Originally published here
The Unbelievable Truth About Online Marketing Campaign Reporting
Clients switch to us from other agencies all the time. Not too long ago, we were onboarding a new client. While onboarding, we started discussing reporting and what we felt would be the most effective reporting structure based on this client’s needs. He was absolutely amazed! He started telling us more and more about the “reports” he got from his prior agency. We got more and more furious! His prior agency wouldn’t even tell him how much they spent on his Adwords campaign, and how much was dedicated to account management. This client was spending $30,000+ per month just on AdWords and the agency wouldn’t tell him how much of that money was the maintenance fee? Are you kidding me? Even worse, we see this all the time. SEO agencies that won’t even report on organic website traffic and/or keyword rankings. Social Media Marketing agencies that won’t report on social media referrals. The list goes on and on. Quite frankly, we are SICK of clients getting duped by agencies that don’t bring results and are basically stealing money from their clients.
At Amplify ROI, one of our core values is transparency. Unfortunately, many Online Marketing Agencies out there just don’t follow this principle. Most of the time, you will find that the ones who obscurely report on unimportant metrics are the ones that either:
a. Don’t know what they are doing
b. Are not bringing you actual results
If the Agency you currently entrust the growth of your business to online is not completely transparent with their reporting, you should run like the wind! While every client’s goals are a little different, here are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) EVERY agency worth their weight should be able to report to you with pride.
A good Digital Marketing Agency should be able to show you how they are increasing traffic to your website over the campaign. If they cannot do this, either they are not tracking it, or they are not bringing you more traffic. Ultimately, more traffic leads to more sales. If your goal is more sales, which is the case for most businesses, this should be a common metric in your discussions of campaign performance.
“Raw” conversions means the actual number of total conversions on your website in a given time frame. We usually look at this over a month-long period. Don’t be fooled by agencies only tracking conversion rate without tracking raw conversions. It is easy for an agency to gas you up by saying things like “We increased your conversion rate by 200%!” In that instance, if you had 1 conversion the month before, increasing your conversion rate by 200% only means that they brought you 2 more conversions. Doesn’t sound like as big of a deal thinking of it that way, does it? Now, if you can see that they increased raw conversions by a number of 10, that means you got 10 more leads. That is a more aligned way to track.
EVERY online marketing agency should be tracking conversions for you. If they are not, then what is the goal? How can you even measure the efficacy of the campaign? The ultimate goal for business owners is to drive more leads from their website which, in turn, leads to more sales and a solid Return-On-Investment. If your agency isn’t tracking conversions, they are not tracking the ROI of the campaign which means they are not aligned with the same goals that you are.
Yes, we know that in the prior section, we said don’t pay too much attention to conversion rate. While raw conversions are definitely more important to overall results, it is paramount to make sure that once visitors get to your website they are converting into leads. This is the main reason for monitoring conversion rate. Converse to the statement before about increasing conversion rate, if you have a conversion rate of 5% and your website receives 10,000 visitors in a month, this means you will receive 500 conversions/leads. If your agency is able to increase your conversion rate in that scenario to 6%, that equates to a total of 600 conversions/leads. Simply meaning that you got 100 more conversions than the month before.
While keyword rank reports are much less important now than they may have been even a year ago, they are still an indication of whether the campaign is having a positive impact on your business or not. With Google’s personalized results, it is more difficult than ever to get a true measurement of where your website ranks for every keyword, in every search, by every visitor. What you should, however, look for is the keyword rank report showing top 3 results and/or increases in ranking if the site is not in the top 3 for that keyword. Think of it as monitoring trends more so than taking it for 100% accurate measurement of actual rank.
If you are running a PPC Campaign, your agency should be monitoring your average CPC. This, along with conversion rates, allows you to decide how much each lead generated by your PPC campaign is costing you. Over time, as your campaign is optimized, one of three things should happen. Either:
- Your CPC should decrease
- Your leads should increase
If this is not happening, it is time to find a new PPC Optimization Agency.
If you don’t understand EXACTLY where your traffic is coming from, you cannot make educated decisions on how to adjust strategy. If you are paying an SEO Company to bring you organic traffic, and the bulk of your traffic is still coming from another marketing source, you need to find another company. Likewise, if you are paying for Social Media Marketing and the bulk of your traffic is coming from your Email Marketing efforts, the same applies. So on and so forth. You get the point.
Most Popular Pages
Having access to a report showing the most popular pages on your site helps you understand where the bulk of your conversion-rate-optimization should be concentrated. The pages with the most traffic should be the ones that are highly optimized to pull visitors to other parts of the site, as well as generating leads at the same time. Also, sometimes you will find that the most popular pages are not the ones you thought they were! This can be very eye-opening.
The Top Referrals report is a great way to see what websites are referring traffic to yours. It is a piece of understanding what traffic referrals convert the best. This way, you can increase efforts on the sites that are sending more traffic that converts. Sometimes, it is a social media channel like LinkedIn. Sometimes, it is a web forum where you helped someone answer a question. There are tons of other websites traffic can come from.
Reporting On The Right Metrics Is The Key
This list is, by no means, exhaustive. It is, however, some of the most important metrics your agency should keep you apprised of. If your marketing agency is not willing to provide you with detailed reports like these, it is time to work with someone else. Don’t be fooled by the hype that you often get about metrics that don’t ultimately matter to the overall success of your campaign and business. We are sick of seing clients get duped. Don’t let it be you! Now you are informed and can hold them accountable for their results.
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