Why you need annual reporting Annual reporting will give you a big-picture look at what happened throughout the year on your marketing campaigns, but it will be able to do so accurately thanks to all the details and carefully-tracked metrics. How to create accurate annual marketing reports quickly All marketing teams understand the importance of annual reporting, and now we’re going to show you step by step how to create accurate reports quickly for your marketing team. Create distinct reports for each marketing segment Most businesses – even really small ones – will have multiple marketing sectors, engaging in strategies in fields like SEO, PPC campaigns, social media marketing, and content marketing. Make sure that you’re measuring concrete numbers. Use tools like SEMrush My Reports to quickly create and download reports in every area of your marketing. This will show not just how well your campaigns worked this year, but how much growth you’ve seen. Here’s what Laura had to say: “Reporting is all about showing your clients / stakeholders the value of the work you’ve put in. Whatever it is, it’s important the metric be clearly defined and agreed between all parties and that those metrics are included in every report.” Simon’s advice was similar, focusing on those key metrics early on: “Before we think about reporting & data visualization, we need to begin by developing a framework for metrics and understanding the scope at which they exist. It’s important to ask yourself several critical questions for each metric you’re planning to report on, such as, what can I actually do with this information? It’s essential to take some time at the end of every year to assess what’s worked well for you, what hasn’t, and the results and growth that you’ve seen overall.
Annual reporting is typically a dreaded task. No one likes sorting through analytics programs, digging for abstract data to try to come to concrete conclusions, especially if there is a lot on the line depending on what those reports say.
At SEMrush, we found that each individual annual report takes an average of five hours to complete, and the reports may vary in accuracy depending on what they’re trying to assess. This can be stressful, and it’s time spent doing repetitive work that could be used to tackle other, more productive projects.
With the right tools and processes in place, however, you can make this dreaded task a lot more pain-free and much more efficient. In this post, we’re going to look at how to quickly create accurate annual reports that will wow your team, your boss, and your clients.
Why you need annual reporting
Annual reporting will give you a big-picture look at what happened throughout the year on your marketing campaigns, but it will be able to do so accurately thanks to all the details and carefully-tracked metrics. They’ll help you see where you stand in the progress towards your goals.
These reports will give you insight so that you can go into the new year refreshed, with some new strategies, and sure that you’re on the best path possible based on all the information at hand.
For team members or agencies who are showing their boss or clients what they accomplished, this will give you something you can hold up to show them what they’re paying you for, making your value more clear. That being said, annual reports are important even just for internal teams, as it keeps all team members on the same page.
How to create accurate annual marketing reports quickly
All marketing teams understand the importance of annual reporting, and now we’re going to show you step by step how to create accurate reports quickly for your marketing team.
Create distinct reports for each marketing segment
Most businesses – even really small ones – will have multiple marketing sectors, engaging in strategies in fields like SEO, PPC campaigns, social media marketing, and content marketing.
Ideally, each of these sectors should have their own reports or their own distinct, separate sections within the report. Each specialty, after all, will have their own goals, their own KPIs, and their own initiatives. This separation makes it easier to assess what’s working in each so you can evaluate progress and decide if something needs to be changed.
Choose KPIs up front
Your key performance indicators (KPIs) should be specific and tied to your goals. They’ll tell you what you’re measuring and why ensuring that you compile the data that you need the first time in addition to hopefully optimizing for those KPIs throughout the year.
Make sure that you’re measuring concrete numbers. Trying to evaluate social ROI or brand awareness, for example, is complicated and inaccurate; looking at the number of mentions and clicks to your site, however, are exact and much more helpful.
While KPIs can vary from business to business and what your specific goals are, there are a few KPIs that you should be looking for in each key marketing sector.
SEO reports should be measuring:
- Position tracking
- Organic keyword ranking
- Site traffic
- Website issues, including technical errors that can be found through a site audit
- Number of backlinks
- Keywords targeted
SEMrush Site Audit
PPC campaign reports should focus on:
- Cost-per-click (CPC)
- Conversion rate
- Total ad spend
- Number of conversions
- Return on ad spend (ROAS)
- Keywords that yield the best results
- Position tracking for search ads
Social media marketing reports should be measuring:
- Actions like clicks to a site, or calls or messages to a brand
- Purchases made on-app
- Content saved by users
- Follower growth
- Engagement rate
- Impressions (but mostly to ensure that your content is on target)
- Audience overview and demographic information
SEMrush Social Media Tool
Content marketing annual reports need to look at:
- Keyword ranking
- Keywords that bring the most traffic to the site
- Source traffic
- Bounce rate
- Average time spent on the page
- Number of backlinks and sources they’re coming from
Use software to track the data
Ideally, you’ll be using software throughout the year to track your marketing progress. Many businesses, for example, often use Google Analytics to track site traffic and performance, and native tools like Facebook’s Insights to track social growth.
There are tools that you can use, however, that can give you more detail quickly, and can look at multiple areas of marketing all at once. SEMrush is one of those tools, and can quickly compile reports on everything from your social growth to your keyword position tracking overtime to your backlink profile.
Use tools like SEMrush My Reports to quickly create and download reports in every area of your marketing. These reports will even come with some visuals generated for you automatically, which you can use in your annual report. Read the full guide here.
Compile the data
You’ve got the data, and now it’s time to compile it. This is often the part of the process that most people dread, trying to assess how to break down the masses of numbers into something coherent.
Start by breaking the data down into sections. Then, once you do this, look for patterns in how the metrics are interacting. Look for overall trends in growth to assess impact.
At this stage, look for indications of success in each…