“What marketing questions can website statistics like Google Analytics answer? What should I do with this information?” Here are nine key marketing questions, the Google Analytics stats to get a handle on them, and some followup questions to pose.
I’m ignoring metrics from Google Analytics that help with site design, like browser usage and connect speeds. We’re talking hard-core marketing here.
In case you need a refresher before we start, here are links on basic definitions (clicks, visits, visitors, and page views), how to install Google Analytics tracking code, and an intro to Google Analytics.
1. Is traffic to my website growing, declining or stagnating? What are the trends?
Stats to focus on: Visits per period vs last period; absolute unique visitors per period vs last
Questions to ask yourself: Are numbers of visits and unique visitors growing, steady or declining? Do I see spikes when I run various campaigns and promotions? Because of technical limitations in tracking, trends are more meaningful than absolute numbers.
2. How useful are visitors finding the site? What are the trends? In essence, are users engaged?
Stats to focus on: Average pageviews, time on site
Questions to ask yourself: Are pageviews increasing or decreasing? What about visitor time on the site? If there are changes from last period, why? Are high pages views and time on site due to visitor interest or their difficulties finding what they are looking for?
3. Who are my visitors? Where do they live? Are they new visitors or returning?
Stats to focus on: Map overlay and new vs returning
Questions to ask yourself: Where are my visitors concentrated geographically? Does my copy need to be modified (language, jargon, pitches) to tailor the appeal? Which group is growing faster, new or returning visitors? Do I need to run new campaigns targeted to the slower group? How should I reposition product and service offerings on web pages to encourage visitors to return?
Sorry, no individual visitor emails from Google Analytics. You marketers already have data on user actions from other sources: email inquiries, mailing list signups, downloads if visitors register with an email, and of course purchases. Work on a system to add these client and prospect emails to your database. more…
If you’re looking for the social media tool with the greatest potential, Twitter is it. The downside is that it requires time and effort. A “tweet” is essentially a 140 character status update. How can this help your business? If your updates are informative, useful or witty, then people will “follow” you. The more followers you have, the greater your influence. Can you imagine being able to reach several thousand people every few hours? The key is to provide information that people can use. Focus on your target audience and go after them with tailored messages. Relevant news, cool trends or recent events in your industry are always good. To get people engaged, ask industry-related questions such as “What’s the best blogging platform and why?”
Use Twitter’s search tool or Twellow.com to find people to follow. Then leave responses to other’s tweets. Don’t forget to post a few of your own tweets. To be successful, you need to post several times a day. In order to help manage the time commitment involved, use an automation tool such as Tweetlater.com. Come up with about 25 updates and schedule them to post every few hours for the next week. Soon, you’ll notice your followers increasing exponentially.
Jacalyn Barnes, SCORE
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