The more you give, the more you get
As an agency client, the first step to receiving complete reporting is communicating what the key performance indicators are for your specific business. All the industry reports in the world wouldn’t be able to inform this decision. Though an agency should have an intimate knowledge of the best strategy for your specific industry, being able to communicate areas of focus is integral in receiving results that match your business’ goals. Having easy to understand reporting is dependent upon the understanding of what you’re reading. The more information you supply your partner agency with, the more targeted campaigns you’ll get in return.
No matter the product or campaign, it’s easy to receive reports month after month and still not completely comprehend what all the numbers and metrics mean. At the end of the day, it’s the agency’s job to inform their client of how the campaign is performing and why the programs are doing what they’re doing. However, any advertiser would be best served by always asking specific questions such as; “You’re running a back-link audit on my site, what is its purpose and what will it accomplish?” Trusting your agency is key, but being knowledgeable will increase your confidence that an agency has a brand’s best interest at heart.
Identify trends and patterns
Reporting is expansive and it can be intimidating to go beyond the summary page to explore the bulk of the raw data. If you feel in the dark on your campaigns, always ask for your agency partner to go deeper and explain what changes are being made, and what the specific next steps are.
Campaigns require constant optimization to adhere to variables like market changes and search engine algorithms. If you’re noticing trends like direct traffic decreasing over a series of months or specific markets spiking in traffic, that’s something your agency should be aware of and addressing. Monitoring trends can seem obvious but that’s why it’s important to hire an agency that is aware of changes and is adapting campaigns accordingly.
It’s imperative that businesses pay attention to metrics that really impact their digital marketing presence not just in the short term, but in the long term too. Page rankings seem to be a good indicator of an SEO programs strength, but typically organic, direct, and referral traffic numbers are a much more reliable indicator of SEO strength. If traffic is increasing, it’s indicative of an improving program even if page rankings seem subpar. There are many variables that go into page rankings, but monitoring traffic numbers paints an accurate picture of how quickly a website is improving in search engines.
Even if your program is focused on lead generation and driving sales, it’s important to build other parts of the digital marketing mix. For paid search endeavors to perform their best, the ads need a reliable landing page to drive to with easy to understand conversion points or lead forms. So again, communicating priorities while also understanding how each program interacts with each other is important to understand how your campaigns are performing.
Your agency is your partner
The best way to ensure your advertising campaigns are delivering the results you’re looking for is to work with your agency to build the best campaign, and trust them to deliver the results while educating during the life of the partnership. An agency with a client’s best interest in mind will always be transparent with their processes and want their clients to understand and grow in their knowledge of the industry. Understanding reporting is the best way to comprehend the performance of your campaigns and determine at what capacity your agency is representing your brand.