I have all this analytics data, now what?
You have Google analytics setup, have your Facebook pixel in place and you’re getting your weekly emails on your ad campaigns. But what does it all mean? Should you be paying attention to visits, clicks, bounce rate? Does any of it actually mean I’m getting actual business from my digital marketing efforts?
Google came out with Google Analytics in November of 2005 as a way of providing people a better way of measuring their site’s performance than the site counters that used to populate everyone’s site. In 2006, Google Analytics was released to the public and we never looked back. As a free service, people quickly began using it and Google gained a lot of insights as a result of it. Much in line with the thoughts of site counters, a lot of digital marketers initially proclaimed the session count as the way to understand how healthy your website was. As bounce rate came under scrutiny and google started realizing that relevant content was more beneficial to the entire web experience, we started looking at page count and session duration (the length of time on the site). Around this same time with the prevalence of Google Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising, the terms cost per click (CPC) and conversions entered marketing reports.
So what metric should I be paying attention to?
Honestly, all of them. There is not one metric that reigns supreme over the rest. Not one metric to rule them all, so to say. At least not one you can pull from Google Analytics. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the data coming out of all of these sources, but sometimes a simple excel spreadsheet can be one of the easiest ways to measure your website’s overall performance. Take all of your campaigns: Facebook, Google Advertising, Twitter, etc and add them line by line into your spreadsheet. Next, assign a monthly cost to each one of them. As you start generating customers start asking them where they found you and tally them in your spreadsheet. This seems like an intimidating question or perhaps something you shouldn’t ask, but most consumers have no problem telling you. If you’re comfortable with excel you can now calculate how much each channel costs you to acquire a customer; or in other terms your channel’s “Cost per Acquisition”.
So how does Cost per Acquisition help me?
A cost per acquisition is the ultimate tool in holding your digital marketing providers accountable. We can send you another 1,000 people to your website every month, but if it’s not driving you more sales then what is the point? If you know it costs $58.32 per acquisition, you should expect that cost to decrease over time. While it may not lower every month you should still be able to see an overall trend of improvement in this website metric.
What if I don’t have time monitor Cost per Acquisition?
If you aren’t savvy with Excel or if you don’t desire to pester your customers for data, then by all means don’t ignore your Google Analytics data. Make sure you look at the same metrics every month. In essence, make sure your visitor count is going up, but you’re maintaining or even lowering your bounce rate. In addition, keep an eye on your session duration. More engaged visitors will stay on your site longer and browse more pages. These are all indications of a well performing site.
Of course, if you have any questions of your website performance or wish for us to perform an audit for you, send us an email or leave a comment below. We’ll perform an audit and give you two easy things you can do for your website today!
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