Welcome to the fourth instalment in our Digital Marketing 101 Series. In this week’s post, we talk all things analytics and the value of data-crunching.
Data is a digital marketer’s best friend. Without it, you’d have no way of knowing who is interacting with your brand online, the path they take to get to your website or what actions they take once they are there. Good data analysis can help you solve problems, identify opportunities, improve online donation rates, increase event sign ups, tailor messaging, enhance your site’s UX, and the list goes on.
Long story short: whether you love crunching numbers or the sight of an excel spreadsheet brings you out in a cold sweat, wrapping your head around analytics is an integral part of digital marketing.
How to get started
Get acquainted with Google Analytics.
Google’s ubiquity means that pretty much everyone with a website has free access to Google Analytics (GA), which allows you to closely track and monitor the behaviour of visitors to your site.
Once you’re up and running, you can then begin to track and learn more about what we call the ‘user journey.’ Among other things, GA can help you understand:
- How visitors are reaching your site and which mediums are the best (and worst) referrals of traffic. Want to know what percentage of your visitors come via search? Email? Social media? Other third-party referrals? Getting an understanding of this will help you tweak your communications moving forward and establish whether you’re spending money on things that aren’t delivering a good return on investment. Conversely, it can also help you to identify sources that you may have previously overlooked and are worth exploring further.
- The demographic breakdown of your visitors. Knowing who is clicking through to and spending time on your site is data gold. GA can give you a snapshot on the gender, age and location of your visitors. They can even tell you about that person’s interests by analysing their search history. A little on the creepy side, yes – but in data terms, it’s highly valuable intel that can help you understand who’s engaging with your brand and tailor your digital marketing strategy accordingly.
- Which content on your site is most engaging and which needs work. By finding out how long people spend exploring your site, how they navigate through it, and which pages are the most and least popular, you can begin to draw some conclusions about what is and isn’t working and the type of content that’s of most interest to your visitors. For example, do blog posts featuring certain topics receive the most clicks and attention? What percentage of your visitors make a donation? Is there a drop-off once they reach the donation page that suggests you need to simplify the process?
Make your data digestible
One of the complaints most often made about data analysis is that it can be overwhelming. There’s simply too much to take in. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to make your data a little more easy to digest.
One way to make it easier to see at a glance how your digital marketing strategy is performing is by setting up your own goals in GA. These allow you to track specific actions that are relevant to your organisation and could be as simple as time spent on your website, the number of visitors who click through from email or the number of donations made via the website. Then, all you need to do is check your ‘reporting’ tag regularly in GA to see how you’re tracking against those particular goals.
Another handy tool is the Google Data Studio, which integrates with GA to help you visualise your metrics more easily, create your own dashboard and run reports for different campaigns.
Tap into your social intel
Knowledge is power – and that applies to your social media platforms too. From Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat through to Twitter and LinkedIn, every network has its own reporting platform – and if you’re not already making use of these to understand how your social community is engaging with your brand, then you should be.
Use these metrics to learn more about who your fans are, which posts drive the most engagement, which content is most sharable, how your paid social campaigns are performing and more. Combine this data with information mined from a social listening platform like Attentive.ly to understand what supporters are saying about your cause and you’ll be able to build a really clear picture of what matters to your fans and which engagement levers to pull.
Missed the last instalment in our Digital Marketing 101 Series? Get up to speed now with five ways to maximise your email marketing.