There are a lot of marketing analytics out there, an infinite amount it seems. So choosing which ones to track can be a challenge. It may even lead you to wonder why bother tracking any at all? Or even worse, you may keep trying different marketing actions based on only a few numbers. Potentially losing money and not getting the answers you really need.
Think about your numbers like management accounts for marketing.
As accountants you’ve found yourself saying something like this to your clients:
“You need accurate, up-to-date data on your finances in order to make the best strategic decisions for your business”.
The same applies to your marketing. You need marketing numbers so you can make decisions like:
- What channels should I focus on?
- How much money should I invest in my marketing?
- What has been working and what hasn’t?
- Do I need to make any updates to my website?
- How often should I be posting/producing content?
- How do I reach my ideal clients effectively?
Tracking the right numbers will help you get the answers to these questions – and thereby help you get to your end goal, whatever that might be. You’ll also help your firm grow along the way.
So now we know why we need to track our numbers, but with so many things you could track how do you find the right metrics for your firm?
Start your marketing analytics by addressing the standard marketing questions.
Regardless of the firm there are some questions that need to be answered to make your best decisions. We can start with these questions and then choose a metric that’s best suited to give us the answer. This way we’re tracking things for a reason, not just because we think we have to.
Here’s a list of those questions and the metrics you should track to find the answers. All of these can be found in Google Analytics.
Question: How many people are coming to my site?
What to measure: Users
Where to find it:
Why is this important? Tracking the number of people coming to your site can be a great way to see more holistically which campaigns are working and which aren’t on a month to month basis.
Question: Where are they coming from?
What to measure: Source of acquisition.
Where to find it:
Why is this important? Seeing where your users are coming from is a good way to identify which channels (aka social, organic search) are working well, and which need more attention.
Question: Who are these people?
What to measure: Demographics
Where to find it:
Why is this important? Demographics will help you see if your content is successfully appealing to the right audience. For example if you’re marketing to millennials but everyone coming to your site is ages 40+ you may need to review your strategy.
Question: What actions are they taking?
What to measure: Events
Where to find it*:
*Caveat – You have to set up events tracking first in order to measure it. Feel free to email the PF team if you’d like some support with this.
Why is this important? Event tracking is a great way to see if people are actually engaging with the content on your site. If they’re not, you may need to tweak the copy or the content itself.
Question: Which of my blogs is performing the best?
What to measure: Page views/Bounce rate
Where to find it:
Why is this important? After a while tracking blog performance can help you spot patterns of the kind of content your audience are looking for. Allowing you to produce more of this kind of content or alternatively plug the gaps you think you’re missing.
Bounce rate is a measure of how long someone is spending on your page and how many things they interact with whilst they’re there. If they don’t spend very long and don’t click anything it’s classed as a bounce. Here’s how Google specifically categorised what a bounce is.
Then, add in some data specific to your own marketing to track how it’s performing.
Now you have a hand on the fundamentals you can begin to refine your tracking based on your specific funnel.
A marketing funnel is a process or structure you set up within your marketing that ‘takes people in’ at the top and ‘funnels’ them through a series of actions with the view to qualifying them and then converting them to clients by the end of the process.
To illustrate this let’s have a look at a ‘fantasy funnel’ and what you might look at tracking along the way:
Blog – How to plan your tax as a construction company
|Lead magnet – Tax deductible expenses PDF (Free for email)
1 hour tax planning Zoom session (Small paid)
|Proposal – Bookkeeping & annual accounts (Big paid)
For every stage in your funnel there are corresponding items that can be tracked to monitor its performance.
So now you’ve got lovely and organised and created a funnel and you’re tracking its success along with all the other core metrics we mentioned earlier. What do you actually do with all this new data?
Finally, take this information and actually ACT on it.
Having shiny marketing reports to give you numbers may feel all well and good, but this information is only as powerful as what you do with it.
This is why it’s important to find a professional to hold you accountable with your marketing analytics. This can come in the form of the person that produced the report or even a professional network of other entrepreneurs. Regardless, take your actions and have someone give you a kind nudge if you’re not delivering. That way you’re more likely to stay on track.
It’s this idea that was the inspiration for PF’s co-pilot report service. In the same way your clients’ financial reports aren’t enough on their own, your marketing analytics on their own aren’t enough without context, support, discussion, and an action plan. So we crafted these marketing analytics reports to explain what they mean, and they’re always accompanied by a short explanatory video, as well as an hour long meeting with your Client Marketing Manager to discuss the results and decide, in partnership, what the next best steps are for your firm.
For example if a bounce rate was high on a particular blog, this might lead us to recommend that you review the content of the blog to make sure it gets to the point quickly and the calls to action to ensure you’re telling readers what you want them to do.
Despite having the marketing analytics numbers and being told what to do with them, actually following through with these actions can be difficult, and sometimes even daunting.
Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the numbers in isolation, or even become disheartened if month to month you don’t get the results you want right away. It’s important to remember there’s no magic wand and successful marketing is more often than not the culmination of lots of consistent hard work.
With this in mind, remember to take a step back. Look at the trends over six months or even a year and when you see how far you’ve come, give yourself a pat on the back. A little bit of extra perspective may be all you need to keep morale up and carry on.
As a rule people will be more willing to share their victories than their struggles, so remember not to play the comparison game either. This journey isn’t going to be a straight line to the top, you’re going to hit setbacks, but it’s okay, just keep on truckin’.