Monitoring Marketing Success - 5 Things to Track on Google Analytics
Guest Post By Clare Evans
You invest a great deal of time and money into online marketing. Everything from your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising to your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts can cost you both time and money. So you want to know that your hard work is paying off.
Google Analytics is perhaps the most popular way to track your online success. With a comprehensive, user-friendly interface; the software certainly has that ‘all under one roof’ feel.
Whether you’ve had your website 5 minutes or 5 years, setting up an analytics account is the best way to monitor your marketing success. Tracking your conversions, visitors, and much more has never been easier or more important. Here are five things you should be tracking on Google Analytics:
1. Customer Engagement
Engaging with your customers is an essential part of your marketing strategy. Tracking this is made easy with the comprehensive features on Google Analytics. GA will track everything from your bounce rate and time on site statistics, through to comparing your site visits to the number of unique visitors.
This is important because you need to know how well your site is performing. If your bounce rate is above 50%, and your average pages visited is low, you know there’s something not quite right with your landing pages. It’s also useful to know how many returning visitors your site has, compared to the number of unique visits.
Armed with all this information, you can tailor your marketing efforts accordingly. For instance, you can work to get people to stay on your site longer, or give them an incentive to return. This means you can rework your SEO, PPC, and other marketing campaigns efficiently.
If you’re using GA to monitor your marketing, you should be setting up custom goals. What do you want to achieve with your website? Are you looking for people to visit a certain page? Stay on the site for a certain length of time? Sign up to your newsletter?
Whatever your goal, set up GA to monitor and track your success. For instance, say you want to see how many people have downloaded your eBook. Set up your goal to monitor the number of people that reach the ‘thank you’ page after downloading. Only these visitors will be able to access this page, so you’ll be able to track downloads.
This is the same for enquiry forms and newsletter sign ups. Once you know how successful your current site is, you can make the appropriate changes to improve your goals. You should always aim to improve both the user-experience and success of your website.
3. Referrals and Traffic Sources
Believe it or not, there are people who don’t use Google as their favourite search engine. Yahoo, Bing and Ask are used by people all over the world. Understanding where you referrals come from is vital in online marketing, as it helps you improve – and target – your campaigns.
You can also see what keywords people used to find you. This will help demonstrate just how effective your SEO campaigns are, and if there are any other keywords you should be targeting. If your main keywords aren’t sending traffic your way, you can rethink your strategies before investing any more time and money.
But GA can be used for more than just monitoring traffic from search engines. If you are actively promoting your site by writing press releases, getting listed in directories or guest blogging, you can monitor whether these other sites are sending you traffic.
4. Social Media
One of the more recent additions to GA is the integration of your social media. Now, you can track your social marketing and other online marketing efforts in one place. This makes it extremely easy for entrepreneurs, and small businesses to keep an eye on things.
Tracking your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn success is vital. Social media marketing may be free, but it requires a large investment of your time. Monitoring your shares, user engagement, and follower count is the best way to see how well your efforts are working.
Again, knowing what your most popular social network profile is means you can tailor your marketing. If Twitter is your biggest referral, focus your efforts here. You want to yield the biggest rewards for minimal effort, especially when it comes to social media.
5. Ecommerce Tracking
If you have an ecommerce site, you should turn the ecommerce tracking on. This is a really effective GA tool that allows you to track and monitor the purchases made through the site. You can clearly see how much money you’re making, your most popular products, and much more.
Say for example you are spending $50 a month on PPC advertising. If you can see that you’re making over $200 a month profit; your efforts are worth it and justified. Again, you can identify where best to focus your efforts.
Bonus Point: Custom Reporting
A final area you can make use of in Google Analytics is the custom reports. As the name suggests, you can create personalized reports for just about anything. Some of the best reports to create include tracking the enquires and goals completed by their geographical location, and tracking the times of the day these enquires were made.
Armed with this information, you can target your PPC efforts to appear at your most popular time, in the most popular areas. This will appeal to your biggest potential audience, and hopefully boost your enquires no end.
There really is no point in implementing a comprehensive marketing campaign if you’re not monitoring your success. There are plenty of alternatives to Google Analytics (http://www.brandingpersonality.com/alternatives-to-google-analytics-can-any-of-these-free-web-tools-compete/), all of which provide similar tracking and monitoring. Whichever you choose, make sure you start tracking these five – or six – things right away.
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