Digital marketing has come a long way since the “build it and they will come” mentality. Technology is constantly changing, but there is a new sense of order and maturity as social media, mobile technologies and content marketing have gone mainstream. Digital budgets are surpassing television spending and that means bigger new media budgets need to be justified with a solid return on investment. Here are 5 easy to setup analytics that can help you realize that ROI. Warning: these are addictive! You just may end up checking every day.
Unique Visitors, Page Views, Average Pages/Visit and Average Visit Duration
These are the mainstay website visitor numbers that we like to see trending upwards. They are analytics that everyone understands and they provide the numbers that get funding. In practice though, these numbers don’t tell us too much. They don’t tell us what we’re doing right or wrong and don’t tell us where to put our resources. For that, we turn to a more specific set of analytics that help us on a day-to-day basis.
Organic Search Engine Click Thru
Search engine click thru represents how effectively your content is being received by the people who see your content’s descriptions. You should be constantly testing new titles and descriptions, measuring and testing again, and then changing in order to improve your click thru. A subtle change to a title or description can have a dramatic effect on click thrus and that could mean thousands more visitors. At Rich Media, we never stop running experiments and we’ve found changes can increase our click thru by 50% or more.
The bounce rate is how many people leave after visiting the first page of your site. This is often a good measure of how effective your landing pages are, but can also indicate if you’re actually attracting the right target market to your site. It's common to see an experiment change search engine click thru in one direction, but see the opposite effect on bounce rate. Content descriptions act as both a valve and a filter so consider both sets of users. Ideally, you want an increase in site users while targeting those who are interested in your product.
Page Views and Average Page Visit Duration
Individual page views are very important because they quickly measure which content and topics appeal to your core users. Grouping pages into categories can provide valuable research into which products are flying off your virtual shelves. A deeper dive into average page visit duration really tells a story. For example, many pages at Rich Media earn 1-2 minutes of the user’s attention, but when we start to see articles or job postings reaching 4 or more minutes, we know we’ve really tapped into content that users want to spend time consuming.
Network Visits, Network Page Views and Average Network Visit Duration
For companies that target large B2B clients, who have their own networks, it is possible to actually watch your clients visit your site (sometimes in real time). At Rich Media, we can fairly accurately predict which clients are interested, just by watching the network traffic coming from their servers. After a new business pitch, we often start to see new visitors from that company visit our site. If the pitch went well, those visits are often long and deep. If the pitch went really well, we’ll then see more visitors visit over a number of days, presumably as the core client shares our site with others involved in the project. The visits are all anonymous, so the analytics can only be used as a gauge, but if all the visits are interested in a certain type of solution, the information can be quite useful.
Content marketing is no longer just about driving eyeballs to your site. It is about attracting, filtering and providing research on those people, their interests and how effective your digital marketing is at communicating with them. Our philosophy at Rich Media is to make lots of predictions, but never make assumptions. The key is to test and then test again, assuming that behaviour may even change over time.