I firmly believe that e-commerce and online shopping will continue to grow exponentially, rendering traditional stores obsolete. As of today, three out of four consumers are doing online research before purchasing something even if they plan to buy it online. This means that all businesses need to have a competitive digital component if they wish to remain viable in the modern marketplace. I emphasize the importance of analytics to this point with all of my clients and would advise any entrepreneur in any industry to do the same.
Recently I had the opportunity to give this advice as a guest contributor on Entrepreneur Resources. In the post titled, “Bill Michelon: Using Analytics to Get Ahead in Today’s Digital World“, I shared my thoughts on why analytics matter, finding the right analytics tools and interpreting analytics data. Here are some of the highlights from my interview.
My Thoughts on Why Analytics Matter
Analytics matter because they show entrepreneurs exactly who to target in their digital advertising campaigns and how to do so. I check all of my favorite data sources daily, as they are very quick to update if buyers start to change their habits. You cannot get this real-time feedback from other means of advertising, which instead force you to pray that the investment you made is worthwhile until the data finally rolls in.
My favorite digital marketing strategies focus on how often digital traffic is converted to a sale, as expressed through common buying behaviors. A website with a ton of traffic is of little use if it isn’t driving sales, right?
The Tools I Use
The most important of the tools I use is Google Analytics. Google Analytics can track what nearly every internet user is doing on every site they frequent, making it much easier to pinpoint how to reach any target demographic. There are competing options available, but none of them offer the same volume of valuable data Google does.
Once I know who I’m targeting, I use Google Adwords to design an ideal digital marketing campaign to reach them. This tool tracks advertising spending and conversion rates in real time, ensuring that ineffective campaigns can be adjusted as needed. My consulting clients are very familiar with how Adwords works, as I teach them how to use it to attract both new and previous customers to their businesses.
How I Interpret Data and Optimize Accordingly
The net result of all of these analytics is a website that enjoys both a large amount of traffic and a high conversion rate. The best way to marry the two is to select the right type of initial traffic. For example, let’s say that a previous customer spent $50 on their last order. He may not be able to afford something over $1,000, while also having no interest in the perceived loss of quality at a $10 price point. The best way to sell to this individual is to offer them something we know he’s interested in at a price he can pay, so our ads will show him products at a similar price point.
Modern tools also allow business owners to see where visitors are leaving the site if they do not make a purchase. This weakest link can then be the subject of optimization efforts moving forward, helping the site generate more revenue for the company.
These changes are particularly attractive because they can be implemented in a short period of time, minimizing the time between devising the solution and putting it into practice. If you want additional insight on how to get more conversions from your website traffic, follow me on Facebook and Twitter for my latest tips and tricks.