How to Transform Your Marketing Decision Making Process Using Google Analytics Data
According to a study by the Information Technology Services Marketing Association, 40% of marketers show their ROI case to their C level executives (probably in an effort to justify their pay!). However, of this 40%, none were able to identify the direct impacts their efforts made to the goals of the business other than simple campaign ROI.
Newsflash: Your marketing effort goes beyond a single campaign
In fact, your marketing campaigns do much more than provide just an immediate ROI impact. Every marketing campaign is also a new customer introduction to the brand, a touch point to capture more leads for future follow-up, and a doorway to further extend ROI not just across the current campaign, but all related future ones as well.
This is the potential, anyways. This potential, hidden in your data stores, will either rise to the surface, or sink below, never to be realized.
Quality data intelligence drives better marketing decisions
Google Analytics is an excellent and free tool used by many businesses to understand how their website is performing in the marketing mix. Yet despite this enterprise level utility available at the fingertips of virtually all marketing departments, very few marketers truly ever utilize the powerful intel that Google Analytics is capable of delivering.
It's time to learn some powerful tips and tricks to make the most of Google Analytics. Follow these lessons, and you'll set up your future marketing campaigns for a higher ROI and tighter alignment with your underlying business goals.
Choose better metrics than simple bounce rate
Everyone seems to know about bounce rates and total sessions. Indeed, both these shallow metrics are placed front and center on the default dashboard, contributing to the over-focus.
However, these simple metrics often hide much of the picture behind the visitor's intent as they navigate along your site. Considering replacing these metrics with the following insight generating metrics instead:
Pages per session. A user who clicks around a lot is expending effort on your website to see more. Every click is another vote of confidence that your material is engaging, interesting, or otherwise noteworthy. There is a very tight correlation between visitor engagement, and purchase behavior, making the pages per session metric an essential one to keep tabs on.
Referrals. Possibly the most important data you can capture are the referral sources for all of your traffic. By segmenting your traffic by source, you can tell which sources send the greatest quantity of visitors to your site, and also how they individually perform as a group.
It could very well be that a smaller traffic referrer sends you more revenues and profits due to better traffic quality. Mastering the referral metrics and filters will allow you to take full advantage of this gold nugget of knowledge, and help you allocate your marketing budget for maximum profits.
Access referrer information by going to the "Behaviors" menu option, and then clicking on "Site Content" and then "Landing Pages." You should then be able to filter by pages on your blog specifically.
Observing blog performance
Many companies focus their online content marketing efforts around their blog. With Google Analytics, you can identify how your blog performs, independent of the rest of your site traffic, to see just how much (or little) your efforts have paid off.
Are people sticking around and continuing to read other pages? Or are they bouncing upon landing on the first page at an unusually high rate?
Gauge the true value of your blog by expanding the "Acquisition" menu. Then click on "Source/Media" under the All Traffic tab. Filter the pages shown using your blog's URL structure as the identifier, to see traffic specific to that part of the site.
If SEO is a significant part of your marketing budget, this also is going to be a tab you should be spending a lot of time analyzing. Observe the search engine referrers closely, as they will reveal how successful your SEO efforts truly are.
Data driven decision-making starts here
By now you can sense the possibilities. The same filters mentioned above can also be applied to social media, paid traffic, and many other specific campaigns you run to your website.
Google Analytics can become the powerful data-gathering brain of your marketing operation online. With it, you can set aside the crystal ball, and start making actionable insights from your data. Use the improved metrics and filters discussed in this article to make the most of your marketing dollars, and watch your site traffic grow as a result.