Understanding Analytics

In Featured News, Measurement by getpushing

According to Websters Dictionary, Analytics is the method of logical analysis. As a marketing professional, analytics is the discovery, interpretation, and communications of meaningful patterns in data.

Marketing a business takes more than creative flair, it is a data-driven process that can provide an inside look at how a target audience reacts to specific stimuli and trends while providing insight into their preferences.

How valuable is understanding analytics when it comes to marketing your business? Analytics may be used to describe, predict and improve performance and aide in making the best decisions for your business.

Why do we track analytics? To measure our marketing performance and refine strategies and tactics to achieve goals and objectives.

With this information, we can look back to learn what elements generate the most customer reaction/engagement/revenue. If your business implemented email and mobile marketing, how did “Email A perform against Mobile Message B,” how many leads were generated from “blog post C versus social media campaign D”?

We can look to where we are now to ask and answer questions like: “How are customers engaging with us?” “Which social channels do our customers prefer and what are they saying on these channels?”

We use analytics to evaluate the success of a campaign. Without analytics, we would have no idea of what is or isn’t working and when or if things needed to change.

The ability to act on what we’ve learned to enhance future planning. The real value in all of the information provided by analytics is how we’re able to move on it. The data allows businesses and marketing professionals an opportunity to improve their overall marketing campaign performance, adjusting strategies and tactics as needed.

Now, that you understand more about marketing analytics and how they help create a strategy, see below for common terms and jargon that you will need to know when maneuvering your data:

Return On Investment (ROI)
Definition: Measuring the benefit (gain or loss) from an investment of a resource (in this case, marketing resources); essentially tracking leads and sales
Importance: Leads and sales are the core of performance evaluations – what conversions should generate. Tracking the number of leads and sales generated from your investment in marketing efforts will reveal what is working and what is not. How did your efforts generate interest and consumer behavior changes?

Call-to-Action (CTA)
Definition: An instruction to the audience to stimulate a response (e.g. “Call today,” “RSVP,” “Visit Us,” “Learn More”)
Importance: Know if and how your audience is converting, clicking, engaging with your content

A/B Testing (aka “split testing)
Definition: A controlled experiment comparing two versions of a marketing strategy (e.g., times to send emails, subject lines, CTAs
Importance: Identify and optimize best ways to market your product or service.

Search Engine Optimization
Definition: The process of increasing traffic to your website through organic search results on search engines (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo), SEO involves website content, referral traffic, and more.
Importance: When potential customers search for your service or product online, how high does your website rank in search results? If your company does not show up on the first page or two, it’s likely you’ll receive fewer visitors to your website.

Web Leads
Definition: Conversions in the forms of leads or sales (if your site has e-commerce), obtaining visitor information, inquires, and sales
Importance: Are visitors showing interest and/or converting? If you have multiple forms, which ones is making the most people convert?

Web referrals
Definition: Measure incoming traffic to your site via clicks on a direct link from another website
Importance: Know where traffic flow to your website is coming from and how to best optimize those sites (e.g., clicks to a company website from the company’s Facebook page)

Definition: A configuration setting that allows you to track the valuable actions, or conversions, that happen on your site or mobile app (e.g., making a purchase or submitting a contact information form)
Importance: Measure how often users complete specific actions. Each time a web visitor completes a goal, it is tracked in Google Analytics.

Definition: a group of user interactions with your website that takes place within a given time frame.
Importance: See what actions users take on your website, how many and which pages they view… are people visiting your site and only visiting one page or are they reviewing multiple product pages, company information, and more?

Definition: People who engaged with your site, measured by a unique identifier associated with each
Importance: Identify users across all devices used to access your site (e.g. mobile, desktop), determine repeat vs. unique visitors

Bounce Rate
Definition: Single-page sessions divided by all sessions or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server. In other words, any user who visits just one page and leaves is considered a bounce… this is because Google thinks they weren’t able to find what they were looking for.
Importance: Measure the success of your website. Dependent upon how many sites your page has, it’s normal to have a higher bounce rate on a single-page website.

Open Rate
Definition: Measures the percentage of email subscribers on a contact list who open your email.
Importance: Know if people are opening your emails vs. the average open rate for your industry for performance comparison. Identify best times of day and days of the week to send. This also helps identify effective subject lines.

Click Rate
Definition: Measures the people who clicked on a link or links in your email.
Importance: There are many reasons! Clicks on your email content mean your audience is interested in what you’re sharing – and they want to learn or see more. Depending on the links you include, this action drives traffic to your website, social media pages, blogs, review sites, etc. So, (1) does your email have links or CTAs? (2) are the links visible and appealing to the eye? and (3) have you added social media follow buttons with links?

Definition: Reveals the number of email subscribers who no longer wish to receive emails from you and have removed themselves from the contact list.
Importance: Take note of any reasons why contacts are unsubscribing, if they provided details, compare opt out trends to changes in frequency or content and make adjustments