The business world has been evolving over the years. And marketing is not what it used to be. Today, it’s a lot more advanced and targeted. Which means marketing, especially digital marketing, has become highly result oriented. And there is a great deal of data to work with in understanding the importance of digital marketing analytics.
For instance, there was a time when mail-order music services were in demand. Which have now been replaced by technology focused innovations like iTunes where musicians are promoting their music like never before. This was not possible a few decades ago.
Regardless of what type of business you run, you need to understand that consumers no longer care about your generic approach. They want a personalized experience to the core. Which is why having access to the right kind of data analytics is extremely important for marketers.
We are living in an information age where data is the new oil. Even if you are running a small business, there are high chances that you’ve come across the term “Big Data”. As a business, what does it mean to you? How can you leverage data-driven marketing for maximum return?
Keep in mind that having the right marketing data at hand and knowing how to analyze it is critical for any digital marketer. Because by knowing your digital marketing analytics and using them effectively can prove to be a game changer for your business.
Starting with the Basics of Digital Marketing Analytics
One of the biggest advantages of doing business in the digital era is having the ability to track and analyze your results with the help of digital analytics. However, digital analytics is different from simple web analytics metrics we see in Google Analytics tool.
Web analytics is only a part of digital analytics. Web analytics are more on the website’s metrics while digital analytics allows you to have a more comprehensive view of your marketing strategy as a whole. What is working and what is not, thus giving you the chance to improve your digital marketing strategy. It gives you the needed vision to see where you’re going and if your efforts are paying off. In other words- actionable insights. This is a luxury that you do not enjoy with traditional marketing because there simply isn’t an option.
Whether it’s running email marketing campaigns, Google AdWords campaigns, or just analyzing website traffic sources, there is a vast array of information that you can decode to understand your success rate.
When it comes to building and running a successful business in any niche, there are certain elements that become more of a necessity than a mere need. Having a website is one of these elements and key data sources because it has become an integral part of the modern day marketing ecosystem.
Without a proper website in place you would not have access to critical analytics data. Which would in turn result in lost business that cannot be regained.
Gone are the days when customers only used to visit business websites to get in touch with a company or learn more about it. Today, people are using websites to converse with brands, do product inquiries, purchase needed products while consuming targeted and relevant content.
A business website has become a digital marketing tool that is hard to ignore. Because it helps not only deliver information but also engagement of a high level. And in exchange for this, what your business receives is crucial data and insights that can be used to enhance your own marketing efforts and grow your business.
Having a company blog can be a game changer for brands that want to make the most of content marketing. In terms of delivering value, blog content is known to help businesses build a brand, generate organic search traffic and gather targeted leads that convert.
However, one thing that you may ignore is the fact that blog comments are a great way to understand your audience and what they are looking for. You do not even need an analytics plugin installed to see how your website visitors are reacting to your content.
When you post content on your blog, you have the opportunity to gauge the interest of your audience.
- Are they responding positively to your content? Or negatively?
- Are there times when you experience zero engagement from your readers?
- What type of readers are posting the most comments?
- Are they asking insightful questions that you can provide an answer to?
Understanding digital marketing analytics is not just about looking at the core numbers. It’s also about analyzing and getting a clearer insight into the needs of your customers/prospects by looking at the customer behavior data. For example, if there are a few ideas that get frequently mentioned in the blog comments, then you may want to analyze them to see if there’s something for you.
When it comes to data collection and knowing your customers, creativity is key. So you may go beyond comments and see how many shares your blog post is getting. Think out of the box and it will get easier to grasp the right digital marketing analytics data and use it.
When it comes to digital marketing analytics, there are a few things that lay the foundation for it. And one of them is Google Analytics. The kind of insight that you derive from Google Analytics may not be too extensive, but it does set the path for understanding data and making sense of it.
Although there are many different types of real-time data collection tools out there (both advanced and basic), few are as robust as Google Analytics. Which is exactly why it happens to be a commonly used data collection method.
The good thing about Google Analytics is the fact that the set of tools it offers are unlike any other set. Whether you are a novice or an expert, you can look into the data found in it to not only understand your target demographics but also figure out the best way to reach out to them.
Now, if you are new to Google Analytics, the platform may not seem as simple as it sounds. The data you get to access can be particularly overwhelming and may look a little confusing at first. However, given that your website is not that old, you can do some surface-level evaluation to understand their customer needs with the help of some basic metrics that throw light on your website’s performance. Or if analyzing data just isn’t your thing, then you can always hire a digital marketing professional to help you understand what your data is telling you and what to do about it.
Understanding the performance of your website starts with looking at key metrics that are displayed on your application’s dashboard. It gives you a bird’s view of how your website is growing and a basic understanding of what you can do to improve your numbers.
Out of all the statistics that you see on your dashboard, there are three in particular that you should focus on:
- Pages Per Visit
This is the metric that lets you know how many pages of your website were viewed by an average visitor before they left. Your aim should be to increase this page view number by improving your content and on site value. By keeping things relevant and high quality on your site, you should see a high number.
- Average Visit Duration
When someone visits your website, they are basically looking for something that they are interested in. Whether it is more information about your product or content related to your industry. Increasing this number should be on your daily to-do list because having a low number shows that you did not offer enough value to visitors. Getting your visitors to spend more time on your site can directly impact how much business you do.
- Bounce Rate
People may land on your website or landing page from different points of entry. They may find your homepage or your blog post. But once they have found your site, it’s your job to ensure they explore further and take some action. Your bounce rate shows the percentage of people that left your website after visiting only one page. While having a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily bad, you should aim at lowering it by improving the internal navigation of your site and by offering better content.
By looking at the three metrics we discussed above, you can learn more about how your visitors interact with your site and if there things that you can improve to make it more appealing.
Most Viewed Pages
It’s easy to get into the head of your target audience and find out what appeals to them most by analyzing the “Most Viewed Pages” metric. It takes out the guesswork and gives you a clear understanding of the topics or the subjects that you should be focusing on.
For example, you may think that a particular piece of content is going to be helpful to your website visitors. But upon looking at the most viewed pages metric, you realize that is not the case. So whether you want to brainstorm new topics for your blog or see what product appeals the most to your visitors, the most viewed pages metric is a good place to start.
Page Exit Rate
This is the metric that gives you a clear idea of pages that are not performing well. Because when your visitors leave a page, it means that they were unable to find what they were looking for. By getting access to a list of most exited pages, you’ll know what to improve to enhance the overall user experience of your website.
For instance, if you find that one of your product sales pages has a high exit rate, then you may want to tweak the sales copy or look if there are any technical problems. Or else your site’s conversion rate may get affected. If this exit rate is between 75 to 100 percent, then there is something definitely wrong that you need to analyze.
Remember, the key to finding success with digital marketing analytics is to try and look at areas that your competitors may not be looking for.
Unless you are a popular site like Facebook and Reddit, you won’t have a ton of type-in traffic coming in. In other words, most of your visitors will come to your website after finding and clicking on a link to it on another website.
Your referral traffic can tell you a lot about the kind of sites linking to you and what kind of traffic they are sending your way. Which by the way is another reason to create quality content so that more and more relevant websites link to you.
When you have a clear idea of who your referring sites are, you’ll know why they are linking to you. Which can help you achieve two important goals:
- You will be able to create content based on the pages that are receiving the most referral traffic.
- You will come to know what type of link partners to reach out to and build a link building relationship with.
For example, if you find that a particular blog in your industry (with decent traffic) is repeatedly linking to your website as a resource, you will come to know of this in your stats. After which you can take your relationship to the next level by asking for better contextual links on their blog. Having an understanding of your referring websites is an important part of understanding your overall digital marketing analytics.
The Difference Between Digital Analytics & Digital Marketing Analytics
If you think that businesses have a lack of data when it comes to analyzing their performance, then you are wrong. In fact, there are so many data points available to look into that it can get confusing, especially for new businesses.
So the problem is not that there is not enough data. The real problem is the most businesses fail to analyze the right data. They lack the clarity on what data they should focus on to improve the results that they are getting. This primarily happens due to three common reasons:
- Having goals but not knowing how to match them with the available numbers/stats. By not connecting goals with measurements, businesses risk not reaching the right conclusion.
- Not having a complete understanding of various data points that are necessary. In order to truly get the most out of your digital marketing analytics, it is crucial to to know certain data points measure and how they are calculated.
- Trying to dumb down or simplify the important analytics by focusing only some of the data points.
If your brand wants to find success with digital marketing, it needs to properly measure each campaign’s marketing performance and its effectiveness. Because when you are clear about the ROI derived from your marketing activities, you’ll know what methods/tactics to focus on. This will continue to be a challenge to all those businesses that don’t work with the right data.
Every digital marketer needs to understand to go beyond digital analytics data such as bounce rate and unique visitors. There is no doubt that your analysis will always start with the basic web analytics that we discussed above.
However, your business needs to work with rich data in order to truly understand why your marketing campaign is or isn’t converting. Analyzing the surface-level web analytics metrics is only the first step. The next step is go deeper so that you know what your customer’s journey looks like and how you can improve your sales funnel.
Digital marketing analytics allows you to get a detailed and a comprehensive understanding of how your marketing efforts are faring. It gives you an insightful view into what you can improve to get real-world results from your marketing.
Your marketing almost always starts with your website, but it doesn’t end there. With digital marketing analytics, you go beyond your website and try to understand the true effectiveness of your overall marketing efforts. By taking advantage of digital marketing analytics, you will be able to:
- Know and learn more about how each of the marketing tactics is performing. For example, is blogging giving you the needed ROI or should you focus on email marketing? Such questions can be easily answered by focusing on digital marketing analytics.
- Determine what is the true return on investment of a certain marketing initiative and if you should continue using it.
- Understand how each of your marketing activity is helping you get closer to your business objective and at what rate.
Digital marketers work with different channels. So it’s important for them to use the data they get from digital marketing analytics to diagnose any problems and fix them before they get worse. These adjustments may seem trivial at first but they will have a direct impact on the overall effectiveness of your marketing.
3 Key Digital Marketing Analytics Metrics Your Business Should Focus On
We have already talked about the basic web analytics such as website traffic, page exit rate, bounce rate, etc. and how these metrics can help you improve your marketing strategy. Now, in order to truly take advantage of these metrics, you need to read and understand user behavior. However, since such metrics don’t work with one another, creating a full fledged picture of user behavior becomes difficult.
Today’s consumers are looking for personalized content and solutions. Which means you need to understand everything from their goals to preferences. Only then will you be able to give them a customized experience that makes them connect with your brand and do business.
Knowing that you are getting a ton of traffic and links from other sites is great, but the question is, why? Why are people visiting your site? Why are other sites linking to you? How deeply are your visitors engaged with your content?
The answers to these questions can be found when you take full advantage and an understanding of the following digital marketing analytics.
#1: Conversion Rate
When you’re running a business, you want more leads and higher sales. Which is why your site’s conversion rate is a metric you cannot ignore. Although this metric is all about the outcome, it can give you immense clarity on whether your traffic is targeted enough and if your marketing is helping you get closer to your business goals. Nobody likes having zero conversions or low conversions because it means your business isn’t doing well.
Your conversion rate can be measured depending on what type of action you want your visitors to take. If you want more of your visitors to fill out your contact form and get in touch with you, then you need to analyze how well your traffic is converting into leads. If your goal is to get sales for your product, then that’s what you should focus on. The average conversion rate of your website depends on your conversion goal.
#2: Days to Transaction
While impulse buying is a real thing, it rarely happens online. In other words, when someone visits your website for the first time, they may not hit the buy button right away. The time gap between their first visit and the day of their purchase can help you understand your users much better. So how do you get access to this insight?
Apply segmentation to your main traffic channels in order to get clarity on the “days to transaction” and how it differs from one channel to another. People come to your website from various channels so it is important to know what kind of traffic each channel is sending you. The higher the quality of traffic, the less will be the days to transaction.
#3: Frequency And Recency
While it is nice to know how much time elapses between a visit and a purchase, it’s not enough. You also need to know how frequently your visitors come to your website and what percentage of them are loyal to you. Depending on what type of site you run and how often you update it, looking into this one piece of data can help you greatly improve your site’s performance.
If people consistently return to your website each time you publish a new content, great. If they just come once and leave to never come back, then you need to identify the problem areas. Loyalty is definitely a metric that you should work on improving if needed.
You can gauge how loyal your visitors are by analyzing the frequency and recency report in Google Analytics. In order to get an accurate number, make sure to exclude new users before running this report as Google Analytics tends to include them by default.
Now, we know we just threw a lot of information at you, but we’re confident you can apply it to your digital marketing efforts. If you’d rather have a professional analyze your data for you, then we’re just a click or a phone call away.
If you have any additional findings, comments, questions, or tips. We’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below and let’s discuss.