Successful digital marketing should accomplish a lot. Adding value to your consumer’s lives, building your reputation and brand awareness, and engaging with your consumers. But it’s all driven by one thing: data. Data is collected from every point of your campaign, from conception to performance review. It shows you what works and what doesn’t, who your audience is and what they want. Knowing where to get your data and how to interpret it is the foundation of a successful campaign. So, what’s the best way to do this?
One of the most useful tools for analysing and utilising online data for digital marketing is Google Analytics. It plays a key role in everything from website development to Google Ads, social content and SEO. It’s a powerful data-crunching machine that Google designed to help businesses make their content more effective on their search engine. And best of all, it’s free.
As with any new tool, it takes a little getting used to before you know what you’re looking at or how to use the data it generates. Key to getting to grips with this tech is understanding the range of Google Analytics metrics used to measure the data it collects. Here are the most important ones for measuring the impact and performance of your online content.
- Traffic: This is a fairly straightforward metric and refers to the number of people who visit your website within a given time period. Rises and falls in traffic are normal, but this metric is more often used to see if your online marketing strategy is working. Do you see a spike in traffic after your weekly email goes out? Or a rush of people to your website after you run a promotion on social media? You can see a clear response using this metric, much like seeing a queue of people come into a store.
- Traffic source: It’s important to know exactly where your traffic is coming from in order to guide your digital marketing strategy, especially if you are using multiple marketing channels and techniques. Looking at the source of your traffic shows you how much of it is coming from SEO content like blogs, how much of it is coming from PPC and Google Ads, and how much is coming from email marketing. This not only helps guide your overall online marketing strategy, it also helps you spend your budget more effectively.
- Top pages: This metric shows you which pages on your websites are getting the most views, an indicator of the quality of your content on those pages. Brands are realising that it’s not just about getting people to visit their website. Consumers also have to spend time on the website in order to get value out of them. Content like blogs, how to videos and other useful pages don’t just entice people in through the door. They also keep people engaged with your brand. The top pages metric shows you which pages are getting the most traffic, how long people are staying on those pages, your bounce rate and much more.
- Bounce rate: When a visitor arrives on your website and immediately leaves, they’ve “bounced” off your site. Put simply, your bounce rate is how many visitors immediately leave your website within a defined period of time. It’s normal to have some sort of bounce rate and impossible to reduce it to zero. But a higher bounce rate indicates there’s likely a problem with your website that needs to be corrected. The most likely reasons for this are poor quality or irrelevant content on that page, or your marketing strategy isn’t targeting or funnelling the right people. For example, if you have a PPC campaign that targets a specific product but links to a different product page or just your “shop” page, then the bounce rate will be high.
- Unique and returning visitors: Although these are fairly self-explanatory metrics, they are incredibly important ones. While unique visitors are first-time visitors to your website, returning visitors are your loyal customers. In business, 80% of your business generally comes from these loyal consumers, while only around 20% comes from completely fresh leads. This is largely because it is much easier and more affordable to retain customers than bring in new converts. This metric allows you to see exactly how many fresh and returning customers your website is receiving, which helps guide your campaigns. If you see a drop off in valuable returning customers, you may need to implement some additional measures like email discounts for past customers who haven’t purchased in a while, or ad retargeting to tempt them back.
- User behaviour flow: It’s not just about how many visitors come to your website, it’s about what they do when they get there. This important metric tracks your visitors from the time they arrive to the time they exit your site. This is helpful not only for refining your website content but your website structure and sales funnel as well. If can also help guide your content marketing, for example, if you are seeing a lot of visits on pages about a certain product or service, you can start producing content on that topic to drive even more traffic and sales.
- Website speed and recs: Your website can’t just look great and offer great-quality content. It also has to be fast. A slow website or a slow page load speed can be devastating for your site, with users (especially those on mobile devices) leaving your site within seconds to try out your competitor. This metric should be monitored on a very regular basis to make sure that pages are loading quickly, and any technical issues are fixed as soon as possible. Google Analytics will not only spot pages that are slow to load, it will also give you suggestions for fixing them.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful! Our team of digital marketing strategy specialists are passionate about helping small and medium sized businesses to compete and grow in the online space. If you’d like any assistance with your strategy, from website development and SEO to email marketing and social media marketing, please contact us today. We’re here to offer professional, affordable help.