Using Data To Track Results and Understand Your Customers
You hear it all the time: Data is the key to success. What does that mean? Out of all the data out there, what should you be looking at?
Get Your Slice Of The Pie Chart!
It is true that data is a buzzword these days and behind all of the exaggerated headlines is very good reason for the buzz. Never in the history of marketing has something leveled the playing field for small to midsize business owners in the way access to data has done. When used properly, the wealth of free data available allows even the smallest business to compete with the largest players in their industry.
Let’s look at some of the essential data points that you should understand about your customers’ online journey.
At a minimum, you should first be certain that Google Analytics is installed on your website. Google Analytics is a free piece of code that Google provides to any business with a website. The piece of code needs to be added to every page on your website. When Google Analytics is installed on your website, you will have access to data about every customer who visits your site. A few of the major website visitor data points that you will now be able to track include: city of origin, time on site, how many pages they visited on your website and where the clicks into your website originated, did the user come from a Google search, Facebook marketing campaign, Twitter marketing campaign, Yelp, etc.
What Keywords Are Your Customers Using To Find Your Business
One of the most overlooked pieces of data out there can be found using the free Google Trends Tool. The Google Trends tool allows you to see the search trends in your city or state for your specific industry. Google Trends helps you see keyword phrases and their popularity based on a 0-100 scale.
A recent example of the value behind this free data service is that it allowed marketers and business owners the ability to see the rise in short keyword phrases versus longer keyword phrases because of the increase in mobile search volume.
The Google Trends tool and Google Webmaster Tools also gave marketers a heads up to the rise in searches phrased as questions. This rise happened because users were now using services such as Siri to help answer online searches. It turns out that when a user interacts with an automated personal assistant like Apple’s Siri, the user is more likely to phrase searches in a question format.
Using this information, business owners and marketers can now create website pages optimized for question based searches. For example, “Where is the best bar to watch the Super Bowl in Boston?”
Facebook’s Insight Data
Another essential piece of data can be found within Facebook’s Insight data for business owners. Facebook’s Insight data will let you know your business page’s audience demographics, including age, city, gender and language. You can use this information to determine what your next Facebook post or Facebook ad will look like. Then you can use Facebook’s robust advertising platform data targeting tools to target key audiences based on Facebook’s Insight data.
Yelp Business Owner Data
If you have access to your Yelp Business Owners account for your Yelp business page, then Yelp gives you some very valuable information about the people who visit your Yelp page. Yelp will often provide you with the age and city of origin for users who click on your phone number within your page, get directions from your Yelp page or leave a review for your business.
Twitter Analytics for Business
The Twitter Analytics platform has come a long way in the past year. If you have an existing Twitter account, then Twitter will allow you to analyze your followers’ interests, gender, age and location. One of the most valuable metrics on Twitter is the audience interest metric. If you know that a large majority of your restaurant’s Twitter audience is interested in Sports, you can use this information to cater your future posts to this audience with offers for 1/2 Off Appetizers during games and other sports themed posts.
Twitter Analytics will also show you how much engagement you got per Tweet. Using this data you will be able to spot trends within your most engaging Twitter content. For example, we recently noticed a 23% higher engagement rate for Tweets where we included a trending hash tag versus tweets where we did not include a trending hash tag.
The above examples cover just a few of the many millions of data points available to you about your customers and your customers’ online journey. However, if you can start by mastering the basics of customer data, then you will already be outpacing most of your competitors. The next time you need to make a marketing decision take a minute to research the data behind the decision. It will pay off many times over and you will have the piece of mind in knowing that your decision is backed by proven data.