2017: Year in Review
2017 started with a bang, as the US inaugurated a new president and the Internet discovered the "Sprinkle Chef". Summertime brought us solar eclipse mania. This winter, Bitcoin has taken over the headlines, along with this cat that was banned from the library.
The AgencyAnalytics team had a big year in it's own right (that's how you casually segue into company news for one of these year in review posts, right?). Among other things, we added three new staff members to the core team, launched a brand new website, hosted an "all hands on deck" meetup at HQ in Toronto, updated a host of existing features, and rolled out 16 brand new integrations.
Let's recap each of these milestones.
First, we didn't make an official announcement at the time, but our growth this year enabled us to create the positions of Marketing Director and Sales Director, and to hire another full time developer. Our CEO conducted the applicant screening personally, and we were lucky enough to find 3 dream candidates. At this point, we can't imagine the team without them!
Kara Kahler joined the team in February as the Director of Sales. With her she brought a strong tech sales background, with companies such as SproutSocial and Yext on her resume. She lives in Chicago where she tries to be outside as much as possible in the summer and stay as warm as possible in the winter. She likes to stay busy by traveling every chance she gets, playing recreational sports, and just relaxing with friends.
Rebecca Bowden made the switch to a client-side role when she joined the team in June 2017 as Marketing Director. She was previously managing her own consulting business specializing in PPC, Analytics, and digital strategy. We are a remote team, and you will find Rebecca wherever it is warm! She loves either surfing or hiking on her weekends.
Soufiane Ghzal has filled a much needed void in our development department. More specifically, he has worked on many of the new integrations you have seen us release recently. We welcome him to our team and look forward to working with him!
Second, as long time customers may have noticed, we launched a brand new website just last week.
In fact, you're reading this blog post on the new site now! The old site hadn't had a major overhaul in several years, and was in need of a complete refresh to better reflect our current brand positioning. Check out the new homepage here.
If you never had a chance to check it out, the old site looked like this:
The new site sits on an entirely new CMS framework (much love to Wordpress, but we've long since outgrown it) that allowed us to resolve some long standing issues that we'd had with the old site. In addition, it features a fresh, more "2018" looking design, as well as fresh copy that's been updated to better reflect our brand positioning as an "all-in-one agency management tool" and to feature all of the new integrations that we've rolled out this past year.
Next, AgencyAnalytics hosted it's first "all hands on deck" meetup at HQ in Toronto.
The only employees based full time out of the Toronto office are our CEO, our President, and our lead Product Manager. The rest of the team works remotely from around the world, with staff located in the US, Europe, and Asia.
Staff flew in on November 11th, and spent the week strategizing, brain storming, and enjoying some of those amazing Toronto micro-brews.
As for me personally, my fiance and I had just had a baby a couple of weeks prior to the big meetup, so I had to sit this one out and Skype into our brainstorming sessions. While I couldn't join in on the microbrews, I found a way to fully participate.
Ok, so let's talk details about what our team accomplished this year for our customers.
First is the wide array of updates to existing features that we rolled out.
1) Update from Angular.js to React
This was a massive overhaul to our back end architecture. We started this updated in the autumn of 2016, and wrapped up in February of 2017. For the 5 or 6 months that this project was under active development, every single member of our development team was 100% focused on bringing this update to fruition. Many customers asked if we had "stopped updating the platform" because we were unable to launch any new features or integrations while this development was ongoing.
It was a long haul, but it was worth it! Essentially, our developers re-coded our entire site from scratch, moving it from the Angular.js framework to the more modern React framework. This update sped up the site dramatically, and simplified future development, making it possible for us to roll out those 16 brand new integrations that we'll talk about shortly.
2) Rank Tracker Updates
This update offered the ability to track multiple locations within a single campaign, including unlimited locations for the same keyword. Check out this article overview and this great "best practices" blog post on multi-location SERP tracking from our CEO.
3) Backlinks Module Overhaul
Long overdue update to our Backlinks module that introduced a fresh new graphical display, as well as additional metrics like # of backlinks, # of referring domains, Trust Flow (Majestic), Citation Flow (Majestic), followed links, text links, new links, lost links, and more.
4) White Label
5) Facebook Social
Our Facebook Social module was updated to bring it inline with our new look and feel that was debuted with our social integrations, then rolled out across all of our integrations.
Separate tabs for Likes, Engagement, and Reach. Additional metrics that included paid versus organic likes, a graphical analysis of organic, paid, and lost likes over time, demographic data (age, gender, countries, cities, and languages), video views, and standalone "Posts" feed.
6) Google Search Console
- Addition of "Crawl Errors" tab
7) FB Ads
- Added Demographics tab
- Added additional metrics
8) New Look/Facelift Only:
Finally, let's review those new integrations that we rolled out this year.
2) Call Tracking
- Google + (Discontinued)
Moving forward, 2018 should be an even bigger year than 2017 for new features and integrations. Check out our public roadmap at this link for a sneak preview, but bear in mind that only about half of the great new things that we're working on at any given time are listed on the roadmap.
We want to make sure that we're working on the features that are most important to our customers, so keep your eyes peeled for a brand new "feature suggestions" portal in Q1.
Our mission is to become more than just a rank tracker or a reporting platform. We aim to become a holistic, all-in-one agency management platform. And we hope that our progress this year to that end helped to make YOUR life easier as an agency owner or staff member.
We'd like to wish all of our customers the happiest of holidays this season. Let's crush it in 2018, and work together to make it the most profitable and prosperous year ever for each of our businesses!
Cheers, everyone. See you in the New Year.
Written by Trever Clark
Communications Director at AgencyAnalytics. Passionate about: SaaS onboarding, customer success, and home-distilling artisanal whiskies like a true Grand Rapids hipster.