Five ways to make more money using analytics
Using analytics (Google or otherwise) to open up the sales funnel, increase conversions and make more money from your blog or website content is crucial to sustainability.
This article will demonstrate some quick and easy ways to use analytics to improve your advertising, affiliate marketing and conversions strategy.
Regardless of whether your particular website offers products or services, is supported by ads, or uses affiliate links to drive revenue, the analytical strategies used to increase earnings are the same.
It doesn't matter what niche industry you are in either - these handy, analytics based marketing tips and tricks work the same.
These five tips and tricks that can be used to increase your conversion rates, improve CTR (Click Through Rates), and even EPC (Earnings Per Hundred Clicks). For the purposes of this article I have used Google analytics, which is a free, full-featured, enterprise level analytics service:
1. Understand and set goals
A goal, in analytics, is achieved when a user performs a predefined action. For example, filling out and submitting a form, or completing checkout.
Goals are set based on the primary objectives of your website or blog. If you want to sell products, then cart checkout completion page views are likely the best indicator of a business objective having been met - so set this as a goal.
Having goals set in analytics means that you can accurately and easily monitor the overall success rate of the blog or site. In other words, they reveal whether or not your site if fulfilling its purpose and is important in the overall ROI calculation.
Tip: Attach a monetary value to each goal to improve ROI calculations and marketing strategy.
2. Understand the audience
"Understanding the audience" may seem a bit redundant, but I'll wager that if you look very closely at the audience related data, you'll be in for one or two surprises.
For example, do you know how many of your readers are browsing on mobile devices? Tablets are set to outsell PCs for the first time in history around 2014. While I don't personally believe everyone needs to panic and invest resources in creating a mobile interface, it is important to ensure that mobile devices can at least use your site properly.
Share this great article with people you like!
Audience analytical data can also tell you how many new visits and returning visitors your site gets, what level of engagement you achieve, and whether or not visitors are socially active on your site.
Tip: Understanding audience behavior is key for A/B (split) testing, and can help choose marketing and advertising content and layouts to increase conversions.
3. Know which content is most popular
About a month ago I decided to look at which pages on my site were attracting the most visits. The answer really surprised me. As it turns out, a short blog post on how to create Drupal links was consistently driving the most organic search traffic.
The blog post was old and unimportant (from my personal perspective), something I had not thought about for a long time. You can imagine then that I was horrified to see that it didn't even have marketing or advertising associated with it - my biggest traffic driver wasn't generating any revenue for the site.
That kind of oversight is tantamount to throwing money down the drain. The reason I had not picked up on it was because I always "skimmed" my content analytics without looking for deeper patterns.
Tip: Knowing which content is most popular can help determine your content strategy going forward and drive increased revenue by more closely meeting audience expectations.
4. Understand traffic patterns
Visitors almost inevitably do strange things. They never quite seem to behave as intended. It's important not to try and force them to behave in a certain way. It is far better to analyze their behavior and traffic patterns and adapt your site or blog to cater for them.
By looking at where people start on your site, where they go, and how long they stay for it is possible to derive some deep insights into what their expectations are, and whether or not they are being met.
I have found that one of the most common sources of confusion for web users arises from the ambiguity associated with the English language itself. I have had customers emailing me bizarre questions about a service or product offered. It's taken some time to work out that they interpreted the copy in a completely unintended way, leading them to entirely the wrong conclusion.
Analytical data is an excellent indicator of this type of issue - the most common sign that a page is not meeting expectation is a high bounce rate.
Tip: Discover why bounce rates are high and work out how to lower them to increase engagement and improve the chances of making a conversion.
5. Use long and short term analytical data
Recent analytical data (a day, week or month) is extremely useful in determining the latest traffic patterns, popular content, new traffic sources, whether or not Google's Panda updates are affecting organic search traffic, and so on.
The problem is that often short date range data can obscure some important patterns and connections in traffic, revenue and content. By ensuring that you occasionally look at longer term analytical data (6 months, a year to five years), it is possible to notice trends that may not otherwise be visible in the more volatile, day to day analytical information.
Tip: Discover deep connections between content, traffic and conversions to better understand how to increase conversions going forward.
Still unsure about how to use analytics?
If you want to know more about how analytics can be used to shape your company's marketing strategy and advertising budget into a tightly focused beam, then feel free to contact me to set up a marketing and analytics strategy consult.
Understanding analytics will help to drive down marketing and advertising spend while increasing the ROI (Return On Investment).
Got more analytics strategies, tips and tricks?
I know you've got plenty of great ideas about how to improve conversions, open up the sales funnel and make tonnes of cash using the analytical data provided by Google analytics. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, or join the conversation on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn using the social media buttons provided.
SME Pals to your inbox each week
Follow me to keep tabs on the best startup ideas plus tips, reviews and expert commentary.
Ask us a question on anything and we'll give you a simple expert answer. FREE!