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Web Analytics

(updated 2021)

Metrics used for management oversight can vary drastically from one organization to the next, but there are usually a core set of metrics that emerge as vital to monitoring efforts, within a particular industry. Those metrics become the industry standard that enable equitable comparison across all organizations that operate within the industry. The same is true for measuring and monitoring social media efforts.

The initial development and implementation of a comprehensive monitoring program can be time intensive, but it's usually a worthwhile endeavor. Although vast, social media is not rocket science. If you have ever put together a piece of IKEA furniture, you can implement a successful system for measuring and monitoring your efforts. The mechanics are fairly straightforward, and there are  tools available that simplify the process, such as Google Analytics.These platforms make it easy to capture the data from your social engagement efforts, and translate it into meaningful information.

If you have ever put together a piece of IKEA furniture, you can implement a successful system for measuring and monitoring your social media efforts.
via @finandmrkt (https://bit.ly/wb-analytics)

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1. Characteristics
1a. Demographics
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests

Observe the segments that value your product/service the most.

Segmented data provides valuable insight so you can focus efforts on the most profitable customers. It also aids in diagnosing failed efforts, as you can observe correlations between the gender, age group, and interests, such as technology, sports, or cooking. Having this information provides context for strategy shifts, such as discontinuing a marketing effort, or revising a failed strategy.

1b. Traffic Source
Learn the geographic location of your customers, immediately prior to engaging with your site.

With location insights you can not only identify which regions provide the most traffic to your sites, you can also determine what people tend to like about your product/service, based on region. Given this information, you can create region specific campaigns to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts.

2. Behavior
2a. Visitors and Unique Visitors
Learn about your repeat customers, and the level of new interest your efforts have generated.

Instead of knowing general information, such as the total number of site visitors, you are armed with specific visitor details: how many are repeat customers, how many are new customers, and how this compares to prior periods. This is a key to monitoring the effectiveness of your efforts to reach and grow your target audience.

2b.Bounce Rate
Observe how many visitors land on your site, and find it engaging enough to stick around.

The bounce rate measures how many visitors landed on one page, and did not complete any other action on your site. Analytic tools capture this data and enable you to compare results against prior periods, so that you can determine if marketing campaigns are successful, or if efforts to improve site engagement are necessary. It's important to note that for this metric, resolution of poor performance can involve more technical elements such as site metadata and keyword selection, (see 5. Keywords).

2c. Conversion
Learn how many visitors went beyond just visiting your page, and became an actual customer.

This provides proof of the value of your social media campaign efforts to convert visitors into customers. This metric can track any additional action you value, including newsletter sign ups, advertisements, and purchases. This is particularly helpful for e-commerce sites and advertising campaigns, as it provides a direct correlation between revenue and consumer actions, and allows you to determine the degree of success with precision. 

3. Revenue
Observe the revenue generated by each individual visitor or target segment.

Google Analytics refers to this as “Lifetime Value.” They enable you to view total revenue figures for a selected time period for individual customers, or acquisition channels, (e.g. email, social media, or search results). This enables ready identification of the most profitable customers, so that you can adjust marketing efforts, as necessary.

4. Benchmarking
Establish acceptable performance parameters.

Google Analytics has performance data for more than 1600 industry categories across email, social, referral, organic search, paid search, and display advertisement channels. You can compare the number of total visits, the number of new visitors, and the bounce rates to observe industry trends and to establish performance targets.

” Fortunately, ROI is a measure that explicitly captures a project’s value. It's flexible enough to use as an initial indicator of value, as well as for ongoing analysis. It also provides a basis for comparing the value of several projects, such as the expected benefits of implementation compared to the cost to outsource and the cost to develop in-house talent.”

- The Return-on-Investment of Search Engine Optimization

5. Keywords
Learn the key terms that potential customers use, and align your organization’s meta data accordingly.

This factor is closely related to search engine optimization, and if you have misaligned your meta data, your keywords are useless. Useless keywords increase the likelihood that you will experience increased bounce rates, which negatively impact your search ranking. Beyond the numbers and percentages, misaligned keywords can frustrate current and potential customers, which may mean reduced positive word-of-mouth.

C-Suite Value
Web Analytic platforms enable management to set daily, weekly, or monthly alerts so that they can be responsive to the positive or negative impacts of social media communications and campaigns. Platforms typically offer a free version that can help small businesses maintain expenses low, and offer a paid version that's robust enough to handle the needs of mature organizations. 

The output of analytics platforms provides proof of the value for your outreach and campaign efforts via social media. They help management to keep marketing efforts on the right track, to better target and align their efforts, and to use social media as a driver of organizational growth. The capability, potential benefits, and reasonable price of these analytic tools should make for a harmonious adoption of social media analytics by the C-Suite.

1 Google Analytics is used an an example of an analytics tool, and to illustrate the benefits of using an analytics tool. This article does not represent an endorsement of the Google Analytics platform, nor has the author been paid to use the platform as the primary example. 

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