Proving the value of your online marketing and advertising campaigns should be easy. Every website platform, online advertising program and social media website now comes complete with data - tons and tons of data. When you add that to Google Analytics, MOZ, SEMrush and the like, you have endless reporting capabilities at your fingertips. In fact, if you are not currently overwhelmed with the sheer volume of available data, please, tell us your secret.
The real question becomes — in a world with no shortage of data, how do you build a monthly website report or marketing dashboard that really evaluates your online strategy and helps to improve your website performance?
Answer. You build a framework of the data that matters to you, your client or your C-Suite, cancelling out the data noise with the statistics and figures that really matter to your business.
To start, a basic framework should be:
- Identify traffic and lead sources
- Determine the social media metrics that generate revenue
- Track and Improve keyword and website ranking data
- Improve and promote your top performing marketing assets
- Focus on the key things that drive conversions and lead volume
Let’s review these in more detail.
Identify Sources of Traffic and Lead Growth
One of the most important indicators of a healthy website is growth in both traffic and website leads.
- If your website traffic is improving (particularly organic traffic) that shows that the content on your website is attracting eyeballs.
- As leads grow, that means your website is attracting the right eyeballs.
So the first step in your framework should be to analyze the traffic sources to your website. If you pull this data in a website platform like Hubspot, the ideal should be to see a steady stair-step chart of growth. Figure 1 below shows what healthy organic traffic growth can look like if your website is performing as it should. Consider what your on-page SEO looks like and the improvements you can make in things like page title, meta descriptions and URLs to improve your online footprint.
As you analyze your traffic sources, it is important to note change over time and growth patterns as you adjust your strategy. As you build your monthly website report, consider including visit by source data, including:
- Organic traffic - these are folks who found your website using keyword search. This traffic builds naturally based on the content you’ve placed on your website.
- Direct traffic - these are folks who typed in your URL to reach your website. If you recently attended a tradeshow and handed out brochures with your URL, for example, you can expect to see an increase in direct traffic to your site. Direct mail, or promotions advertising a vanity URL will boost this figure in your reports.
- Referral traffic - these folks came to your website via a link on another website. Building strong linkbacks to your site can help improve referral traffic.
- Social Media Traffic - you guessed it, these folks arrived on your website via social media links.
Using a business analytics platform, like Databox, can help you compare these traffic sources with lead or contact sources, which is another important consideration. Figure 2 below shows you how Databox can organize website data to compare both traffic and lead sources in a singular dashboard.
Sourcing traffic is important because it helps you understand who is coming to your website and how they are finding you. The next step is to determine which visitors turn into leads, or contacts, once they hit your website and to analyze the volume and the quality of leads from the aforementioned traffic sources.
As you analyze your lead sources, you can determine which traffic sources are generating the most leads. For example:
- If organic search is providing you with high quality marketing leads, then keep churning out quality content.
- If social media is bringing in a high volume of leads, then amplify your social media strategy accordingly.
By using a dashboard that compares traffic sources and lead sources, you can analyze your website data to tell you exactly how you can pivot your strategy monthly to increase both traffic and leads. A big win for your marketing department.
Determine the Social Media Activities that Drives Business Results
Where to start. Well, social media platforms now come with a host of metric capabilities, most of which don’t really matter to you and your bottom line. What matters? Folks who take action to ‘buy’ or ‘visit’ or convert.
So, I would recommend adding the following to your monthly report framework:
- Visits by social source
- Contacts by social source
These two simple calculations will tell you which social networks are generating the most traffic and leads for your website. Simple.
As you review this data, you can determine how your social strategy (and the time spent posting and tweeting) is actually improving your lead and conversion rates. This can justify your social media department or have you re-thinking your social strategy entirely.
Here’s a monthly dashboard that highlights general social traffic and activity and the associated social media driven contacts:
If you are really into analytics and what to take a deep dive into the data from a singular social platform, check out this marketing dashoard template for Facebook:
This Databox example pulls in Facebook data, in combination with website visit and contact data, in a nice, easy-to-digest-and-analyze format. Holy. Cow. Right?
Track Ranking of the Search Terms that People Use to Find You
If you aren’t worried about keyword ranking data, you should be. Get MOZ, use Google Analytics, try SEMrush — whatever you do, get into your keywords. If you want to compete as Google adjusts algorithms and as customers search for products online, you need to understand what you're ranking for and what you WANT to be ranking for.
Your monthly website report should include:
- Number of keywords ranking 1-10
- Premium Keywords you want to rank on page 1 for and your current ranking
- Domain Authority
Keywords matter, so they should be a focus of your monthly website report. Where are your currently ranking and what keywords do you need to start ranking for? Looking at the numbers monthly can help you evaluate your SEO health and areas where you can improve your SEO.
Domain authority is a number generated by Moz that predicts how well your website will rank in search engines. The higher the number, the better. As you seek out referral and linkback opportunities, consider websites with a high domain authority. Not sure what your domain authority is? Find out now with these tools: https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/ or Growthbot.
Improve and Promote the Marketing Assets Already Working for You
As you review your website every month, it only makes sense to highlight and build upon your top performers. Think of it as figuring out what’s working and doing more of it.
Considerations should include:
- Blogs - what are your top performing blogs each month? Review them and enhance the top performers by adding in-text CTAs, internal links to other content, video, etc. If it is already working for you, improve it to increase time on page, page sessions per user, and ultimately, conversions.
- Landing Pages - which landing pages are performing well and converting visitors to leads? This data point is essential to improving your traffic-to-lead conversion ratio monthly.
- Website Pages - take a look at your website pages that are generating the most traffic and try to copy that recipe for the rest of your website. Amplify what works to improve your overall website health.
Again, your website platform, or a tool like Databox can give you a nice dashboard template of what your top performers are daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
Focus on the Key Things that Drive Higher Conversion Rates and Higher Lead Volume
Some people are happy with website traffic and brand visibility, while others are focused on conversions and sales. Depending on the goals of your website, you have to determine what your keys to leads and conversion are and how to improve them.
Each month, answer these questions in your executive summary and use this information to build your strategy moving forward:
- Visitors - what is driving the most visits? Are they the right visitors for your product or service?
- Marketing qualified leads - what is driving lead generation? Are they the right leads?
- Sales qualified leads - how is your sales strategy performing?
- Customers - what channels are bringing in customers?
With the information listed above, you should also consider your ongoing:
- Visit to lead conversion rate
- Visit to customer conversion rate
- Cost per lead
- Cost per customer
With website analysis tools at your disposal and a software platform like Databox at your fingertips, you can import data to build a robust monthly report that includes everything you need to stay successful in this digital, data-driven age.
Moreover, it makes reviewing endless, overwhelming data manageable and actually, pretty gosh darn fun.
What tools do you currently use to organize your performance data, build marketing dashboards and report on KPIs? Let us know your tricks of the trade in the comments below.