Do you find yourself staring blankly at your Google Analytics homepage? Perhaps you’ve often questioned the business worth of trawling through seemingly endless web metrics?
In truth, many marketers and sales people are completely overwhelmed when it comes down to making sense of their web data. Time constraints and lack of understanding can often make it difficult to translate web analytics into meaningful results. Especially ones that you can share with the rest of your business team.
So how can you take control of your web analytics and start using them to your advantage? We break it down for you and share our top 4 tips get you started.
1. Decide what is important and set clear targets
The companies we see winning with their online marketing are those with clear ‘SMART’ targets. What is it you want your website to achieve? When do you need to see results by? One simple example might be driving more traffic to your website to increase brand awareness.
You’ll want to know how many people are visiting your site (hits), how long they stay there for (bounce rate), and where they’re coming from (traffic sources). If you know that your social media channels are more effective at driving traffic than your email newsletter, then you can focus your efforts on what’s working for you.
You might decide to set the following targets:
- Post to each social channel 3 times a day
- Grow social following by 20 followers per channel
- Double website page hits in a 4 week period
- Reduce bounce rate across the website in a 4 week period
When you set clear targets like this, your web analytics instantly become more relevant. These simple analytics will help prove the worth of digital marketing activity and increase your chances of securing more budget for future projects.
2. Build a tool box to achieve those targets.
Every trade and profession requires a good tool box. Good tools increase your productivity and make your work life easier. Here are some awesome digital tools that will be sure to do just that.
Tag Managers – Before you start to use any analytical tools, you’ll need a way to manage them. Enter Google Tag Manager – a free tool that every online marketer should have. You might want to track your conversions, site analytics and remarketing activity without having to edit your website code or wait for your tech team to help out. Download this great freebie and all your problems are solved. You can thank us later!
Digital Analytics – Remember those key web metrics we were talking about earlier? Well you’ll need a platform to access them. Google Analytics is the most widely used option out there, especially as it integrates easily with most other tools. We’d definitely recommend using Google Analytics, even if you are going to explore other similar tools out there as well.
Surveys – Now to delve into the nitty gritty of web analytics. To really understand and examine your user behaviour, you’ll need to back up your numbers (quantitative data) with industry relevant opinions and ideas (qualitative data). Again, Google provides a tool for this called ‘Google Surveys’ but there are also other affordable tools such as Question Pro.
Dashboarding and Analysis - If it’s big powerful analytics you're after, dive into heaps of data with Microsoft Bi and Tableau. If you're just looking to visualise your results to fellow colleagues then Data Studio is the way to go. It’s free and easy to create custom reports.
3. Take Action
Of course, none of the above are worth the effort unless you start taking action. Here some great tools that allow you to act on your data and easily integrate with other tools.
LeadFeeder – Link this to your Google Analytics and MailChimp and you can start to identify visits down to the email address. Identify what companies previously unknown users have come from and connect to your LinkedIn to match who you know from what company and reach out with some powerful insights around which of your services they might be interested in. For extra power link this to your CRM like Salesforce or Pipedrive to ensure those leads are followed.
MailChimp - Email is not dead! Many companies are waking up to the fact that a responsible and well-managed email campaign can drive lost sales back into the sales funnel. Best of all, it’s cost effective and crucial for developing long term customers. The key is to offer something of value and interest to your subscribers and to assess the success through your analytics tools. New integrations allow you to target based on site behaviour.
AdWords – Most companies are familiar with AdWords. What many marketers don’t know is that you can use your data to actively target just high-value prospects, based on their known site behaviour. This could be anyone who has been to a service page and hovered over the contact page but did not fill it in or perhaps they added something to their basket, exactly fit your target audience but didn’t complete their purchase. You can setup remarketing lists to capture and bring lost sales and leads back to the website.
HotJar or Google Optimise – These tools will give you heat maps to better understand how users are interacting with your site in order to give insight on how best to improve your website’s ability to convert traffic into leads or sales. Test different designs against each other and let your customers decide which one they think is best.
Pipedrive – This simple CRM tool is perfect for small to medium companies. It features on our list because of its ease of use and ability to connect to other tools. Match specific visitors to site behaviour or services they have shown interest in on your site. An alternative for large companies is Salesforce, but this works best with an established sales team.
4. Know your why
At BKA, establishing the why is the basis of any project. Diving into a tool like Google Analytics can be like following Alice down the rabbit hole; it can eat up your time and leave you more confused than when you went in.
To get around this, start with clear questions to guide your thinking. These should relate to your targets and give your project purpose. Here are some examples:
How often do people come back to my site? How can I get people to come back to my more often site?
From what pages am I losing the most traffic? What are the reasons for this?
Which medium brought the most valuable traffic? How can I get more?
What behaviour results in the most valuable visits? How can I encourage that behaviour?
Who are my highest converting visitors? How can I get more?
Is mobile converting better than desktop? How can I improve my mobile offering?
We’ve covered off some great first steps to taking control of your web analytics. However, the set up of your tools is crucial to your success. If you don’t get the setup right, it can skew all of your data and lead you to make misinformed decisions.
That’s why we’re offering a free health check of your website and analytics, giving you valuable advice to get you started. We can also provide analytics setup and data cleanse services to ensure your long-term goals stay on track. If you’re interested in getting a free audit, leave a comment below or head to our contact page to register your interest today.