I would like to thank the nice people on the Internet for providing so many custom reports for me to borrow without doing an iota of work, in particular Eric Siu of SearchEngineWatch and Avinash Kaushik.
I’m a lazy schlub. And I’ll be the first to admit it. If everything in my life could be completely automated, I would be a happy person. Wallace and Gromit style.
Happily, my sheer, unadulterated inertia actually contributes to my professional development. If I couldn’t copy-paste my work, it would take longer and the end product would be less. And while each client has his or her specific goals and objectives, certain basic concepts apply to all of my clients across the board. And in those cases, I apply those concepts with a vengeance.
For example, Google Analytics lets you share custom reports. Literally, all you have to do is copy-paste the URL to the browser in which you’re logged into your Google Analytics account, and you’re good to go. Okay, maybe you have to tweak slightly – remove certain metrics, edit the brand names, etc. But the bulk of the work is done for you.
I use the following custom Google Analytics reports for all of my clients:
Content Efficiency Analysis
This report tells me which specific pages are high-performance and drive revenue. If you segment it properly, it can also tell you which categories of content perform well, which is great for larger sites.
It also tells me which pages/categories are performing poorly, which means that I can look at those specific pages to find out why. I think that the most interesting discovery I made over the recent past was that a client’s 404 error page had a pretty high user engagement and a remarkably low bounce rate. (As a side note, there’s a fantastic TED talk by Renny Gleeson on how you can use 404 errors to build relationships with users instead of pushing them away from your site. And clearly this client did a good job of doing precisely that.)
Keyword Analysis is a handy little report that lines up the keywords that are driving traffic to your site alongside the pages that users are landing on. If users are unengaged, bouncing off at a rapid rate, or aren’t converting, you can check specific pages to find out why. Maybe the page is ranking for the wrong keywords for which another page on the site would be better suited. Or it’s an opportunity for you to build a well-optimized landing page for a keyword that you’re ranking well for but is performing poorly. Either one.
Visitor Acquisition Efficiency
If you want to find out about the performance of all traffic from all sources across the board, then this is the report for you. It lists your traffic sources, the engagement level of visitors from each of those sources, and best of all, their average monetary value.
Through this report I discovered that users arriving from relevant online communities and forums had a ridiculously high conversion rate for one particular client. So I had some nice actionable data: I followed up by accumulating a list of additional relevant forums.
So, to summarize: if it wasn’t for the sharers and carers out there in the SEO industry, I would be a lot less efficient in my work, and I would get a lot less done. The end.