BI Infrastructure

[Case Study] Advanced Google Analytics reporting for SEO agencies

For the last few years I've worked on helping companies improve the way they collect and utilize their data. One of the most common tools my clients use is Google Analytics. Google Analytics or GA for short is the tool of choice for web traffic reporting and it dominates the market. Google Analytics is a great solution but as someone that has worked with tools like Tableau and PowerBI I found its' reporting capabilities limiting.

About a year ago I started working on a way to significantly improve the content analytics reporting that was available from Google Analytics data. My main motivation was to improve the reporting of my own traffic data so I could grow this blog faster. I was frustrated that I didn't have an easy way to see the impact that individual posts had to the grow of the blog.

After a few months of tinkering I had the ideal solution. I came up with a framework for implementing advanced Google Analytics reporting for SEO agencies.

The video below goes into detail on how I use this approach to track and report on the traffic for this blog. The same benefits can be gained by SEO agencies or companies that invest heavily in written content.

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Fast forward a few months and I got a great opportunity to take this concept and test it in the field by helping out a friend who runs an SEO agency.

The pain - decentralized data and manual report building

My friend's agency works with 10 or more clients at any one time. This means 10 separate GA accounts and a huge amount of manual work needed to build reports.

My goal was to help alleviate this pain by centralizing the reporting in a custom-built dashboard.

Below are some screenshots of the end product.

The dashboard made it easy for you to switch from one client's reports to the next.

Sessions could be easily segmented by landing page, page category, brand vs. non-brand, source, campaign and others. Fully customizable.

See how individual blog posts and landing pages are contributing to the growth of the site.

Quickly switch reports from absolute values to % of total. View your performance in hundreds of different ways.

The magical view - Eagle's eye view of all clients

Based on feedback from my friend, the most powerful view that I created for him and his team was the summary view. Below is an example of such a view.

Summary view of SEO client traffic data

Each of the metrics shown can be customized to match the exact KPIs that the business uses to measure performance.

The summary view makes it easy to quickly see where each client is in terms of key KPIs like organic traffic graph, revenue growth and how organic traffic is performing compared to every other channel.

This custom-built table is super convenient because it gives you the big picture per client all in one view. This table, along with every other view shown above is automatically updated once a day.

The results - More time, quicker response times

Now that the business has the infrastructure and dashboard in place the team can spend more time on the tasks that really matter.

All of the agencies clients are included in the dashboard and every member of the team has access. This allow anyone to explore the relevant traffic data of specific clients within a few clicks.

The cake view and summary table reports allow the team to identify trends within a few seconds. This allows the agency to be more proactive and intelligent on the movement of the clients' traffic trends.

If something breaks or a page is taken down by mistake the team will be able to see this and respond quickly.

The team is saving hundreds of hours a quarter and can now provide even more value to their clients.

Authorship, content categories and other meta data

My framework allows SEO specialists to enrich traffic data with custom meta data.

I for example have a custom built Google sheet which holds specific info on the posts I publish on this blog. Some examples include the publication date, word count, age, primary category and access level.

Content analytics post list example

This step in the process does require some manual maintenance but it takes the reporting capabilities to the next level.

Imagine being able to see the average sessions per post for the first 30 days by author. How about the growth trend of different categories of content?

Wouldn't you love to know if your case studies are bringing in more traffic or less traffic now than 6 months ago?

All of these questions and many more can be answered using my advanced google analytics reporting for SEO agencies.