Thank goodness for online shopping, am I right? More and more people are taking advantage of technological advances and the opportunities they afford us, from real-time communicating to accessing instant information, banking and buying products, even simple credit card transactions — but even when you consider all this, the most powerful tool out there is analytics and the ability to manage customer information. Seriously, think about it…
Analytics and data tracking are the reason companies, retail stores, websites, and other businesses collect phone numbers and email addresses at the cash register or via online forms. It’s all part of a method used to record and analyze consumer behavior in an effort to create more targeted advertising and better, more useful products and services (consequently increasing ROI and marketing success).
Are you using analytics to get the most out of your website and marketing efforts? If not, here are some darn good reasons why you should:
1. You can gain valuable insights about customer behavior.
Analytics tools allow website owners to see an amazing amount of detail about the ways in which people use their sites – from who’s clicking which links, to where visitors are coming from, to how long they spend on each page, who’s sharing what to social media, and more.
Being able to track this type of behavioral information allows you to assess what is working in your marketing to gain ideal customers, and just as importantly, what isn’t. You now have the knowledge and understanding to make adjustments to your plan for optimal ROI. Without analytics, you’re basically just shooting in the dark.
2. You can use the data to target your message
Now that you know all sorts of information about your customers, you can use that data to target who you want with a message that is relevant to them. In other words, you have the ability to send exactly the right message to exactly the right people at exactly the right time— that’s some powerful stuff! It makes customers feel like you know what they need and can provide the solution. At the same time, you don’t bother those in your customer base with messages that mean nothing to them. The result? Happy customers, and happy customers are more likely to stick around, and even promote you to others.
3. You can make educated decisions about your marketing campaigns
Analytics data is just that — data. The information doesn’t do any good without interpretation and context. So…
Once you’ve collected your data, ask yourself some of these types of questions:
- Should we continue to feature this product or service?
- What topics seem to be most popular with my visitors?
- Are we attracted the customers we want?
- Was the promotion worth the expense?
- What tactics are working best (email, social media, blogging, etc)?
Your Analytics will provide the answers to your questions, which will then allow you to make fact-based decisions on what to do next in order to achieve your goals.
Just think, if you know which pages on your site are the most visited, you can analyze why that might be the case and incorporate those features into other pages with traffic on the decline. If you identify where most of your visitors are coming from, you can gain a deeper understanding of your target demographic, and maybe even discover opportunities you didn’t even know existed before. All this, gives you the ability to make ongoing decisions for the best possible results. That, as they say, is priceless.
4. You can A/B test two versions of the same page
By now you probably get it — analytics provides opportunities to test things out and see what works best. Well, a great way to take advantage of this is by collecting data for variations of the same page. Referred to as A/B testing, this process can uncover customer behavior trends, show you where people get stuck in your sales funnel, and help to provide benchmarks for setting future goals. Take what you learn, and use it to make the necessary adjustments to achieve what you want.
Bottom line? Knowledge is power.
The more you know about your website and the way in which customers interact with it, the better your chances of meeting, and heck, maybe even exceeding expectations and goals. Being able to collect and accurately interpret the boatloads of data that analytics provides is key to your marketing success.
We’ll ask again: Are you making the most of the information available to you through analytics?
Here’s an even better question: Are your competitors? (Reason #5)