Learn How to Improve Online Marketing: Performance Marketing With Google Analytics

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Performance Marketing with Google AnalyticsWhen it comes to small business owners facing decisions, a movie quote that truly captures the feeling comes from Keanu Reeves as Neo in “The Matrix Reloaded,” when he confronts the Architect and says, “Choice. The problem is choice.”

Although Reeves’ statement was regarding the Matrix program in the movie series, most small business owners regard effective online marketing with similar feelings of revelation. “How do I know that my customers are responding to my banner ad offer?” you ponder. “Is it better to broad match one set of keywords than another? How do PPC, blogs, SEO and QR codes affect my bottom line?”

Justin Cutroni, director of digital intelligence at Cardinal Path (@justincutroni), Sebastian Tonkin, CEO of Cloud 9, and Caleb Whitmore, founder and lead consultant at Analytics Pros (@analyticspro), have joined together to write a book that’s not only a great resource, but makes the discovery of choice a cause for celebration rather than anguish. Performance Marketing With Google Analytics is a fit for small businesses that needs marketing improvements to successfully achieve their objectives but are unsure how to incorporate Google Analytics beyond what is visible on a webpage. I picked up a copy from a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan after enjoying Cutroni’s previous book on Google Analytics.

Great Online Traffic Begins With Determining the Most Relevant Traffic

Performance Marketing is divided into sections that thoroughly elaborate on the kinds of Google Analytics reports and analysis available.

Part I introduces the basics: What Web analytics is, the challenges in implementing Web analytics, and what holds firms back from succeeding with analytics reporting.

Part II delves into implementation and configuration of Google Analytics, as well as the basic and advanced concepts in the reports.

Part III examines advanced usage to analyze display and sponsored search ads, organic search engine optimization, offline, email marketing and other marketing tools.

Part IV focuses on organic search, addressing SEO questions.

Part V covers a comprehensive summary of plug-ins and online resources, including blogs from many in the Web analytics community. It’s a great resource for small businesses that have an employee tasked with measurement duties but are not sure where else to turn.

The book informs the reader well because it pinpoints the significance of Google Analytics features regarding common marketing challenges. The authors show how to assess the metrics and dimensions in the user interface, such as their comparison of long tail and head keywords to increase online presence.

“If a given keyword drives 60 percent of the revenues because it receives the majority of ad spend and generates the majority of traffic, but 10 other keywords that each receive one-tenth of the traffic have twice the per-visit value,…shifting the spend from one ‘big revenue’ term to the many ‘lower revenue’ terms would double the total revenue from the same budget. The point here is to recognize and take advantage of opportunities to optimize the performance of money invested in advertising by analyzing keywords on an individual as well as aggregate basis against the ecommerce revenue generated by visits from those keywords.”

Another suggestion notes how Google Analytics “can sometimes offer clues” about search queries through examining visitor patterns after seeking a term.

“Search queries that include a large amount of refinement and low goal completion rate can often indicate problems.”

Such searches are an indicator that you are missing content that visitors are searching for–and that could potentially attract more visitors. That content can be article topics (for a blog) or products and services (for sale online).

In each chapter, you can learn how to easily support a business objective with analytics. A Venn diagram for the city, region and visitor settings from the Map Overlay is an inspired instance of applying advanced segmentation. Other tidbits include Pivot Tables and inverse inclusion of traffic segments. These topics make the book a gotta-have in the business library, be it a den or iPad.

Who Will Benefit From Performance Marketing?

Although an analytics solution can make your business decisions easier, it can take multiple steps of analysis to make the data useful to your business decisions. That’s what makes Performance Marketing terrific. The book scales well for small businesses managing a marketing campaign and thus find themselves searching for those right steps. There are clear suggestions for mobile, social media and online video, as well as a nod to television ads. All of it can be understood by chapter or collectively based on your need.

If you have experience with Google Analytics, you will find the feature descriptions familiar (Let’s face it; there’s only so many ways to explain a first user cookie). Not surprisingly, this material complements the coding and installation steps contained in Justin Cutroni’s book Google Analytics. Performance Marketing also offers a few words on API development. It’s working knowledge, but for many small business owners, that’s enough.

More than one of the best analytics books available, Performance Marketing reflects the promise of collective intellectual capital, gathering the knowledge of experienced professionals to address practical, get-it-done marketing matters.  Moreover, business owners will become fluent enough to comfortably convey their questions to the analytics practitioners who keep their marketing and websites humming.  Give Performance Marketing a read, and your business performance will get a boost from experienced insights.

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Pierre DeBois Pierre Debois is Associate Book Editor for Small Business Trends. He is the Founder of Zimana, a consultancy providing strategic analysis to small and medium sized businesses that rely on web analytics data. A Gary, Indiana native, Pierre is currently based in Brooklyn. He blogs about marketing, finance, social media, and analytics at Zimana blog.