Google Analytics – Get the facts about your website
I recently participated in a free course offered by Google Analytics that went over the importance of digital analytics as well as some basics of how to use their system. The course reviewed Avinash Kaushik’s definition of digital analytics:
“Digital analytics is the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your business and the competition to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers and potential customers have which translates to your desired outcomes (both online and offline).”
The main takeaway from this definition is that the customer is now the centre of the marketing concept. A customer can start their purchase journey at any point along their decision path. Therefore, a marketer’s job is to anticipate where customers will appear and what messages they need to hear. Analytics is integral to analyzing and interpreting data to make business decisions about what you should be doing online to understand and connect with your customers.
The internet continues to change all the time. This is something we all know but are we taking advantage of these changes? Not only do businesses need a website these days but they need a blog and social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and even possibly Vine Videos. To manage all of these pieces properly, we need scheduling, objectives, and proper reporting.
Businesses need to be looking at both quantitative and qualitative data, measuring the outcomes, and implementing a continual improvement process. This may sound like a lot of work and no doubt it will take time, but with the internet becoming the first point of contact for any customer (B2C or B2B) it is critical to being successful. Traditional analytics has given us access to quantitative data about your website, but new models such as Google Analytics, is capable of collecting quantitative data on websites, mobile applications, cloud-connected point-of-sales systems, CRM systems, video game consoles, and even home appliances, like refrigerators.
Google Analytics promotes continuous improvement
The Google Analytics course concludes that this needs to be a cyclical process or continually improving. The steps included are:
If your business objectives are solid, the rest should be a breeze (so to speak). You want to be consistently reviewing your measurements and analyzing whether they have reached your goal or not. Then you want to be testing these to see what to do next. Finally, you should repeat the process and implement any changes that need to be made.
No matter what analytics system you are using, the bottom line is that you should be using one. Your business needs to have an online presence and you need to have a way of tracking your efforts. Clearly define your business objectives then test those objectives based on what your customer’s wants and needs are and adjust accordingly.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Google Analytics can benefit your business, contact us for a free 14 point digital marketing assessment.
The "old" wisdom (as old as Internet wisdom can be) that Google is where people find information is slowly becoming an old wive's tale.
You don't believe us? Check this Business Insider article about the decline in search volume last year.
But don't panic! Even though search volume has decreased, new ways of finding information are available. Social media, blog linking, apps–all of these are effective ways to reach your audience, without using Google.
Now, this doesn't mean that you should throw up your hands and give up on all that SEO hard work. That SEO is still making you more visible to the millions of people who still do use Google everyday. But there are now new factors to take into consideration. These factors are all interconnected (and also connect with SEO), and a digital strategy can help you make sense of them.
Digital Strategies Ensure Your Visibility
Companies are now hiring "community managers" and "social web specialists" in droves. The social media world–Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn–is now where information circulates and news break. And businesses want in. The difference between Google and the new social media channels is that social media channels are active: you can discuss with your audience, learn about them and pitch directly to inviduals. Google is a more passive means of attracting visitors.
A complete and integrated digital strategy, such as what we do here at Stikky Media, will give all the tools and information you need to start thinking about a digital presence, not just a Google presence. These days, if you're not everywhere, then you are nowhere at all.
It's a Brave New World
In the web 1.0 of search, people used search engines to find specific information. Now, in the social web 2.0, people expect information to come to them. They won't bother to check your website for updates; they'll wait for you to announce them on Twitter or Facebook. Time is precious, information is overwhelming, and relevance is the only criterion that matters. There is too much noise to pay attention to any one thing for very long.
If you still live in the old world of static websites and keyword stuffing, you're already way behind. But if you are willing to embrace this new social, interconnected world, the rewards can be amazing.
Let me tell you a story.
I once had a potential employer who, during the interview, asked me: "And how will you find readers for your content?" I answered, without hesitation: "social media". I'd been working in social media for long enough to know that it was the best channel for online content. But he answered: "Socia media is a fad. It'll go away." Obviously, I didn't get the job. But the fact remains that this particular company's website will not see an increase in visits until the managers understand that social media is the new search. But this time around, the search happens through connections, not keywords.
Twitter and Facebook can be incredible time sucks. It's like jumping in the ocean to try to catch fish with your hands and hoping to catch enough to sell at the market. At least, that's what happens when you come to it unprepared.
A digital strategy helps you focus your social media efforts, along with other digital tools like advertisements and content, with an audience and a goal in mind. In other words, we'll give you a boat and a fishing rod. Now all you have to do is sit down and fish.
It's not easy–hey, even we struggle with it every day. But when you hear clients say "I heard about you on Twitter!" or "I follow you on Facebook!", isn't it an amazing reward?