These days, everyone is talking about data. If the conversation isn’t about how to collect the data, it’s about the cutting-edge tools that are making it easier to use by the day. Sadly, though, there’s an elephant in the room: On its own, data is worthless. For data to be useful, you have to make sense of it. That means finding patterns in an ocean of rapid-fire digital transactions and examining those patterns against your goals to make meaning.
If that sounds like a tall order, it is. But consistent digital marketing success depends on it.
Without data, you don’t know what’s succeeding and what’s failing. That means it’s impossible to make smart decisions about your limited resources, including your budget.
And it’ll be even harder to compete for the most limited resource of all: Customers’ attention.
How Data Analytics Finds The Needle In A Whole Field Full Of Haystacks
Everybody who interacts with your website leaves a huge trail of data, bar none.
There are three main reasons that data is tough to make use of:
In digital marketing, most of the data you use tells you how visitors reached your website and what they did once they got there. Your site has to be set up to capture and archive that user data.
Then, the raw information has to be analyzed by focusing the right tools on the right metrics.
Hence, data analytics – a skillset that’s inseparable from online business success.
Which Metrics Matter In Modern Digital Marketing Analytics?
There are a thousand ways to slice and dice any collection of data, but only a small handful of those does the most important job: Transforming it into insights you can actually take action on.
This is where in-house marketing teams stumble. They get stuck on vanity metrics that look good but don’t produce results. The big one is traffic, which is useless without converting new leads.
With that in mind, there are three key metrics to keep your eye on:
1. Bounce Rate
Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who reach your site and then leave without any form of engagement. Many users bounce in less than a second. The details differ, but it comes down to one problem: They didn’t see what they were looking for.
To drill down further, that can mean:
2. Average Time Per Session
Average time per session describes how long users spend on your site during a visit, on average. A higher average time per session increases the likelihood that a user will sign up to your email list or make a purchase. That, in turn, launches a brand relationship.
You can raise average time per session by creating awesome content and making it easy for users to find what they want. Something as simple as having outbound links open in a new window – rather than taking users away from you – can increase session time.
3. Average Pages Per Visit
Average pages per visit is how many pages users view on average before finishing a session. Cross-linking content in convenient ways helps people consume more pages. If average pages per visit is high but time per session is low, it suggests users are searching through your site but not finding what they want. When both are high, users are really engaging with what they see.
Getting Into Your Visitors’ Heads With Heatmaps And Screen Recordings
Raw numbers go a long way to showing you where you’re winning or losing consumers’ attention. To fully understand them, though, you need tools that verify how that attention is used.
A heatmap is a visual representation of a page that shows where user attention goes. This is represented with a warm-to-cool color display where areas of focused attention are bright red.
In general, a heatmap represents a statistical aggregate of at least a hundred user sessions, while a screen recording focuses on the experience of one user trying to do a specific task on your site.
Together, these can tell you things about your users you never anticipated. After all, real human behavior can leave even the experts baffled. Data is what turns your guesses into scientific predictions.
Bringing It All Together With Quarterly Insight Reviews
Some digital marketing agencies are on the right track on metrics, but they do what’s convenient for them instead of what’s right for you: Sending you an analytics report, not a meaningful explanation.
At New York Ave, we’re not done with data until it makes sense to you. That’s why we schedule quarterly meetings to unpack new insights we collected and answer any questions you may have.
Analytics can sound confusing, but never fear. Done right, it’s one of your most powerful tools for developing a long-term competitive edge, attracting more leads, and growing your business.
To find out more, contact us at New York Ave.