Using Analytics To Improve Your Online Marketing
In one of my most previous posts, I briefly mentioned using analytics to support your online marketing efforts. Today we’re going to dive into this topic more deeply by exploring different analytics tools that are available, and investigating what advantages they can bring to your business. Specifically, we’ll cover three unique areas where this process is important: social media, eCommerce, and general website performance.
Social Media Analytics
It was only a few years ago that companies performing social media marketing were forced to “guess” whether or not their efforts were generating an ROI. Things have rapidly changed, and if your organization is not measuring the success of social marketing efforts in cold, hard, numbers – you’re missing out big time. Here are a few important tools that will help you get back on track:
1. Facebook Conversion Tracking. Facebook now allows you to place a small tracking pixel on your checkout page. You then link these conversion trackers to different advertisements you’re running, which in turn shows you how effective each ad is. So for example, if you’re running five Facebook Ads you can use conversion tracking to determine which ones are driving sales, and which ones are just costing you money – an incredibly powerful insight.
2. Improvely. Improvely lets you place unique tracking codes into every single link you share through sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube. By tracking each URL, you can see which posts are driving traffic to your website – and what actions these new visitors are taking. Improvely is great because it also shows you the final monetary value for each post by tracking whether or not your clickers ultimately make a purchase or not.
The great news here is that pretty much any eCommerce platform worth its weight already has built in tracking and reporting. Sometimes these features can feel overwhelming, but there are only a few key things that you really need to be paying attention to:
1. Where is traffic coming from? Your eCommerce platform should be able to tell you how many visitors are reaching your site via Google, Social Media, or by typing in your domain name directly.
2. Which traffic source buys the most? In addition, you should be able to easily find out which traffic source brings you the best customers. So for example, you may discover that only 3% of your Facebook traffic makes a purchase, while 13% of your search engine traffic decides to buy. Using this knowledge, you can then adjust your marketing efforts accordingly.
3. How is your shopping cart converting? It’s extremely important that you understand how your shopping cart converts. I recently performed this analysis with an online retailer and discovered that for every 45 people who were adding an item to their cart, only 3 ended up buying. Using this knowledge we were then able to go through their sales funnel and identify several areas where they were sabotaging their sales. You can do the exact same thing.
It doesn’t matter whether you sell online, or generate leads online, you MUST know where your customers are coming from, and how they are behaving on your site. Here are some tools that help you to do just that:
1. Google Analytics. If you don’t currently have a Google Analytics account then you are not serious about marketing. It takes all of ten minutes to set one up, and doing so will open your eyes to the behaviour of your customers. You’ll be able to discover which search terms bring traffic to your website, the demographics of your average visitor, how long each visitor stays on your website, and which pages are the most popular.
2. Heat Maps. Not only will adding a heat map to your website make you feel like you’re in the future, it will help you make more sales. My personal favorite is Crazyegg.com, and setup takes just a few minutes. Once you have your account up and running, you will be ale to see how far visitors scroll down on each page of your site, where they stop to read, and where they click. Even more importantly, you’ll be able to see where visitors decide to leave – so if there’s a piece of copy on your website that’s turning people off, you can quickly change it.
Welcome to the Future
Analytics is the future of online marketing, and embracing it now can keep you well ahead of your competition. Take advantage of the tools I’ve shared with you in this article, and don’t be afraid to spend some time researching other great resources. Thanks to an unprecedented explosion in marketing technology, the power is now in your hands – but how you use it is up to you.