“Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.”
– Dan Zarella
Turning Data into Action
Analytics is our sweet spot! Bolt Goodly – Powered by Results, means that we make strategic decisions based on measurable data which therefore tends to lead toward positive results. There are a few different phases of analytics, depending on the stage of our strategy:
Historical analytics (more properly known as “descriptive analytics”)
HIstorical analytics deals with the analysis of past events. We do this often as every time we meet with a prospect or a new client we run their website and digital marketing strategy through a basic audit to see where they’ve been and the basic status of their site. We also run reports up to 3 years back form when we begin working with their website to establish a baseline from which to measure our progress.
This is where we dig in a little as to why the events in the past occurred. We look at patterns and outliers specifically in analytics tools (typically Google Analytics and social media tools) to bring to light any major issues or big successes.
Depending on the extent of historical data we have access to, we can usually predict what will happen next if nothing changes. This hearkens to Newton’s First Law that objects will remain in their state of motion unless a force acts to change the motion. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? If you dig in a little more from a digital marketing perspective, it means that we can estimate certain actions that certain personas may make in Q1 next year based on the last three years of data. We can make strategic business decisions based on these analyses, which bring us to the final point…
Action! (or prescriptive analytics)
At this stage, we start to map out a strategic marketing plan based on the previous three stages of analysis to affect growth and change. These actions could spread far and wide from new content on your website, subtraction of platforms not showing results, adding new platforms, new campaigns, and the list goes on. Once we begin to take these actions, we stay in this cyclical strategy of analysis and measure, adjust, measure, adjust continually.
We haven’t quite seen analytics from a digital marketing perspective described in the words above before, but it really works for us and how we approach our strategy! We like to look at every project as a science experiment: research to be done, data to be measured, and actions to be taken to affect change!
To bring analytics back to the basics for those of you not quite a geeky as us (we don’t judge!), here are some factors/questions that are likely to be uncovered/discovered through data analytics:
- How are people getting to my website?
- What are the percentages of organic, direct, social, etc. referrals?
- Why are people leaving the website?
- From which page are people are leaving the website?
- What channel is generating the most conversions?
- Where are users located?
- Are your marketing efforts generating results?
- Basic demographic of users and those converting.
- How are people interacting with your brand? (social, direct, etc.)
- How many visits turn into a conversion?
- Which products have the highest/lowest conversion rate?
- Which content has the highest/lowest conversion rate?
- What content is driving the most conversions?
Answers to Your Questions
What is analytics?
Analytics are various tools and platforms that give visitor interaction data insight as to what is or isn’t effective on a website. Data from your website visitors helps understand how your online audience in consuming content on your website. Sometimes patterns or certain metrics can help diagnose issues that can be remedied with changes, or testing. Analytics help website owners see their website from their visitors or customers point of view.
What metrics should I look at in analytics?
Most website owners look at sessions to understand the number of visitors that reach their website. Session data can be viewed based on days, months or years, and if your visitors came from a search engine, another website or typed in your name directly. Other useful metrics commonly used is time on site, pages per visit, bounce rate (landed on one page and left), entry pages and exit pages. All of this data can also be segmented by times of day, geographic locations, and more common click paths your visitors might use when consuming content on your website.
How do I install Google Analytics on my website?
Why can’t I see my keywords in Google analytics?
This is a frustration for both website owners and marketers. Google used to share a lot more information about keywords to website owners. Ever since they moved their data resources to more secure settings they do not share most of the keywords used to discover your website. Although, additional keyword data is shared via Google Search Console (aka Webmaster Tool Kit), keep in mind even this data is not exact and is not always updated in real time. There are costly platforms which try to predict keywords utilized by users, ultimately there is no simple way to gain visibility to your keyword data. Of course, why it is important to utilize professionals to continuously mine and optimize around performing keywords that you or your competitors are benefitting from.
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