Just about every business out there is beginning to recognize the importance of online marketing. Whether they are building a website, creating social media accounts, or maintaining a viable email list, every business is moving into the digital marketplace. Once they show up, however, many tend to fizzle out. This generally comes from a lack of understanding of the digital world, a poor marketing plan, and no idea how to make improvements or read data. This is where marketing analytics come into play.
What’s the point of having a website or a social media account if no steps are taken to measure its effectiveness? Without knowing who is visiting a business’s page, where they are coming from, or how long they stay, it’s difficult to determine if the time and money being spent is even worth it. Luckily, there are plenty of digital marketing analytics tools available all around the web to help combat the confusing world of marketing data analysis.
Keeping Track of Your Website and Its Effectiveness
Nearly every business with an online presence has its own website at the very least, but just having a website isn’t enough. It is important for every business owner to fully understand the performance of their website. This includes tracking audience engagement, data on demographics, topics and pages that are viewed and used the most, and how people are finding the web site in the first place. Luckily there is an incredible resource through Google called Google Analytics that will track all of this information free of charge.
Once a website’s traffic and engagement is being tracked, it is easy to move into search engine optimization (SEO) analysis. Tracking key word rankings, the number and quality of back links (links from one page to another), and general SEO effectiveness are all types of data that need to be sifted through and analyzed as often as possible. This is where Google steps up again with Google Web Master Tools. Designed to make website and SEO analytics free and easy to use, Web Master Tools is a great resource for any small business on the web.
Analyzing Your Social Media Presence
Social media is easily the most expansive and complicated form of marketing online, and encompasses so much more than most realize. Including websites, apps, games, shares, and links across multiple platforms and companies, social media has become a wild beast that few have been able to tame. Luckily for the small business owner, companies like Scoop.It, Quintly, Cyfe and a few others have all stepped into the ring with lassos in hand.
Scoop.It and Buffer – Provided free with the option to upgrade, were both designed to measure social media views, visitors, comments, and daily shares across multiple social sites. Scoop.It also provides product guides, case studies, demos, and FAQ’s to its 1.2 million users, and is fully integrated with Google Analytics. Both websites will also help manage social media posts through their useful tools, and help compare average and daily hits on each post.
Followerwonk and Quintly – Created by Moz, Followerwonk is a comprehensive resource for tracking posts on Twitter, while Quincy provides the same service for Facebook. Both provide clean and easy to use interfaces and graphic representation for analyzing posts, likes/ favorites and shares/retweets. Followerwonk also provides its users with popular hashtags and optimal times for tweeting content, and is a statistics based open information application. This means that businesses aren’t limited to their own information, but can research the competition as well. Quintly, on the other hand, limits its users to 3 Facebook pages per free account, with more available with a paid subscription, and is ideal for small businesses.
Cyfe and Addvocate+Trap!t – Both of these websites follow content sharing across multiple social networks, and each one has a unique method for sorting its data. Cyfe leans more towards full internet presence and includes data for websites outside the normal social media channels, while Addvocate+Trap!t (two companies that recently teamed up into one super squad) provides comparative data between channels to help small businesses determine which works best for them. Both are free, easy to use, and incredibly reliable.
Making the Most for the Small Business
Generally speaking, most small businesses do not have the time or money to invest in a large scale digital marketing plan. These services tend to be costly and require a serious commitment to creating an expansive digital presence. Luckily, companies like Google and Buffer have stepped up to help the little guy build his online portfolio and get up to speed with the big players. Using these resources will allow any small business to improve both their website usability and social media effectiveness.