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Are You Looking Deeply Enough Into Your Digital Marketing Analytics?

We get it: digital marketing analytics can be by turns annoyingly opaque and jaw-droopingly obvious. With a little effort and perhaps some outside help, you can eliminate those frustrations by finding the right metrics and looking at them a little more deeply. 

The kinds of insights that are going to guide your marketing activities – and improve your bottom line – aren’t always going to be found on the summary page of Google Analytics or your email marketing or social media analytics. A little digging may be required along with some synthesis to combine the right metrics to gain the insights you need. 

Here are a few ideas for that deeper dive. 

Email Marketing Metrics that Matter

Click-through rates (CTR) and open rates are important, but they aren’t enough. You’ll want to dig into why a particular email is performing as it is. It could be your subject line or the offer or the graphics, even the “From” address could affect performance positively or negatively. 

CTRs can tell you more, as well. You should be tracking what action is taken after the initial click. Again, you’re looking for insights into what is resonating with your audience. 

You should also be looking at the business metrics you’ve set up – leads generated or sales closed – and determine whether your email efforts are yielding the results you need. If not, you need to improve either the top line or the bottom line. (With the top line being the number of subscribers on your list and the bottom line being conversion rate.) 

Social Media Metrics that Matter

As with email marketing, the ultimate measure of success is conversions. Yes, we want to take advantage of social media’s ability to amplify our message and extend our reach. But if we aren’t seeing improved engagement and conversion, audience size isn’t of much consequence. 

This isn’t easy to do in a vacuum and you’ll need to adopt a more omni-channel approach if you’re going to attribute conversions to social media. You may, in fact, need to create proxy metrics to help you bridge the gap. 

Website Content Metrics that Matter

Finally, we have the content you create on your website and which, presumably, you are amplifying and promoting through your email and social channels. The basic metrics are still important here – things like page views, time on page, number of pages per visit are all low-hanging fruit and all are pretty accessible in the noise and chaos of Google Analytics. 

In addition, you’ll want to track paths through your most popular pages to see where they lead your visitors. A page that attracts a great deal of traffic is all the more valuable if visitors leave it to go to your contact page. That same traffic is much less valuable if people bounce from your site from that page in greater numbers than elsewhere on the site. 

Where your traffic comes from is also pretty easy to find. It takes a bit more work to determine which traffic sources are providing the most qualified traffic. That work is worthwhile since it will often tell you where you should leverage your efforts and where you should either scale back or take a different approach in an effort to improve results. 

There is no standard set of metrics and analytics that will work for every marketer. Too much depends not only on your industry and competitive landscape but on your resources and preferences. Finding the right dashboard will take trial and error, but given the impact that optimized metrics can have on your bottom line, it’s foolish to ignore the opportunity.

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Andrew Schulkind

Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured? A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms find a more strategic and productive mix of tools that genuinely support online brand goals over time. With a passion for true collaboration and meaningful consensus, his work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components. He views is primary goal as encouraging engagement. Getting an audience involved in your story requires solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either. Andrew has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events, on content marketing and web-development topics. His technology writing appears on the Andigo blog, in a monthly column on Biznology.com, and for print and online publications like The New York Enterprise Report, Social Media Today, and GSG Worldwide’s publications LinkedIn & Business, Facebook & Business, and Tweeting & Business. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")

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