At risk of stating the obvious, digital marketing can be complicated. As marketers, we do our best to provide the right content to the right person at the right time, but this is often easier said than done. What’s more, we are constantly awash in a sea of data, which can be both a help and a hindrance in getting the most out of our digital strategy.
When marketers are faced with making strategic decisions on how to improve their future campaigns or enhance their current campaigns, we tend to settle in and get acquainted with the data from current and past campaigns. This can be a very powerful way to start analyzing where campaigns can be tweaked and enhanced to better serve your ideal audience. However, it’s very important to ensure that any changes to your campaigns are tailored to your industry and specifically to your audience and their needs when making these adjustments.
While you may have some enhancements in mind to address any issues with your campaigns, they won’t necessarily be the best way to address your specific pain points or serve your specific audience. Before implementing changes, you should analyze your data to determine the best path forward. Let’s take a journey and look at how we can use analytics to better solve a common marketing pain point.
Consider this scenario: that the number of new leads generated from your website has been decreasing over time, and after looking at your data, you’ve found that the amount of traffic to your site has been steady, but traffic from organic search is decreasing. Here are two areas you could take a look at to determine why this might be happening:
Search Engine Optimization
Potentially, if your organic traffic is down and thus your new leads are trending down, there may be an issue with the search engine result pages (SERPs) that your site is showing up on. This can be assessed by tracking the keywords that your website pages are ranking for and researching whether your site is coming up in page 1 results.
If your site pages are ranking on page 2 or lower for your targeted keywords, people are going to be less likely to visit your site from organic search. When you perform Google searches, how often do you go to the second or third page of search results? In fact, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results (source: HubSpot).
Running a report to find out whether your website is ranking on page 1 for your targeted keywords can help you discover areas to focus on in your marketing efforts. If you’re ranking below page 1 for certain keywords, you can plan to optimize your content for those keywords and potentially rank higher for those search queries.
In addition to keyword optimization, you’ll want to ensure that your site doesn’t have any technical SEO issues that are hurting your search rankings. There are many common errors on websites that can lead Google or other search engines to penalize your site. Some common issues to check are missing or duplicate meta descriptions, duplicate page content, duplicate page titles, and 404 errors caused by broken links.
By cleaning up any SEO errors and analyzing which search queries you are ranking for, you'll be able to determine whether your website is reaching your target audience. When analyzing your search rankings, be sure you are looking at the specific ways your business can help your ideal customers by tying these keywords and search queries directly to your ideal customer.
When your new leads are trending down, it’s also a good idea to assess your content creation and promotion plan and make sure you’re getting the most out of how you’re promoting your existing content. Whether you’re looking at email, social media, CTA placement, or a mix of multiple tactics, it is a good idea to sit down and analyze the success of all your promotion channels and how they are performing for all your content assets. When you're assessing your content promotion channels, make sure to look at them through the eyes of your ideal customer, considering how they would be using those channels in their day to day life.
When analyzing your content promotion, checking the conversion rate by channel source is a great place to start. This can give you insight into channels that are no longer capturing the ideal audience your business is looking for or potential content topics that are no longer resonating. Then, you can take this information and dissect it a bit further; segmenting your data by campaign, channel, and time is a great way to identify trends. This will give you the information you need to help you decide what content changes to make or whether you should adjust the promotional channels you use.
When you’re updating your content promotion strategy, don’t forget to also include a content audit and analysis to explore whether your content is capturing the right audiences’ attention for your services. If you’re planning to perform a content audit, we’ve created a template to help you get started.
Taking the Long View
One of the main things to keep in mind when you’re strategizing the next moves in your marketing plan is to take a deep look at your data over time. Some trends happen due to the time of the year or around events that affect your industry, and analyzing your data month over month and year over year can help to diagnose where the change is happening. With these long-term insights, you can pull apart the pieces of your marketing machine and identify which specific areas could use some maintenance and which areas can have the most impact on your future success.
Keep in mind, you want to assess your best path for enhancements, rather than trying to identify every possible path for improvement. If, after looking at your analytics, you are having difficulty deciding the best way to move forward, feel free to get in touch with our Inbound Marketing experts. We’ll walk you through the process of using your data to identify gaps and determine how to address them. If you have any tips for using data in your marketing efforts, please feel free to share them in the comments below!