Harnessing the power of Google Analytics

Nate Silver correctly predicted the electoral college results of all 50 US states the 2012 Presidential Election. His blog was the most visited page on the NY Times website during the election. This would make him the world’s leading political analyst, except he is a statistician. Despite stinging criticism from journalists and politicos who called him a ‘joke’ and his skill a ‘numbers racket’, Silver’s success shows that data does not lie.

If data can predict something as notoriously difficult to call as voting patterns, then figuring out people’s habits online should be easy. And it is when marketers make use of the analytics tools now available. Many social media sites have analytics features built in that businesses can access to track traffic to their pages.

The leading light in web analytics for marketing is Google Analytics. There’s so much information at your finger tips if you know how to use it. We at ChatterHound hold training workshops to help businesses use Google Analytics to make their online marketing more effective.

Contact us if you’re interested in learning how to track your online campaigns and make the most out of your website.

Why use Google Analytics?

Google Analytics logoSearch engine optimization (SEO) and keywords have become central to any digital marketing strategy. But they only work when you have an insight into how people actually use your site. Using Google Analytics is the best way to achieve higher organic listings and more conversion on Google AdWords.

Google Analytics is the leading tool for monitoring traffic to your website. It provides a wealth of information about visitors to your site. However, many businesses struggle to interpret Google Analytics reports.  Here are a few things to keep an eye on:

Social media referrals

Google Analytics reports can track whether you get more traffic from Facebook. Linked In, Twitter, Google + or Pinterest. You can then use this information to decide on which pages deserve more effort.

Screen shot of Google Analytics showing pie chart

AdWords campaign tracking

If you’re a Google AdWords customer the reports will show you what people do on your website after they click on your ad. This is central to measuring conversions.  Google Analytics show you whether your landing page is converting customers. If it’s not, you can change it.

Mobile

Google Analytics shows which mobile devices are used most to access your website. You can then specifically tailor your mobile marketing efforts.

 Pages

Google Analytics tracks which pages are more popular that others. Perhaps a particular blog post, product or service is getting a lot more attention than the others. You can measure this and respond accordingly. This is very useful if you rely on content marketing.

 

Word cloud with keyword as the search term

Keywords  

Google Analytics can show you which terms people are typing into search engines to access your website. This is invaluable for SEO as you can tell whether your keywords are right.

It’s important to set time aside regularly to properly read Google Analytics reports and review anything on your site that is not serving your business or organisation. 

Using analytics in marketing

Graphic showing a left/right brain

Marketing needs creativity and analysis

 

Times are changing –  marketers are no longer just creative types with copywriting skills and social media know-how. We also need to understand how to use web analytics.

This is not the enemy of creativity it may appear. Applying analytics can help track campaigns, allowing you to try different avenues and only repeat what works.

Today I read some handy tips for creating an analytics-driven marketing culture that Chatterhound recommends for progressive marketers.

 

 

Why use online content marketing?

Who would you listen to when deciding what to buy? A sales person who only pushes the benefits of their own product or service? A trusted expert who gives you valuable advice?

Content marketing is about creating and sharing free content that builds a relationship with customers.  Although the content can and should be related to what you sell, it is not a form of advertising.  The most important thing is to be informative, helpful and – if it’s not too much of a stretch – entertaining.

people dancing

Viral is healthy

With online content marketing, businesses create content that speaks directly to their target audience and promote it using their websites and social media.

Thanks to the  power of sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, businesses have lots of opportunities to share their quality content for free. Content that catches on and shared by a lot of people is said to have gone viral.

Practically useful content or posts that arouse emotion in people are always more likely to be shared. You should also try to make it visually interesting – a good picture, infographic or video often gets shared.

SEO benefits

In 2011 search giant Google changed their algorithm to prioritise fresh and original content.  This was seen by many as the nail in the coffin of traditional SEO, where web companies could use tricks to appear higher in search ranking.  Due to this change online content marketing is now at the core of  search engine optimization. This is because websites with relevant, good quality and frequently updated content such as blogs will rank higher than those with flat, unchanging content. Traditional SEO tactics such as link building and keywords content should also be built into your content to maximise reach and effectiveness.

 

Don Draper from Mad Men on the phone

Don Draper just heard that content is now more effective than advertising. (Image copyright of AMC)

 

Web traffic drives sales

Content is the best way to get people to like and trust your brand. This is what conventional ad campaigns used to do but can’t seem to do as well online. This criticism does not apply to Google Adwords or Pay Per Click campaigns.

Online content marketing such as blogging and social media can drive traffic to your site that you can focus on converting into leads or sales.  See your businesses as fulfilling a need or desire and let your content reflect that. The more informative and/or entertaining the online content, the better chance you have of converting visitors to customers.

Be patient 

Online content marketing is not a quick fix but could transform your business over time. It

Aerial view of Rome

Rome: Construction took a while

takes planning, hard work and dedication to identify your target market and craft quality content. It is easy to dismiss something that may not immediately generate revenue, but effective online content marketing will ultimately pay off.

Twitter Tips and Statistics

Twitter is like a big chatroom with millions of people talking about different things. It can be hard to get heard among all the chatter. Many companies open a Twitter account and don’t know what to do next.  Some business owners have unrealistic expectations of what Twitter can do for them. Most of us find it difficult to figure what tweets get the best response.

Luckily some number crunchers have produced stats to help us see how people behave on Twitter. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before plunging head first into the world of 140 characters or less.

What to tweet?

This is the big one. What should you tweet? Dan Zarella’s research shows the list of what type of content is most popular on Twitter. He’s also done lists of the most and least retweetable words. The most important thing, though, is to keep it interesting and relevant.

 

Stats on what to tweet

Why tweet?

This question can be best answered by looking at what Pew Research found were the subjects people usually want to tweet about.

What People Use Twitter for - bar chart

Why do people follow some people and not others? This is key. Dan Zarella looks at the titles people give themselves to attract followers. It’s no surprise that those who seem to be expert on a subject are more trusted than those with no credentials. But in the world of Twitter it’s easy to become a self-appointed authority just by adding the word ‘expert’ to your profile.

Bar chart most retweetable bio words

 

When to tweet?

According to a Hubspot report, the best times to tweet are Thursday and Friday between 3 and 5pm as well as between 9pm and 11pm.  Many companies tweet only during regular office hours with less and less enthusiasm as the working week comes to a close.

Tweets distributed by hour - graph

 

 

Tweets distributed by hour - graph

It’s also important to space your tweets.  Flooding your followers’ feeds with 5 or 10 tweets at once could lead to you losing them.

Who tweets?

Younger adults aged 18-29 are still more likely to tweet but the numbers tweeting in the higher age brackets are steadily rising. Women are more likely to tweet than men, which could have implications for some brands. College-educated people have slightly higher than average tweeting numbers. Figures are from a Pew Research survey.

How to Tweet?

To make your Twitter marketing effective you must have access to relevant data and have clearly defined objectives.

Twitter can help you build relationships with customers rather than generating one-off sales.

Here are some useful links if you want to know more about making the best use of Twitter.

http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/

http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/40-twitter-tips_b8973

http://twittertips.org