But it’s rare that I see marketers reflecting on an entire year of growth. It’s even more uncommon to see reviews of year-over-year results in a single dashboard.
Maybe that’s because producing a yearly aggregated report is a major pain-in-the-analyst? Or perhaps it’s because we are exhausted from the holiday season?
Whatever the reason, it should be mandatory to reflect on your marketing outcomes over an entire year.
And, YES, even though 2020 was a year unlike any other, it’s still absolutely crucial to take a look back. Otherwise, you risk setting unreasonable objectives for next year. Or worse, you miss out on key growth areas you could capitalize on in the upcoming year.
Complete your year-end website review in one click!
To make YOUR yearly website review a whole heck of a lot easier, I’m sharing my year-end marketing report template.
The great thing about this template is you can plug it into your Google Analytics account… and with one-click, you have a full report on the year that was.
You'll be able to see how many conversions you drove, where your traffic came from, how your content performed. And most importantly, you'll see where you have room for improvement.
In the remainder of this post, I’ll break down exactly what’s included in this report. And I'll share how you can use this template to do a fast, yet effective website review. Also, if you're up for a trip back in time, you can check out this video I made a couple of years ago about version 1.0 of the Year-in-Review report.
The YIR template is just one of the handful of ready-made reports that are available in our Data Studio Template Pack. If you want to get your own copy of the YIR report (along with the 9 other ready-made reports in our Template Pack) click the big red banner below.
Using the Year-In-Review Data Studio Marketing Report
This marketing report template features data from the Google Merchandise Store (GMS). Using the GMS data is a universal way we can all utilize the report template and provides a clean dataset for learning.
On unexpected drawback with this data set... Google did NOT set up goal values for the GMS. (What the heck Google!). So unfortunately the scorecards and tables that feature conversion values are showing “No data.”
However, when you download the report and plug it into your Analytics account, you’ll be able to see your own data (as opposed to Google’s).
What will your data look like in our Year-End Marketing Report?
If you do not have goals set up in your Google Analytics account, please take my Analytics Course!!! Inside the course, you'll learn how to use goals, ASAP. You'll thank me later.
With all these disclaimers out of the way, I am excited to share what’s in the YIR report.
The Data Driven Year-in-Review Google Data Studio Marketing Report
Alright, let’s dissect our year-in-review template so you can see what you'll be able to learn from this report.
The report has four pages.
Website Traffic Dashboard
Page #1 is an overall website traffic dashboard.
The scorecards at the top of the page display:
- Total users
- Total Session
- Conversion rate, and
- Total conversions
Below each feature KPI in the scorecard, there is an up or down indicator to shows performance against the previous year. These indicators will help you quickly see if your traffic and conversions grew or declined year-over-year, and by how much.
The session-by-month bar chart in the report shows growth vs. 2019 monthly sessions. And the sessions by channel in the stacked bar chart will reveal the source of your website traffic.
The table below the session by channel chart breaks out traffic sources as well. This table includes goal values by channel, so you can see which traffic sources were the most valuable. Keep in mind the conversion value in this table is goal related, not e-commerce related.
Most popular content
The table in the lower left-hand corner of the traffic dashboard shows you which pages on your site performed the best. It also highlights the page value based on your goals in Google Analytics. Page Value is my favorite content metric inside GA.
Mobile (and Tablet) vs Desktop traffic Dashboard
One of the things I tried to do with page #2 of this report is to show you a clear picture of mobile vs. desktop traffic. This side-by-side view of traffic inside shows you how user devices impact your website's conversion rate.
Organic Traffic Dashboard
Page #3 of the report uses both Google Analytics and Google Search console data. It's a hybrid report from both sources.
Adding Google Search console data to this report allows you to review the search queries that sent users to your site. It also provides insight into how many clicks Google search drove to your website.
The last page of our year-end marketing report, page #4, is dedicated to conversions.
This area of the report shows goal completions by month and goal URL. And the bar chart breaks out each goal you've set in Google Analytics so that you can see which offer on your website drove the most conversions.
What do your results tell you?
I tried to make this dashboard as universal as possible so that you can plug it into your data sources and see your results right away.
If you're interested in getting access to more done-for-you marketing reports, and learning how to use Google Data Studio like a pro, check out Data Studio Mastery. In this training program, I show you step-by-step how to hook up your data sources and how to add your specific KPIs to your reports.
No matter your website marketing activities for 2020, this report should highlight your results (as long as driving traffic to your website was an objective).
A concentrated effort (and hard work) will pay-off in the long run
For those of you who have followed me since the days of Jeffalytics, you may remember I undertook some pretty ambitious content marketing efforts. In 2018 my #1 goal was to grow traffic to my site. That year my team and I spent 90 straight days producing both written and video content.
When we looked at our results month-by-month or quarter-over-quarter, we started to see some growth in the second half of 2018.
But looking at our growth year-over-year put our progress in perspective. We've continued to see the pay-off from that focused effort in our last two yearly website reviews.
Next year’s objectives
2020 was a rough year for humanity. But, it may have been a great year for your website.
More people were online than ever, which means you may have more data to evaluate.
When you review your data using the Year-in-Review report, you should see trends or opportunities you can build on this year.
You can increase your conversions by adding a lead magnet to your best piece of content. Or you can look for keywords that emerged as a growth driver and produce more content around those topics.
Using the YIR report should give context to the story of your website and help put your growth goals for 2021 in perspective.
What are your 2021 marketing objectives?
The other way the YIR report can help your marketing is by holding you accountable.
For example, my goal this year is to grow Data Driven’s organic traffic beyond 100,000 sessions per month.
I’ll be using the YIR report to evaluate my team’s progress towards that goal over the course of the year.
Do you have a website growth goal this year?
If you do, let’s work together. Share your objectives in the comments below, and we’ll hold each other accountable.