Step 7 – Dashboards & Reports
An introductory tutorial video covering Step 7 of the Analytics SEO Welcome Programme:
Welcome to Step 7 of our Welcome Programme. Here we will be looking at the reports and dashboards you can produce in the system.
Firstly, we have a Dashboard tab which is split into a “This Site” dashboard and an “All Sites” dashboard
The “This Site” dashboard will provide you with a welcome message which you can remove after you first login, Site Analysis breakdown, a KPI panel and a Priority Action g
I’m just going to talk about these two panels. Firstly, the KPI panel allows you to see at a glance how your site is performing over time and whether it is trending up or down.
As you can see, you can change the date range here and the numbers will update to reflect that date range. So, if I select “Month” as the date range, the platform now shows me full month on month comparisons.
I can also see where I am up to at this point in time compared to the same point in time the previous month.
The Priority Action Grid helps you to prioritise how you tackle the SEO on a particular website by showing you which modules have a critical or warning status.
Of the 40 or so modules within the platform, a number have scores attached to them. And it is these which will show up here if the system doesn’t pass the website for that particular module.
In other words, anything with a green score or showing at 100% according to the platform will not appear; any other scored module will.
You can move items around the grid, reset it to default positions and also export it as part of the Site Overview report. You can then easily add your own additional priorities. This is handy if you want a simple way of reporting to clients to show them which are the crucial issues which require attention.
The All Sites tab gives an overview of the performance of all the sites your user has access to.
The system will summarise the performance of those sites in these two panels – Operational KPIs and Performance KPIs. These can be useful for pre-sales purposes, if you’re working for an agency as it neatly summarises your team’s current performance over multiple sites.
Below it you have the Compare All Sites panel which gives you two views – a Grid view and a Table view.
This enables you to quickly compare the performance of sites over different date ranges and using different metrics. This can be very handy for ‘roll up’ reporting if you’re working for an agency and are managing several sites for a particular client.
So that’s dashboards. The other main area for reporting is in the Results tab.
Most of the modules in this section are based on analytics data, so it is essential that you have Google Analytics (or Omniture) configured in your campaign setup if you want to see data displayed here. For configuring Omniture integration, please see this article.
Firstly, in this tab, we have the Result vs Target module. This allows you to set KPIs based on analytics data. You can set up to six and then 6 donuts will appear in the UI showing you how well or badly you’re doing. Please note, that these numbers are based on moving 30 day averages, so if you export this into a report and show full monthly numbers in other modules, these numbers might not exactly match up, depending upon when you produce the report.
Analytics Benchmarks gives you a very simple breakdown of where you started and what your current monthly average is looking like. We find a lot of our agency clients particularly like using this module as a summary slide for regular client reporting.
SEO vs PPC Visits gives you a breakdown of PPC and Organic traffic over time. You’ll notice these modules allow you to change the chart type and each of them also comes with a detailed breakdown of the numbers in a table below the chart.
Brand vs Non-Brand Visits gives a breakdown of brand and non-branded organic visits. This is based on the filter we setup earlier. It’s always useful to know whether your site is competing for non-branded terms which will usually make up the vast majority of search volume for any particular market.
Organic Visits by Search Engine is pretty self-explanatory: it will simply breakdown your organic visits by each search engine.
Organic Breadth and Depth provides some analysis of the proportion of brand and non brand keywords generating traffic for your site, compared to an indexation number and number of landing pages generating organic traffic.
Organic Visits and Activity will show organic traffic over time and the number of activities completed on the campaign. At the moment, it will automatically pick up on link acquisitions and lost links and also report on any technical setup changes – for example, when the software detects a robots.txt file or a sitemap being added to the website. If you download just this module to Excel, it will export your daily organic visit numbers.
All Sites Visits will show you where your traffic is coming from. I personally like displaying this data as a column or stacked column chart, but it’s up to you.
Organic Goal Conversions will import every single organic goal you have setup in Google Analytics. This can be very useful in determining how successful your site is in achieving particular goals over time.
Organic E-Com (or E-Commerce) Transactions is self-explanatory, as it will show a breakdown of revenue and transactions over time for e-commerce sites. Obviously, these are crucial metrics to measure and you might also want to consider looking at both this and the Organic Goal Conversions module, as you can have both setup in Google Analytics.
The three Month on Month modules towards the bottom of this menu are very useful for reporting on ROI progress during a campaign. If you’re an agency these can be very helpful in proving to your clients that you’ve delivered real value over the course of an SEO campaign.
In particular, one module you might want to consider examining – during a campaign review or towards the end of a campaign – is the Monthly SEO vs PPC ROI module.
This imports PPC data via Google Analytics (not Adwords). To enable us to access this data, we simply need you to have connected your Adwords account to your Google Analytics account (you do this in your Adwords admin settings).
This module will then give you a very detailed breakdown over a long period of your ROI for your PPC and your SEO spend. The “SEO spend” here, by the way, is set by clicking on “Edit SEO Fees” and adding a monthly retainer, so the platform can work out cost per visit, cost per conversion, etc.
Now let’s talk about how you export data from the platform. There are actually several methods of doing this.
Firstly, you’ll see little download to CSV icons above every table in the platform. These will usually download filtered tables. The only exception to that is the Keyword Research module where it will download the entire table, but you can easily filter this in Excel.
You can also download filtered charts by simply using these options on the charts themselves. You’ll notice that, much like the tables, it will download the view of the chart you have in the UI at the time.
You’ll also find links to export reports above every module. This will bring up an export dialog like this one. The other option you have to access this window is by using the Export Report link in the Actions column of the Sites table.
This window will default to selecting a module-only report, which, as it sounds, will just download the data for the module and the site you’re examining at the time.
You also have a range of standard reports you can download, as well as the option of downloading a custom report you have designed yourself and applied to this site. The custom reports will appear below this dotted line.
Within the options for standard reports, you’ll notice these section reports. These will simply download the data for all the modules in each section. So, for example, the Keywords report will just export all the data from the modules in this section – with the exception, in this case, of the Keyword Research module.
You’ll notice that apart from downloading CSV, PNG and SVG files, the platform also supports Excel, PDF and Powerpoint formats.
Please note that tables exported in Powerpoint formats are restricted in that we can only fit a number of rows on each slide. If you wish to export more rows in a table, you should export in either PDF, which will export up to 100 filtered rows per table or Excel or CSV, which will allow you to download all the data in a table.
One other thing to note about Powerpoint and PDF formats is that you can easily rebrand these. If you go to the branding section by clicking on the Settings menu and then the Branding link, you’ll be presented with this screen.
Here you can upload logos for use in the header on PDF reports and the first worksheet of any Excel reports.
You can also download a Powerpoint template, customise it to suit your organisation’s own branding and then upload a copy for use in the reports in order to replace the default Analytics SEO one.
Please follow the instructions on this Knowledge Base article in order to get this to work, as you will need to download the template, view the Slide Master and upload a background image; it won’t work if you just cut and paste images into the slide master. If you have any difficulties doing this, please raise a ticket.
You’ll also notice that there is a “Use Default” tickbox here. This therefore allows you the flexibility of either using the custom template or logos you have just uploaded for all your sites or designing a specific template or logo for each individual site on the platform.
Now, let’s go back to discussing Custom Report Templates. These can be designed from this option in the Reports menu.
Simply click on “New Custom Report Template” and you’ll be taken to this screen. Give it a name (this can be printed on the cover page of the report, if you wish).
Next, you’ll be able to upload a cover page. This is a full bleed image so it will stretch anything you upload to each corner. Here’s an example of how that can look. Please note this option only affects PDF reports.
You can also upload a header image. This will appear at the top of each page (except the cover page, as it says here). This also affects PDF reports only. We discussed customising Powerpoint reports earlier and as for Excel reports, the logos you uploaded in the branding section simply print out on a cover page worksheet in Excel.
Next up, you have a section for the Cover Page. You can add any standard text here that you want to print on each report. So you might, for example, have a confidentiality or data protection clause you want to add.
You can also insert placeholders which will automatically populate with the relevant data for each site.
You can move placeholders and text around until you’re happy with the previewed result.
The next section for an Executive Summary also allows you to make use of placeholders. The way in which these work is that you can select a metric and a time period and the system will automatically insert a paragraph like this. This feature is there to simply save you some time in producing reporting summaries each month. Again, download a preview until you’re happy with the result.
As for the Report Content, all you need to do here is to select some modules to include this report. Just expand each section and drag across the modules you want to use for this template. You’ll notice that you can put these in any order you like.
Finally, simply apply this template to one or more sites. If you want to apply it to just some specific sites instead of all your current and future sites, you’ll notice that this window includes a filter box, which allows you to search for a specific domain and also allows you to automatically filter to see sites that have Google Analytics (or Omniture) configured. You’ll also notice that this window also includes a handy link to an otherwise hidden URL which breaks down all your analytics configurations for the sites on your account.
The reason we’ve added this option in here is that some modules are dependent upon a user having configured analytics access. Typically, these are modules within the Results section. For a complete breakdown of module dependencies, please see the Appendix in the user manual.
And that’s it. Save it down and it will appear in this section here. It will also then appear under this dotted line for all applicable sites, as you can see here.
So that’s reports and dashboards. We review our reporting features from time to time, so if there’s anything you’d like to see included on a report, please get in touch.
That was the last step in this introductory series of videos. If you require further detail, please download the free user manual, if you haven’t already done so. We do hope you enjoy using Analytics SEO, but if you have any feedback to give, please get in touch via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Twitter (@analyticsseo) or by phone. We’d love to hear from you. Thank you for listening.