, so much so that we often forget about some of the other ways that visitors find us.

We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.