Marketing Analytics are the measurement that tells you how your marketing activities are performing. Sometimes overlooked in the marketing process, it is essential to pay attention to your analytics so that you understand your Return on Investment (ROI) and so you know what changes need to be made to your marketing strategies.
As with SEO, analytics can be very complicated depending on how deep you want to dig, and there are agencies and software platforms that specialize in Analytics only. However, as with all of the marketing strategies we have introduced you to, this article will explain some of the basics that will give you all the information you need to make informed marketing decisions. The analytics tools and measurements we talk about here will be based on the 5 Content Marketing strategies we discussed in our how to market your coaching business article
What should you measure?
There are many different types of analytics you can track, some more complicated to track and understand than others. Here are a few of the more common ones:
- How are your marketing activities performing?
- What are your competitors doing?
- How are your marketing activities performing over the long term?
- Keyword/phrase performance
- Rank Tracking
- Link Tracking
At the very least you want to know how your marketing activities are performing. This is the only way you will be able to understand what’s working and what isn’t.
As with most tasks, there are many ways you can do things. When it comes to analytics platforms that will provide you with your insights there are some that pretty much do it all like SEMRush, Moz and AHref, but are on the costly side and tend to need a pretty tech-savvy person to navigate. There are also free or low-cost platforms, but generally, you’ll need several different ones to pull everything together. You may also find that the software you are using for your website, email marketing or social media may have analytics built-in and those can be a good option too.
The king of analytics though is Google Analytics and the great thing is that it’s free to use. There is some set up involved and you will need to know where to look for the important information and you will need some kind of spreadsheet or document that will allow you to look at your results over a period of time.
How do analytics help with the bottom line?
Knowing where your leads and prospects are coming from is the first step in being able to increase those numbers. Once you have an understanding of which of your marketing efforts are pulling in the most revenue, then you can put more focus there and potentially drop efforts from areas that are not working as well. This not only increases your sales but also cuts back on your expenses, making your bottom line fatter!
Where to start
Let’s look at each of the five content marketing strategies and breakdown what analytics to track and where to find them.
The ultimate goal for most of your marketing efforts is to get people to your website. You want visitors to know you and your services better, sign up for your mailing list and connect with you through your contact us page. When visitors are on your website they are in the consideration stage of the marketing funnel so it’s important to understand how many visitors you are getting, how they found you, how long they are staying on your website, which pages they are spending the most time on and how often they visit.
Google Analytics Acquisition Overview page will give you most of this information. You will need to set up a Google Analytics account and add the necessary tracking information to your website to get these analytics
- Organic search is where a visitor has performed a google search either for your name or another keyword that you have ranked for and then they have clicked on your website link.
- Direct is when a visitor has typed your URL directly into their browser search bar
- Social is visitors who have clicked on a link to your site from a social media platform
- Referrals are links from other non-social media sites
- Email is where a visitor has clicked a link to your site from an email you have sent.
- Users are the number of visitors for the time period you have chosen the report for
- New users are the number of users who are unique where as users will have returning visitors in the numbers
- Sessions are a group of interactions that take place on your website in a given time frame. Usually if there is no activity for 30 minutes, a new session will start.
- Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your website who navigate away after only looking at one page – the higher the bounce rate, the less engaged your visitors are.
- Pages/session are the average number of pages a person views in a given session
- Average session duration is the average amount of time visitors spend on your website
You can see that this one report gives you a significant amount of information on how well your website is performing. The organic search traffic is lead by the content on your website. If you want more organic traffic, you’ll need to understand what people are searching for and write more content about those topics.
If you want to learn more about your visitor demographics, you can access the audience report area.
For email marketing, you want to know how your lists are growing, what your open rate is and what your link click rate is as the bare minimum. Understanding how your lists are growing, especially if you have incentives for sign up will tell you which of your free items is generating the most traction. This gives you valuable insight as to what you should create more of and what you can stop giving away.
Open rate and click-through rate (CTR) is also really important as it tells you how your email content is performing. If your open rate is low, look at your subject lines as these are the biggest player in getting people to open your emails. Campaign Monitor has a great article on benchmarks for email marketing in 2020 you can read it here. Ideally, you are looking for an open rate of at least 12%. Click-through rates show you how well your links are performing that you included in your electronic message. The average rate really does vary from industry to industry, however, Smart Insights gives some good ideas for average rates in their article here. If your CTR’s are low, you will need to reevaluate the links that you are including in your messaging.
To find your email marketing analytics, you will need to look at your individual email marketing platform and use the analytics they give you. Google analytics can measure links to your website that came from email but cannot give you all the other information you need.
Social Media analytics varies from platform to platform. You essentially want to track how many connections or followers you have, the engagement rate of your posts and the link clicks. The easiest way to get your analytics is to go to each platform and use the analytics they provide (this is also the cheapest way to do it as it’s free to get your analytics from social media platforms) however it does mean you will have to go to each platform individually and this can be time-consuming. If you use a scheduling platform, some of these have built-in analytics that can provide you with the data you need. We use Smarter Queue and find that gives us most of what we need for social media.
Understanding who is liking what on your social media platforms will give you better ideas around what to post in the future and what works and what doesn’t. Whilst having social media channels with lots of followers and likes is a good number to watch, the ultimate goal of your social media efforts is to convert fans into customers, so you also want to check how many links are being clicked. Google analytics can show you how many website visitors came from social media, which is great, but you want to know which of your posts generated those clicks so you can see which posts are working for you. Generally you want to watch individual posts for Likes, Comments and Clicks. This will give you a better idea of the type of content your fans like the most.
Blog/Vlog & SEO
As with the website monitoring, google analytics will give you most of the information you need to see how your website content is performing in terms of visitors, however Google Search Console is another free reporting platform from google that will tell you what visitors searched for to find you (SEO) and also which pages on your site are performing the best. This helps you to understand which of your blog posts are performing well so you can create more content around that subject and also understand which pages might work best for adding promotions or signup features.
You can use Google Search Console separately from Google Analytics and you can also integrate Search Console with Analytics so everything is in one place. You will need to set up some tracking on your website for both Google Search Console and Google Analytics before you can get started.
Don’t bury your head
In summary, there is no reason for not tracking your analytics. To understand how your marketing efforts are performing, there are numerous platforms that will provide the information you need and you can find analytics for free across Google and Social Media sites. If you are not tracking the performance of your marketing campaigns, you might as well not do any. How much time do you spend putting together a newsletter – do you actually know if anyone is reading it? Could you be using that time elsewhere? Are you paying for platforms and spending time on marketing activities that are not generating any ROI? How will you know?
Looking at the performance of your efforts is one of the roles you have as an entrepreneur, it is what separates you from underperforming businesses and is an opportunity for you to conquer the competition. Don’t let a lack of knowledge hold you back.