I am still surprised at the number of marketers I meet who don't realize the depth and breadth of information available to them through Analytics. There are numerous web analytics programs and vendors, but for the sake of this article (and since MoreVisibility is a Certified Partner of Google in this space) I will refer to Google Analytics. You could easily substitute in the name of your preferred platform if this isn't it, for my comments below.
- Proper Analytics Account Setup Is Key
Having a Google Analytics account is not enough. Over the years, out of all the accounts MoreVisibility has analyzed or previewed, 9 out of 10 are not setup correctly. Therefore, having the account is just the first step. Ensuring your data is accurate, and account options are implemented correctly is priority #1. This allows for full transparency and insight into web data and site performance.
- Ensure Accurate Data Tracking
Another challenge we find advertisers facing is making marketing campaign or UX/UI decisions from incomplete or incorrect data. If your website is not properly coded or not completely coded (meaning every single page must have the UA tag on it, including landing pages or micro-sites) the information being used for these decisions is wrong. Therefore, campaigns appearing to be a success or content that doesn't seem to be consumed may be mistakes! Your bounce rates will be extraordinarily high when it's not really an accurate perception of user behavior and site performance.
- Tag Your Campaigns with UTMs
Lastly, it is imperative that every URL being used in digital marketing be appended for Analytics. These tracking parameters (utm) are added to the end of the destination URL after the placement of a "?" in the string. This information communicates with the UA code on the webpage the user is being directed to and deciphers the marketing source/medium of that visitor. This information is then displayed, along with correlating behavioral data, within the analytics account. If you are not coding all of your URLs, it will appear as if some of your marketing efforts are doing abysmal, when in reality it's the opposite. Additionally, your organic web traffic could be falsely inflated giving a very different story than what's actually occurring.
So, 3 items to immediately consider in the sanctity of your web data via analytics:
- Proper account setup
- Tracking parameters on all URLs where possible to add (?utm=)
If needing to justify the use of budget for hiring Google Analytics consulting and support for your team, think of the recklessness of NOT having proper and accurate data. Without the confirmation and understanding that your Google Analytics account is properly setup, the marketing department is running an obstacle course blindfolded.
Google Analytics is always introducing new opportunities to help you reach customers and better understand user behavior on your website. For the latest, check out the Google 360 announcement made earlier this week.