Measuring What Matters with Analytical Tools
In the digital marketing world, much importance is placed on gathering statistical data and using it to evaluate the performance of your website. The sheer amount of data can be overwhelming and many people don’t know where to start when analysing it. Even worse, they don’t know how or even why they should interpret their findings. Spotting valuable insights into the performance of a site is like panning for gold; you have to sort through a whole lot of detritus to get to the stuff that really matters.
This article aims to point out what data is really important to the internet marketer and why.
What are your goals and objectives?
Every business, whether online or not, must have objectives and goals against which performance can be measured. These goals can be broken down into “outcomes”; downloads, subscribers, registrations etc. These are the actions that you want your visitors to take which result in data capture and thus, lead generation.
For example, if your travel company has a currency conversion tool on its website, you may wish to increase the number of currency conversions carried out. This becomes one of your objectives and your KPIs will then be the number of people who use the tool and then keep coming back to use it again, having registered on your site (visitor loyalty). If data captured shows that the number of returning visitors has decreased, it could be that the tool is not working properly or it may be too difficult to use. Ask yourself why the fall-away in visitors has occurred, fix the problem and instigate an email campaign to reignite those lost users.
Confirmation and “Thank you” pages
Confirmation and thank you pages give marketers a clear idea of how many live leads subscribed to a newsletter or registered for product updates and news from your site. Data captured here can show which brochure or newsletter was most popular and enables you to work out what information your target audience is looking for and therefore provide it.
Measure how many conversions were achieved directly as a result of leads who downloaded your latest brochure. Look at what happens to visitors who arrive on your landing page; do they provide you with leads or just move on?
The reason for having a website is to capture leads and then convert them. Quality traffic through targeted campaigns is essential for this to happen. Look at how much bad traffic you are getting and try to eliminate it. Consider also what percentage of quality leads are you actually converting. What value are you offering them to persuade them to convert? Use this information to re-think your landing page and email marketing campaigns.
A crucial metric that you should focus on is Bounce Rate. This tells you how many of your visitors make only one page view when they arrive at your site before moving on. This data quickly shows you which pages are working and which are not. Blogs can be an exception to this as many people will only read one post of interest to them before moving on. If your website has multiple product pages and lots of content with appropriate calls-to-action, then your bounce rate should be between 40 – 60% on average. Anything over 60% highlights a major flaw with your site.
Look at the design of your website; does it look professional and appropriately targeted? Are your banner ads relevant to your targeted visitors? Is it easy for visitors to find the information they are looking for or is the copy cluttered and hard to read? Maybe your traffic source is sending poor traffic and requires investigation.
Cost per lead
Working out how much each lead costs you per channel and source is complicated but necessary. A good measurement tool like Google Analytics for example, will allow you to set up campaign tags and generate a “conversions by source” report which will show you how many leads and visitors each channel produced. This is a crucial metric because it will enable you to evaluate which of your various channels are giving you the best value for money.
Test and refine
Measurement is an ongoing process. First identify your objectives and note what you want your website to achieve; then set up an analytics tool to measure the success of those objectives using your predefined outcomes and goals. Look at the data to see what’s working and what’s not then make the necessary improvements.
Effective use of metrics can make your online business much more profitable and will improve its overall performance. Your marketing will be more correctly targeted and your website content tailored toward your audience.