Every time I’m on a sales call, I ask the prospect how they measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. The silence on the other end of the line lingers for a few seconds, followed by, “We currently don’t track the success of our campaigns.” Game Over. If you’re not using data analytics, tracking, or marketing automation software, you need to wake up and get your head in the game. I know that comes off as a little harsh, but somebody had to say it. Analytics aren’t only for your Fortune 500 companies anymore. SMBs need to implement tracking software to better understand where their customers are and track the effectiveness of each marketing campaign.
Why You Need to Start Using Analytics Today:
- Better Understand Your Audience - Location, time on your site, device used to get there
- Track the Success of Campaigns- Set up and segment your campaigns with Google Analytics
- Refine Your Marketing Strategy - Understand what’s working and what isn’t – then change it
- Improve Sales - Know what your prospect is looking for before you call
- Monitor Keywords - Know what keywords generate the most traffic & convert prospects to leads
- Prove ROI - View reports of your campaigns in order to prove success to upper management
- Gain Data Insight - Analyze qualitative and quantitative data from your site and competitor sites to refine your approach.
It’s a short list that could be extrapolated much larger, but you get the picture.
Now, what tools are out there for you to use? I’ll list of few of my favorites, if you have others you like please share them with us.
Free & Paid Tools:
- Analytics Software (Free) - Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools, Yahoo Web Analytics – These tools help measure the success of your website traffic, conversion rates, bounce rates, user demographics, and much more.
- Marketing Automation Software (Paid) - Hubspot, Marketo, Exact Target, Silver Pop, Pardot – Marketing automation software not only provides in-depth marketing analytics, but also offers a platform to help you execute your marketing strategy.
- Tracking Software: Crazy Egg (Paid) - A robust and fun tool that aggregates your visitor data into heat maps to show you how users are engaging with your site. Find out where they are clicking and how far down your page they are scrolling. This is a great tool for A/B testing, pinpointing what images/icons are working, and understanding how users are engaging with your website.
Learning how to effectively use data analytics can be complex and sometimes intimidating. Given this, my advice is to get started using one of the free online options. Once you’ve become acquainted with the software, start digging deeper into the data. It’s important that you not only look at the results, but that you contextualize what the data is saying- the information only works if it helps you make an informed decision on what your next action(s) should be.
Here is a key to help you better understand what some popular website analytics metrics are telling you (possible scenarios):
- High Bounce Rate - Users don’t see what they are looking for immediately; try adding more valuable content to your page
- Low Conversion Rate - Path to sale is cluttered; offer more calls to action, improve path to sale
- Keywords Not Ranking - Keyword difficulty may be too high, perform a keyword audit and start publishing relevant content
- Low Click-Through-Rate (CTR) - Content is not compelling enough; try using A/B test with different calls-to-action or different images
Again, these are only a few possibilities. You should start making changes only after you’ve established a large enough sample size to generate an understanding of what your data is saying. Don’t go crazy- only change one or two variables at a time; changing too many elements will most likely give you a cloudy picture of what changes worked and what ones didn’t. A strategic review of your marketing analytics should be performed, at a minimum, once a month.
Analytics should be your best friend. Give your data a chance to help you make more informed marketing decisions. As the graphs start to climb and conversion rates increase, so will your bottom line.