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Justifying the Cost of an Analytics Reporting Tool to Your Boss

Published March 27, 2015
It’s that time again! The dreaded week when you need to produce all the monthly analytics reports – dozens of them, maybe even hundreds – to send off to clients! You’ll spend the next 40 hours (or more) of your work life focused on grunt work - cutting and pasting and formatting – while your other work piles up all around you.
But you’re savvier than this. You know this work could be automated with the right tool. You may have even done your research and identified the tool that’s right for your company. But budgets are tight and everything needs to be cost-justified. To get your boss to pull the trigger (or sign off on the purchase), you need to justify the cost of that analytics reporting tool and show why it’s a good business decision.
This post is designed to help you do that, providing you with the ammunition you need to show how investing in an analytics reporting tool will save money and add value to the business.

 

Is Reporting A Priority For Your Digital Marketing Agency? It Should Be!

Published March 25, 2015
There’s one thing digital agencies know – it’s not just what you did that matters, it’s the results you can prove.
Reporting makes up a crucial portion of a digital marketing agency’s relationship with its clients. Agencies must continuously demonstrate value, proving their work (and worth) over and over again to demonstrate how their actions have helped businesses succeed. To do so, the members of your agency must not only know how to do their job well, but also how to show clients the results of their work. Preparing reports on a regular basis will help to build relationships, educate clients, give proper credit to your efforts and show transparency.
In this post we’ll cover the importance of regular reporting and the benefits it offers, not only to clients, but to the agency, as well.

 

Identifying & Showing Digital Marketing KPIs in Megalytic – Part 2: Cost Objectives

Published March 24, 2015
Most of us don’t have unlimited marketing budgets. Even Super Bowl commercials, which can cost $4.5 million for a 30-second spot, have to fit within a budget. That budget is determined by their value to the business’ overall marketing objectives.
But how do you measure that value? What metrics are most appropriate for the digital campaigns that your business is running?
In this post, we look at how you can identify KPIs relating to the cost effectiveness of your campaigns and how you can report on them in Megalytic.
This is the second part of a series looking at KPIs. In Part 1, we focused on KPIs based on business objectives. In Part 2, we’ll look at KPIs based on cost objectives.

 

Identifying & Showing Digital Marketing KPIs in Megalytic – Part I: Business Objectives

Published March 20, 2015
You been asked to prepare a monthly report to track digital marketing performance. But, with all the different marketing activities going on within the organization, you have questions.
Questions like:
  • Where should you start - which campaigns or activities are most important to look at?
  • What metrics should you focus on – traffic, engagement, conversations, etc?
  • And, of course, how should you visually display the results to best communicate the insight?
It’s a lot to consider! Thinking in terms of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is a good place to start. KPIs are metrics (quantifiable measures) that your organization can use to evaluate how well a campaign is meeting its marketing and business objectives. For example, say the goal of a campaign is to introduce women between 18-26 to a brand. A KPI for that campaign might be the number of new unique website visitors from that demographic that happen during the course of the campaign.
In this post, we look at how to identify KPIs for your digital marketing campaigns, and how best to report on them using Megalytic.

 

Understanding Google Analytics Data Sampling

Published March 18, 2015
Have you ever compared different reports from the same Google Analytics account and noticed the numbers don’t quite match up? Has it ever made you question your sanity or made you wonder if you’re working a little too hard?
We’ve all been there.
Thankfully, you’re (probably) not losing your mind; you’re seeing data sampling.
Data sampling is an analysis technique that uses a smaller subset of your data to identify larger patterns and trends. Google Analytics uses data sampling to speed up the performance of its queries and calculations when your website has a large volume of analytics data in storage. This most commonly affects sites that receive a high amount of traffic where Google needs to store all the “hits.”
So, if your site sees a high volume of sessions, then the variances you’re seeing are likely reflective of results being drawn from a smaller sample of your actual data. – data sampling.
Of course, conflicting numbers in reports can generate concern, especially when you want to ensure you’re always presenting the most accurate data available to your client or boss.
Let’s take a closer look at what data sampling is, how to identify when it has occurred, and how to address it.

 

Measuring Your SMB's Online Reach with Google Analytics

Published March 11, 2015
The web affords small businesses a great opportunity to build and increase their marketing footprint. SMBs can use the web to connect with customers, establish authority and build awareness with greater ease than before. Unfortunately, the web offers their competitors the very same ability…
That’s why in order to compete in today’s crowded market, small business owners must not only become proficient in using the web, but in analyzing their web performance. Doing so will help SMBs find their best customers, their best locations and their most effective means of reaching their target audience.
Thankfully, Google Analytics can help!
Google Analytics helps small businesses understand the success they’re seeing from their web investment, allowing them to pinpoint not only what cities and towns customers come from but what locations are most valuable for generating leads and revenue. In addition, SMBs can use Analytics to review search activity to identify how they’re ranking for important local search terms.
Let’s take a closer look at how to analyze your SMB’s reach online using Google Analytics.

 

Deciding How to Represent Website Data – Part 3: Comparing Date Ranges

Published March 5, 2015
How is the website doing this month compared to previous months?
Among the insights readers of your analytics reports are looking for, this is one of the most important. Sessions, Goal Completions, Ecommerce Transactions – whatever the metric – your reader wants to know what those numbers mean and if the site is more or less successful than before. Comparing recent performance with historical data will help readers understand what the most recent numbers are telling them.
The most appropriate comparison period will vary depending on the nature of the business. For example, a rapidly-growing small company probably pays a lot of attention to month-over-month growth, while a seasonal business will be more concerned with comparing against the same period a year ago (year-over-year comparison).
Once you decide what you want to show, how do you determine the best way to show it?
Part I of this series looked at how to visualize time series data. Part II examined segmenting data for a single time period. In this, the final post in our series on data visualization, we examine how to best present data to compare performance across time periods.

 

Digital Marketing Report Templates for Traditional Marketers

Published March 4, 2015
Traditional marketers have spent years purchasing billboard space and TV spots. They’ve become experts in traditional media buying and direct mail. They’ve been trained to care about how many individuals see their brand messaging and how much revenue traditional efforts have the potential to drive. But, increasingly, even the most traditional marketers are looking to the web to keep their business relevant to a modern audience. They want to use the web to reach customers across touch points, and to benefit from the attribution data that digital marketing provides.
However, these marketers are often new to the world of promoting their business on the web. They’re unfamiliar with online metrics and they need help deciphering what matters and what doesn’t. This is where you, that data expert, can help them. You’ll need to balance showing them the right data without overwhelming them by showing too much data. Building a report in a platform like Megalytic allows you to select just the metrics you need.

 

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?
The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.
Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.

 

 

When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:

 

 

It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
One of the most exciting and important aspects of digital marketing is the ability to understand exactly how your customers are finding you. It informs every single part of integrated campaigns and helps determine which efforts are working and which ones need to be revisited. Google Analytics allows you to zero in on the performances of different marketing channels to evaluate everything from brand awareness to social media messaging. To get the most insight from that data, it’s crucial to understand exactly how Google sorts your traffic.
Channels in Google Analytics are high-level categories indicating how people found your site. While the Source/Medium report shows you in more detail where people came from, Channels are broader, more “user-friendly” names lumping visits together in buckets useful for high-level reporting categories.
For instance, Facebook Sessions often show up in multiple ways in the Source/Medium report. They may appear as facebook.com, m.facebook.com, and l.facebook.com, all of which are variations of the same source. The Channels report will include all of these in the Social bucket, so you can see less granular, aggregate numbers on social media performance.