If you didn’t measure it, did it even happen? Not in my books! We all know that measuring our digital marketing efforts is a must. But not all of us are doing it… yet.
In this article, we’re breaking down how to get started with digital marketing analytics: the purpose of marketing metrics, how to set up a marketing measurement plan, key marketing metrics to measure, how to uncover marketing insights, and a few marketing measurement tools to make marketing measurement a breeze.
We only have 24 hours in a day. And let’s be honest, we’re all looking for ways to work less and live more. When used effectively, marketing and web analytics will help save you time, because you’ll know which tactics drive value for business, and which ones are simply a time suck.
If you already know you’re ready to dive right into marketing analytics, , and start fuelling your business with data-driven marketing.
Now, let’s start at the beginning…
The primary purpose of a marketing metric is to understand if your marketing efforts are actually working
A lot of people over-complicate data and analytics, so they get a bad rep. Many people think you need to be a numbers person, and you have to be super analytical to understand how to use analytics. All lies!
The truth is, your data is there to help you answer business questions. And at its core, the primary purpose of a marketing metric is to simply understand if your marketing is working or not.
Here’s just a few questions you might have about your marketing:
All these questions can quickly and simply be answered with your web analytics.
How you ask? It all starts with…
Setting up your marketing measurement framework
As the owner of , I LOVE frameworks. And one of my favourites, is my Marketing Measurement Framework!
It is a framework that outlines your customer journey, and aligns your business goals of each phase with a measurable outcome. The measurable outcome then, is a metric, and it allows you to understand, in a quantifiable way, if you’ve achieved your business goal. The framework also identifies the Dimensions and content most likely to impact performance in each stage of the customer journey.
Let’s talk about each of those aspects in a bit more detail…
Mapping the digital customer journey is the first step
Since the measurement framework starts with the customer journey, you can have different measurement frameworks for different journeys. In the following example, we’re going to look at one of the most common customer journeys for service based businesses, creative entrepreneurs, or digital product businesses.
A Customer Journey is the path a customer takes as they attempt to solve a need with a product or service. First they need to discover your business, then consider your business as the solution to their problem, then they become a customer, and hopefully a loyal brand advocate.
The key stages then, are Awareness → Consideration → Conversion → Brand Advocate.
It’s important you understand your unique customer journeys. You need to know who your ideal customer is, what they care about, their motivations, challenges, and who they really are as a person.
You also need to understand their questions and needs in each stage of the customer journey, so you know how you can help them. When you pre-emptively answer your ideal customer’s questions and give them what they need in each stage, they are more likely to move to the next stage.
What does this have to do with analytics you ask?
The marketing metrics that matter
When you know what the customer needs in each stage of the customer journey, to move them to the next stage, you can translate that to clear business goals and measurable outcomes… or metrics.
Primary Metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPI for short), are the most important metrics you should be measuring. They typically directly reflect the health and performance of your business, and they provide a meaningful approach to understanding how your marketing and website, and business in general, are performing.
They also help identify opportunities to improve existing areas of our business and online experience, as well as uncover new strategic initiatives.
But metrics are only one piece of the puzzle… you can understand high level performance with metrics alone, but you typically cannot pinpoint the performance drivers without dimensions.
Marketing dimensions allow you to slice and dice data
They include things like campaign, audience segments, creative versions, marketing channels, marketing tactics, landing pages, user device type, user demographics, etc.
When you start breaking metrics down by dimensions, you start to see what’s actually driving the results. So dimensions help determine the performance drivers and uncover the “why” behind what you see in the numbers.
The final measurement framework
When you put it all together, you end up with something like this:
The stages of the customer journey are across the top, with the business goals for each stage below. The primary metrics help you understand if you are achieving each business goal.
The most common dimensions go across all stages of the customer journey, meaning they can impact any of the metrics.
Below that are additional diagnostic metrics specific to each phase, which will help you dig into what is impacting the metrics in that specific stage. For example, Site Speed could be a driver for Bounce Rate, Links Clicked will give insight into your Avg Session Duration, and so on.
Finally at the bottom, the content that is most closely tied with the experience during each customer journey stage is listed. Subsequently, these are the areas of the customer experience or website that you would need to optimize to improve a metric.
Key marketing metrics to measure success
If you’re just getting started with marketing analytics, don’t worry about measuring all of the above. That is sure to induce unnecessary overwhelm!
Instead, I recommend simply answering these questions to get started:
How many people are visiting my site, and where are they coming from?
This will help you understand which of your marketing efforts are working best to bring traffic to your site. Ideally, the tactics where you invest a lot of money (ads) or time (content creation for Instagram, blogs, etc) will be driving quality traffic. If they’re not, it might be time to .
To answer this question, measure Users and Sessions by Channel and/or Source / Medium if you use UTM Codes:
Is the content on my site resonating with visitors?
Remember when we talked about giving your ideal customers the information they need to move to the next stage of the customer journey? That’s where this comes into play.
If you’re targeting the right ideal customer, and providing relevant information on your landing pages, they will be highly engaged with your landing page, and do what you want them to… spend time reading the page, click the CTA (call to action), become a lead, make a purchase, etc.
But if your targeting is off, or your content isn’t hitting the mark, you could see visitors arriving to your landing page, and quickly leaving, having only viewed that one page. A single page visit is called a Bounce, and the percent of total visits that Bounce, is called the Bounce Rate.
So to measure if your content is resonating you will look at your Bounce Rate. You can view this across multiple dimensions to get clues into why your content may or may not be resonating.
If your Bounce Rate is high, .
How efficiently am I converting leads / sales?
This is arguably the most important question we all want an answer to!
Even if you’re not using web analytics yet, you should be measuring your leads or or sales through your other platforms. If you’re not, start now!
To measure your conversion rates, which is how we understand the efficiency side of things, you will need to know your site sessions / visits, which comes from your web analytics. The calculations are:
Lead / Sessions = Lead Conversion Rate
Sales / Sessions = Sales Conversion Rate
These conversion rates can be automatically calculated in Google Analytics by setting up your conversion Goals.
So to measure if your content is resonating you will look at your Bounce Rate. Similar to Bounce Rate, you should look at these metrics across multiple dimensions to understand which marketing tactics are working best to convert leads and sales… and then do more of the good stuff, and fix what’s not working.
Ready to see what this looks like in real life?
Let’s look at a marketing analytics example with actionable marketing insights
One of the most valuable things you can do with marketing and website data is track each and every marketing tactic. And without getting into the nitty gritty, these magical (and simple) URL codes are called UTMs.
When I say EVERY marketing tactic, you might not get the gravity of this… so let’s play a quick game of Show and Tell.
First I’ll SHOW you this…
Now I’ll TELL you what it means.
In this snapshot of my previous marketing efforts:
If this has piqued your interest, it’s probably time to set up Google Analytics and
These digital marketing measurement tools will help get you started
I highly recommend using Google Analytics to monitor your website performance. It’s free, and nearly every prominent marketing tool has a simple integration with it.
If you do one thing after reading this blog, . And the sooner the better. It will take you five minutes, and once it’s set up, you’ll begin collecting website data.
If you want insights like I showed you above, to help you more effectively and efficiently market your business, you’ll also need to start using UTM codes. You can get started with UTM codes here.
These two tools are game changers, so begin using them as soon as possible so you have a foundation.
Then when you’re ready to start making sense of the data…
Let’s get started with marketing analytics
In this Masterclass, you’ll learn:
My proven measurement framework that ties business goals and customer actions to measurable metrics across the customer journey.
Three metrics you should be measuring if you want to create engaging and high converting landing pages and marketing funnels.
Why Google Analytics and Hotjar are my marketing sidekicks and how you can use these FREE tools to improve your online user experience and conversion rates.
How to identify your top-performing marketing tactics so you can make more efficient, strategic and profitable business decisions.
Do YOU know how your marketing and website are working? Your web analytics are the key to investing your time and money in the right places. Let me teach you how to use them!
Stay Tuned for Part 2
In a couple weeks time, we’ll be diving deeper into three metrics you should be measuring. I’ll be telling you
what to measure, what good vs bad performance looks like, and how to take action on your insights to optimize your marketing and website performance.
About the author
Hey there, I’m Andi, a spread-sheet obsessed digital marketing nerd with a serious love for all things data!
I have always had an uncontrollable curiosity to understand what motivates our decision-making, and data is one of my favourite tools to uncover that mystery.
As the founder of , I’ve helped my clients, big and small, transform their digital marketing strategies and business results – all with the magic of metrics. You might say the Proof is in the pudding.
And I’d be delighted to help you too! Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of analytics, how they can help you reach your goals and run your business more efficiently, and teach you a few tangible ways to get started.