Google Analytics is one of a number of analysis tools that should be in your marketing toolbox. Google offers this service for free to anyone who has a website and we strongly recommend that you have analytics enabled on every one of your webpages so that you can track interactions on your website from your web visitors. Understanding web analytics and how this correlates with your on and offline marketing will help you get the very best return from your marketing spend.
Measuring what works is the key to understanding your success for a marketing campaign.
But first you need to understand what the objectives of the campaign are.
Are you looking for people to pick up the phone, or complete a form, do you want them to download a PDF, do you want them to buy online? What is it that your marketing campaign or campaigns are to do for your business.
Once you have this identified, then you are in a better position to know what success means to you, and from here you should quantify this, add a numeric or financial metric to it.
After this, you will be able to understand better what marketing you will need to do in order that you can achieve this success. It may be one thing, but is more likely to be a combination of things.
We love a good spreadsheet, and once again Google makes it simple buy offering free online spreadsheets that make working collaboratively very easy indeed., and again all edits and downloads can be traced, meaning that when if I were to share this presentation with you, I would know who has looked at what.
We think that’s pretty cool for starters.
Within your spreadsheet you should detail your objectives and goals, and also the marketing that you will need to get there. Then we suggest creating a new tab for each marketing element so that you can get a little more granular.
Once you have identified what marketing tools you will have in your armory, and taken the trouble to create your detailed spreadsheet, then we suggest creating a landing page that is to be used specifically for this campaign.
When we say Landing page, it could simply be another, more relevant page on your website. It doesn’t have to be all singing, all dancing, it just needs to do the job it is assigned to do, based on your objectives and goals. Usually that means having a great call to action., telling people what to do next and how to do it.
This unique landing page will have a unique URL (e.g: www.yourdomain.co.uk/unique-landing-page-for-your-marketing-campaign/ ) which will be identifiable within Google Analytics. So now when you send someone to your website, you wont be simply sending them to a home page, but to a page that is relevant to your marketing campaign at the time. Immediately, you have numbers to look at within Google Analytics as it shows you how many visitors landed on that page by typing in the URL directly. This is called “Direct Traffic”.
But of course, you won’t be able to speak to everyone will you.
So how else will you be sending people to this web page?
You could be advertising in the local newspaper
You may be sharing the news on Facebook
You may be announcing it within an email marketing campaign
What other marketing methods can you think of?
Indeed there are many marketing methods, a lot you have thought of already, others are less obvious. A common method people miss is a simple link from their email signature, another is the back of your tee-shirt, if you are a tradesman – after all, you generally work hands on with your back to you customer and often passers by.
Here is where that spreadsheet becomes very handy indeed, because for every place you advertise, you can create a shortened URL.
So www.yourdomain.co.uk/unique-landing-page-for-your-marketing-campaign/ becomes www.goo.gl/q08vNr
Detail this in your spreadsheet and you can easily track the results of each individual URL by adding info to the end. (i.e: www.goo.gl/q08vNr.info ).
If you have given one shortened, traceable URL to one individual, you can then see the date and time that person clicked your website, which means that you can go into Google analytics and find that individual and see exactly what they did next. Which pages did they view, and therefore what are they interested in.
In addition to this, you can set up a call to action on the new page, that directs people to a form, or a download or whatever it is you want them to do next. This call to action can then be tracked as a conversion event or goal within Google Analytics.
Creating Goals is very important, and being able to add a value to that goal is also important (even if it is just a round number). Goals mean you can attribute a source of that web visit to a conversion, which helps us identify what is working and what is not.
You are then in a great position to follow this up with a confident phone call, or a follow-up email, which means that analytics can also increase your sales.
This may all sound a little long winded, but there are tools out there that can automate this process for you. They are chargeable, but depending on your business, it may well be worthwhile.
http://www.leadforensics.com/ - B2B only
https://www.ruleranalytics.com/ - B2B and B2C
It is well worth using their free trials to see if they are right for your business, and if you receive a lot of traffic, it may well be, especially for B2B businesses.
Lets look at the tracking tools available:
Google analytics – Free analytics tool that every business should be using
Goo.gl – Free URL shortener and tracking
Google Webmasters – Free tool that works in combination with Google Analytics top enhance the reports around SEO
Bing Webmasters – Similar to Google Webmasters, except on Bing search engine
Crazy Egg – A click Intention Tracking Tool
Lead Forensics – B2B data analysis and drill down
Ruler Analytics – B2B and B2C data analysis and drill down
Response Tap – records phone calls for analysis
Constant Contact – email marketing campaigns
These are just a few available on the market, and we recommend using more than one to understand your traffic.
How does Google Analytics tell us a little bit about the user online behaviour?
There are a number of elements you can look at, which should include the goals that you have created , these can include:
New visitors to your website.
Looking at how many, where they came from and the number that converted will help you understand better what helps you attract new website visitors, and you can do the same with loyal, repeat visitors. Understanding how to keep your existing clients engaged is always good as client retention is more cost effective than trying to win new business, and being able to upsell to existing clients again keeps those marketing costs down.
Looking at what pages are not engaging, by looking at the bounce rate (i.e. they land and they go without looking at any other pages on your website at all) will help you understand where you need to make improvements to your website. Of course a high bounce rate is not always a bad sign. You may only have a one page website, in which case you will have a 100% bounce rate, or you may want people to download a form, in which case they may have downloaded the form and gone again.
Year on Year comparisons.
You should also do year on year comparisons to identify trends for your business. Understanding when your business has leaner times or busier times helps you to fill in the gaps and smooth the lines for a more balanced business pattern. A smooth business growth line is much better for cash flow too! This should be factored into your annual marketing campaign.
There are many more elements you can look at to identify the good and bad elements within your marketing campaign.
With any analytics tool, you should look at the results very deeply to get the full picture, and also include a smattering of common sense and knowledge of the market place.
As an example, if you see that visitors to your home page are not going to any other page, you have to ask yourself why.
Perhaps it is because you simply wanted them to call you, in which case, your phone call analysis will be important to identify what sources have lead to that call, and a high bounce rate (on and off your website, without looking around) would be acceptable to you.
But what could you do to better understand the statistics?
Well, perhaps you can create a Call Now button instead, which can be monitored and tracked as a click within Google Analytics. This way you can measure the amount of clicks on that button, versus the amount of visitors to that page, and see what your actual conversion from web visit to call is, and you call analytics will then measure your conversion rate from call to sale. This figure will then give a real conversion rate and tell you roughly how many web visits it will take to get a sale.
If you know that, then you can plan to drive more traffic to that webpage, or you can look at ways of increasing that conversion rate. The same applies to a PDF download. Perhaps instead of allowing people to download directly from the page, you can ask them to complete a very short form instead, which will be traceable, and also provide your web visitor with the pdf on a form thank you page, meaning that the process of sending the PDF is still automated, but for your trouble in creating and providing the PDF you have gained a valuable email address so that you can market to using email marketing. Of course, you need to be sure you have followed all the email marketing rules for your Country, and at the very least you should tell them what you will be doing with their email address, and give them the option to say no (usually a tick box).
Free Google Analytics Audit
Now you have learned a little bit more, we would like to get you started and are offering a complimentary Analytics Audit over Skype. We will spend up to half an hour with you looking at your analytics over a screen-share, which means all your logins and data are safe, and will point you in the right direction of what may need improving, and what is working that you should do more of!