Every decision, big or small, is backed up by one thing: data. Even breathing is the result of your brain sending data to your lungs, letting them know you’re alive and that they should continue inflating and deflating.
But, while obviously vital, breathing involves just a single piece of data: whether or not you’re alive. Though clearly not a matter of life and death, optimizing a marketing strategy involves analyzing a substantially larger, more complicated set of data. The good news is HubSpot has collected all of the data you need for this particular task into one place: Reports. (Consider it the brain to your marketing strategy’s lungs.)
At first glance, HubSpot’s reports can seem a bit overwhelming. But once you understand how to leverage the marketing data inside each report, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
Below is a breakdown of the five primary HubSpot reports and the questions you’ll need to answer to take full advantage of each.
The Sources report is one of the most powerful HubSpot analysis tools because it not only allows you to see which channels are performing the best individually but also how each stacks up against the others in terms of visits, contacts and customers.
Smart marketers know that evaluating data in silos, without additional context, tends to mean investing time and budget in an ineffectual strategy. With the Sources report, you can determine which channels might need a little bit of love (if the channel had been performing well in the past but hasn’t recently) and which might need to be scrapped entirely (if the channel has never performed well, despite optimizations).
The Page performance report gives you insight into which website pages, landing pages and blog posts have the highest (and lowest) number of views, call-to-action (CTA) click percentages, comments, keywords and inbound links. You can also see if the page has optimization opportunities, which is indicated by the yellow triangle to the left of the page title.
Your brand could have outstanding, mind-bogglingly amazing content, but if the site page on which this content lives hasn’t been optimized for search, no one will ever read it.
The Keyword report shows you the number of times the keyword is searched, where you rank in the search engine results page (SERP) for that keyword, how difficult it would be for your brand to be on the first page of the SERPs for that keyword and an estimate of how much each click associated with that keyword would cost you.
You can make sure you’re not investing time optimizing your content for the wrong kinds of keywords—for example, those with high difficulty (for which you’ll never rank on page one of the SERPs) or those with low search volume.
Speaking of competitors—while your primary goal should be to consistently exceed your own past performance, your second objective must be to outclass the competition. And you have to know how your competitors are doing to know whether you’re succeeding. This is where the Competitors report comes in.
A lot of the data in the Competitors report is more complex than the marketing data in the other reports on this list, but it’s necessary to determine competitive benchmarks.
Within this report, you’ll find the following metrics for you as well as your competitors:
Every action a visitor takes on your site is important, even if it’s a bounce. Visibility into user behavior allows you to improve the customer experience and, in turn, increase conversion rate.
The Events report lets you create events for all of the different actions visitors can complete on your site—from viewing a particular page to clicking on a CTA to submitting a form. You can find out exactly what people are doing (and not doing) as they browse through your site.
For even more information, click on an event name. You’ll be taken to a new page where you can see trends, first touch sources, last touch sources and assists (pages that helped influence the visitor before they completed the action) for that specific event.
Knowing how to properly utilize all of HubSpot’s reports will take time and will likely involve a bit of trial and error. However, as you use the reports more and more, you’ll find it easier to make confident decisions about how to optimize your marketing strategy. And while, unlike breathing, the task will always require active concentration, HubSpot’s reports will at least make the process a little less complicated.