If you’ve been keeping up with your marketing data, you should feel pretty proud. Businesses are increasingly discovering that data is key to connecting with the right customers and to fostering sales growth.
Uncertain about your marketing? You’re not alone.
Are you questioning your digital marketing, wondering where you should start to get the analytic insights that you need?
eMarketer notes that marketers seem less optimistic about gaining insights than they were a mere six months ago. The perception stems from uncertainty in understanding initial analytic results. But investment in analytics as a way to beat competitors will not wane anytime soon. Venture Beat reports that analytic investment is expected to increase over the next three years. That implies that companies understand the long term value analytics provides.
So what makes a good starting point with analytics to eliminate confusion?
Audit What Sources are Contributing to Your Site
A good starting point is assessing referral traffic for how well it contributes to your site goals in the analytics reports. Referral traffic reflects your site or app’s presence online and whether it is drawing customers consistently. Your goals reflect what you want someone to do on a specific webpage. So examining traffic against goals means listing what works for your business and what doesn’t.
[Referral traffic example of referrals to a small business startup website]
To start an assessment of referral traffic properly, do the following:
- Set analytic reporting goals for a specific activity — reaching the page, duration of time spent on your site, or a trigger on a webpage, such as clicking a button for white paper download or playing a video.
- Next, compare the sources with referral traffic best contributing to an intended goal. For example, if duration of a visit is important, look for sources sending visitors who spend some time on your site or within your app. At least two minutes is usually a good indicator of engagement, but feel free to use your own industry knowledge if experience differs from this general benchmark.
A site relying on page views as a goal can consider examining the average time and number of pages viewed per referral source. No matter the goal, you can then focus your marketing on sites that refer the best performing traffic for your business overall.
Another way to sift through sources is to investigate the traffic at different time periods. Try the following:
- Click on the calendar in the upper right section of the report to view the drop down menu for selecting a date range.
- Adjust the date ranges. Try 60 day and 90 day increments first, then see if longer periods match unusually lengthy sales cycles.
Examining data under different date ranges can reveal consistent patterns and trends in your referral traffic.
List Opportunities to Further Engage Your Contributing Traffic
Once you have identified sources, look at the actual referral sites to see if there are opportunities to deepen the engagement on the channels that make sense. Make a list of what can be achieved.
This list can help you decide about marketing resources and advanced marketing tactics. No one right choice will exist. Instead many options can appear, based on what is available and what your marketing capability is for your business.
For example, let’s say from examining the referral report, you discover that visits from Twitter sent the highest volume of referrals but with a low contribution of goals (This is represented as a conversion rate). So you begin to ask yourself …”what can be done to build that audience further?”
There are a few tactics very effective for raising conversion rates on Twitter:
- Add tweets with different hashtags.
- Insert images into the tweets.
- Issue Twitter cards with images.
- Issue retargeting ads on Twitter.
- Insert video into tweets.
- Share Periscope video to augment topics shared on Twitter.
Reviewing these tactics will reveal ideas that are a fit for your own marketing campaign. Inserting a video series into your tweets or planning remarketing ad campaigns are more elaborate steps on Twitter.
The overall point is that understanding your basic results can help you better allot time and budget to advanced tactics. And these tactics will have a better impact on your analytics and ultimately your site. Other reports can help define the customers that make up this referral traffic (I will explain some useful ideas in a few upcoming posts).
But for now, sorting through traffic helps narrow down excess steps. With these steps, you will see the right traffic from your analytics lead your business to your prospective customers.
Traffic Photo via Shutterstock
Although you have no complete control on the traffic in your website, you can somehow control it by creating a community in your website. This will ensure that the traffic that comes in does not only come randomly from search engines.