In an age when we have access to what seems like unlimited amounts of data regarding our customers, why does it seem so difficult to translate that data into an actionable marketing plan? Between Google Analytics, social media reporting, and any internal CRM software you may be using, it can feel like you’re overloaded with data. If you know which areas to pay attention to when making marketing decisions, the process becomes much less daunting.
Use all the tools in your tool chest
Out of the box, Google Analytics does a great job of providing insight into what your site visitors are up to. By doing nothing more than adding their tracking code to your website, you can see the volume and browsing habits of your visitors. While this data is valuable, you can unlock even more potential from Google Analytics, at no additional cost, effectively turning your account into the Swiss Army Knife of marketing data. Some of these include:
- Enabling Behavioral and Demographic reporting
- Enabling Remarketing
- Setting up cross domain tracking with third parties
- Establishing Goals & build campaign dashboards
- Linking Campaigns in the Admin settings or with UTM codes
Leveraging your site for multiple audiences
Once you’ve activated behavioral reporting within Google Analytics, you can run various reports that break down campaign activity and conversions by age, gender, and various behavioral categories. This will tell you how your current marketing efforts are performing based on key audiences, and allow you to build insight into whether your strategy should alter course. Once you’ve established which demographic dimensions are relevant to your marketing campaign, it’s beneficial to build a campaign dashboard specific to this audience. You’ll be able to view all data related to your target audience in one place, saving time and allowing you to optimize campaigns as needed.
Viewing your site traffic and conversions as they compare to different audiences will also allow you to determine if there are any opportunities for personalized content on your site. If your campaign is getting conversions from one of your audiences, but performing poorly with another, you can set up a personalized variant of the goal page, making changes to content and imagery shown only to the under-performing group.
When planning your campaign, plan on tracking it
There are times when your campaigns are firing on all cylinders, you’ve written copy and built out a landing page that speaks to your customers’ needs, but then realized that the proper tracking for determining ROI was never implemented. Make sure that any Event Tracking and Goals are set up and tested prior to the start of your campaign. You’ll want to ensure that these performance indicators are only firing on the pages related to the campaign to get the most accurate results.
In addition to tracking activity on your own website, many conversion points actually occur on a third-party website. For example, you can track internally how many clicks you had on an Apply Now button and compare that to incoming campaign traffic, but you don’t know for sure if those clicks are converting to submitted applications on the third-party site. More and more vendors now allow cross-domain tracking of their sites with the implementation of Google Tag Manager. If their site allows it, you can potentially follow campaign activity from the initial visit to the final conversion. This holds true for any internal cross domain tracking as well, if you manage additional domain names where a user’s visit would include both sites.
Setting your analytics on the golden path
Google Analytics is a great tool for analyzing data and optimizing campaign tracking. Depending on the scope of your campaign, you might only need to follow a couple of the suggestions outlined here. You could also need a more advanced tracking strategy that expands to your entire website, and includes the integration of Google Tag Manager and cross-domain tracking. Whether small or large, simple or complex, the digital strategists at ZAG Interactive have the experience needed to get you seeing optimal results.