As Marketers, it is important for us to correlate success and calculate ROI for all of our strategies and tactics. A benefit that online marketing offers is the ability to track all activities within an analytics package, such as Google Analytics. Web analytics allow us to collect, measure and analyze data about our website so that we can better understand how visitors got there and what they did once they were there. Analyzing this information allows us to measure success of marketing campaigns and optimize our website to drive more users to our end goal.
In order to utilize analytics data to make actionable decisions, we need to make sure that we are effectively collecting all of the information we can pertaining to our marketing efforts. The steps below should be taken into consideration to ensure that you are utilizing the power of analytics and collecting the most detailed information you can. All of the recommendations below are based on Google Analytics, as that is the platform of choice at Synapse.
In order to ensure you have accurate data that has not been skewed by users that will interact with your website in a non-traditional way, such as internal users or a marketing company, you will want to set up a filter within Analytics to eliminate that traffic. This can be done by filtering out traffic from specific IP addresses so that any visit from the specified IP address will not be recorded. There are many other filters that can be applied to your Analytics account, but the IP filter is the most common and the one that should be utilized most often.
The next step you should take when setting up your Analytics account is to establish goals within your website. Goals are important because they define the end result you want to lead a user to. Once you have goals in place, you can measure the success of your campaigns against the desired result.
There are multiple types of goals that can be set up for tracking success. The key to setting up your goals is to review your website and make a list of all the actions you would like a user to complete. Some of the common goals include submitting a Contact Us form or a Request a Quote form; if you have an eCommerce website, you will want to set up a purchase as a goal.
Once you define your goals, you will want to track when a user completes each goal. The most common type of goal is a destination page, which allows you to set a specific page URL and then the analytics program records a goal completion when a user reaches that URL. This is ideal for tracking the completion of a lead generation form, such as a Contact Us form or Request a Quote form. These goals can be tracked by using the thank you page URL that the user is directed to once the form has been submitted. Other types of goals may be applicable based on your website. For example, if you have a very informational website designed to educate users, you may want to setup a duration goal that triggers after the user has been on your site for a set period of time. Or maybe you create an event goal for when a user watches a video or downloads a whitepaper.
If you are running an eCommerce website that allows a user to make a purchase through the site, you should implement Google Analytics eCommerce tracking. eCommerce tracking allows your website to push transaction data, such as the number of transactions, products sold and sales dollars, back to Google Analytics. Once this sales data is in Analytics, you can segment the data and associate all sales back to the original source of the traffic. This allows you to analyze the success of a specific campaign and judge your ROI on spend versus sales. For instance, if you are running PPC advertising, you can segment your paid traffic and look at how much revenue came in from that traffic, allowing you to calculate the ROI of your PPC advertising.
Link AdWords to Google Analytics
In order to pass all of your AdWords data to Google Analytics, you must link the two accounts. By linking accounts, you are able to view all details of your AdWords account within Analytics, such as campaigns, keywords and costs. Without linking your accounts, you will not be able to pass keywords and costs to Google Analytics, which limits your ability to measure true success per keyword. Without having these additional details in Analytics, you will not have the ability to measure the success of your AdWord campaign against your goals and eCommerce data within analytics.
By following these steps, you will start to set up a powerful analytics program that will allow you to analyze all of your marketing efforts and measure them against the same set of goals to calculate your ROI. This process will give you powerful and accurate information to base decisions on, and continually improve your marketing strategy. Continue to check back and keep an eye out for more ideas on how you can incorporate all of your marketing data into analytics and measure success.