When it comes to marketing campaigns, analytics and the ability to track your results is crucial. Without clear tracking, we don’t know what works and what doesn’t. Tracking is crucial not just for analysing your previous or current strategy, but your next strategy moving forward.
When we can rule out the components of a campaign that didn’t quite hit the mark, we can focus our efforts on those that did, significantly increasing the results of our next campaign. It doesn’t matter what area of our marketing strategy we want to track, there many online tools to help us identify results.
As marketers, we now have the ability to access a lot of data and metrics. If you are managing and looking to improve your marketing campaign, it’s crucial you take advantage of these systems. However, we need to ensure we aren’t just pulling data for the sake of it. What matters is the insights we are taking away, and then tweaking our next strategy around these insights.
Google Analytics is one of the most commonly used tools to track, measure and analyse marketing campaign results. Before we jump into how to integrate Google Analytics into your next campaign, it’s important you have an understanding of the key components and how they work. Once you group your analytics in a logical way, you will be able to see which ones will be of most importance to your specific campaign.
For example, if you don’t know what a click through rate means for your business, then obviously tracking this data will be useless. Most of us understand what web analytics are. It’s the data we use to track traffic and other metrics from a campaign.
Here are the core components of web analytics and what insights you can derive from them:
If you only have time to focus on one element of Google Analytics, website traffic numbers is crucial. It will tell you at a glance how well your campaigns are running by the level of traffic you receive. Traffic is basically the number of people that come to your website.
Depending on the type of campaign you execute, you will need to read website traffic differently. For example, if you conduct an email campaign, then you will want to track results from the moment you send out your email and for 48 hours afterwards. Email campaigns are short-term result generating activities. A couple of days after an email campaign, the engagement from this campaign should be over.
However, if you are conducting a TV campaign, the results should normally be within hours of when your ad appeared or went live. Other campaigns such as a PR campaign will have you see results for a longer period of time. For example, you may have secured online articles, print features, social media posts and more. All of these components will have a different time frame.
For example, someone could look at your print article a month after it was published. Understanding the short or long term engagement prospects of your campaign will help you read your website traffic better.
When it comes to your website traffic, you should always have a baseline. This means understanding the level of traffic that you consistently receive from organic searches and SEO. Then as you continue to build on your SEO activities, as well as implement any other marketing campaign, then you will be able to judge its effectiveness from this baseline.
This term is more broadly used. When it comes to Google Analytics, it can encompass elements including bounce rate and time on page. All of these factors should demonstrate to you how visitors are engaging with your website. When analysing your marketing campaigns, engagement insights will give you a deeper understanding of what your visitors are looking for or what they have liked.
For example, if you have a dedicated landing page for a marketing campaign, you will be able to analyse if people were actually interested in what it had to offer. To ensure people are staying on your website and really engaging with your brand, make sure you have clear and valuable content. This includes text content, videos, infographics and subheadings to break up each core section.
However, it’s not only important to look at what will increase engagement, but what also turns visitors off. When your visitors get distracted, frustrated or bored, this contributes to an increase in your bounce rate. The higher the bounce rate, the more of a signal it is that your landing page needs work. Elements that can lead to high bounce rates include pop-ups, too much or too little text and just an overall lack luster page with poor user experience.
Google Analytics can also help you understand the conversion rates and leads generated from a campaign. At the core of every campaign, the aim is to generate leads and ultimately sales or increase in awareness. By looking at your website traffic and the number of visitors to your site or specific pages, you can then see what percentage of them converted into an actual lead. How many people made direct contact with you from your campaign?
There are campaigns that generate a lot of traffic, click throughs and visitors, yet the actual lead results are low. This can indicate that your call to actions on your landing pages and website aren’t strong enough. There isn’t anything enticing the visitor to become known to you.
Ways you can increase lead numbers is to ensure your website is easy to navigate. If they can’t see you phone number, email or contact form at a glance then more than likely they won’t be encouraged to get in contact with you.
Key ways you can improve your call to actions is by placing a mini contact form at the end of each page or on your blogs. Another way is to include call to action buttons on every page, such as “contact us”, “get a quote” or “learn more”. These may seem like only small tweaks, but they could be the make or break from a visitor reaching out and actually making contact with you, which ultimately is the whole aim of a marketing campaign.
Understand The Data
It’s all good and well to have your Google Analytics configured to how you want it, and you see the data come through. But if you don’t know what it means for your business and your campaign, then it can be more of a nuisance than a help.
The value of data lies in translating what the statistics mean. What are the insights that you can learn? What do you mean when you say total conversions equals 4%. What that means is that 4 per cent of your visitors felt that your landing page, your content, product or service was enticing enough to make them think that you could solve their problem.
When you place all your data into real life logic, it starts to tell a story. How has your traffic levels changed over the weeks, months and years? You will start to see patterns that will allow you to identify marketing tactics that have worked and what sort of results they provide. Then you can make an informed decision on where to spend your marketing budget.
The results achieved for each business and industry will be different. Just because a social media campaign for a fashion brand worked wonders for them, doesn’t mean it will work well for your B2B product.
However, it’s important that if you feel a particular campaign wasn’t bringing in the results you would like according to Google Analytics, it’s important to not just give up. Try testing, tweaking and gathering feedback from your market. It might be that you copy and design were spot on, but the page loading time on your site was taking to long too load, causing them to bounce out.
When we analyse our data, it’s important we don’t just use this data to back up the decisions you’ve already made in your previous campaign, but also to drive the next stage of actions.
If we look hard enough, we can always present our data in a way that backs up our actions and assumptions. We can’t let our previous actions cloud our judgment. We all make errors, and particularly in the world of online marketing, there are a lot of factors that can cause a marketing campaign to fall short.
Insights Drive Strategy
Make sure that you are uncovering real insights from your data and then craft a new marketing strategy that really reflects clear decision making. Ways that you can let your insights drive your strategy is to understand that sometimes we just get it wrong. If your strategy didn’t “move the needle” then be okay with this and learn from it.
Also, it’s important to look at your data from all sides. You may interpret your marketing results one way, but there may be perspectives that you have overlooked. For example, if your digital advertising campaign wasn’t driving traffic to your site, is it because your call to action wasn’t strong enough?
Or could it be that the actual design of your ad wasn’t compelling or professional in its look. Get second opinions, go to a trusted colleague or professional to get their opinion. Remember to always test your assumptions. If Google Analytics showed that your campaign had a low bounce rate, then look at reasons for a low bounce rate.
Write them down one by one if you have to, then test each assumption. Reasons for a low bounce rate can include all parts of your marketing campaign. Take for example an email campaign. Take a look at the landing page and adjust its content.
Then try it again, but keep the original content and add better call to action buttons. Tweak and test some more. Although this may seem time consuming, once you know what works, you can then replicate this with future campaigns, saving you a lot of time and headache in the long run.
At the end of day, it’s important we let analytics tell us how we should drive our marketing campaigns. We have access to powerful and insightful data nowadays, don’t let these analytics go to waste. When powered with this type of information, you can significantly increase your leads and revenue.
Firstly, understand what you are looking for from your web analytics. There are many components on Google Analytics from looking at social engagements to behaviours to audiences. If you keep it simple and break it down in terms of traffic, engagement and conversion then it will give you a good foundation to see data for what it is and what it truly means to your business.
Once you uncover the data that matters, you need to then work out what it actually means to you in real terms. Conversion rates, bounce rates and click throughs are all great, but actually spell out what it means. What does it mean for your business? Does it mean that customer’s aren’t happy with your information or is it a direct reflection on your product? Could it mean that you are targeting the wrong target market?
Once you have a clear understanding of what your analytics are truly telling you, then ensure you use these insights to craft your next campaign. If you found that customers aren’t happy with your content, then take the time to improve on this. This could be getting a professional copywriter on board or breaking up your content with more reader friendly subheadings.
Allowing your insights to drive your strategy can be easier said than done. Sometimes it’s human nature and ego that can get in the way of improvement. Make sure you understand that it’s okay to sometimes get it wrong. This allows for improvement and a clear way forward. The bottom line is that you need to truly listen to what your data is telling you.
Charlotte is a digital marketing and communications practitioner at SEO Shark. She takes on a range of roles relating to SEO and has a keen interest in studying the SEO industry and its future direction, particularly in relation to content marketing. Charlotte takes her writing very seriously and always seeks ensure the content she produces is of a high standard of quality.