It has been established that goals need to be carefully thought out and that practical strategies must be implemented to achieve them. If a business owner is working with a marketer, both individuals must communicate regularly about how successful the strategies they’ve put in place have been. Are they truly helping the business owner to achieve his or her corporate goals? Is the ever-changing business landscape impacting success?
Business owners and marketers also have automated feedback mechanisms at their disposal when it comes to monitoring their online marketing efforts. These feedback mechanisms are often referred to as analytics.
Web analytics allows marketers to identify how each of their marketing initiatives (e.g. social media vs. blogging vs. email marketing, etc.) stack up against one another, determine the true ROI [return on investment] of their activities, and understand how well they’re achieving their business goals.
After this information-gathering process is complete, decisions can be made. Business owners and marketers can make changes as to how they are using certain marketing channels if they aren’t helping to achieve their aims.
Every web platform has its own analytics. Some are more effective and flexible than others. “Flexible” refers to how some platform’s analytics give the user the ability to customize metrics, as opposed to only presenting a set dashboard.
It is crucial that the marketer familiarize him-or-herself with the analytics of the particular platform(s) he or she chooses. However, it is audience engagement, rather than analytic output that should drive the marketer’s social media platform selections.
Web analytics, a subset of marketing analytics, allows businesses and marketers to understand customers in ways that weren’t possible before. Here are just some of the things website analytics and reporting can do:
The reason these capabilities are essential is because they can assist a marketer when it comes to changing the message to a specific customer; the ultimate aim being to make it more compelling for that customer to buy. For example, a company might alter pricing based on what people are looking at on a website, or the popularity of what they are looking at.
Programs like Google Analytics are commonly used by businesses and marketers to accomplish some of the reporting functions listed earlier.
“Website analytics” is a generic term meaning the study of the impact of a website design on its users. It is a fundamental tool for understanding how successful marketing efforts are. It is, after all, the purpose of social media activity, TV commercials, email campaigns, and conferences to send people to the company’s website or front door. A business can count the people coming through the door. However, without analytics there is no way to track who is coming to the company website, what they are looking at while there, where they are spending the most or least amount of time, and where they exited the site altogether.
Site analytics should be implemented to capture the aforementioned information and to arm the business owner or marketer with the insight to make changes for the better. Those changes might include: remarketing efforts for visitors that make it to the site purchase cart but don’t actually buy anything, updating product information that the target audience doesn’t appear to be reading, or improving the homepage if potential consumers don’t engage enough to click through to the other pages.
Many businesses use Google Analytics to measure the success of their marketing efforts. Unlike some other analytics tools, Google Analytics does not charge a fee (though a premium option is available for purchase). This analytics system also provides detailed enough information to help website owners make informed decisions about past, present, and future digital marketing endeavors.
Google Analytics helps a company get to know its website audience. This includes how audience members arrive at the site (e.g. via social media channels, search engines, etc.) and what kind of devices they are using to access it (e.g. smart phones, desktop computers, etc.). Google Analytics can also identify which parts of a business’ website are getting the most attention.
Companies can track their online conversions using Google Analytics too. “If you set up Goals within Google Analytics, you can see how many conversions your website has received (Goals > Overview) and what URLs they happened upon (Goals > Goals URLs). You can also see the path that visitors took to complete the conversion (Google > Reverse Goal Path).”
Google Analytics is also an effective tool when conducting A/B or split-testing. In this context, this term refers to testing different web pages for their conversion effectiveness with a particular audience. For example, a coffee shop owner wants to market his business to college students. He creates two versions of his homepage. The first includes images of steaming coffee and biscotti. The second incorporates images of beautiful people hanging out together. Each is used for one week. Using Google Analytics, the owner can determine which of these two pages is more effective at driving business.
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