There is seemingly no end to the amount and variety of activities you can undertake in digital marketing. There is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, and a plethora of social media platforms to choose from. But there is no point to any of it if it is not doing something to further your business – and the million dollar question is, how do you know? The answer – digital marketing reporting.
What is Digital Marketing Reporting?
Digital marketing reporting can consist of any tool that helps you understand the fruits of your labour. It can consist of analytics reports, social media insights, SEO reports, SEM reports etc. The exact tools will depend on which digital marketing platforms you are using and how you are using them but the goal is to measure your return on investment and to gain insight on how your digital marketing efforts might be optimized even more.
Through this type of reporting and analytics, you can discover where your web traffic is coming from, how many visitors are buying, which videos they are watching, which links they are clicking and even the type of device they are viewing your webpage on. This knowledge will be very useful in setting up your next digital marketing campaign or tweaking the one you already have!
Who is Your Message Reaching?
Most business owners want to have the widest online reach possible, but it is also important that you are reaching the right people. Certain products or services are going to be more geared to certain demographics of age, gender and geographic locations. Likewise, different types of messaging will be more likely to resonate with certain groups.
Digital marketing reporting will help you to know which ads, social media posts and landing pages are working best with each target demographic. For example, if your aim is to engage with men under the age of 30, analytics can help you determine if your intended audience is your actual audience. If it isn’t, you have the opportunity to make adjustments to your digital marketing campaigns until you are reaching your target customer.
Digital Reporting on Your Website
Perhaps the most basic component of your digital marketing efforts is your website itself. It is possible to have well-crafted online advertising, and engaging social media but if you ultimately end up driving traffic to an ineffective website, you can lose your audience as quickly as you gain them.
Reporting will give you important information about how your audience interacts with your website. For example, it will let you know what your top pages are. These pages can then be optimized to ensure they are getting the best possible conversion rates.
Are You Using the Right Channels? …And Are You Using Each Channel Right?
It used to be that online marketing consisted of a well-designed website with some solid SEO built into it and maybe some paid advertising on Google. Now there is a growing list of social media channels that many businesses are using to promote their message including not only Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but also Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat and more. To make matters even more complex, all of these platforms attract different demographics; and audiences on each platform have come to expect and interact with different types of messaging from each platform.
It is more common than ever for potential customers to do their product research through social media before they make a purchase decision. But unless your company is very large, it can be quite cumbersome (if not impossible) to have a presence on all channels. Choosing the channels that will best engage your target audience is key.
Again, here is an area where digital marketing reporting can help. Reporting allows you test your messaging within each platform and helps you keep track of your customer interactions.
Organic vs. Non-Organic Traffic
Organic traffic – or traffic that is a result of your SEO efforts – has long been revered as the holy grail of digital marketing. But the fact is that appearing organically on the first page of Google in the near future may or may not be realistic for your business. Especially if you are a newer business in a competitive industry, it may not be practical at all.
Not to worry though. If organic traffic is still elusive, your reporting will tell you that and may indicate the importance of stepping up your paid traffic, through PPC campaigns, social media ads etc.
And if you are using paid advertising, reporting will help you to understand the effectiveness of that as well. For example, if you are running a PPC campaign or social media ad, it may be driving traffic to your landing page – but is it driving the right traffic? Is the traffic coming from the right geographic location? Do the demographics of your traffic match up with the demographics of your target audience? And finally, how is your conversion rate once they get to your landing page?
Especially when you are paying for traffic, you want to make sure that you are getting the right results! Reporting will help you keep track of those results and allow you to make changes if necessary before spending too much of your marketing budget on an ad that isn’t getting the expected return on investment.
The Importance of Ongoing Digital Marketing Reporting
Digital marketing reporting is an activity that should be conducted on a regular basis. Even if you have achieved excellent results with your SEO, SEM etc., the landscape of the internet is constantly changing. The best digital marketing strategies today may not be the best digital marketing strategies tomorrow.
Through regular reporting, you will often be able to catch changes in online activity before they become a problem for your business. For example, perhaps your target audience moves away from Facebook but has increased activity on Instagram. Or perhaps you experience a decrease in your organic traffic possibly due to being penalized by Google. Spotting and dealing with these issues early can save your business a great deal of time and headache.
With regular digital marketing reporting, you can stay one step ahead in your industry and take the steps you need to in order to remain competitive.