There's absolutely no denying that marketers love data. Being able to see the direct results of your efforts and using that to hone the strategy, content, and development of a campaign is something we place great importance on. But effective data goes beyond identifying the most relevant and pertinent metrics to look at. Interpreting that data is the next, more difficult, step.
Just like with everything, context always matters. It's important to view the data with a holistic mindset.
Developing a website that is both visually appealing and accurately represents your brand is no easy feat. The production process, from concept ideation to coding, can take weeks or even months. You might feel relieved once you’ve launched your website, but the work isn’t over yet. It’s crucial to monitor your website’s performance regularly to avoid downtime and hiccups in the customer journey. How can you measure performance? It’s Addison Clark’s answer to everything – data!
Knowing which data metrics to pay attention to in order to understand which marketing efforts are working can stump even the most savvy of business owners. Are quantitative metrics like high visitor or session counts most important, or do qualitative metrics, like what pages people enter the site on and where they spend the most time, matter more? Well, the answer is both.
Quantitative metrics are always an important pulse check on how the business is doing overall. It’s a way to identify any red flags, and determine if there should be a strategy shift to drive more traffic and engagement to the site. It is also important for comparative measures and understanding the growth of a businesss over time. While specific strategies may shift based on business needs over time, these quantitative baselines give you a way to measure moment-in-time efforts, as well as month-over-month and year-over-year comparison analysis of the health of your business.
The big picture is important, but the details are what can make or break your marketing efforts. As self-proclaimed data nerds, our team is always digging into the details to understand the why, what, and how of a campaign and its results. Keeping an eye on the big picture helps us to determine our objectives and goals, but it's the details that get us there. Without paying close attention to the details, little things get overlooked that could potentially sabotage our efforts.
Here are three examples of small details that can have an immeasurable effect on marketing efforts:
Website speed. Sometimes all it takes is one extra second to lose a potential customer. What seems like such a minor detail in the grand scheme of things can significantly harm your conversions. Google reports that a one-second delay in mobile load times can impact conversion rates by up to 20%. Fifty-four percent of people say that as the load time for a website increases, so does their frustration. While a small lag in your website's load time may seem minuscule to you, it is paramount for consumers who have come to expect a speedy online experience. Because Google knows that customers prefer a fast online experience, they give preference in search engine results to websites that meet their threshold for site load times. So, not only could a few seconds delay be driving customers away from your site, but it could also be burying it deeper online. Ultimately, the details of your website (especially your load time) can make or break your online marketing efforts.
Call to action (CTA). This is arguably the most important component of your content marketing, whether it's an email, blog post, whitepaper, or service page on your website. Even the most riveting content won't produce many results without a call to action.
Marketing is great, but if you can't measure your goals it's hard to tell what is working. Tracking conversions is a great way to analyze your marketing efforts.
First, let's define what a conversion is.
According to Google, a conversion is "a completed activity, online or offline, that is important to the success of your business. Examples include a completed sign-up for your email newsletter (a Goal conversion) and a purchase (a transaction, sometimes called an Ecommerce conversion)."
Conversions can mean different things based on your business goals. If you are a service provider, your goal may be to get more calls. In that case, a mobile click-to-call would be a good conversion to track. Do you want users to download a recent white paper? A download would be a good conversion to track. Whatever you decide to track, Google Analytics can help you gather conversion data.
Now more than ever, data is everywhere. According to Forbes, there has been more data generated in the last two years than in any time in human history. An estimated 1.7 megabytes of new information is generated every second for every human being on the planet. Sadly, less than 0.5% of that data is ever analyzed and used.
Throughout each stage of a marketing campaign, marketers are able to capture valuable data that can be analyzed and transformed into useful insights and strategies. Marketing has moved a long way from the days of mass-targeted advertising. In 2020, there is no excuse for not knowing what your customers want or whether your marketing efforts are effectively driving results. The degree to which you can successfully analyze and implement data can make or break your marketing strategy. Here are six things you can and should do to make your data work for you:
So you have a killer website that is live and ready to show off to the world. Now what? Ideally, you've got a marketing plan in place to start driving traffic to the website. That's when the real work begins.
Let's say, as an example: You've launched your site, and you have a social media campaign, a PPC campaign, and some digital ads in place to get clicks over to the website. How are you going to know if these marketing techniques are working? The answer lies in the numbers found in your analytics program.
At the end of each year, Google publishes their Year In Search, detailing some of the most prominent topics people searched for throughout the year. Hurricane Irma, the new iPhone, and celebrities like Matt Lauer and Meghan Markle topped the list for 2017. You can view the full list here.
What was most interesting to us were the consumer behavior insights that Google discovered amid these searches. According to Think With Google, Google’s research division, people were more curious, more demanding, and more impatient in 2017 than ever before. As we enter a new year, marketers and business owners would be wise to take note of these behaviors when it comes to connecting with customers on the web and social media.
We recently came across a stat that shocked us a little bit.
According to a marketing study, a whopping 84% of marketers indicated they could not measure and report on the contribution of their programs to the business. That's a whole lot of work and effort that is not being accounted for and a lot of vagueness in terms of tracking results.
At Addison Clark, an analytic mindset is one of the most important differentiators that sets us apart from other marketing agencies that offer the same services. Maybe it's because we're a bunch of data nerds, but at the end of the day we want hard numbers to measure the impact of our marketing efforts. Our tagline expresses it well: "Measurably different".
Get the most from your Data
Acquisition, engagement, and outcome are important aspects of creating a marketing and public relations strategy for your company and your website. You have to begin with a plan, but once you obtain results, how do you know where to start with deciphering those analytics? Many people know that they can use Google Analytics to their advantage, but they don't know what they should be looking for.
The goal of having a website is to engage customers and potential clients, right? You want to be able to drive a client to your website, but once they get there, what is going to compel them to stay? You can probably think of a few things that will drive you away from returning to a website, whether it is a flashy pop up, or an advertisement with loud music. There is nothing more annoying than a website that has 15 advertisements pop up before you even get to the homepage. If that's the case, I will most likely not be a returning visitor to that site.
In gaining engagement, you have to consider the ideas, organization, and visual elements that make your customers feel like they can depend on your website for valuable information from a reliable source. Once you have a good visual aspect, and your site seems generally easy to navigate, you might want to start monitoring your site traffic in order to see where you can make improvements.
Google metrics can seem a little confusing at first, but mashable.com has broken down the three main statistics:
"The three key engagement metrics in Google Analytics are:
You can then use these tools to decide if your website is user-friendly, or if you need improvement on the links that navigate through your website. Take into consideration a few questions: is the content on your site is useful to the customer, and does the content on a specific page match the keywords in the links provided? Using these questions and numbers in sync can be a surefire way to improve the quality of your web traffic. Depending on your goals, it will be up to you and your company to decide which of these insights, metrics, and features are going to be the most useful to you. However, it provides a highway to strengthen your marketing techniques, write better-targeted ads, and improve keywords to increase customer traffic through your site.