Category: Analytics

Query “What should you measure in your website analytics?” and you’ll net 190M search results. Pose the question to a dozen specialty web strategists and you will get a dozen different answers. The concepts of what a website can be are so fluid that your measurement approach could be tackled dozens of ways. Generally, these methods are neither completely wrong nor completely right, but you can achieve better results if clear on your website purpose.

The first question you need to ask yourself:  “Why do I have a website?”  Here are a few of the more common reasons for a website and Mansfield Inc.’s perspective on what you should be measuring for each

I want to sell physical things from my website.

If you have a website that is primarily an online store, user journey is the top thing to track. All the visitors in the world are meaningless if they never purchase. User drop off will be the first problem you will want to monitor and tackle as it may indicate users experiencing bottlenecks, which is a common cause to prohibiting the completion of sales. Tracking and identifying how far users get through the purchase process before dropping off can indicate that your products not being adopted by your audience or your site providing a poor user experience that they abandon the process. More importantly if you have a high drop off rate on product pages that don’t have inventory you have a successful product, but no products to sell. Those pieces of information can dictate your own vendor purchase agreements.

I want to sell services that I can invoice later.

For example, the gig economy has led to the explosion of services on demand, independents and entrepreneurs able to compete with large established companies for creative, marketing and consulting services. This type of website should include portfolios, case-studies and testimonials they believe represents their business. These sections of the website are the key drivers for website traffic, but page views alone are the not the main indicator of success.

For a successful portfolio website to work you must measure the amount of time on page. If users are generally skimming over the pieces presented on the site, they are not in line with their interests. However, if one page of your site is gaining a greater share of the time spent on site, it can indicate that that piece is more relevant or interesting to your audience. One solution is to move that more interesting content between the landing page and a call to action to sign up as a new customer and help convert passive scanning to lead generation.

I want to be a thought leader in a certain subject

Prior to the internet, people became thought leaders by publishing in books and journals that would lead to speaking engagements to grow their physical audience. Online publishing has not only greatly reduced the costs of sharing your ideas, but the lead time from concept to read content has dropped dramatically also. This content churn means that an optimized path to delivery and content topics is of the utmost importance.

To build out your website as a driver of content, some key metrics to track are pages per visitor and traffic from your newsletter. Treating your newsletter followers like an advertising campaign will allow you track which content is of interest to your current audience. Tracking the pages per visitor will give your perspective on whether all pieces of content are creating value for you or just a few select pages. Looking at which pages are getting the most views will help drive your content strategy in the right direction.

I want to sell a service that exists on my website

Understanding the difference between website and web application is critical. From a high level they both appear the same, both are viewed in a web browser and jumping between them is seamless with a good architecture. The big distinction is that web applications have processing done on a server level, driving information to a database and a code base that could be 20 times as big. A marketing website that supports these applications are used as landing pages or provide supporting documentation for new users.

A marketing website for a web application is useful to track inbound traffic to the application. Once you identify where the users are coming from you can target and remarket to turn them into customers. The most important metric to track is called the referrer source in the acquisition section of your analytics platform. These will be social media campaigns, organic search results or paid campaigns if you have implemented them.

Online business card

If none of the above apply to you, perhaps you are just using your website as your online business card. Business cards are primarily used to facilitate communications with you from someone you have shared the business card with. An online business card essentially shares that business card with the world.

The key indicator of this type of website being successful is contradictory to how many SEO campaigns work. If the user finds the contact information they need it will be automatically be considered a drop off as they will most likely leave the site after they send an email or call. If the find the information on the landing page, then the page will show an abnormally high bounce rate. These terms are typically seen as enemies to the website, but in the right circumstances they are key indicators of success.

Mansfield Inc understands the importance of tailoring analytics to the success of your website. We don’t believe in a one size fits all approach to website measurement, contact us to create a custom measurement plan that fits your needs.

Chief Financial Officers are always looking for the answer to “What is the Return on Investment?”.  Often with digital and social media it is tough to produce a robust solid response if you lack the architecture to measure.

Mansfield Inc. has developed a Digital Audit Program that evaluates digital presence, generates a report card, and outlines next steps aimed at improving website experience.

Why does your organization need a digital audit now?

If your digital strategist and developer team is constantly upgrading your website, you may feel that your organization is safe, and the technology is up to date. However, if you do have a large team working feverishly, are they just supporting your current clients? If so the conversions that they are tracking for success may not be the same as the conversions that you need to track for client growth. While client retention may lead to increased margins or repeat sales, to grow your business new client acquisition should be a cornerstone strategy.  Mansfield Inc’s Digital Audit can assess and determine how to extend impact to both nurture current clients and encourage new ones.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine if your organization needs a digital report card:

  • What conversions are being used to determine if your website is defined as a success? If the answers are only from your marketing department, you are likely missing valuable input, and opportunities for other parts of your organization – impacting your bottom line.
  • Are you leveraging your website users to spread the brand message? If it takes more than one click for a user to share your messaging then you are losing out on unpaid advocates of your brand.
  • How often are you reporting website traffic analytics and how are the changes in user behavior being tracked? If your stats are being reviewed once a year, a quarter, a month, a week then they are out of date in that same time period. The time frame of your content strategies should be at least twice a long as your reporting period to see if they are working.
  • Are social shares optimized and displaying the content according to brand imagery and messaging? Social networks use the information in specialized tags to display links in their user’s feeds. If they are not optimized, your brand messaging could be out of line with what is being shared.
  • Do you trust the information coming out of your data analytics team is accurate and in line with industry standards? If your data team is responsible for the success of your website as well as reporting on the analytics, then there is a conflict of interest. Verification of those numbers and where they appear with respect to your industry peers are key indicators of website health.

Why engagement on social media isn’t enough.

 

Engagement and the measurement of engaged audiences on social media is a good way of building your brand’s audience, but these elements are only the first steps to a highly functional digital presence. A large, captive audience with nothing to convert them to clients is a lost opportunity. Appropriate architecture offers fact-based stats on the potency of your audience. This dataset will measure the visitors from social media to your website and their behavior as they browse content. Tracking conversions for successful content and user drop-offs for pieces that are not succeeding will offer you the data fueled evidence to help evolve the direction of your content and make you more successful.

Why all organizations need a robust website, not just digital companies.

 

Defining conversions are not just for income generating line items for the organization – they are cost saving strategies as well. In fact, a highly optimized website will also help to minimize overheads. For example, a Deloitte study regarding Talent Acquisition, new hire cost $4,000USD each. That spending was focused on the cost of recruitment agencies that accounted for 18% of the money spent to acquire each new hire.

 

With recent updates to the Google search algorithm that has placed open positions for companies on the search engine results page, with one click access to apply to those positions, search engine optimization will pay for itself. Web pages optimized for social media will allow for personal networking on LinkedIn to drive traffic back to your organization with the same techniques used by media companies.

 

 

Contact Mansfield Inc. to set up a digital audit so we can give you a report card on your website for back to school.

 

Is your social media content engaging enough? What about your website—is it equipped with the right tools to track leads or measure campaigns? Regularly analyzing how well your social media content is performing, where your website ranks and what your competitors are doing will help ensure your digital strategy is working for you.

What content matters to your business and how do you measure it?

Before you go running to Google Analytics or Facebook Insights, it’s important to know what to measure. Determine which key performance indicators (KPIs) actually matter to your business. B2Cs, for example, often care about engagement and brand awareness. This means measuring social engagement such as likes, shares and comments. B2Bs, on the other hand, put more weight on the clicks, conversions and website traffic coming from social channels.

Analyze the numbers on your website to see where your leads are coming from, when and how they convert and what types of content produce the greatest returns. From there, you can determine what to fine-tune for the best possible performance, and what to discard or modify. You should consider both quantitative and qualitative metrics.

Quantitative factors easier to measure, such as optimal time of day and character count. Qualitative factors are more abstract, like subject matter and sentiment, and can be more difficult to measure. Once you’ve established your KPIs, start with the analysis. Try to find out what times work best for posting your social content. Many social media tools automatically determine this for you, but you can also check manually. For example, look at the top-performing posts based on clicks, and see if you can identify peak engagement by days and hours.

What are your competitors doing?

The next step is to identify your competition and determine which platforms they use. Hopefully, you already have a good idea of your main competitors and their general strategy but with the right tools you can track what keywords they’re investing in, what percentage of the social conversation they claim and how engaging their content is. Identify the competitors with a robust digital marketing program, not only the ones in the same line of business as you.

If your company is looking to grow and gain a digital foothold in the marketplace, your social profiles and website must adapt over time. Evaluate whether your existing profiles are working, what your competitors are doing and whether your website is set up for optimal measurement. If your LinkedIn profile is getting lots of engagement, and your Twitter presence is an active conversation hub, you might not need to do much. But if any of your social accounts are starting to falter or your website is drifting lower in search rankings, it may be time to update your strategy.

Always Be Measuring!

Consistently measuring your social media content, website and competitors will enable you to determine what’s working, where you’re at in your industry in relation to your competition and discover the ways you can take advantage of the new tools in social media and digital communications.

Send us an email at info@mansfieldinc.com to talk about a digital consultation and find out where you’re at!

Anyone who plays video games can tell you how engaging they can be. By incentivizing players with goals and rewards and creating competition with between friends, they encourage players to succeed.

So, how can digital marketing companies or brands use these features to reach audiences and keep them engaged? It’s called gamification, and it taps into the desire for competition, collaboration and recognition through rewards, badges or points—turning campaign touch points into game-like interactions to stimulate engagement in a digital campaign or rewards programs. By incorporating competition, contests and achievements in an outreach campaign, advertisers can motivate their audiences to meet goals, compete to win and become more engaged in their brands.

Here are a few ways to incorporate fun and competition in a digital campaign:

Prizes and Rewards for Social Sharing

Share on social, win a prize. By offering your audiences rewards for sharing your promotions and services on their social networks, your brand is automatically invoking competition. Some basic examples of brands employing this technique includes Uber offering your first ride for free when you share their app with a friend.

Download the Uber app and get your first ride free

Download the Uber app and get your first ride free

Influencers

In Convince and Convert, author Kristen Matthews outlines how Delta Airlines leveraged their flight attendants, known as ‘Red Coats’, into influencers by hiding their red flight attendant coats all over New York City. For six weeks, people used clues released through Delta’s social media posts to be the first person to find the red coat. Winners were given a free trip on a chartered and catered flight from New York to L.A. and shared their progress on their own social channels bringing more digital awareness for Delta’s promotion.

In the end, Delta had reached over 70 million people via Twitter and had over 180,000 direct interactions.

Delta-1

Delta got real people talking about their brand with their gamification program

Easter Eggs

Easter eggs include things like unexpected rewards, inside jokes, a hidden message, or a secret feature that are unexpectedly given out or discovered by users. The sentiment behind this is that people aren’t expecting anything and get rewarded anyway, bringing them a positive impression and making them search for ways to find more.

Google is well known for programming in-jokes, games and references into the search bar function. In Business Insider, Jeff Dunn’s article lists 21 Easter eggs availablethrough the Google search bar, all accessed by entering various phrases into it. Users can play games like Atari Breakout, Pacman tic-tac-toe all within the search page. By adding these tricks, Google gives users a reason to visit even when they’re not searching for something. Use this Wikipedia article for a full list of Google’s Easter eggs.

Play Pacman directly from your browser with Google

Incentives and rewards are a crucial piece in the engagement puzzle. With proper and thoughtful design, they can be effective in providing optimal motivations for driving engagement.

In other words, gamification incorporates fun and a degree of competition into a marketing strategy. It also works with all brand fans and people who want to participate—not just the ones with large numbers of followers.

 

With Silent Video Advertising on the Rise, Saying Nothing Can be Very Effective.

You know that saying, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all?”

Well, it just reached the advertising world and the results are pretty astonishing. According to a new study by Wibbitz, silent video ads are the best tool when advertising to reach an audience. From those who responded to the poll, 69% of users are not using ad blocker. Another study by IAB Canada found that only 1 in every 6 Canadians has AdBlocker. The average is 17% across Canada. more

Don’t be Overwhelmed by Big Data.

Recently I wrote a blog post celebrating the change of our name (A New Direction, 2015) and our company’s new direction into data analytics and digital marketing. In that blog I suggested that science is forevermore linked to marketing and communications. The reality of marketing today is that if you are not generating meaningful, measurable results than you are still working in the past and risk being left behind.

Many Chief Marketing Officers are fearful of changing direction to campaigns that are uniquely different. Many CMOs are also in the prime of their careers and have earned the right to set the strategy for the brand. Some CMOs may be asking themselves: Why change now when so much of what I have implemented in the past is working today? Why risk my legacy in favour of a trending topic?” Or do I even have the skill set or time to learn such a dense subject matter? more

“Enhanced” statistics will only continue to immerse fans.

In the summer of 2014, many NHL clubs made headlines by publicly introducing new hockey analytics departments in their organizations. None did it louder than the Toronto Maple Leafs, who hired 29 year old stats-wiz Kyle Dubas as their Assistant General Manager.

And so it was dubbed “the summer of analytics.” more

There’s a Lot More to Analytics Than Pure Numbers.

I love working with data analytics! The kinds of challenges that can arise when working with data, can be extremely complex and impersonal – like analyzing years of sales records to forecast future sales. Or they can be relatively simple and personal, such as trying to find the optimal way to visit all nearby family for the holidays.

Did you know you were using Analytics in the second case? more