Strategic Success with Web Analytics

12 November 2015 207 views

Why Analytics?

Running digital marketing activity without analytics is essentially like operating with the lights out. Unless we constantly review performance, we have nothing to benchmark and will be unable to take actionable steps towards improvement.

First and foremost, analytics gives marketers visibility on how customers are interacting with a website. The data can then be used to increase the number of users who are making it down the conversion funnel. We can observe what is working; identify leakage points or potentially where the conversion process is broken. Learnings allow us to refine the customer journey through the site, ensuring that it is giving customers what they need and ultimately driving them to complete one of our end goals.

Analytics also allows us to assess the true value of our advertising and other marketing activity. We can identify, not only the channels that are effective in driving web visitors, but also specifically whether those visitors are going on to view content or complete one of our pre-defined goals. In addition, we can analyse the relationships between channels and the increasingly complex path to conversion.

Analytics presents businesses with a significant opportunity to develop product offerings for their target audience. Data can reveal which offers are the most interesting to customers and give ideas for how a product of service can be refined for the market. It is also an indispensable tool to assess web usability and help identify technical errors.

So which metrics are most important?

With the volume of data at our fingertips, it can be tempting to try and monitor everything. However, it is essential to focus on the key areas that have the highest potential to improve business performance. Objectives will depend on the type of product or service that you are offering. However broadly speaking, most brands want to attract a high volume of relevant users to their website who engage with the content and move through the site towards a conversion action. The metrics that allow us to isolate the key steps in this process and gauge our success will be the ones that will be of most interest to us, as marketers.

Whatever your campaign objectives, you can set micro and macro goals to track the behavioural indicators that can eventually lead to conversion. A micro goal might be a customer reaching the reviews page or watching a video whilst a macro goal is normally carrying out an ‘end action’ such as completing a contact form, making a download or purchase. Goals are likely to differ for non-ecommerce sites, where viewing a piece of content could be a macro goal in itself. The data can then be segmented, the conversion rate analysed and refinements made accordingly.

So how can we master web analytics?

In order to gain the full benefits from an analytics platform, marketers need to constantly test and fine-tune their efforts. It is essential to pin-down a solid strategy from the outset, identifying key areas for improvement linked back to business objectives. An implementation plan should define exactly what is to be measured and once actioned, learnings should be channelled directly back into the overall approach.

Web optimisation is an intricate science and does not always present a quick win. However, developing an understanding of analytics is crucial for digital marketing success. As such, it is certainly worth an investment in time and effort.

To learn more about web analytics training, including CAM's Specialist Digital Unit Award, visit our qualifications page or contact us for more information.