How to define, measure, and communicate the success of your digital marketing
By Matt Cooper
For the most part, if you’re not measuring your marketing in 2013, you are most definitely behind the times. That being said, when I think about the last 12 months, the number one question I get from clients is how to make sense of Google Analytics.
If you don’t have the benefit of spending multiple hours a day in this tool, it’s a bit of a beast. There are over 200 “out of the box” reports and I think this is one of the main reasons people get confused. In this four-part series, I’m going to give you a brief overview of the 7 steps that will help remove the confusion and make sure that any time you spend in the tool is productive, and provides insights instead of more questions. You can find the full explanation here.
In this first post I will discuss the basics – learning the right numbers to report on and how to establish your digital measurement goals.
Okay, let’s get started...
Identify the right numbers
Easier said than done, I know. Below is where most people begin and end their journey. This is the default visitor report. If these are the numbers you are reporting on, stop. These are the wrong numbers. So why are these the wrong numbers?
This is mainly due to the fact that they are the averages and sums of your entire site’s traffic. When we measure the success of your website from this level you miss the real value the numbers have. I think people measure these numbers because they are easy to report on. Up is good, down is bad. The reality is that this is not the case. For this reason, lets refer to these as Vanity Metrics.
Action Step: Stop measuring and reporting vanity metrics
Establish the goals of your site
The easiest way to determine the goals of your website are to ask yourself why it exists to begin with. With few exceptions, most websites exist to meet one or more objectives.
As many sites have more than one objective, they also have more than one goal. The key is to make sure that your website’s goals are defined.
One step further
One issue with this is that the vast majority of visitors to your site DO NOT complete or convert on your goal. I can’t count the number of times I’ve gone to bestbuy.ca or futureshop.ca to browse around, check if they have a product I’m interested in and then left. In this example, just because I didn’t complete the primary goal of the site (e-commerce), I have left behind a tonne of valuable info for Futureshop and BestBuy .
To help organize this type of information I recommend two different types of goals.
Micro conversions are the behavioural interactions that have taken place on your website that provide you with the best form of indication that you are on the right track.
Macro conversions are most times closely aligned with the goals that support your business objectives.
Action Step - Setup the Macro and Micro conversions of your website as Goals within Google Analytics.
It’s reasonable that all of this can seem overly complicated. I hope that these first two steps will help simplify the concepts and help you begin to better understand the beast that is otherwise known as Google Analytics.
Please stay tuned for next Wednesday’s post. I will discuss how you can define and segment your site’s traffic. This will help you better understand how engaged your site’s visitors are and how to use that information to your advantage.
In the meantime, if you wish to read ahead, check out the full article here.
Serving as the Director of Digital Measurement, Matt Cooper brings over 15 years in the IT industry to the team of Business Analysts at ISLWeb Marketing and Development. Matt provides consulting in all digital disciplines with an emphasis on Digital Marketing and measurement strategy. A Google Analytics and Adwords certified professional, his industry experience ranges from Government and Post Secondary Education, to B2B and B2C.