In this article we will discuss the importance analytics, being the most important arrow in your quiver. We will mention the most important metrics and analytics tools, the future trends of Analytics and we will give you advice on how to start as an Analytics professional.
What are analytics? What do they mean to any business?
In order to understand that, let’s take a step back and see how the need to analyse started. Big tech company Google acquired Urchin Software Corporation in 2005 and transformed their software into what we know today as Google Analytics. As a methodology however, it began as the study of analysis and evolved into understanding data analysis (of all types). Even Henry Ford made production measurement analysis to better understand the assembly line when the Model T was produced back in 1908.
Analytics is any form of (measurable) data. Digital Analytics platforms (like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics) allow us to measure and report user traffic in our website. There are also platforms that measure traffic in apps (Google Firebase, Google Play, iTunes Analytics). Like my good friend and mentor Kostas Chrysovitsiotis says “Analytics are the mind of the business”. They whisper to us the behavior of the people visiting our website. And I say they whisper because not everyone hears that sound.
What is that sound then?
It all depends on what you want to measure. And against what to measure it so it makes sense. You can measure Users, Sessions, Frequency, Bounce Rate, Time on Page, Devices, Operating Systems (OS), Browser, Demographics, Interests, Video metrics (How many times a visitor hit play). I will upload an Analytics glossary in my blog soon!
For now it is very important to put your metrics into concept. A high bounce rate is bad when you have a marketing page with a CTA that leads to your product page. But if you have say a website that predicts the weather, then the high bounce rate won’t bother you.
You can measure Audience based metrics like demographics, geography, interests and devices. You can see what pages your users visited and in what order allowing you to create a marketing funnel (more on that later on my blog).
You can also measure sales conversions if you have an ecommerce website. Or measure leads if your visitors can subscribe to your newsletter.
Last but not least, you can attribute your marketing efforts to different channels. You can see which channels visitors are coming from. What’s their behavior after they visit your website. And most importantly, in which step of your funnel does each channel work best. Is it better to target your prospects on Facebook and then on Google? Or the other way around? Where do your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts come in play?
Concept matters, it’s what gives your metrics meaning.
If the visitors coming from Facebook are bouncing, then you’re doing something wrong. Either the target audience you chose is very wrong. Or the landing page experience is very bad. There’s even the possibility that Facebook is not the right channel for you and your business! It all comes down to having the right tools to measure your success.
What are the top Analytics tools?
Essentially, it all depends on what you want to measure. But most marketers will agree that Google Analytics is the most common tool because of it's easy-to-use interface, it’s easy to implement and it’s a great tool to start “playing around” with your data. Oh and the basic version is free!
There is also Adobe Analytics which is a very powerful platform albeit not free. Google Firebase is a great powerful tool for your app, Google Search Console is a great tool to measure your SEO efforts, Google Play Console to measure the installs of your Android app, iTunes Analytics to measure the installs of your iOS app, Hotjar allows you to create Heatmaps and Session Replays.
I know you must be thinking “How many platforms are there and how am I supposed to keep up?”
Well, you’re right. So it is very important to read, inform yourself, ask around and keep up with the trends (hopefully here on my blog ;-)
The Future of Analytics
Digital Marketing is changing faster than ever. You can see the rise of Google and Amazon. You will hear about new platforms always coming to light like TikTok. New positions for professionals in charge of Data Quality, Consumer Behavior & Experience, Neuromarketing, Cloud Technologies, AI, Voice Search and Home Assistant Ads Some already are and others will be the new trends.
Are you starting now in Analytics? Good for you!
We are not Hercules about to embark for our feat to kill a mythical beast. Nor do we just press a button and everything runs on its own. It's like raising a child. It takes affection, dedication, an analytical mind which you will grow to have (or not), love and patience. Keep up with trends, new platforms, tech advances. Lot’s of “false” certifications have risen lately in Greece and abroad stating that they will make sure to make you an Analytics Expert.
Know where to look, ask professionals for their opinion. There are "Digital Marketing Professionals" under every rock. It’s one thing to respond to comments from Kira Koula on Facebook and say you do Digital Marketing. It’s another thing to actually do Digital Marketing. I can easily show around my CV and bloat. But experience is key and it does not hurt to ask other people for help and advice.
This concludes our article about the basics of Analytics!
Are you still afraid to slay the mythical beast? You can always contact me and we're going to slay this mythical beast together!
Stay tuned on my blog for more articles about Analytics.
Also don't miss the Analytics Basics Webinar on Thursday 21st of May! Books your tickets now: https://www.nicolasmontipotsolakis.com/event-info/analytics-basics