Summer School: Measurement & Analytics 101
Part 1: Measurement & Analytics for Marketers
WHAT ARE ANALYTICS?
When we talk about analytics, we’re talking about data that has been collected and examined in a way that lets us generate insights and make better decisions. In our increasingly digital world, analytics are leveraged everywhere. For marketers, analytics typically refers to the measurement and analysis of data from websites and marketing efforts.
Website analytics data can identify:
Who visits your website (a user’s geographical and demographical information)
How they got there (search engines, referral links from other sites, social media platforms, etc.)
What they did once they landed there (did they engage with your content or leave immediately)
Where they went afterward
By refining our understanding of how users engage with a web platform, we can in turn, identify opportunities to optimize the experience for them - and ultimately, to improve conversion rates for your site.
Analytics gathered from other sources - like social media and digital campaigns - can be added to this pool of data and help provide a complete picture of your target audience online (and offline).
5 REASONS TO CARE ABOUT ANALYTICS
1. They identify what’s working
Analytics provide you with extremely valuable data that details how your users engage with your online platforms. How can you expect to evaluate an investment in new forms of advertising like paid search without the data that shows how many visitors were driven to your website - and ultimately converted into leads/sales?
2. They identify what’s not working
Analytics provide us with near real-time insights that can serve as red flags for obstacles for your users as they navigate your online platforms. A good analytics set up can help identify what isn’t working on your site: broken links, 404 pages, too-long contact forms, confusing shopping cart checkout steps and more.
3. They identify opportunities for improvement
Analytics provide the data required to make smart decisions about changes to your website or online marketing based on your user’s behaviour. We aren’t talking best practice recommendations or hypotheses based on opinions or anecdotes here... We’re talking about real data - collected in near real-time - that you can use to optimize the experience for your current users based on how they currently engage with your site.
4. They keep you accountable to your measurement plan & business plan
Interpreting web analytics is a cyclical process that should run concurrently with the ongoing development and optimization of your marketing initiatives. The analysis and documentation of user behaviour a good web analytics tool provides is essential to:
Defining appropriate goals from historical/baseline data for your campaigns
Determining whether your efforts are moving you closer to your goal or further away from it
Demonstrating the ROI of your campaigns
5. They help improve & optimize all marketing efforts
It’s easy to see how the things we learn online can help improve online and digital marketing - but they can be applied offline too. Understanding more about what’s working for your brand online can help inform decisions about every area of marketing. Your online data can help you better define a target audience. The images from your most effective social ads might be impactful on a billboard too. The applications are endless… and it all starts with data.
COMING SOON: In Part 2, we’ll dive into the wonderful world of measurement plans - what they are, why you need one, and how to create one.