The term “digital marketing analytics” covers any sort of tool or service that identifies the ranking and performance of a site, typically providing advice for how these can be improved. For any business owner starting a digital marketing campaign, knowing the basics of market analysis can help increase sales, site traffic, and user engagement.
Whether you outsource or learn digital marketing on your own, access to the statistics they provide helps immensely. They include Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Search Console, SEMRush, MajesticSEO, social metrics, and other site performance tools.
Our friends from Google occasionally provide more than tool suites and amusing doodles on their front page! They also provide three popular programs for market analysis.
The free, in-depth, and aptly-named Google Analytics reports how users find and interact with your site. It divides your traffic acquisition between organic, direct, referred, social, email, and paid searches. As a result, you can see where you have it made and where you can draw further attention.
Once you’ve seen how you receive attention, Analytics’ landing page reports show where your viewers go and which pages could use a boost. It also shows whether they bounce or stay, whether they are new, and whether they were on desktop or mobile.
If you’re new, here is a list of some of the most commonly used reports covered by each tab:
- Real-time: Overview (all real-time activity on the site)
- Audience: Overview (information on users, such as demographics and operating systems)
- Acquisition: Overview (sources of traffic by channel), Channels (user behavior by channel)
- Behavior: Overview (pages with the most views), Behavior Flow (visualized user behavior on site)
- Conversions: Goals (registers and measures progress toward goals)
For more advanced users, see 12 Awesome Custom Google Analytics Reports from the Kissmetrics Blog. For custom questions, reach out to us for Google Analytics Consulting.
Google AdWords works as both a standard network for PPC and a tool to improve your own ad campaign. The Google Adwords Keyword Planning Tool usefully sizes markets and determines user interest in variations of product names. AdWords gives useful metrics on impressions and clicks, but remember to aim for a balance between cost and conversions. We generally find that a CTR of 1-3% or more indicates that you have found this balance.
The height of your conversion rate compared to number of clicks will tell you whether you need to narrow down keywords or broaden them. Alongside Analytics’ data on bounce vs. exit rates, this AdWords data can tell you if your landing pages need improvement. A page with a high number of clicks but a low conversion rate may need to clarify its call-to-action so that users stay.
Other analytics of note include average cost-per-click (total cost of clicks divided by number of clicks), total conversion value (sum of all conversion values), and cost per converted click (self-explanatory).
Google Search Console, formerly Webmaster Tools, surveys site health with regards to setup, crawl errors, and use of canonical domains. As an added bonus, it displays Search Analytics on specific keywords in more detail than Google Analytics. Its statistics on Google search term ranking, clicks, and CTR make it a vital extension to Analytics and AdWords, which can also be connected.
We typically recommend analytics tools from a multitude of other sources based on unique advantages of each.
SEMRush, an analytics dashboard similar to Google Analytics, gives more detailed information on your website ranking compared to others. It can help you identify relevant keywords that work well or need attention, as well as irrelevant ones to avoid. Once you know that your business somehow ranks for “Amish dating sites”, you can get to the bottom of this issue.
SEMRush has separate reports for paid and unpaid searches. Its backlink portfolio lists the number of backlinks and domains, which can show you which audiences to target.
Another backlink portfolio can be found in MajesticSEO, another program providing data on external backlinks and domain authority. Most uniquely, it ranks Citation Flow and Trust Flow on a scale of 0 to 100. Flow Metrics score a site’s influence by total number of backlinks, and trustworthiness by backlinks from trustworthy sites.
Leading social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube have built-in analytics. These Social Metrics vary greatly by platform but generally help with tracking the leads and conversions from your social campaigns. What’s not to Like?
Finally, site performance and speed in particular can be audited by either Webpagetest.org or Lighthouse. Both suggest improvements to any webpage to give it faster loading that convinces users to stay. Suggestions include limiting the number of files on a page, optimizing image sizes, and lazy-loading static content. The programs mostly differ in the mobile-optimization of Lighthouse, a built-in Google Chrome tool.
Market analysis tools provide valuable insight into actions of site audiences, competitors, and your own business. With the right combination, you can recognize areas for improvement in your site’s performance and place in the web.
After taking this first step, you can focus your efforts on creating a web presence that is truly off the charts.