Web Analytics Tools & The Importance of Measuring Your Digital Strategy
Web Analytics provide important information on just how well your digital marketing activity is performing, from calculating the amount of website traffic you receive and which are your top lading pages, to showing just how engaging your latest Facebook or Twitter post was with your audience. All these stats can not only determine the success of your latest digital efforts, but they can also help you to understand why an activity did or didn’t work. This enables you to learn from your achievements and mistakes so that you know what the best plan of action is moving forward on this or future campaigns, allowing you to get the biggest bang for your buck!
The beautiful thing about digital marketing is that these analytics are available to be measured in real time giving you up to the second results on how your latest campaign is doing. This means that you can quickly see how well a campaign is received by your audience and tweak to optimise it for even better results without wasting too much time or money. Whereas traditional marketing methods only let you see the results once the campaign is over, by which time your budget is most likely been spent perhaps on an unsuccessful campaign.
What information is available?
There is so much information out there you can get you hands on to see how your digital marketing activities are performing, however not all of it is relevant. When it comes to understanding exactly why or why not a campaign has worked, you need to determine what stats are vital to the success of a campaign and future activations, and what information is probably just ‘nice to know’ but not really detrimental to the growth of your business.
For websites, when it comes to statistics, the obvious, and most commonly known, choice is Google Analytics. Here at collective industries, we install Google Analytics into every WordPress website that we build as part of our standard package and would deem this as a vital tool. However, if you run an e-commerce site you might want to consider looking at hot spot applications on top of the basic analytics so you can understand how your users move through the pages on your site, which areas are more engaging than others, allowing you to build on your strengths and weaknesses site wide.
In general, though for websites the key information that is most useful to companies includes; number of website visits, number of return/unique visitors, number of page views, time spent on the website, bounce rates on pages, traffic sources, and keywords used for SEO.
For social media there is also an abundance of information available when it comes to looking at the performance of your posts and tweets. Many platforms offer integrated insights for business pages and profiles, for example Facebook offer Facebook Insights for all pages, and Twitter provide Twitter Analytics. However, if you are looking for deeper insights, a ‘one-stop’ site to cover all channels or even to see how your competition is performing online you might want to consider signing up to a paid tool such as quintly. These tools provide channel comparison insights and can be very helpful when it comes to pulling all your key data into one manageable space. Scheduling tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer also provide good analytics for businesses and offer basic packages for free.
Social Listening – What is it?
There are also ‘social listening tools’ which cover the web as a whole, looking at conversations around certain topics or brands across many types of platforms and channels, from websites and social media pages, to blogs, news sites and forums – you can listen in top practically every conversation happening online potentially about your brand. These tools are usually chargeable and often more complex to manage than some of the more basic analytics tools, however they provide valuable insights to how your brand is perceived online by your audience and connection to key influencers who you can use to increase your reach. If you are looking for a free version, just to get a small taste of what a social listening tool is all about, be sure to check out Social Mention, a social media and analysis platform at aggregates user generated content from over 100+ social media properties including: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google.
The Role of the data analyst
In 2015 web analytics and reporting tools for digital marketers have been popping up everywhere, showing that businesses finally understand the importance of the information they can get from these tools and how their new found knowledge can benefit them in order to grow and become more profitable.
A few years back there was no where near the same amount of information that we can get our hands on as there is now. With so much information to decipher it can all become a bit over whelming and many companies are now outsourcing or hiring one individual or agency to help them collect the information and tell them what it means, enabling them to understand their next steps to move forward.
The role of the data analyst has been born and it is here to stay, most likely playing a key part in important business decisions for companies when planning their future strategies.
Top Free Web Analytics Tools
- Google Analytics
- YouTube Analytics
- Facebook Insights
- Twitter Analytics
- Icon Squared
- Social Mention
What to do with all this information?
Now that you know what information is available and have access the question is what to do with it?
Digital performance reports are the answer…
Digital performance reporting is a great tool and asset that all businesses should be using internally and externally to track, measure and understand their current performance online, empowering them to make educated decisions from these learnings in order to improve their digital performance and grow as a business on and offline.
Digital performance reports should look at the businesses current activity online, providing a basic benchmark analysis of the current performance as well as delving into key posts or articles that have either done particularly well, or perhaps even badly online so that as a business you can understand what content is successful with your audience and what content is not so greatly received, enabling you to design and deliver stronger, more successful campaigns in future. Digital is the face of your business on the web so these reports should be shared and used internally by all departments as standard, but can also be used in sales pitches externally to draw on specific learnings to help sell your business to potential clients or customers. For more information about digital performance reports please contact our team.
Can we help you get started?
Collective Industries provide a strong range of services when it comes to web analytics and performance reporting. We can help right from the basic setup and training required to handle web analytics and reporting in house, or we can provide a comprehensive solution, setting up and managing your analytics for all channels and providing your business with detailed insights on a regular basis. For more information, please contact our team or check out our solutions here.