measurement

Analyze This! Why Your Google Analytics Matter

If there’s one thing I’ve come to learn about my clients, it’s that they expect results. Many of my clients place a lot of value on measurement, and I am often asked, “How were our leads this quarter compared to last? Are we seeing value from the amount we put into new content on our site?” I find it interesting that a lot of business owners and marketers are unclear of the value they can receive from their Google Analytics reports.

At CreativeWorks Marketing, we dedicate the last week of each month to compiling and analyzing Google Analytics data. Google Analytics is a free tool in which you are able to monitor the traffic to your website in terms of audience demographics, behaviour, referrals and more. Like any good tool, you get out of it what you put into it. A simple Google Analytics report is only valuable when analyzed to help you understand what it means to your business.

The analyzed data is central to your business as it allows you to understand what is and isn’t working on your site so you can implement strategic, not just tactical, initiatives. While many web companies offer Google Analytics reports as part of their services, few of them supply much other than the raw data itself. Being able to read and fully understand what is being told through the data is imperative to your marketing success.

I have worked with multiple clients over the years that receive monthly analytics reports from their “web person” and disregard the information due to a lack of understanding. By ignoring the information provided in each analytics report, you might be missing key information about your business. Variances in online behaviour are important to determine problems and identify trends.

Google Analytics go above and beyond recording how many people have visited your site, it can also help to identify “unusual” behaviour. For example, when one of our clients was the victim of a website scam, we were able to identify new visitors to the site that came from suspicious sources. Finding out this information and alerting our client was imperative to the security of our client’s site, and without Google Analytics we wouldn’t have been able to act as fast as we did.

Analytics are a key part of the marketing process, and website analytics are only one form of such data. If your business is on digital platforms, you need to make sure you have clear analytics reports that also include relevant data on your social media efforts, and ideally include summaries and recommendations for adjustments and changes for improvements.

If you are investing your time and money into a robust website, it’s important that you have an understanding of how your audience is using it. Ask your marketing agency to provide a detailed analysis of your digital assets and explain what changes, if any need to be made. The goal of truly understanding website behaviour is using analytics to its fullest potential.

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Your Marketing Checklist: Checking it Once, Checking it Twice

3d small people - installation of check marksEarly December is often one of the busiest times of the year for many businesses as we feverishly try to shore up fourth quarter sales orders, wrap up year-end projects and campaigns and start planning for 2016. By mid to late December, businesses wind down as we take off time for the holidays; it can act like the calm before the storm, knowing that as soon as January comes, we will hit the ground running!

Statistically, 60% of SMBs create marketing strategies, but lack the resources to implement them or fail to measure their success. This December, invest some time into taking stock of your marketing, to reflect on your achievements and objectives over the past 12 months. Think about what your strategy was coming into 2015 and whether what you planned measured up to your expectations and met your objectives.

I’ve outlined below my top 10 critical marketing questions, which are derived from what is considered the necessary components to produce successful marketing results:

018665-glossy-black-icon-symbols-shapes-check-box-psMarketing Strategy

  • Did you have a marketing strategy for 2015?
    • If not, why not?
  • Do you think it is something you’d consider for 2016?

018665-glossy-black-icon-symbols-shapes-check-box-psMet Objectives

  • How did you plan to achieve your objectives outlined in your strategy?
    • Print collateral e.g. brochure/flyer/postcard
    • Social Media campaigns e.g. FB contest
    • Broadcast Advertising e.g. radio or TV
    • Digital or online advertising e.g. banner ads, Google Ads
    • Marketing automation
    • Video productions
    • Trade shows
    • E-blasts
    • Website and SEO
    • Other

018665-glossy-black-icon-symbols-shapes-check-box-psCustomer Intelligence

  • Did you make an effort to learn more about the needs of your customers i.e. conduct any market/customer research?
  • How did you measure customer satisfaction/engagement/user experience?
  • Did you make an effort to learn more about the competing products or services of your competitors i.e. conduct any market/customer research?
    • If you conducted some research, did you implement new strategies based on the findings?

018665-glossy-black-icon-symbols-shapes-check-box-ps Planning

  • Did you plan the timing for implementing your tactics i.e. create critical paths?

018665-glossy-black-icon-symbols-shapes-check-box-ps Measurement

  • How was each tactic measured for ROI?
  • Did you assess your success of each tactic? What did well and what didn’t? How could you have improved on your approaches?

018665-glossy-black-icon-symbols-shapes-check-box-ps Improvement

  • When you compare your goals with your achievements, what could you have done better?
  • How will you revise your strategy for 2016?

 

In planning for 2016, what will you do differently to produce better results than last year?