It’s the first of the month and that means it’s the time I generate analytics reporting for my clients. Last month I wrote and article on LinkedIn about why you need to be looking at your analytics each month. Here’s the why:
- It helps you better understand your audience. No more guessing. Whatever your industry, analytics helps you get a deeper understanding of your audience so you can deliver better experiences and drive results.
- Know what’s working (and not). With analytics you can see how users are engaging with your content, so you know what’s working and what’s not. Then it’s simple…do more of what’s working and fix what’s not. What content are they interacting with? How can you create more content like that? Also, be sure to share that popular content. Is it a blog post? Send it out in an email, post to social. Already did that? Do it again. The stats say only 6% of your audience saw it the first time, so don’t worry about being annoying.
- Know where people are coming from. This is very important and will show you how your strategy is working. I can’t tell you how often client think their audience is on one platform, when the majority are actually coming from another. Again, it’s about knowing what’s working and not so you can make the most out of your time and efforts to drive traffic and conversions.
- See results over time. While I look at monthly stats for my clients and compare month-to-month numbers, we also take a step back quarterly and annually to compare where they were the year before. That’s where you can really see change and growth.
- Make decisions with confidence. Think you should spend more on social or increase your Adwords budget? If you are trying to get buy-in from your team, they can’t argue with the cold, hard facts. If you are seeing great traffic AND conversions from Facebook, you can prove you should continue to invest in those efforts.
- Is your audience growing? While the number of followers doesn’t matter as much as the conversions, it is good to track the growth of your social audience and email subscribers. Email is the most effective online marketing tool, so growing that list is important. They say each email subscriber equals $1 of revenue for your business per month.
- Celebrate the wins. As with everything, these numbers will go up and down each month based on a variety of factors. Don’t get discouraged if you see slight dips. Use it as motivation to make changes, and then celebrate the victories. Did you put a lot of effort in to social media last month? Did you see your website traffic from social go up. Yippee!! Great work. Keep it up with the knowledge that what you are doing is working.
What Stats You Should Be Tracking
Now that you know why you need to be tracking analytics, what are the important stats to benchmark and track? This will vary depending on your industry as well as what marketing channels you are utilizing, but here are some key benchmarks to track:
- Total sessions: how many times people came to your site
- New vs. returning visitors: are people coming back to your site, or are they mostly new visitors
- Time on site: how long is the average session? Are people hanging out and exploring your site, or leaving right away?
- Number of pages per session: Are people digging deeper into your site, or just going to the homepage and leaving?
- Bounce rate: the percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with the page. A bounced session has a duration of 0 seconds. That means people came to your site and immediately said, “This is not what I’m looking for,” and left. You want this number to be as low as possible.
- Traffic sources: how are people getting to your site? Organic search? Social media? Referral? Email? It’s important to know this so you can best direct your efforts into the channels that are working best, and also give more love to channels you want to see more growth from.
- Most viewed pages: what are the most popular pages on your website? Are they the pages that drive conversions in your business? If you have an online store and the Shop page isn’t one of your most popular pages, you need to strategize how to fix that. Don’t just assume it is. Use the knowledge at your fingertips to gain insights that will help your business.
- Number of followers: is your audience growing?
- Engagement: clicks, comments, reactions. How are people engaging with your posts?
- Most engaging posts: what were people engaging with the most? Take a look at the type of content, imagery, what was the call to action? Do more of what’s working.
- List growth: how many followers did you gain/lose?
- Engagement: open rates, click through rates
- Most engaging emails: take a look at the emails with the highest open rates. What was the subject line? How was it different than the emails that didn’t get opened as much?
If I am speaking a foreign language, reach out to me. I can help get you set up tracking the most meaningful stats for your business.