Now that most of the bugs have been ironed out, I’m sold on Raven’s new reporting engine. The previous iteration was more or less unusable for me as it was just far too clumsy, but all of our client reporting is now done in the new version and it’s been (mostly) hassle-free.
A lot has been written on creating monthly client reports that alert and inform, but much less on digging into new prospects. Obviously, not having access to insights, analytics and social accounts makes this a little harder, but there is still plenty of data freely available that you can make good use of.
Here’s how I do it using Raven’s new reports.
This is probably one of the first things we do when we have a new potential client in our sights. Raven’s Site Auditor tool (find it in the sidebar, under SEO), while quite basic in its appearance, is fantastic for quickly getting lots of information about a website. The first crawl will take a few hours, and subsequent ones can be scheduled to run regularly.
Once complete, the site audit results will be clearly displayed, and can be added to a report.
In the sidebar, go to Reports > Reports NEW! and click through to create a new report. Click the green ‘Add’ button and select the Site Auditor. For now, the Summary option will be fine. Raven will now add this section with the Summary group of widgets to your report:
(NB: I have renamed my sections and edited the dates here – if you’re unfamiliar with creating and customising these reports, check out the official guide here.)
This next section will give you an overview of the number and variety of backlinks that your prospect has, as well as some standard quality metrics. Here’s my finished section:
Most of this data has come directly from the Research Central tool, which you can find in the sidebar. Both the Summary and Quality and Backlinks sections have some useful stuff, so here I added both sections and then shuffled my widgets around and deleted some duplicates.
The Total Links and Link Distribution graphs are especially useful. However, the Total Links graph has far too many data points by default to be particularly helpful, so I’ve reduced it down to only show the past couple of years.
Finally, the Moz Rank metric has come from the Site Performance module: there are a couple of variations of it that you can use from Research Central, but I found this one to be the most accurate.
Understanding relevant competitors can be really helpful when determining how much work you’ll need to do to achieve your prospect’s goals, so it makes sense to add them in:
For data to show up here in the report, you’ll firstly need to head to Campaign > Competitor Manager in the sidebar. Don’t worry if you’ve already started your report: Raven will save your progress automatically.
Add a couple of competitors, then navigate back to your report to see the Competitors table populated. Note that it may take a few minutes, or you may need to delete and re-add the table: it can still be slightly buggy on occasion!
You can customise and sort the columns shown (as with most tables available in these reports), so have a click around to find what looks and works best for you.
This one may or may not be useful to you. It can take a little while to procure useful data for this, depending on how talked about your brand is. This is because Raven will only search forward in time and won’t search the history of Twitter and Facebook. As such, it’s worthwhile doing this as soon as you can if social metrics – or even just traffic from social channels – form a significant part of your pitch.
Firstly, you’ll need to head to the sidebar and navigate to Social > Monitor. Add a new monitor search here:
Once done and added to your report, it should look something like this:
This is more or less just the Social Monitor’s Summary collection of widgets. The sentiment score can be a little off-the-mark, but remember that you can head back to the Social > Monitor tool in the sidebar and manually set the sentiment for each result if you want to spend the time to make this more accurate.
Finally, I add a handful more widgets at the end:
Many of these you will have seen before: they have come from the Research Central sections. The exception is Load Time, which is from the Site Performance Summary section, although you can find a similar metric in Research Central too. Depending on the kind of work you’re pitching for, this could be useful stuff to monitor.
Remember to publish, schedule your report and set up an email notification if you want this to run regularly. Otherwise, you can just publish it and send it around to your team to make sure that your next pitch deck blows everyone else out of the water.
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