June 23, 2015 / Featured, Paid Search, PPC 101, SEM Tools


analytics, measuring ROI

Digital marketing has evolved into a multifaceted machine with many distinct parts. In order to maximize a website’s potential, it’s important to determine where traffic originates, especially if there are marketing efforts in play. However, with activity happening everywhere from social media to email marketing campaigns, it can become difficult to make sense of data and determine the efficacy of various marketing components over time. Modern analytics platforms can offer a wealth of information about a website’s traffic and the specific marketing vehicles that drive it. Read on for quick tips on using analytics to measure the results of cross-channel marketing efforts.

Tag & Track Results

Virtually all digital marketing efforts can be tracked via an analytics program such as Google Analytics. When working with multiple components—such as display ads, paid search, and email marketing—be sure to tag each component individually. There are a variety of tools available to simplify the tag management process. This ensures all possible entry points to a website are accounted for, allowing you to drill down into data and find implementable solutions or improvements. You will also be able to clearly see which methods work, where budgets should be increased or decreased, and/or which kinds of content are effective or ineffective.

Failing to tag a particular campaign or component can cause misinterpretations and miscalculations later on. In organizations where responsibilities are divided, make sure there is open and frequent communication between those responsible for creating and managing various marketing components (such as a paid search team) and those responsible for collecting and analyzing data. Keep in mind that a sufficient amount of data over time is necessary to draw accurate conclusions, so proper analysis will require time. Measure results over time to see if a particular occurrence proves to be a trend. It can take several weeks or months to collect enough data about a campaign to perform proper analysis.

Establish Goals

While tagging campaigns is critical, appropriate goals should be determined to track conversions and activity to draw true value from analytics. Goals can take the form of downloads, pageviews, purchases, and more. They establish a reference point against which one can analyze data, and without them, data may be rendered meaningless. For example, consider a display ad that drives 500 new visitors to a website. The campaign may appear to be very successful based on those visits and other metrics such as impressions. However, for a business interested in generating leads, such metrics will not tell a valuable story. A more effective strategy would be to define lead conversions as a goal and track them through a form or unique phone number on the website. This would allow the business to see not only generic metrics such as how many visits the display ad is driving but also metrics that hold more value: how many leads are directly attributable to the ad.

Experiment and Adjust

It can be difficult to attribute success to any individual component in a cross-channel digital marketing strategy, but analytics make it possible to do so. Experimenting with variables is a good way to measure impact among multiple digital marketing components. Once you are sure all campaigns are being tracked accurately, try testing variations of ad copy, landing pages, and other variables one channel at a time. Testing such variables can provide insights into which kinds of content perform well and which campaigns drive the most conversions, and they can help you discover new methods to reach audiences. Adhering to a single channel when performing these tests will make it easy to attribute results to any changes made.

What are some tactics you use to measure and analyze cross-channel digital marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments!

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