The internet has diversified a marketer’s role and introduced a range of new challenges and client requirements. One of the most common is the need to be able to work with data and turn it into meaningful, tangible feedback on a marketing campaign, particularly when calculating ROI on social media.
When you kick off a marketing campaign, analytics complete the feedback loop and help you to understand how your web visitors behave. But are you making the most of the data? And could you be taking a wrong turn in your analysis?
While Google Analytics takes some getting used to, it’s relatively friendly, easy on the eye, and there are no shortage of online tips and guides.
According to Econsultancy, 56 percent of websites rely solely on Google Analytics, while 89 percent of websites use it in total. That makes it a good choice for marketers. While Google Analytics takes some getting used to, it’s relatively friendly, easy on the eye, and there are no shortage of online tips and guides.
Google Analytics’ tracking code can be installed within a few minutes, and the software will start recording information about your visitors immediately afterwards. The data provided is vast, so it pays to take time to learn best practice.
The most important part of setting it up is to create three views. These should be variants along the lines of:
The purpose of these three views is that any changes you make can be tested before you implement them in your reporting view, so that if there are any issues you haven’t lost valuable data (as once data has been filtered by GA it can’t be changed retroactively).
The Master View is the failsafe, so that if you find out that you have been implementing a filter that has had adverse effects, then you still have the data in your Master View and all is not lost.
Google Analytics tracks every visitor, but there are some you may not want to track, such as visits from your own agency or your client’s offices. One of the first filters you should set up is on your own IP address so that your reports are not distorted.
Measuring conversions: Marketers can set up custom Goals in Google Analytics. Each Goal allows the marketer to measure a specific conversion action. For example, one of your Goals may be a newsletter signup; another may be a product enquiry through an email form.
Goals are one of the basic features of Google Analytics, yet many marketers fail to use them to their full potential.
Social media acquisition: Google has put together a range of social media reporting tools. Use it to quickly see an overview of social visitor acquisition statistics, most shared content and the value of your socially engaged visitors. If you work with one or two social networks, create your own custom social reports using the Segment Builder or check your Acquisition Reports.
Google Analytics can track UTM codes (normally these are used in email marketing campaigns). Services like MailChimp automatically insert these codes into the hyperlinks you create, but you can manually create your own.
By checking UTM referrals, marketers can instantly see how an email marketing campaign is generating leads, and what type of content your subscribers want more of.
With Google Analytics, patience pays off. You will get a better picture of visitor behaviour as tracking data builds up. Google is continually improving Google Analytics, and it’s one area of its services that thankfully remains free.
Once your basic knowledge is up to scratch, explore some advanced features of Google Analytics, such as Content Experiments, to delve deep into the psyche of your audience.
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