To build credibility and certainty in effectiveness of any marketing campaign, understanding marketing analytics is essential. Uncovering the world of digital analytics might seem overwhelming at first, but there are dozens of web analytics platforms and tools to guide your team to make actionable decisions using data and data visualizations. When surveying your marketing campaign, website performance or any other digital marketing initiative, start with these three steps: outlining goals, defining metrics/dimensions and tracking parameters. These are fundamental practices in executing a successful digital marketing strategy.
Now let me run it back and dive into the benefits and the power of data and digital marketing analytics.
Outlining Your Goals
Before starting any direct marketing activity, always start with setting goals, whether it be increasing site sessions or boosting newsletter signups from paid search campaigns. Be sure to also create goals that are attainable, measurable and contain relevant data to your business’ needs to help maintain strategy in a timely manner. When setting a key performance indicator (KPI) for a marketing campaign, keep in mind that your objective and metrics vary depending on your overall goal for the marketing channels being used.
If your goal is to increase newsletter signups, then conversions and conversion rate are going to add actionable insight to your marketing campaign performance. Whereas, if you want to increase website traffic from organic social media posts on Twitter, include sessions by source/medium (Twitter/organic) and view-through rate (clicks-to-pageviews). For paid social campaigns, a couple insightful metrics that may be utilized are click through rate and cost per landing page view. There are hundreds of data points to explore that fit each specific marketing goal, so take advantage of the power of analytics software to help get you there.
Defining Your Metrics and Dimensions
A dynamic online tool every marketer should have working knowledge of, Google Analytics (GA) is a great first step into tracking data. If you are skeptical of how to use GA or are uncertain of how it can benefit you, here are some great ways to get started if you work in PR or social media marketing. With the depth of exploration in GA, get started with some marketing metrics that automatically populate in Google Analytics after it has been implemented on the website, such as sessions, bounce rate and pages/session. From just sessions, you can break down data further by adding a secondary dimension of sessions by source/medium or even by organic keyword.
Tracking sessions by source/medium is a fantastic start to uncovering where users are coming from. For example: google/cpc or google/organic. Additionally, be sure to take advantage of event and goal tracking to monitor form fills like email subscriptions, trial signups or leads to discover where users are coming from, how long they are staying on your site and what sources are most effective in keeping users on the site. Leverage the date filter to compare date functions as you are able to see from year to date (YTD) to daily data, then compare to previous year data or discover data trends.
When dealing with data from a multitude of different sources, data visualization is obligatory. A great tool for any marketing analyst to utilize is Google Data Studio. With its ability to connect directly to Google Analytics, Google Sheets, AdWords and more, Google Data Studio’s options are endless in terms of visualizing data.
Once connected to a data source, there are several easy-to-alter charts and scorecards that highlight the KPIs your marketing team needs to see. It’s as easy as dragging a metric or dimension from the available fields column and dropping into the respective field.
Everything is customizable from dates to filters to custom metrics and color schemes. There are free templates to help get started and interactive experiences that are keen on the eye. Highly recommend taking advantage of this marketing analytics tool to visualize complex company-wide data and illustrate your team’s digital marketing ROI.