Reporting & Analytics
If you aren’t measuring, you’re not marketing. You need to know how effective any given strategy is, or there’s no room for improvement. This means you miss out on the chance to get better conversions and more traffic. Needless to say, this isn’t good for your bottom line.
Effective online marketing demands experimentation and research. The more streamlined this process, the better the results. Getting by with tools that aren’t meant for the job just doesn’t cut it. You don’t use a hammer to open a can opener. Sadly, many online marketers are doing just that.
What should you expect from good website analytics tools? Here are a few things.
Don’t waste your time sifting through spreadsheets that don’t really give you a sense of what’s going on. Website tracking tools should make it easy to visualize data and get a sense of what is going on in just a few seconds. Obviously, you’ll also want the ability to get more specific information, but the purpose of a dashboard is to give you a bird’s eye view. Customizable dashboards are ideal.
An understanding of the types of visitors you have, and how each type behaves, is crucial if you want to make the most out of each one of them. It’s also useful for determining which types of visitors you want to target.
Automated Web Queries
Keeping your information up to date isn’t easy to do manually. Whether it’s a list of keywords or information about your rank in the search engines, this data isn’t easily accessible, especially not in a useful format. Reporting tools should automate processes like this so that you can focus on strategy, not paperwork.
Good website analytics don’t force a specific data format down your throat. Instead, they allow you to customize the way that your data is presented in the way that is most intuitive for you. This makes it possible for you to learn from you successes and failures more quickly.
Tools should allow you to decide on a way to categorize your data, rather than only categorizing it in one way.
Alerts and Filters
Instead of focusing on the mundane, marketing tracking tools should let you know when something unusual is going on. Filters can spot and alert you when a particular ad or page is performing exceptionally well or horrifyingly bad. This is the key to optimization.
Your tools should be able to track what kind of users display which kind of behavior. First time visitors behave differently from loyal customers, and those who arrive from social networks will act differently from those who come from ads or search engines. Using this information to tailor the experience is incredibly useful for improved engagement and higher conversions.
Rather than relying on yourself to check data regularly, using scheduled reports is a good way to make the most of your marketing tracking efforts. Some don’t check their data often enough, others check their data so often that it becomes a distraction. Use scheduled reporting to avoid these extremes.
It’s important to understand which pathways are offering the highest conversions and where each user is in the buying cycle. An understanding of which pathways users typically take before buying can help you streamline this process in order to optimize your results and make the most of each user. This allows you to cater your message directly to them.
The tools that you use will determine how effective you are at reaching your goals. Choose wisely and you will save time and money, and ultimately achieve more success.