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There’s always a lot of buzz on new digital marketing strategies, from SEO to social media to content marketing, with many “experts” and “specialists” blogging about a revolutionary idea nearly every single day.
But yet there isn’t a lot of buzz on how to report on these new ideas. Maybe reporting just isn’t as sexy as strategy, yet reporting should be the step taken before a strategy is born. Or maybe that’s a “chicken before the egg” debate for another time.
At PCG, my job revolves a lot around reporting. Each month I create a business operations report for the company partners on client billing, employee hours, staff training, so on and so forth. Depending on the numbers and any digging I may have to do to find out why X worked and why Y didn’t, it takes a considerable amount of time to create the report with final notes and such. Of course, as with any report, it takes about 10 minutes to review.
Why does it take so long? The simple answer is that I adjust my metrics each month. Some metrics always stay the same – hours and budget for instance – but how I measure them changes. At one point I would pull the average amount of time it takes to create a report for a client but now I pull both the average and how long it takes for each individual employee to identify opportunities for individual improvement or training. The more detailed my metrics get, the more patterns I can recognize and the better I can improve upon how our company operates.
Moral of the story: stay curious, dig deeper, and know when your metrics no longer serve your end goal.
How does this apply to your digital marketing strategy? Well, have you adjusted your metrics to your advanced strategies?
My guess is you’re judging how well your website is performing based on outdated metrics.
Let’s start at the top. I don’t want any business owner to completely throw out your overall traffic numbers thinking that is an outdated metric. Just like overall time and money will always remain as top metrics for my business operations report, traffic is your top metric.
Search Rankings: How many times have you heard, “I can get you on Google Page One!” or worst yet, “I can get you on Google Page One in a month!”. Due to Google constantly improving their search algorithm to offer more personalized results to each user, measuring Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) is almost becoming impossible on a month-to month-basis.
I highly suggest reading “The Fallacy of SEO Ranking Reports”, but here are some highlights:
Non-branded search traffic: To assess your SEO strategy from the overall traffic or even the overall organic traffic is a mistake.
Impressions: Google Webmaster Tools somehow became the ugly redheaded stepchild in dealer reporting, but it is the technical arm to your reporting suite in understanding how Google views your website.
Content Drilldown & Social Shares: Content, content, content! But where is it all going?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you’re measuring your digital strategies and if you have any additional metrics that have helped you better understand how your website is performing.
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