Understanding Analytics

In blog, Featured News, Measurement by getpushing

Marketing analytics, by definition, is the study of data to evaluate the performance of marketing activity. Marketing a business takes more than creative flair; it is a data-driven process that should be based on research about your target audience, what they want and need, and how to reach them. Analytics or performance data is the basis of solid marketing.

How valuable is understanding analytics when it comes to marketing? In today’s technology-driven age, analytics can evaluate which marketing activities are the most instrumental to your business, creating the most change and driving the most traffic or business. Your marketing analytics should give you actionable insights and direction on how to improve your marketing in the future.

Let’s consider how this applies to executing a marketing campaign. First, you define a target audience, then you set a goal and desired objectives (or outcomes), design your campaign, and launch.

Now what? What do you do during and after this campaign? Do you wait until the end to see how everything turns out? Do you immediately create a new campaign after? No!

While the campaign is running, analytics can give you actionable insights. Where do most of my target audience spend their time online? What content are they engaging with? Where are most of my sales coming from? The data collected through analytics can tell you all this and more. This information helps you refine strategies and tactics to achieve the goals you set out for… including making adjustments mid-campaign if needed. Your data and analytics should tell you where and how to allocate your marketing budget to reach your target audience.

After your campaign, you should also evaluate the performance data. One of the most significant benefits of marketing analytics is the ability to act on what is learned to enhance future planning. As you review the analytics, ask yourself:

  • Did it work as planned?
  • Where can improvements be made?
  • Should other marketing tactics be used in the future?
  • Which channels (social, email, website, advertising, PR, other) generated the most interest, the most sales?

The data allows businesses and marketing professionals to create an effective, precise campaign that drives revenue.

Here are some key terms you should know when analyzing your analytics:

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: Do you have an effective CTA set up to urge your customer to take a specific action? Measure what calls to action worked to get your audience engaged.

A/B 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 the 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, inquiries, and sales
Importance: Are visitors showing interest and/or converting? If you have multiple forms, what makes 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: The point at which a recipient of a marketing message performs a desired action.
Importance: Know if and how your audience is converting, clicking, and engaging with your content


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 couldn’t 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 your links, 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


Definition: The total number of people who have seen your ad or content.
Importance: Are enough users seeing your content compared to what you’re paying? More importantly, are members of your targeted audience seeing your content?

Need help understanding your analytics a little better? Reach out to our team! We’re happy to help.