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
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.
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.
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.