Don't Be Afraid Of Data
I’ve had experiences with clients who are so overwhelmed by the mere thought of data (and attempting to find it) that they choose not to look at it at all. Often times, they are solely using their financial data to direct business decisions. This is frequently why they hire me to begin with, but when it’s been ignored for a prolonged amount of time, I can’t help but wonder how many leads have been lost, sales missed, and/or other creative opportunities overlooked along the way. And, it’s particularly concerning if a business or individual does not have the financial means to hire someone to review it for them.
Additionally, there are many different types of analytics. Digital marketing analytics are more expansive than simply website analytics alone.
“Web analytics measure things a webmaster or technical SEO specialist cares about, like page load speed, page views per visit, and time on site. Digital marketing analytics, on the other hand, measure business metrics like traffic, leads, and sales, and allows you to observe which online events determine whether leads will become customers. Digital marketing analytics include data not only from your website, but also from sources like email, social media, and organic search.” - Hubspot
Whether one is considering hiring a professional to analyze their analytics or is simply open to reviewing information on their own, I offer the advice of starting small.
Here are some common questions that I work with my clients to answer on utilizing data:
How strong and engaging is your website content?
Can current and potential customers find your website?
If so, how are they doing so?
Are you reaching your target audience or audiences?
How engaging is your content to website visitors?
When visitors land on your page, what do they do?
Where are you losing website visitors and customers?
Who are you not reaching?
First, what are your data and objectives regarding data? What are you looking to improve? What are you most curious about? Where are your concerns? Establishing your goals and concerns in the beginning will help direct your overall strategy.
Then, find out whether you are taking a quantitative, qualitative approach, or a blend of both. This will determine whether you are using strictly a numbers-based approach (quantitative) or behavioral-based approach - the why (qualitative) to analyze findings.
Next, start pulling your data. Whether it’s from Google Analytics, your email marketing service, social media, and/or sales, isolate a time period and pull reports.
When you have the data, you can choose to compile it in an easy or straightforward way to review it. Or, get creative and look for visual ways of displaying the data. I absolutely love Giorgia Lupi’s work in Data Humanism. When reviewing the data, it’s important to keep your objectives and goals in mind. Start with your objectives and goals and then review the data in accordance to them taking a quantitative or qualitative approach.
After you’ve analyzed the information, what changes can you make in accordance to your findings? Implement these changes and additions, wait for a period of time, and then pull the reports again. This is a strong way to begin to form a relationship and understanding of data as it relates to the needs of your business. If the thought of analyzing data is still overwhelming, even if a full SEO and digital audit isn’t in your budget, try hiring a digital consultant who can create a strategy based on your needs.