Online marketing analytics involves collecting and analyzing information from various sources in order to improve performance and return on investment. Analytics allows you to track what is happening in real-time, so you can continually adjust your activities to get better results.
Testing online tactics and approaches is central to using analytics to its fullest, and will help you understand the cause and effect of your activities on your prospects’ behaviour. The wealth of affordable tools, and the resulting access to real-time data, makes testing online activities practical and within reach for any organization.
However, because of the tremendous amount of data and reporting available, business owners can easily suffer from analysis paralysis. It can be challenging to know which data to concentrate on; a critical success factor is the ability to select and use the tools and data that provide the insight that actually matters.
Three Foundational Steps for Any Online Analytics Strategy
Before you even start gathering data, generating reports, and conducting analysis, you need to understand how your online activities support your business goals.
- Identify and Confirm Business Objectives
What are your growth targets? How do you plan to achieve this growth?
As an example, you want to double revenues for a specific service over a four year timeline. How will online marketing support this goal? What role does online marketing play?
These are critical questions to ask yourself before jumping into online marketing with both feet. Otherwise you will end up just “doing things” instead of spending your effort, time, and money on activities that support clear cut business goals.
- Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPI)/Metrics
Once you have defined your business objectives, you can use the data to measure your progress.
Choosing effective Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are important for assessing whether you are moving toward or away from your stated business goals.
For website generates for a specific service.
- Set Specific Targets
Upon formalizing your objectives and establishing the associated KPIs, you must determine your specific targets for each KPI. If you have historical data, you can base your initial targets on this information.
Whether you have historical data or not, be prepared to continually refine your targets as you move forward.
For example: Based on a 40% typical close rate, if you generate 50 more inbound leads through the website per month, you will meet your goal of doubling your revenue over four years.
Analytics Must Be Integrated into Your Overall Online Marketing Strategy
The need to analyze online performance never ends. Why? Because the market and your competition don’t stand still – and neither should you.
You must measure your online marketing tactics and adapt them to changing realities over time. Data collection, reporting, and analysis should be a component of your regular online activities if you want to drive sustainable revenue growth through your online marketing efforts.
Ben Molfetta is the co-founder of Core Online Marketing. He helps small and mid-sized businesses grow by planning, implementing, and executing winning online marketing strategies. Visit coreonlinemarketing.com or email Ben at email@example.com.