Google Analytics takes away the guesswork from marketing because now you have hard data to use as valuable reference for your marketing campaign. You have the capability to fine tune your strategies and pinpoint the processes that are working and underperforming.

Marketing is no longer a shot in the dark. Google Analytics will help you identify your target audience as if you were guided by a laser sight. There will be no wasted effort. Every decision you make will have basis and empirical evidence to fall back on.

Google Analytics will justify your marketing budget by giving you the means to measure your ROI.

Google Analytics Adds Value to Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Businesses understand the value of investing in a marketing campaign. If you want to build markets, there are no excuses, you have to constantly push and promote your brand to potential end users. Success does not come overnight; just like a learned skill, proficiency comes by doing the activity over and over again.

But it’s difficult to justify a marketing budget if you can’t track performance or measure results. It’s like using a shotgun to hunt for ducks at night. You’re firing everywhere but you have no idea if you’ve hit your intended targets.

Many of our clients raised similar concerns. From their previous experience with traditional marketing, they wanted to know if having a mobile responsive website and switching to digital marketing would make any difference.

Would this just be another hit or miss experiment?

The answer is “No” and the reason is because of Google Analytics.

What is Google Analytics?

Before broadband technology opened up the Internet, websites functioned more like online company brochures. It had the usual pages but content was purely informational.

Today with the Internet growing to a population of more than 3.7 Billion daily users, companies are putting up websites as the hub of a digital marketing campaign. It is the destination point where leads are converted to sales.

If you want to enhance your online presence, no question, you must have a website. As we shared in our article, “Website vs. Social Media: Can You Have One Without the Other?”, distributing content in social media is not enough.

A website not only organizes your entire digital marketing campaign, it maximizes the collaborative effort of all its component parts.

Let’s assume we mapped out a digital marketing strategy for your business that incorporated the following processes:

  • SEO
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • PPC Advertising

These processes are the online channels that we will use to drive inbound traffic to your website. Results will vary among these processes; some will generate more leads than others. As we implement our campaign strategy, your website will receive valuable data from these channels.

The objective of a digital marketing campaign is to generate website traffic. But you need to organize and sort out the traffic that comes in so you can make heads or tails of the information you receive.

Enter Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is a freemium web service tool offered by Google. It was launched on November 2005 after the company acquired Urchin, a web statistics program developed by Urchin Software Corporation.

It’s purpose is to track and measure website traffic. Google Analytics is the most widely used analytics tool on the Internet.

If you’re embarking on a digital marketing campaign for the first time, you may not be clear on what to expect. Google Analytics helps you find the answers to the following questions:

  • How much traffic is my website generating?
  • Where is the bulk of the traffic coming from?
  • Which pages enjoy the highest level of viewership?
  • Which content generates the highest levels of engagement and shares?
  • What percentage of site visits generates leads?

For e-commerce proprietors, Google Analytics will help you identify factors why shopping carts are abandoned at the checkout counter.

Google Analytics gives you a snapshot of your market’s online behavioral profile. All data is provided in real time. You can be creative and run comparative studies between different timelines to track changes in demographics and demand patterns.

It will help you re-frame your buyer’s profile so you can fine tune your digital marketing campaign and accommodate changes in consumer behavior.

How to Setup Google Analytics

Setting up Google Analytics is very easy.

You only need to have a Google account. Then follow the instructions in setting up your Google Analytics account to get your tracking code. This is a piece of Javascript which needs to be integrated in your website’s code for Google Analytics to work.

What’s more important is setting your goals.

Goals set the direction which will help turn the wheels of your marketing campaign into motion. There are many ways you can achieve your goal but you have to identify it so we can determine the best tools to get the job done.

Here’s a list of goals identified by some of our clients:

  • What do you want your website to do?
  • What would you have your visitors do when they land on your website?
  • What types of information do your visitors need to know to encourage higher sales conversions?

Clients know what they want but have some difficulty articulating it in the context of a digital marketing campaign. This is where we collaborate with them to come up with the best approach.

Google Analytics Goals will help you uncover the following important information:

  • Engagement level or time spent by a visitor on a page of your website.
  • Participation with submission forms.
  • Specific actions taken by visitors: play video, chat engagement.

Incorporating your targets in Google Analytics Goals will allow you to measure the effectiveness of every strategy or process that will be implemented.

 7 Reasons Why You Should Use Google Analytics

There are more reasons why you should use Google Analytics other than the fact that it is the preferred analytics tool of marketers.

1. It’s Free and Easy to Use

Google Analytics is a godsend for startups with limited or tight budgets. As a free tool, budding entrepreneurs have a cost effective way to efficiently manage their marketing campaign.

If you have deep pockets and want to fortify your analytics by subscribing to platforms that charge $10,000, go ahead. But please install Google Analytics as well.

The program is very easy to use and does regular updates. Still, we strongly advise that you hire an expert to help you get started. Having an expert onboard will minimize the risk of committing costly mistakes and fast track the learning process.

2. Helps You Build a Comprehensive Buyer’s Profile

Targeted marketing strategies become more effective when you can draw up an accurate profile of your potential buyer. It can be challenging when you are running your business on the Internet. Unlike a brick and mortar business, you don’t know who is checking out your products and services.

Google Analytics will help you sort out the traffic and categorize information on your site visitors. You will receive valuable data on where your audience is coming from; what issues concern them the most and information on tastes, demands and preferences.

Having an accurate depiction of your typical buyer’s profile will help you tailor your marketing content. You will know the right keywords to use, the best topics to write about, the products and services to focus on and where to distribute content.

3. Provides You With Customizable Reports

Our clients at Mountaintop have Google Analytics. Every month we send them comprehensive reports on how their digital marketing campaign is performing. These reports are easy to read and include awesome looking graphs that simplify data analysis.

We make these graphs through a program in Google Analytics’ API feature. API stands for Application Programming Interface. It gives you complete access to all data and allows you to back up your account.

Customizable reports make analytics unique to your business. It will enable you to assess the performance of your business in comparison with your competitors in the industry.

4. Generates Real Time Results

Gone are the days when you would sit and wonder how that $3,000 full page print ad you took out would generate returns. Traditional marketing methods remain relevant especially for brick and mortar establishments.

But it will never be as efficient as digital marketing. And Google Analytics just made digital marketing even better.

With Google Analytics, you can access data in real time. You can see how many people are on your website. You can determine which posts they are reading, sharing and engaging with.

Just like a brick and mortar business, you can identify your peak and slack hours. Google Analytics will show you the best times of the day to post content and which networks you should distribute them to.

5. Data-Based Alignment of Your Marketing Budget

In a digital marketing campaign, we will put together a number of tools and processes which we believe, based on preliminary research, would be most effective in helping you achieve your campaign goals.

As we discussed in our article, “How to Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business”, not all online marketing channels will give the same level of results.

Using hard data, Google Analytics shows you which processes and tools are contributing to your campaign and which ones are not. This way you can realign your budget and allocate more resources to marketing channels that deliver better results.

6. Customizes Testing and Tracking Methods

In web design, testing is an absolute must. Before we turn over the site to you for its official launch, we conduct numerous tests to make sure it will run 100% according to expectations.

It must be responsive to a variety of mobile devices, it must load in 2 seconds or less and all of its features must be functional and running smoothly.

Testing is not about trying to achieve perfection. It is mostly about minimizing the probability of problems and technical issues arising when your website goes live. The same meticulous approach to testing applies to your digital marketing campaign.

We mentioned earlier the importance of setting goals. Google Analytics allows us to run tests to make sure the components of the digital marketing campaign are working to bring you closer to achieving your goals.

It has features that will enable you to pinpoint targeted results such as the size of blog traffic, online channel that resulted in highest newsletter signups or if your content is getting any attention from the Southeast Asian market.

7. You Can Integrate It With Other Online Tools

The saying goes that if Google sneezes the Internet catches a cold. There is no question  that Google generates the most traffic. For our clients, Google accounts for 92% of their organic traffic.

The great thing with Google is they always find ways to give users advantages for using its products. With Google Analytics, you can integrate it with other tools such as Google AdWords so your current analytics package can directly receive the right tracking codes.

You can also get data on keyword impressions from Webmaster and integrate these with Google Analytics.

Conclusion

Google Analytics is not a perfect analytics tool. It will not provide you specific information or data on site visitors because what it does is analyze trends. However it meets an important criteria in every digital marketing campaign and that is to always have an analytics tool to track and measure performance.

It’s free. It’s easy to use. It gets the job done and it is easily the most popular analytics tool on the Internet.

If you’re thinking of installing Google Analytics on your website or if you have one but are experiencing problems interpreting data, give us a call or drop us an email. We will gladly take a look at your configuration and do the necessary changes to make sure Google Analytics will work to your benefit.

 

In this day and age of the Internet, the word “analytics” gets thrown around a lot. Generally the term analytics refers to a system that utilizes a series of tools and processes to assess or evaluate the performance of a strategy. The advantage of living in the digital age is that you have access to data in real time. In this regard, every discipline has its own analytics.

As web developers, we use web analytics to extract both qualitative and quantitative data and categorize them so we can analyze on-site and off-site factors that affect the website’s performance. How we apply the techniques and methodologies of analytics would depend on the type of website and its requirements.

For example, an ecommerce website would demand more complex and intricate data. Using web analytics, we are tasked to pinpoint visitor demographics, particular online shopping behavior and most importantly, address potential issues for getting the shopping cart past the checkout counter.

We also use analytics to track the performance of the digital marketing strategy. A typical inbound marketing campaign would incorporate a variety of processes for the purpose of driving traffic to the website. The marketing toolbox may include SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, link building and PPC advertising.

With web analytics, we can see which processes are delivering and which ones are under-performing.

Web analytics finds the answers to these questions:

  • How many people visited my site?
  • Where did they come from?
  • Which social media network generated the highest number of leads?
  • How did they find me?
  • Which type of content did my visitors find interesting?
  • What keywords did they use to find my site?

Web analytics removes guesswork. We are able to itemize strengths and pain points with empirical evidence then use the data to help the client come up with a better, more effective and dynamic business plan. You don’t waste time, energy and save up on resources because now you have a basis for decision- making and strategy design.

But is web analytics enough to ensure the success of your website and its marketing and promotional campaign?

As it turns out, we can amplify the effectiveness of web analytics by incorporating a system that is directly related with the marketing discipline.

What else but marketing analytics.

What is Marketing Analytics?

If web analytics focuses on website performance, marketing analytics measures the results of your online marketing activities.

It takes the data collected by web analytics and blows it up by using other tools, online and offline metrics. You can view marketing analytics as a deep dive into the numbers provided by web analytics.

The end result? You get a holistic, all-encompassing perspective of your online marketing campaign. It would be an upgrade of your current analytics approach. Call it “Analytics HD”; you will see things much clearer and with more definition.

If your current marketing program is predicated only on web analytics, you are limiting yourself only to the outcomes of your efforts. You know the result but what about the factors and circumstances that got you there?

Marketing analytics will give you information on how you executed a specific campaign:

  • What was the optimal schedule for content distribution?
  • Which hours of the day resulted in the highest levels of engagement?
  • What issues were of greatest concern to my audience?
  • Which platforms resulted in the highest ROI?
  • How did my strategy impact my end users, followers and subscribers?

If web analytics answers the question, “How is my site performing?”, marketing analytics will answer the question, “What is the return on my efforts?” Collectively, both types of analytics will yield the answer to the all- important question:

“Which strategies are paying off and deserve more support and investment?”

By understanding the details and the finer points of your strategy, you are able to minimize the risk of making decisions that could be costly for your business.

Why Your Business Needs Marketing Analytics

Long before the Internet became accessible by broadband technology, many businesses relied heavily on traditional marketing methods to promote their products and services.

Traditional marketing methods such as print ads, press releases, radio and television ads, billboard placements and POP’s or Point-of-Purchase materials are expensive, limited in their scope of distribution and unsustainable.

The question that nagged business owners hesitant to invest in marketing programs is, “What will be my ROI?”

Even with the inclusion of tracking numbers and barcodes, it is difficult to measure with accuracy and certainty the return and effectiveness of traditional marketing methods.

Marketing analytics gives you the means, techniques and processes to measure and calculate with a great deal of accuracy the returns you get for investing in a marketing campaign.

1. Track Changes in Market Behavior

Having the tools to track marketing performance is very important today when consumers have access to information. The Internet has made it easy for people to do research on businesses; their products and services.

They can access sites that offer product reviews. They can join forums that are dedicated to a specific industry. In social media, there are focus groups that regularly share information and opinions on trends and developments. Then there are the blogging communities that frequently publish relevant, usable and engaging content.  

As a business- owner, you have to stay on top of your market. With information becoming so accessible, consumer tastes, demands and preferences can change without warning. Shifts in online behavior can create distortions in your content writing and distribution strategies.

2. Spy on the Competition

The Law of Comparative Advantage states that you should position your business development strategies based on the strengths that are your competitors’ weaknesses.

In the early 1990’s, companies played this strategy well by having spies work for their competitor. Fast-food companies are a good example. Burger franchise “A” would have a spy for burger franchise “B”.

The spy who would be asked to work all the restaurant stations would collect data on average daily sales, best selling item, food cost, sanitary and food preparation practices, ingredients, recipes, formulations and list of suppliers.

Marketers who understand analytics know competitive analysis should always be a constant metric. It is not a process that you do at the beginning of the campaign and run sporadically. It must be constant; always flowing and moving. You should have a finger on what your competitors are doing so you can stay ahead of them.

Competitive marketing analytics seek to uncover your competitor’s moves:

  • Are they testing new products or services?
  • Are they targeting a new audience or market?
  • Where are they distributing content?
  • What do their end-users think?
  • Are they using networks and tools you haven’t heard of?
  • Are they changing the way they are positioning a product?
  • What are the common issues and complaints brought up by end users?

In a race, the golden rule is to know where your competitors are while keeping your focus straight ahead. Marketing analytics will do just that. You can gain valuable insights on your competitors without losing focus on your own campaign.

 3. Make Informed and Educated Decisions

Digital Marketing opens up a treasure trove of tools you can use to maximize opportunities for your marketing and promotional campaign. You can optimize your site and content with high- performing keywords and utilize various distribution channels like social media, blogging communities and online publications to filter them out to a wide audience.

You might even want to focus heavily on video content or conduct podcasts to bring in new demographics. For marketers, the possibilities are endless.

But not all tools will yield the same result. Some may even be counterproductive to what you are trying to do.

Marketing analytics will show you which channels are working and which ones are not. It will give you an idea of where to allocate most of your money so you can re-align your marketing budget and be more efficient. And it is not just about money.

Knowing which channels are paying off will tell you where to delegate more resources in terms of time and manpower.

  • Is your content marketing strategy generating higher shares, engagement levels and likes?
  • Are PPC ads helping your conversion rate?
  • How many leads on average is Facebook generating for your site?
  • Are people engaging more on Twitter?

In business, time is money. If you have to make changes in your marketing strategy, you need to implement them within a reasonable time frame. Otherwise, the opportunity might be lost if conditions shift again to another direction.

With marketing analytics, you don’t make educated guesses. An educated guess is another term for “making a gamble”. Instead you make educated decisions.

How to Develop Effective and Successful Marketing Analytics

In order to have effective marketing analytics, you must have a system in place that references past data as a basis for strategies in the present day and also paves the way for future frameworks of analysis.

  • The Past – Shows you which programs and methods were most effective in generating results. How did my email campaigns differ in terms of performance? Which blog topics generated the highest engagement levels?
  • The Present – Gives you an idea of how today’s end users are responding to your strategies. Are they engaging more? What platforms do they frequently use to access my site? Who is talking about my products and services in social media?
  • The Future – Analytics will give you the basis for planning for future activities. Should I consider expanding my manpower? How do I turn engagement into long-term loyalty?

You should also do an honest assessment of your ability to conduct marketing analytics. It is not an easy discipline to be proficient at.

If you are a full-time entrepreneur, your time should be spent on activities that directly contribute to your bottom- line. A better option would be to outsource marketing analytics to an experienced and capable digital agency.

Remember that this is what digital agencies do! They are continually gathering data and information from various online and offline sources. Agencies have the personnel to run all areas of your online marketing campaign.

Since you are contracting their services and not employing additional personnel, you are saving up on overhead costs while increasing overall productivity.

Finally, analytics will be useless unless you act on the data collected. A big part of analytics is subjecting ideas to testing methods. Once you get the results, you should move from the test lab and go live. Practical application will give you the best perspective for evaluating your plans and strategies.

Conclusion – Web Analytics or Marketing Analytics?

You need both!

As detailed as marketing analytics is, it should not replace web analytics. Both disciplines are complementary of one another.

Analyzing your site’s performance will give you an idea of where traffic is coming from and how your content is doing but it will not give you the details you need to make well- informed decisions.

Marketing analytics fills in those gaps by providing in-depth information on the numbers collected by web analysis. It lets you listen in to the conversation from your audience and build a better relationship by developing a greater understanding of what they want and need.

If you want to know more about marketing analytics and how it can help your business achieve long term success and sustainable growth, give us a call or drop us an email.

We’re not just a web development company; we’re also a digital marketing agency that can give you the best of both types of analytics!