At the beginning of every month, I take a full day away from hands-on web marketing, SEO, and advertising to create client reports. The reporting is mostly automated and it certainly doesn’t take a whole day to simply create a PDF for my clients, but giving the right information that helps them judge my efficacy makes all the difference… and it keeps me accountable.
Having heard of many web marketing agencies who are not so transparent, we decided that the only way to properly serve our clients and keep them loyal is to be actually helping them grow their business. That means we are very clear about what we’re doing on their behalf including the money being spent on advertising and our overhead. While most of our clients don’t have access to Google AdWords (because they just want us to handle it – they don’t want to navigate the interface) I send them monthly screenshots of their ad behavior and spending. They know exactly how much was spent and what we charge for managing that spending.
We also offer insights into the analytics. We present the raw numbers, including charts, but then we help interpret them so they have meaning and suggest next steps to improve conversion, click through and overall business growth.
In some ways, I dread the client report day – because its somewhat tedious and sometimes I discover that I’m not performing as well as I plan to — that that motivates me to take quick action to improve. What I really love is when I discover that I’m doing WAY better than I expected and the numbers show it.
In the end, a client who knows what I’m doing is a happier client because, at the end of the day, I don’t want them to question whether the money they spend for my services is worth it. They know it’s worth it because these reports show them the facts… and this allows them to make better business decisions, including if they should increase spending on the web channel, which always has such growth potential!