One of the most shocking things, to me, when I first started advising businesses on online marketing, almost a decade ago, was that people literally had no idea about what their web sites were doing. Often companies would pay thousands of dollars for their web sites, but not have ANY idea how many visitors they had, or where they came from.
This was back when AWstats was the only visitor tracking data that was available. It was limited, but I maintained that nobody should invest significantly in a web site, without tracking how many people visited their site!
Fast forward to 2014, and there are truly AMAZING amounts of FREE information available to any web site owner. Google Analytics is a marketer’s DREAM as it tells you where visitors came from, what pages they visited, how long they were on your site, where in the world they live, etc.
Because I like helping people succeed, I encourage every customer (as well as my friends, and sometimes total strangers!) to watch this overview Google produced. It’s 9 minutes that can be invaluable in marketing your business. It starts slow but is worth sticking with:
If I pay for a web site, I at LEAST want to know:
1. How many visitors came to the site this month (or day or week or hour)
2. How many pages did they visit
3. What pages did they visit
4. Where did they come from (paid search, organic “Google searches”, a link from another site, a link from social media/Facebook, or directly typing in the address)
If my site is designed to do ecommerce, or is important to my business I’d want to know:
1. Did they purchase anything?
2. Did they download any materials or fill out a “contact me” form?
3. Where are they from? (you can generate a map down to city/town level!)
4. What terms were they searching for that led them to my site (this requires more than Universal Analytics these days)
You can dig as deep as you want. If you set a “goal” (EG an online sale, or generation of a sales lead) you can look at your search funnel.
* How many clicks did it take before they “converted”? Did they click on Adwords on their phone then go to their desktop and type it in?
* What was the most common “path” from a new visit to conversion?
* What pages “lost people”? (IE they “left” after that page)
* What is the average “lag time” between a click on Adwords and a sale? For some businesses you get the sale the same day, for some it may be weeks. Having hard data on that can inform your strategy.
* You can even look at what time of day people visit most, and what times of day people convert most!
We could go on for pages about the different ways you can slice the data, and what you can learn. The point is that this data is available and valuable! If you only sell $1000/year online you may not need to dig deep. But you at least should put in Analytics tag and see how many people visit your site, and where they come from in general.
If you are selling $1 Million houses, you may want to pay VERY close attention to the sources that generate good leads. You don’t want to waste time with “curiosity clicks” so may want to develop a good system for tracking what sources produce leads that end up purchasing.
We named our business Root Deeper as we like to work with companies to dig into the data, and plant the roots of their marketing in the deep data. The more deeply someone understands your data, the more effective your marketing efforts will be, over the long haul.
While much of what people hire me for is “Adwords management”, really much of my “value add” is overall business strategy grounded in Digital Analytics. I never manage an Adwords account without going deeply into Google Analytics (now Universal Analytics) and studying customer behavior and other data.
A GREAT video that explains Digital Analytics is included as part of Google’s training on their analytics product, and it’s a “must view” for clients I work with, as it explains what I do (which is often different than what they THINK I do!). If you want to get a sense of how Root Deeper works with Adwords, Universal Analytics, Webmaster Tools and other services to learn who your customers are, and what they are interested in, view this video. It is general about the Digital Analytics process, but should be illuminating if you have not thought about adaptive management of marketing campaigns:
If you would like to learn more about what Root Deeper Marketing can do for you, let’s talk about how we plant the roots of your marketing strategy in deep data.
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