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Analytics: What do the numbers mean?
By Mael Hernandez, June 2008
It seems that whenever business or the economy slows it falls on marketing to increase sales and lead generation. After all isn't that the function of marketing? How do you know if all your marketing pieces are working? How do you know which headline or offer or call to action will be most effective? Traditionally the process would include developing your marketing pieces whether they be direct mail, print, TV or whatever medium. Then you might launch an A/B test, if you have the budget? The best part is what happened next - you would wait to see if the phone rings or try to somehow associate leads or sales to a specific campaign. If you're lucky, you might find some indicators as to which campaign generated the best response, but for the most part it will be a WAG.
I recently read an article in which an executive of an international advertising agency said that 70% - 80% of their efforts for their clients will be digitally based by the end of the year. Why this migration to digital marketing? Basically it's because most consumers, whether B-to-B or B-to-C, start their brand interaction online. Digital or interactive marketing, unlike most other mediums gives marketers the ability to track every visitor and their interactions. Even the smallest of companies can do many of the same things the big boys do to increase their marketing effectiveness. That's the great thing about the Internet -no matter the size of your company you can use it to grow your business. It is very effective and cost efficient!
It’s important to note, if you are not currently tracking your web traffic, I highly recommend you take the time to add it to your web site. It doesn't cost a ton of money to add this to your site, in fact Google offers an analytics program called Google Analytics that's free. Adding an analytics program to your web site can require adding a snippet of code to every page. There are content management programs, like our CMS - FlipperSiteDeveloper, that can automate this process and add the code to every page for you.
What is the basic information you should be looking at in your sites analytics report?
Analytics provides an enormous amount of information and it can be overwhelming at first. I recommend you start by just tracking a few key statistics like the ones outlined above. Don't forget to exclude your IP address(s) so it will not track internal traffic. This will provide a truer sense of what your customers are interested in.
Once you have an understanding of how analytics work you can begin to use your web site as a true marketing tool to test messages, calls to action, offers and/or price points.
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