For many businesses your company’s website is typically the first way prospective customers reach you. Therefore, it’s imperative that your website is effectively generating leads and providing useful information that is attracting and engaging customers. In order to get a handle on how well your website is achieving these goals, it requires tapping into what is sometimes considered a scary resource, your digital marketing analytics.

Digital marketing analytics should not be feared, but revered, as they have the power to provide you with valuable information about who and how people are interacting with your company on the Internet. It helps marketers understand which facets of their marketing efforts are working or not working and how to potentially spend their marketing dollars.

Getting started means spending some time becoming somewhat familiar with either Google Analytics or the service you’re using to track website activity. It also means not getting overwhelmed trying to tackle a program for your entire website or digital ecosystem all at once. Gaining information incrementally allows you to learn which analytics are relevant and what can be scaled later throughout all your digital marketing work.

So a smart way to begin might be to focus on an upcoming digital campaign. For example, your company creates an ebook for potential customers on cloud based accounting solutions. It’s decided to promote the piece through an email campaign.

To effectively track this campaign, you’ll need to determine what data to analyze first. You can do this by looking into Google Analytics and seeing what some established metrics measure. You also need to ask from a marketing perspective what actions do you specifically want users to take, such as downloading the ebook, contacting the company, or visiting the company’s various service pages after downloading the ebook.

Once you’ve identified the actions you want taken, you need to find the metric that measures these behaviors. Standard conversion rates and page view measurements will help. Measuring whether potential customers contacted your company after receiving the email can be accomplished through Google Tag Manager, which tracks a specific button or link clicks. User segments can be setup in Google Analytics to separate and track only users referred from the email.

A side note here: Manually setting up campaign tracking in Google Analytics takes some time and know-how. If you’re using a broadcast email provider check with them first to see if they support for tracking website visitors and conversion points with automated link/analytics tracking, which will make your life much easier.

You have your content piece, you have your metrics, now you need to set your goals. Try to determine what numbers you expect from each metric. If you’re having trouble with this there are several good options to help you with some benchmark data. Just Google – email marketing conversion rates for (your industry) and you’ll get the latest statistics for your size company and industry. Also, remember to try and include how this metric can be improved if it’s lower than expected.

The reason for this second point is that you want to evaluate metrics that are actionable. You want to be able to ultimately expand your use of digital marketing analytics beyond this campaign. Making adjustments to get better results will help with the creation of key performance indicators (KPIs). Focusing on KPIs from the onset of a campaign can affect things such as its design and purpose. For example, if you’re looking for page views, one tactic to use is designing the piece so that people can tweet out different components of it.

Using data analytics will help successfully drive your marketing efforts, and ultimately lead to positive sales results. It requires a commitment to establishing and tracking metrics for your digital activities, especially as they pertain to your website. Now is the time to grab the tools for the job and put your data to work.

Additional Resources:

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4 Essential Elements for Digital Marketing Maturity