When starting a new business or launching a new product/service, it’s always tempting to get excited and immediately purchase media/advertising, and begin to promote your offerings on social media. Driving traffic to your website is important, however, without accurate data and analytic reports, all that work can be for nothing. Your digital marketing dollars will go much further once you put them into the right baskets; and you can only do that by having all of the information. Set up your analytics and KPIs before you spend ad dollars on digital advertising.
Useful data points to measure:
- Measure conversions from every entry source: Create goal funnels to track conversions on your landing, contact, product, or donation web pages. Track which referral sources are the most profitable (and which ones send non-qualified traffic). In the nebulous ecosystem of digital advertising, reporting ROI from marketing efforts is more critical than ever to a healthy marketing strategy; use the free online tool to become a data-driven hero at work.
- Time and location of visitors to your site: If you know the geographic location (+ time of day) of visitors who are most likely to visit and make a purchase on your website, you can target your social posts and ads more effectively. Use geo-targeted ads to reach your audience exactly where they live and shop. Not all traffic is created equally, make sure to maximize yours!
- Who leaves the party early: It’s tempting to see all traffic as good traffic, but that is almost always not the case. If you have thousands of visitors per day, but 95% of them are ‘bouncing’ off of your site, that tells search engines that you’re not delivering what visitors expect; your organic website rankings will suffer as a result. Aim for a bounce rate of 50% or less.
- Your popular pages/posts (and the duds): Identify your content and product pages that are performing poorly so they can be redesigned, retagged, or eliminated and replaced. Your top-visited pages and blog posts might not be the ones you expected…
- Real-time behavior on your website: See how people interact with your website in real time. Learn about how customers experience and navigate your site so you can begin to intuit what they will do before they do it. The better you know your customer’s behaviors, the more you can connect with (and convert) them online. You don’t always need a UX pro to make your site more customer-focused.
- How people find you on Google, Yahoo, and BING: This is so very useful. When you are marketing a business that you are very close to, it’s easy to assume you are the expert on how people perceive your offerings. Again, the data may surprise you. Use the keyword reports to see exactly what keywords and keyword-phrases people use to actually find you, then incorporate those into your content, blog posts, and tags. Conversely, you may want to stop using certain words or phrases if they are not helping you reach your target audience.
- Tracking your AdWords: Linking your Google AdWords account gives you access to the entire picture of visitor behavior, from entry to your site to conversion. AdWords get expensive, fast. Make sure you track your campaigns against conversions. If you can nail down your cost-per-customer or lead, that’s a sweet place to be. It’s incredibly useful to have this robust information displayed on one dashboard with your website analytics.
To get started, you will need to set up a Google Analytics account. Use your work issued email address to set-up the account, you’ll be able to share permissions, reports, and grant access as needed. Don’t use your personal Gmail address to sign up for the account.
- Ready, Set, Go: Visit the Google Analytics Help Center to get started setting up your account, properties, and reports.
- Training Center: Set aside some time to learn about Google Analytics. It will be time well spent.
Follow me on Twitter for weekly marketing and social media tips. I specialize in brand strategy, design, and cross-disciplinary project management. Passionate about driving businesses and non-profit organizations to achieve their communication and development goals while building and amplifying brand awareness.