11 Apr 2017

5 Digital Marketing Measurement Tips to Uncover HUGE Growth Opportunities

Once you have a strategy in place, the reporting and measurement of your digital marketing efforts should be the main source of growth ideas and opportunities.

With a virtually endless supply of data, knowing where to look and what metrics matter is a good place to start. From there, spending your time on analysis rather than data collection will turn your analysis into actionable reports you’ll love.

Try applying a great rule from Chris Sietsema: For every hour you spend on data collection, you should spend 3 on analysis.

Here are 5 actionable digital marketing measurement tips that you can deploy today to help you uncover huge growth opportunities.

1. Segment and measure visitors by user device

Mobile, tablet, and desktop visitors interact with your website uniquely.

Measuring these three groups of visitors together will skew all of your analysis, leaving your insights far short of insightful.

How to segment visitors by device in Analytics

If you want to analyze and compare visitors by device in Google Analytics, follow these steps:

  1. Click the “Segment” box
  2. Unselect “All Users”
  3. Select the predefined segment “Mobile Traffic”
  4. Clicking “Add Segment,” repeat for “Desktop Traffic” and “Tablet Traffic”

Analytics Segment by DeviceAdding this device segment will now allow you to see performance, by device, for any report in Google Analytics.

Here, as an example, you can see the breakdown of performance for Organic Traffic:

Organic Search Segmented by Device

Potential “Findings” and Action items:

“Mobile traffic accounts for ~56% of total web traffic. Why is it only 10% of my traffic?”

Action: Perform an SEO Audit, with a heavy focus on mobile. Page speed is a common issue to look out for.

“Yikes! Our mobile conversion rates are terrible.”

Action: Assuming you already have a mobile site, start conversion rate optimization (CRO), with a focus on mobile performance.

“Uh Oh. Our mobile bounce rates are really high”

Action: First, assess your traffic source. If the traffic is high quality, you likely are having an issue meeting the expectations of your mobile visitors. Further assessment will point to the need for improving content, usability, design, or page speed.

Measure each stage of the buyer’s journey (Awareness, Consideration, Decision)

To maximize revenue driven by your digital marketing efforts, you must meet your audience’s needs at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Failing to do so will result in sub-optimal results, 100% of the time.

Aligning your measurement and reporting by stages of the funnel is an effective way to block out “the noise” and focus on what really matters.

2. How to measure digital marketing and create effective reports

  1. Select KPIs that align with each stage of the buyer’s journey
  2. Create a report that assigns 1/3 of the report to each stage
  3. Report at a frequency that your business can implement changes. (Most commonly this is monthly although it may be weekly or quarterly, depending on your business)

Google Analytics evangelist, Avinash Kaushik, achieves this with the “See, Think, Do” reporting layout below:

See Think Do

There is no perfect template as your buyer’s journey and metrics are unique to your business. What is consistent is that each stage of the journey is critical.

This reporting approach will help you identify and prioritize opportunities much faster!

Potential “Findings” and Action items:

“Wow! Visitors from social media are 2x more likely to turn into customers than those from other channels.”

Action: Double down on your social media efforts!

“Ugh! Our referral traffic is down 20% year-over-year”

Action: Further assessment will determine what website(s) you’ve lost traffic from. Backlink reclamation can help recover those high quality, traffic generating links that you may have lost.

“Hmmm. We seem to have a lot of visitors to the site every day but only 1% of visitors contact us. What a huge opportunity!”

Action: Get started with CRO! This is consistently one of the least utilized tactics and biggest opportunities for immediate increases in digital performance.

3. Create Google Analytics alerts to automatically monitor daily issues

Consider this the last time that you are blindsided by your (choose all that apply: Boss, client, agency, CEO, CMO, Director, Partner) saying:

“XYZ (something bad) happened… How did you not know!?”

Analytics Alerts will ensure you’re the first to know about most common day-to-day website issues that your reporting won’t catch.

This way, you don’t have to waste your day “just checking in” in hopes of being the first to catch issues.

How to create Google Analytics real-time, custom alerts:

To get daily, weekly, or monthly custom alerts:

  1. Click ‘Admin’
  2. Click ‘Custom Alerts’
  3. Create your new alert, selecting the frequency that the “check” occurs and conditions that will trigger an alert.

Here is what a Google Analytics 404 error alert might look like:

Analytics Custom 404 Error Alert

You can even setup mobile phone alerts if you really want to be on top of potential issues.

Some custom alerts that you may consider are: 

  • 404 Pages
  • No Traffic
  • Total Traffic Drops/Spikes
  • Traffic Drops/Spikes by Channel
  • Conversion Drops/Spikes
  • Page Load Time Spikes
  • Any metric that is critical to your business

Potential “Findings” and Action items:

“Shucks! (Insert Metric from above) is way down but at least I have time to diagnose and assess prior to getting a ‘5 alarm fire’ email from my (Choose all that apply: Boss, client, agency, CEO, CMO, Director, Partner)”

Action: Dig in, assess the cause and, if necessary, alert the proper channels of the issues AND your proposed solution.

4. Analyze organic CTR

While this is a major part of nearly every paid media strategy, it is an all-but-forgotten tactic of many businesses that we speak with.

We know that increased CTR means more visits, but there is also evidence to show that it also means higher rankings [which means (more traffic)2].

Either way, higher CTR = more traffic

How to analyze organic CTR:

To get organic impression data into Google Analytics:

  1. Link Google Search Console to Google Analytics
  2. In Analytics, go to ‘Acquisition > Search Console > Queries’
  3. In Analytics, go to ‘Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Pages’

Most of your ‘Search Query’ Report will be (not set), which is (not helpful) but you may be able to gain some insights.

If not, the ‘Landing Page’ view will at least provide you CTR results by page. Cross-Referencing this with a keyword rank report will provide some key insights.

Analytics Search Console Integration

Potential “Findings” and Action items:

“Hey look! Landing Page #9 in the graphic above only has a 2.59% CTR, over 50% lower than our other top pages.”

Action: For that page’s ranking keywords, analyze the SERP and competitors. With that knowledge, optimize meta title, description, and possibly schema mark-up to improve CTR.

5. If your sales happen offline, Google Analytics isn’t enough

If your revenue event occurs offline, the only way to understand ROI is by closing the data gap between online data (Analytics) and offline data (CRM/Accounting Platform).

Doing so will help you answer questions like:

  • Which PPC keywords drive low quality leads?
  • Which channel drives leads that are most likely to close?
  • Which channel drives leads that have the highest lifetime value?
  • Which channel are we over/under investing in?

How to measure offline data, by channel, alongside online data:

This is the most important tip with the most complex solution. Because of this, the correct answer will be completely customized to your business.

Here are some possible solutions. (Note: You may need to implement all the following to get full insights):

  1. Use the ‘Import Data’ functionality in Google Analytics to put offline data right into Google Analytics for clear ROI reporting
  2. Use hidden form fields to pass Analytics UTM parameters from form fills to your CRM:
  3. Here’s how you would do this for some major CRMs/Tools: (Salesforce, Pardot, Unbounce)
  4. Implement a tool like Hubspot that includes marketing, sales, and CRM tools to track the entire lifecycle of your customers
  5. Implement phone call tracking
  6. Some popular options that we have used: (CallRail, CallTrackingMetrics, DialogTech)

Potential “Findings” and Action items:

“Wow! Organic leads are over 100% more likely to become customers than leads from paid channels”

Action: Reassess budget allocations between paid and organic channels. Increasing organic investment or decreasing paid investment may make sense.

“Whoa! In addition to the online leads our paid search campaign is driving, there are twice as many phone calls that we were attributing to other channels”

Action: Reallocate budget appropriately based on proper attribution.

“Ouch! 25% of our paid search budget is going towards XYZ audience that are meeting our CPL goal but not turning into customers.

Action: Follow up with your sales team to better understand why these leads aren’t closing. If they are just low quality, reallocate budget elsewhere, even if CPL is higher.

What Should I Do Now?

With these 5 tips, you should have some “quick wins” that you can dig into today and have some potentially big takeaways on.

You should also have the foundation for a holistic digital marketing measurement strategy that will produce actionable insights and growth opportunities across all of your digital channels.