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Understanding the Basics of Google Analytics

Understanding the Basics of Google Analytics

Posted on May 09, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Google Analytics is a potent tool for leveraging data to gain insight into your current audience, as well as develop a deeper understanding of how to reach your target audience. Top marketing professionals analyze data obtained through Google Analytics to identify how, and from where, website visitors are arriving (we’ll dig into this in a little bit). If you aren’t already utilizing this incredibly powerful service, here’s an overview on how you can make smarter, data-driven decisions that better your chances for more conversions and higher return on investment (ROI). Oh, and it’s free.

Audience

So the first thing you need to do is look at who has already been visiting your website. Google Analytics tells you almost everything about each visitor including their demographics, interests, location, behavior on the site, and what device they used to visit your site. From this, it generates relevant comparisons, using the copious amounts of data collected on each user. With access to such an extensive amount of data, Google Analytics allows you to get a clear picture of who is viewing your site and whether you should alter marketing initiatives in order to cater to your target audience.

Acquisition

Now that you’ve determined the makeup of your audience, the next step is discovering how users got to your site. The overview section (under acquisition) breaks down incoming site traffic into general sources: social media, email, direct visitors, organic searches, referrals from other websites, paid search and other. The information is then further digested into graphs to illustrate the percentage of users from each category, their session time, bounce rate and conversion rate. If the right people are already visiting your website, this feature of Google Analytics can help identify where and how to reach others like them.

Behavior

The “Behavior Flow” chart that Google Analytics creates according to time period is the easiest tool, in my opinion, to analyze each user journey. This chart offers the ability to walk through the steps of each user journey, and possibly determine what drove them to each page. This feature provides in-depth data on the most and least visited pages of your website. Such specific data is beneficial to improving the less-viewed portions of your site, and maintaining those more frequently viewed. Considering this data within Google Analytics helps to identify the popular sections of your site, and thus point you in the right direction for which aspects need extra attention.

Conversions

Now for the good stuff. Once you’ve identified your target audience, optimized your marketing initiatives and increased traffic to your website—you can sit back and watch the conversions roll in. Conversions tie in directly with your goals. For example, if your goal is for people to fill out a “Let’s Talk” form, Google Analytics can track how many visitors were served the form, and compare that to the number that completed it. Ecommerce businesses can track key performance indicators (KPI) like product performance, sales performance, transactions and time to purchase.

Knowing and understanding how each element of Google Analytics functions helps the tool to behave as a messenger, that keeps you informed about which areas of your website are successful and which are under-performing. What do you think is the most important aspect of Google Analytics? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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SXSW 2017: Key Takeaways on Digital Marketing

SXSW 2017: Key Takeaways on Digital Marketing

Posted on Mar 13, 2017 by Emily Ballard

The world of marketing is ever-evolving, and though there is no universal marketing strategy that will “just work” for every type of company, some marketing professionals make it seem like they possess the secret formula. Now that digital marketing has taken over, there are many new aspects of marketing that we must take into consideration when creating our marketing strategies. I went to multiple masterclasses on digital marketing that were held during weekend one of SXSW, and I’m here to share my key takeaways on where to focus your efforts when creating your digital marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing:

Lawrence O’Connor spoke on the fundamentals of marketing and shared in-depth, valuable information on how to understand your target market. While I found the entire masterclass extremely valuable, these are the key points I took away when focusing on digital marketing:

  1. Know your business. Ask yourself these questions: Why does my business exist? Why should anyone care? What am I not willing to compromise? What are my goals and how will I get there?
  2. Don’t skip testing and keep track of your data. Try both qualitative and quantitative testing. For qualitative you can focus on surveys and interviews and for quantitative focus on user engagement. When focusing on engagement, always pay attention to your analytics. If you are constantly recording your analytics, you will see what is working for you and what’s not.
  3. Recognize which platform your target market uses most. From your data, you will see trends emerge for where the most engagement is occurring. You can then increase your engagement with your core-users, through strategic interactions in social media.

Creating Your Social Media Strategy:

Vin Clancy, social media expert and owner of Traffic and Copy, shared his insight on how to grow your business using only social media. Through his in-depth presentation covering social media strategies, the main focal points that stuck out for me were:

  1. Add value. Bring your expertise to the table and offer your knowledge. Nothing beats staying genuine and true to who you are.
  2. Show up every day. Posting every single day on social media keeps you relevant, and people will create a connection with you. Keep your content fresh and relevant, and focused when engaging with your followers.
  3. Use content scheduling. There are multiple websites such as Buffer, Hootsuite and Spredfast that you can schedule content up to months in advance on multiple platforms at a time. These are great tools to use when you are trying to reach your audience through multiple platforms, on a daily basis.

Both of these masterclasses dug way deeper into these marketing strategies and covered topics of which I could only scratch the surface with this post. These key takeaways will help in understanding the basics of digital marketing, and are essential to the early development of your marketing strategies.

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Our Top 4 Brand & Marketing Panels at SXSW

Our Top 4 Brand & Marketing Panels at SXSW

Posted on Mar 09, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Keeping up with target audiences can be a challenge in today’s world since social media was brought into the mix. This year, South by Southwest is hosting some of the most intelligent brand and marketing specialists. Technology is booming and more fast-paced than ever before, so the demand for insight and guidance has never been greater. At these four panels you will hear directly from industry leaders on how to build your brand, grab your target audience and keep their attention. These events range from beginner to intermediate, and are perfect if you want to delve deep into the newest marketing trends.

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How to Stay Social Media Relevant with Consumers

How to Stay Social Media Relevant with Consumers

Posted on Mar 07, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

It’s very easy to be ignored or forgotten through the many social media outlets where users engage. In this age of mass communication, consumers are easily overwhelmed with the amount of daily advertisements they see, and quickly learn to filter out generic messaging. The key to cutting through these defenses is to differentiate your brand. It’s a given that not participating in social media puts your business at a severe disadvantage. However, even very active businesses can still find it difficult to keep their messaging from getting lost.

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Snap into Snapchat

Snap into Snapchat

Posted on Oct 20, 2016 by Kate Gothing

Snapchat is one of the biggest social media platforms for millennials. Even Facebook and Instagram are taking cues from Snapchat by introducing Stories into their apps. As marketing and advertising moves toward digital and social media promotion, it is essential to know when and how to use Snapchat for your business. Although Snapchat is a great way to build brand recognition, it does not necessarily mean that every brand is right for it. Continue Reading →

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Posting Across Generations: Millennials vs. Our Parents

Posting Across Generations: Millennials vs. Our Parents

Posted on Jun 30, 2016 by Kate Gothing

Social media is an ever-changing outlet. Networking platforms have been going in and out of popularity as quickly as Kylie Jenner’s Lip Kits. Who remembers MySpace? I know I do. I would spend hours updating my MySpace layout, thinking I was cool because I knew which codes to put in to make my solid colored background into one that resembled a disco ball. Now that MySpace has phased out, the public has moved on to the more popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. I am now a senior in college, but I began using social media when I was thirteen. Middle school was all about who your top friends were on MySpace, high school was all about being “FB official” and posting funny posts on your BFF’s Facebook wall, and now in college Snapchat and Instagram are the best ways to show everyone from home how much better college is than high school.

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