Understanding Your Digital Marketing Data

Understanding Your Digital Marketing Data

Originally published on Converge Consulting.

At a time when Big Data can be a digital marketer’s dream or nightmare, it’s important to know how to handle and process the waves of information crashing down on your business with each monthly report rather than allow that data to swallow you up.

Here is an easy way to organize and report on data so it brings meaning to your business and helps you make important decisions to improve campaigns and marketing initiatives as a whole.

Tell a Story with Data

You can read numbers and see that your business pulled in more leads, lowered costs and met Key Performance Indicators, but what are the implications of those metrics?

Too many digital marketers get accustomed to see certain numbers or metrics in each report that they stop pushing for dramatic change or improvement and they lose sight of easy and attainable ways of learning and growing from each month’s statistics.

Ask yourself why you got more leads, why costs were lowered and why Key Performance Indicators were met. Once you realize your success metrics were a result of a new campaign you ran, analyze the campaign and see how it differentiates with other less effective campaigns.

Diagnose not only your weaknesses to avoid reoccurrences but diagnose your successes so you can replicate them.

All information has a story to tell, it’s your job as a marketer to track the right metrics and present the most useful data in your reports to help that story reveal itself.

Best Metrics to Record

The best metrics to look at, to reveal that story, include:

  • Conversions
  • Conversion Rate
  • Cost / Conversion
  • Clicks
  • Impressions
  • CTR
  • Impression Share

The best way to learn from this data is to use an automated reporting software, where information is not only pulled but organized and presented automatically each month. This saves you time with the menial work and allows you to jump right to the important analysis and storytelling phase.

Once you get your reports, with the data for each of these areas, here is what you should consider.

Conversions and Conversion Rates

For conversions, look at how the other metrics relate. If you saw more conversions, was it because you saw more impressions as well? Did you change budget? Did you just update your ad copy? Like a child, keep asking yourself why until you reach an “ah-ha!” moment when you’ve learned something valuable.

If you can’t look any deeper and you never get to the point where you can say, in one sentence, why you got the number of conversions you did, there may be an issue with your tracking or you may just be aimlessly marketing.

Cost / Conversion

Nowadays, with the right amount of money, you can pretty much buy success. That’s why looking at how many conversions your campaigns generate can be misleading.

Typically, with a set budget, the more conversions you get, the lower the cost per conversion. If this isn’t the case, and you’re getting more conversions but paying an arm and a leg for them, you need to investigate what the issues are.

With cross device targeting growing, it’s important to look at cost per conversion on different devices to see where you need to improve.

Clicks, Impressions, CTR

If you look at conversions in relation to cost you should also be looking at conversions in relation to clicks, impressions and CTR. If lots of people are clicking on your ads but not too many are converting, ask yourself why. Likely your ads may be too vague, or bordering on click bait, so people are clicking without following through down the funnel to convert. Consider changing ads to make your content more aligned with your landing page while still being enticing at the search level.

It may seem repetitive to ask yourself these questions every month, even when ads or campaigns may not be updated, but it is just as important at these moments, because fluctuations in results can indicate something further – industry changes, seasonal changes or Google algorithm changes. Being aware of these factors will only enable you to strengthen your campaigns for the coming month.

Impression Share

Are you paying enough attention to impression share? Likely not. If you really want to understand the success of your ad campaigns and tell a story without holes, impression share is a key factor. That’s because sometimes your ads aren’t showing when you want them to.

You’re paying for PPC ads, people are searching for the keywords you bid on, but your ads are not making it on the page.

Ask yourself if you are bidding high enough or if your quality score is too low. Figure out why ads aren’t showing and work to improve the areas that are holding you back. This will play a big role in success metrics, so give it the love it needs.

Jillian Zacchia

Jillian Zacchia

Jill is a professional writer, editor and social media procrastinator. With a degree in Literature and Communications from McGill, she started her journalism career writing about lifestyle and entertainment for teen magazines, and after dabbling with wedding and travel writing she began the transition towards content creation for start ups, marketing and tech companies.

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