A Blueprint for Spot-On Web Analytics
Every web-based program you subscribe to or purchase to supplement your marketing efforts comes with analytical features that provide insight that is unique and integral to your business. This can range from your social page ranks, website traffic, conversions to cost ratios, email open-rates and click-thru-rates, general customer demographics, search engine result ranking, phone calls, reach and so on!
The main problem: there is too much to report on, or at least that is how you probably feel.
I’m sure every marketer understands that with every new program comes a new procedure. Here’s a blueprint to help you cut right to the meat of your metrics:
- Become an Expert — Every program has a competitive advantage with regards to reporting certain metrics. The trick is to know everything it can tell you and how to get it (quickly). The longer you spend with a program at the beginning of the implementation stages, learning its nuances and procedures, the more information and insight you’ll gain. This is key before moving on to the next program.
Real-Life Example: Since many marketers use Google Analytics (as do I), Google has their Certification Program, which really helped me understand every bit of information that I could get from GA. I also use lynda.com any time I need to learn a new program.
- Know What You Want — Once you’re aware of every type of metric that a program can produce, determine what is important to your business. These programs often scare us with the amount of information they spit out, which is understandable. But, once you comprehend everything that the program can produce and what insight is actually valuable, reporting should become a bit more streamlined.
Real-Life Example: Clicktale can give you an assortment of different analytics, but I only use it for their mouse move reports.
- Don’t Double Dip, and Compare Apple to Apples — This is a two-parter. Do not use two or more different programs to report on the same metric. There are many reasons for this, but probably the biggest being, for those of us with a million things to do, why do them twice? Another good reason is to ensure accurate reports that you can act on appropriately. And the only way to do this is to compare metrics from the same program.
Real-Life Example: There are several programs that report on website traffic, but I only look at Google Analytics for this information. Are Google’s numbers completely accurate? Probably not. But, by using only GA, I know that when I am comparing traffic reports in a year, I’m sure that I’m looking at the type of metrics. I am not going to look at my CrazyEgg or BrightEdge report to find this information, because each program classifies their metrics differently.
- Set a Schedule and Keep it! — Set 1-3 hours aside during the week (usually a Monday is best) to run the gauntlet on all of your reports. I know what you’re thinking, “There is NO WAY I can dedicate 1-3 hours of my Monday mornings to reporting!” However, a regular reporting schedule will free up the rest of your workweek and you will know exactly where your business stands. This practice can revolutionize your business by dictating which projects are the most important.
Real-Life Example: Every Monday, I report on website traffic, social activity, campaign vs. conversion tracking, and send this to the Executive team. This report, rather than what I “feel” I should be doing, dictates my week’s to-do list.
By following this blueprint, you should find yourself on a track to knowing exactly what’s working for your business, and what isn’t.
By Modern Postcard
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