Don’t make your analytics an afterthought

 

Many of the organisations that approach us for help have a solid tech setup, including web reporting. Oftentimes Google Analytics comes out of the box with modern CMS and web solutions.

However, we still come across brands that do not pay enough attention to their analytics or at least do not get the most out of it. There still seem to be some habits, especially within IT functions, that need to be overcome. When you launch new pages and web shops, when you do any business online really, don’t make your analytics an afterthought. Here’s why.

Analytics as measurements of marketing effectiveness depend on collecting data related to your marketing activities and customer journeys. This typically includes website traffic data, social engagement, app use (if applicable) and can even be linked to offline actions.

The ability to collect, aggregate and calculate this data allows insight into what is working, what can be improved upon, and hopefully the return on investment of your efforts. You want to be able to connect as many touch-points as you can, follow your prospects along the funnel and, in many cases, want to engage either through organic content, remarketing or marketing automation. Or all of the above.

If you are not already tracking and measuring analytics, getting started is easy.

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As mentioned earlier, the simplest way to get going is Google Analytics. Create a free account, connect it to your properties and take advantage of the various tools Google offers (including Search Console).

At Peregrine, we also use a number of complementing solutions, like the heatmapping tool Hotjar which shows you what your viewers are browsing, how far they are scrolling, what they are clicking on and where they are spending time on your site, or SEMrush, a SEO tool by nature which will give you valuable insights into your own, but also competitors search engine visibility, keyword ranking and ad spending.

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If you already get data from your Analytics setup, even on a fairly basic level, here are some things you want to keep an eye on:

  • Traffic Acquisition Report - gives you a quick breakdown of your traffic sources. A lot of direct traffic indicates users being familiar with your brand, large amount of search traffic means your SEO is working. Social and referrals also give you valuable insights into the health of your campaigns

  • New vs. Returning Visitors - new visits are great, but often it's returning visitors who end up becoming readers, followers & customers. This reports shows you percentages of both.

  • Landing Pages Report - will tell you which pages visitors are landing on when they first enter your site (which may not always be your homepage).

  • Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate Report - "Bounce Rate" is the percentage of visitors who don’t take any action and leave from the same page they landed on (not always a bad thing, depending on the purpose of that page). “Exit Rate” measures the percentage of your visitors who browse more than one page on your site before leaving.

  • Pages per Session - as the name suggests, this will tell you more about the browsing behaviour of your visitors. How many pages are they looking at?

  • Average Session Duration - another great behavioural metric. Are visitors glued to your content or just clicking around?

  • Popular pages - closely related to the last two, shows what pages get most attention from your visitors.

This is just a short list, there is much more to explore!

In an ideal world, your advertising campaign reporting, social media activities, newsletters and web analytics are all being compiled in one dashboard or report, easily digestible and with actionable results for constant improvement.

And there certainly are high end technologies that can do that. But if you can’t afford the leading tech right away, you still got to start somewhere and you got to start sooner than later. Without the right tracking, at the right time and place, and with appropriate triggers, there is no going back and getting historical data.

Particularly for start-ups, the initial lack of data can leave them blindsided, and a delay only makes matters worse. But when teams and tools can work across silos, the synergy created becomes a basis for competitive advantage.

Gathering good data streams on metrics that matter, and correlating them through powerful analytics will lead to better business decisions and amplify your bottom line results.

We completely understand it is much more exciting to launch that new product, new page, new shop or campaign than to set up tracking for it. Money is made through sales, not through analytics. But without the data to understand what brings in those sales, where they happen, and to whom, you will never get the full story.

Without data, you don’t know where to start tweaking your campaigns and are limited to gut feelings. If you struggle with identifying the right metrics and need help setting up goals, KPIs or reports, get in touch. We love data and the stories it can tell!