Finally we stand a chance of overcoming the traditional hostility to marketing as being 50% wasted spend because digital is wholly trackable and spend ROI can be calculated.
And yet now, when all this is within our grasp, marketers fail to transition because they don’t understand data. They don’t like data, marketing doesn’t recruit numerate graduates and so the “fluffy” attitude to our discipline continues.
This annoys the hell out of me. It is not difficult and so I make analytics required task for all the interns, graduates and new staffers joining our team.
So what numbers should a business owner and a marketer look for and how to interpret them?
Analytics is free
Google has a comprehensive analytics package called Google Analytics (GA) which is freely available and you should install it on your website. There are more sophisticated packages, but start your pathway to analysis glory with the workhorse of the industry.
One of the best things about GA is that many marketing software applications integrate with it - so if you use marketing automation with Campaign Monitor or MailChimp or InfusionSoft then once it’s set up everything gets tracked with no further effort on your part.
Finding your space online
Most businesses understand how to find and occupy a niche online - the key words and search phrases which you want to get found for and the competing websites and brands for your business.
And so your content marketing will be resonating with others who share your niche.
The bit of analytics I love most is the incoming referrals data.
I was with a client who sells paleo food products through an online store. They had never, ever looked at their analytics account. Ever. So we took a look and found they had incoming links from powerful bloggers who had the potential to resell their products.
Double Whammy - a strong incoming link sending traffic to the site plus a potential new distributor. Two easy actions for them to improve business revenues. And all it took was a look into GA.
Referrals Data Analysis
So let’s go on a little journey inside Google Analytics - first looking at the Acquisition tab and then below, the Referrals sub-category. Ooh, I love this part…. look at all the websites where people have followed a link into your website…. but there’s more. Now find the pages they linked to by adding to the data display. Go to the top of the referrals page and look for this button, click on Secondary Dimension and below on the menu that appears expand the menu below “Behaviour” and click on Destination Page. Now you can see all the visitors from different sites sorted by the page they came to.
Does this help?
Oh boy yes. Now I know which content is engaging to readers, which source websites are sending me traffic and in what volumes to which pages…. I can find pages where the content gets visited regularly all the time, I can find blog posts that get very little or a large amount. This allows us to adjust what we write, which key words, which audiences and where to share the content.
Things that you can do to improve incoming links.
If there are a range of companies sending traffic to your home page, consider creating a landing page just for them. We have several on our website - take a look at this. Yes we wrote a page just for visitors from our Yellow Pages listing. It contains information that will help shortcut their journey through the site to finding what they want, fast.
You can do this too
Other small tasks worth paying someone to do (if you don’t know how) is integrating Google Search Console with GA so you can see the Queries your website shows up for and how many click-throughs you get and what your average display rank is (page one or page 21?). So helpful.
And if you use Google AdWords - your reporting from the agency who does the work for you should include as a minimum the following data points.
- Number of leads
- Cost per lead
- Number of impressions
- Which keywords are sending traffic
- Search query
This last, search query, is really important because it shows what the potential customer typed into the search engine.... and that's gold as far as on-site SEO goes. Same as the Queries inside GA.
There is core data which as the advertiser you need and as the marketers, we need, in order to focus our efforts appropriately.
So let’s get started as confident analytics users whose marketing delivers return on investment. Teach yourself, get tutored or go on a course. Doesn’t matter how, just get on and do this one thing.
Article by Rebecca Caroe, founder and CEO of Creative Agency Secrets. Rebecca helps business owners solve the problem of finding new customers.