“How do I measure the success and efficiency of my content marketing?” Well, this is the single most confounding question for anyone in the content marketing industry. Often marketers try to gauge their content marketing adeptness based on soft metrics such as shares or page views, or maybe narratives from their sales team.
But, there is certainly a better way.
While it is difficult to measure the success and ROI of content purely quantitatively, the use of a good web analytical tool to derive directional insights has become absolutely indispensable.
With web analytics, your content marketing game only gets a notch higher. Web analytics can be used to know everything about your content marketing strategy, including the number of visitors coming to each page, success of a landing page, keywords generating leads, etc.
What is Web Analytics?
Web analytics is a platform that helps in the collection, measurement, analysis and presentation of data to understand and optimize how websites are used. Also known as digital analytics, it helps to precisely study user behavior on your website and use this data to improve the efficiency of your website and digital marketing.
Why Use Web Analytics?
There three most important reasons to use web analytics are:
- Improve website usability
- Enhance customer engagement
- Improve marketing campaigns
Improve Website Usability
The volume of internet audience is growing at an unprecedented pace. Consequently, it is imperative to understand the needs of your web audience in order to grab their attention. If your website offers them a convenient solution to their problem, they shall become your long-term customers.
With web analytics, you can understand and identify your visitor’s site navigation path. You can pinpoint the problems they face and accordingly make changes to your website, leading to improved usability and increased returns.
Increase Customer Engagement
With web analytics, you can measure customer engagement through essential metrics such as conversion rate, bounce rate, etc. You can see how many customers exited your app after only visiting a single page. Also, you can find out user’s browser type, operating system and screen resolution to provide an optimal user experience with user friendly web pages.
Improve Marketing Campaigns
Web analytics is the optimum solution when it comes to tracking the success of your marketing campaigns- both online and offline. Most web analytical tools allow you to differentiate between your good and bad content, identify your top-performing landing pages, keywords, etc. You can use this information to improve your marketing intelligence, optimize your ads, web search and in turn, maximize ROI.
The Five ‘Whs’ of Web Analytics
Web analytics allow you to generate information for use by experts to perceive the success of a business’s website. The grail of the entire process is to yield valuable information related to the end user and his activities. This information is then used to improve the company’s overall content offerings and services. Thus, converting more leads into sales.
To help you further understand the analytics process, we have divided it into 5 main components. Each of these component forms an integral part of the analytic chain. Finally, they combine together to proffer significant information about website’s overall performance.
This piece of information is particularly important as it tells you ‘Who’ lands on your website. It tells you about the website visitors and the kind of traffic your webpage attracts. This helps the website owners in knowing about the markets in which the website is majorly used. In addition, the web analytics also helps to determine the location of visitors, the ISP they use along with an authentication that the website visitors are humans.
The ‘Why’ in web analytics helps you to determine the user’s activity on the website. Knowing the characteristic features of your website that draw maximum attention is always helpful in making meaningful improvements. You can amass relevant information such as the time duration for which the customers stayed on your website, the specific files or images they viewed or even the browser they used to navigate your website.
The third component offers strategic data as it helps to locate the source from where the visitor landed on your website. For instance, you can know about the search engine he used- Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Or, if he was referred by link partners or an affiliate marketing campaign.
The data acquired in this category is especially helpful as it pinpoints the most effective sources for generating traffic.
The ‘Why’ component helps to understand the purpose of the visitors on your page and what led them there. For instance, it can be a particular keyword, key phrase or a backlink. You can find out the essential keywords that people usually search for, to locate your website via search results.
This tells you the exact time when the maximum number of visitors landed on your website. This is so precise that the information gathered can be broken down to identify the particular month, day and hour when your website attracted maximum traffic. This data guides the website owners to decide the best time to put up fresh content and advertisement campaigns.
Putting Web Analytics to Use
Apart from amassing heaps of data and analyzing it in web reports, you should know how to put it to use effectively. This section covers some of the most important techniques of using web analytics data to improve your content offerings and funnel more visitors towards conversion.
- Tracking Engagement
You can use web analytics to track the engagement of visitors with your website’s content. You can use this data to answer the following questions:
- What is your conversion rate?
- Are there any inconsistencies between click-throughs and form completions?
- What is your bounce rate?
- Do people follow your link structure and respond to CTAs?
- How many views are going through the funnel?
You can use these insights to locate the content that is most appealing to the visitors. Additionally, you can fine-tune tactics to improve your brand awareness and generate more leads.
- A/B Testing
A/B Testing, also known as Split Testing, involves a comparison between two versions of the same asset, for instance a website. It is like conducting a trial between two or more pages concurrently, to determine which one has the ability to convert into more sales.
For example, AdWords campaign manager can use A/B testing on two simultaneous advertisements to decide which one performs well with the audiences. Or, you can test a landing page by placing the option of ‘web form’ on the right side of the screen in one variant and on the left side in the second. Whichever variant prompts maximum number of form completions is preferred.
This technique is especially beneficial for making the most out of your existing traffic. You can run this testing on landing pages, images, Call to Action tabs, links, headlines, etc.
- Lead Scoring
Lead scoring primarily consists of gathering and analyzing data on potential customers in order to determine, whether the prospect is valid. With web analytics, you can easily track prospects as they browse your website, subscribe, register, download or share content. A web analytics engine amasses and processes all the afore-mentioned information (collectively regarded as Digital Body Language) and assigns them to different contact profiles and records their actions using tracking cookies.
The sales team then helps you to assign specific numerical value to these digital actions, based on how it indicates intent and interest. This collected behavioral data accrues until the lead reaches a labeled threshold, defined as ‘Qualified.’
Retargeting ads is an effective way to bring previous visitors back to your website. And, web analytics plays a major role in this.
Through web analytics, you can track the goal conversion URLs and turn off their display ads after the prospect converts to sale. In addition, you track the performance of various ads based on their clicks, ad spend, and conversions.
- SEO Strategy
Search Engine Optimization is one of the most important techniques of attracting traffic to your website. And the best way to measure the success of keywords is through web analytics.
The best approach for identifying the best keywords include:
- Developing a comprehensive list of relevant and attainable keywords
- Creating content around those keywords
- Deploying web analytics to gauge ranking and performance
This will allow you to watch your Search Engine Rankings as well as optimize your best pages.
- Attribution Modeling
Web analytics helps you to trace the entire journey of your converted leads, right from their first digital contact with your brand. It allows you to precisely understand the entire sequence of touch-points that lead to the final sale.
For instance, one sequence involves the customer came across your brand through a search engine, registered and read a few blogs on your website, subscribed, received several emails but open only one or two out of them, attended a webinar and received five calls before making a purchase. This is referred to as attribution modeling.
Sans proper web analytics, some of these touch-points would go neglected. Also, with a comprehensive journey of customer, you can easily develop scalable and repeatable strategies for effective inbound marketing.
If a website is without web analytics, it is almost impossible to locate how the potential customers are attracted to website and the way they are behaving once they arrive. Without this information, business owners cannot bring any productivity into their marketing strategies. They cannot improve their content offerings or understand their shortcomings when it comes to addressing their visitors. Also, they may spend huge sums of marketing money by investing into channels, which may or may not be fruitful.
Therefore, it is imperative to invest into a smart web analytical tool to optimize your website and convert more sales.