You’ve decided to invest in your website via digital marketing (good decision!), but where to begin or where to focus efforts?
Do you start on content? Paid advertising? Link outreach? Social media? We’re often asked “yes we know it’s all important, but what should we definitely be doing?”. Our answer often goes along the lines of “yes it IS important (and it is) but if you really want to lay the foundations for future digital marketing success, reporting is the answer”.
They say ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.’ We couldn’t agree more.
Simply put reporting will (or should) inform everything else you embark on from a digital marketing perspective. For example, you note that you are receiving a good amount of quality traffic from referring websites while your non-brand organic traffic is pretty minimal, this might indicate a focus on organic search over linkbuilding might be more appropriate.
Another reason why reporting is so useful is that it acts as a springboard for discussions on how to make the site better for users - resulting in more bottom line conversions achieved from the website. We can point out particular things we find noteworthy from the report, while clients can ask questions on areas they’d like to know more about. Keeping that dialogue open and you as a client engaged with your data is a huge part of driving iterative improvements onsite.
However perhaps the most remarkable feature of reporting is how flexible it is - the sky really is the limit!*
Reports can contain the data you want, in the format you want, at a time you want. Whether it’s an Excel spreadsheet delivered in the first week of the month ahead of your monthly board meeting or it’s an online dashboard which can be viewed at any time, it can be achieved.
What’s most important is the metrics provided are those you are interested in and it's in a format which is accessible to you. The times when we see reporting fall down we often get a response of “we didn’t really get any value from the data we got”. So it’s important this is discussed extensively in the brief for the report and then maintained throughout its lifecycle.
With all of the above in mind, we hope we’ve given a good overview of why reporting truly is a fundamental aspect of proper website maintenance. So please don’t ignore this vital building block in the construction of your digital marketing plan. Of course you’re not alone in this, we’ve got experience for creating and maintaining almost every kind of report possible (if you’ve got a unique idea for one please get in touch, we love a challenge!), but most importantly we’re experts in listening to your wants from a report and delivering a framework tailored exactly to your requirements.
You might be thinking “but I don’t know what I want?”, the good news is that’s fine too. We'll listen to your needs and discuss the business goals during the briefing stage and together we will find a reporting template which delivers on your key aims for the business. While we can also make edits to that template at any time from the start or moving forwards as it evolves to find the form most useful to you. Nothing is set in stone!
So take that first step and let’s start the conversation.