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What to include in your website analytics report

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6 mins 30 secs

Website Analytics

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As a digital marketing freelancer or agency, one of the most important deliverables you can provide your clients is a web analytics report.

This report showcases the progress of their digital marketing campaigns and, more importantly, how well those campaigns are performing in relation to key metrics and goals.

However, it’s not as simple as pulling together a few charts and graphs and calling it a day. In order to create an effective web analytics report, you need to understand which data points to include, how to present that data in a way that is easy to understand, and what actionable insights they can glean from the data.

This guide will walk you through the entire process. We’ll talk about what web analytics is, what metrics to track and collect, and the tools you need to get the job done.

By the end of this post, you’ll be ready to create a web analytics report that will impress your clients and help them make better decisions about their digital marketing campaigns.

Let’s get started.

How to collect web analytics

Web analytics is the process of collecting, measuring, and analyzing data about website traffic and activity.

It contains a wealth of information, such as how well your PPC ads are performing, what keywords bring the most traffic, which pages people don’t like, and most importantly, the ROI of your marketing campaigns.

There are a number of different tools you can use to collect website data, the most popular being Google Analytics (GA).

Google Analytics is a free web analytics platform that gives you insights into how people find and use your website. GA tracks metrics such as:

  • Unique visitors: The number of people who visit your website
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of people who leave your website after viewing only one page
  • Pages per session: The average number of pages viewed during a session
  • Average session duration: The average amount of time someone spends on your website during a session
  • Referral traffic: The number of people who visit your website from another website
  • Organic traffic: The number of people who visit your website from a search engine
  • Paid traffic: The number of people who visit your website from a paid ad
  • Social traffic: The number of people who visit your website from a social media platform
  • Conversion rate: The percentage of people who take a desired action on your website (such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter)
  • Keywords: The words or phrases people use to find your website on a search engine (for some – although Google Search Console provides more in depth keyword analysis)
  • Top pages: The most popular pages on your website
  • Exit pages: The pages people leave your website from

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the newest version of the platform, which was launched in 2020. GA4 uses machine learning to automatically surface insights and recommendations. As a result, it’s more effective yet a bit more complex than the previous versions of GA.

GA4 also has a new interface and reporting structure. So, if you’re used to the old GA platform or have never used Google Analytics at all, you’re facing a steep learning curve.

Web analytics tools

Manually harvesting and analyzing website data can be time-consuming and tedious work. As an example, creating a Google Analytics report for a website requires you to:

  • Log into your GA account
  • Find the right data set
  • Create charts and graphs
  • Add annotations
  • Download the report
  • Format the report
  • Email the report to your client

This entire process can take hours to complete and is prone to human error. In addition, multiple clients with different reporting needs can quickly overwhelm even the most experienced analytics professional.

With Reporting Ninja’s Google Analytics Reporting Software, you can create beautiful and accurate web analytics reports in minutes.

Our beginner-friendly software is packed with tools and features that make reporting a breeze, such as:

  • Pre-designed GA report templates: Get up and running quickly with our library of web analytics report templates.
  • Drag & drop report builder: With our drag-and-drop report builder, you can easily add, remove, and rearrange content blocks to create the exact report you need.
  • Customizable charts and graphs: Create custom charts and graphs to visualize your data in any way you want.
  • Data filtering: Filter your data by date range, website, campaign, device, and more to get the most relevant results.
  • Scheduled reports: Schedule your reports to be emailed to you or your clients automatically, so you can spend your time on other tasks.
  • Branded reports: Make your reports look professional by branding them with your client’s logo, colors, and contact information.
  • Branded client portal: Give your clients 24/7 access to their web analytics reports with a branded client portal.
  • Multi-language support: Reporting Ninja’s web analytics reporting software is available in 16 languages.

In short, Reporting Ninja’s Google Analytics Reporting Software takes the guesswork and hassle out of web analytics reporting.

What should your website analytics report include

Google Analytics is an exceptional tool for tracking and collecting data. However, it’s important not to get data fatigue and be swamped by information. Focusing on the metrics and KPIs that matter is key.

To determine which data points to track and collect, you need to understand the needs of your business or client.

Once you have a good understanding of what your business or client is hoping to learn, you can start to identify the relevant KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

KPIs are the lifeblood of any effective web analytics report. They help you to understand if you’re meeting your goals and objectives.

Different types of sites will have different KPIs. Here’s a quick comparison of e-commerce sites and information sites:

E-commerce sites

Web analytics for e-commerce sites usually track KPIs such as:

  • Sales revenue
  • Number of orders
  • Conversion rate
  • Average order value
  • Shopping cart abandonment rate

These figures will tell you how much revenue your website is generating, how many orders are being placed, what percentage of visitors are completing a purchase (conversion rate), and how much each order is worth on average (average order value).

The shopping cart abandonment rate lets you know how many people are adding items to their shopping cart but not completing the purchase. This is useful information because it can help you to identify any potential issues with your checkout process.

Information sites

If your website provides information or entertainment, rather than selling products, you’ll want to track different KPIs.

For example, you might want to track:

  • Number of pageviews
  • Number of unique visitors
  • Bounce rate
  • Average time on site

These figures will give you a good indication of how popular your website is, how long people spend on your site, and how many people leave without a single interaction(bounce rate).

The average time on site metric lets you know how engaged people are with your content. If people are spending a long time on your site, it’s a good sign that they’re enjoying your content and finding it informative or entertaining.

Still, regardless of what type of website you have, your web analytics report can benefit from the following metrics:

  • Number of sessions or visits. This is the raw count of website visitors over a given time period. Tracking this metric over time and comparing year-over-year (YOY) and month-over-month (MOM) data gives you valuable insight into website performance.
  • Percentage of new sessions. This figure tells you what percentage of your website visitors are new (first-time visitors) as opposed to returning visitors. If people are not coming back to your website, there can be a problem with your content, design, etc.
  • Traffic channels. Are your visitors coming from Pay-per-Click (PPC), social media, organic search, direct traffic, etc.? It’s important to know where your traffic is coming from so you can invest more in the channels that are performing well and less in the ones that are underperforming.
  • Conversions and goals. “Conversion” can refer to things like sales (for e-commerce sites), form submissions (for lead generation sites), downloads (for information sites), etc.
  • Bounce rate. The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave without a single interaction.A high bounce rate can be a sign that your website is not relevant to the needs of your visitors or that your design is not user-friendly. GA4 has a bounce rate metric (introduced in July 2022) but it’s essentially the inverse of GA4’s new metric – engagement rate.
  • Engagement. Engagement metrics refer to the actions people take on your website. These can include things like the number of pages viewed, the average time on site, etc.
  • Content performance. Content performance metrics tell you how well your individual pieces of content are performing. Are people reading, sharing, and commenting on it? Do they leave the page after a few seconds? These metrics can be particularly useful for blog posts, articles, infographics, etc.
  • Audience. Audience metrics provide valuable insights into who your website visitors are. These can include things like age, gender, location, interests, etc. This also includes what device they are using (desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone), which can be useful for responsive design.
  • Lead capture. If you have a lead capture form on your website, you’ll want to track how many people are filling it out and how much it’s costing you per lead.

There are just a few of the most important metrics that should be included in your web analytics report. As mentioned before, the specific metrics you track will depend on the type of website you have and the goals you’re trying to achieve.

How to use web analytics

Think of web analytics reports as the compass for your digital marketing campaigns. They’re the key to making data-driven decisions. Here are some tips on how to maximize your web analytics:

Use analytics to assess ROI

Every dollar counts when it comes to marketing budgets. Web analytics can help you assess the ROI of your digital campaigns and optimize your spend.

For example, if you’re running a PPC ad campaign, you can use web analytics to track how many people are clicking on your ads and how many of those clicks are converting into sales or leads.

Get timely feedback on specific, defined goals

Real-time feedback is essential for making informed decisions. Web analytics reports can help you track progress and identify areas of improvement.

For instance, if you’re trying to increase sales on your e-commerce site, you can use web analytics to track how many people are viewing product pages, adding items to their cart, and completing the purchase.

Identify content that's underperforming

Web analytics can help you identify which pieces of content are performing well and which ones are falling flat.

This matters for two reasons: first, you want to make sure you’re creating content that people actually want to read, and second, you don’t want to waste time and resources on content that no one is going to see.

Inform site development priorities

Not sure where to start with your website development? Web analytics can help.

If the report shows that most of your visitors are coming from mobile devices, then you know you need to prioritize mobile optimization.

Or, if the report shows that people are leaving your site after a few seconds, then you may want to check factors like navigation, design, and content.

Use analytics to identify your top sources of traffic

If you’re investing money on various channels like PPC, social media, and email marketing, you want to know which one is giving you the best return. Web analytics shows you that data, so you can focus your efforts (and money) on the channels that are actually driving results.

Monitor user journeys

The user journey doesn’t end when someone clicks on your ad or link. So it’s essential to track what happens after that, too.

Web analytics can help you see the entire journey, from initial click to purchase (or other goal), so you can identify gaps and optimize the journey.

Save money and maximize ROI

In the end, web analytics is all about making sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. You get an in-depth look at where your audiences are, what they need, plus the strengths and weaknesses of your current strategy.

This data empowers you – and by extension, your clients – to make smarter decisions not just for your bottom line but for your target audience as well.

How to create an analytics report

Now that you know why web analytics reports are essential and how to use them, it’s time to learn how to create one. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating an effective web analytics report:

Step 1: Define the objectives of your business or client

First, establish a direction for your report. Be as specific as you can. If you’re handling web analytics for a Shopify store, for example, your objective might be to increase sales by 10% in the next quarter.

Step 2: Choose the metrics you need to measure

Your objectives will tell you what kind of data (aka metrics) you need to collect. Let’s take the Shopify example above. To see if you’re on track to increase sales by 10%, you’ll need to track metrics like shopping cart abandonment, conversion rate, and average order value.

Step 3: Select the right web analytics report format

Once you have the data, you need to present it in a way that’s easy for your team or client to understand. That means choosing the right report format. Data tables, for example, are great for displaying large sets of data, while charts and graphs are better for visualizing trends.

Taking the Shopify example again, you might want to use a line graph to track progress against your sales goal and a table to show which products are selling the most.

Step 4: Decide how often you need to run the report

Some reports, like those tracking monthly or quarterly sales, only need to be run once a month or quarter. Other reports, like those tracking website traffic, might need to be run daily, weekly, or monthly. Your web analytics reporting schedule will depend on the objectives of your business or client.

Step 5: Discuss the report with your team or client

Finally, don’t forget to actually share the report with your team or client! Use it to evaluate your current campaigns, brainstorm new ideas, and support each member of your team in their specific roles.

Creating an effective web analytics report doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, why don’t you try creating one right now?

Here’s your free 15-day trial of Reporting Ninja! Play around with our template, try our widget wizard, and check out all the amazing features you can use to create your custom Google Analytics reports.

In conclusion

A web analytics report is a cornerstone of any effective digital marketing strategy. By tracking the right data and presenting it in an easy-to-understand format, you can make sure you’re always moving in the right direction.

Reporting Ninja helps you quickly and easily create custom web analytics reports, so you can focus on what’s important: driving results for your business or clients.

Use our Google Analytics Reporting Software to craft professional reports in minutes. Want to pull data from different sources? Try our Data Studio connectors for free. We offer connectors for a wide range of channels, including Facebook Ads, Google My Business, LinkedIn Pages, Twitter Analytics, and many more.

Sign up now for a FREE, 15-day trial of Reporting Ninja’s advanced analytics tools.

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