One of the biggest issues facing marketers, both today and in the past, is trying to produce quantifiable results for our clients and brands.
The translation of our marketing efforts into visual metrics, results and revenue can help fuel our best practices, and guide us toward the replication of successful campaigns and decisions.
The importance of metrics increases year by year, as marketing efforts become more sophisticated and companies demand more insight into how their marketing dollar is being spent. That’s why analytics tools are a marketer’s (and a brand’s) best friend.
Inbound Marketing Agents prides itself on a being a metrics-driven company, who produces results for our clients based on what the hard data shows, time and again.
To help you choose your analytics tools this year, we’ve listed our favorites below.
It’s no secret that social media engagement is a vital part of your company’s marketing efforts. Even more vital is being able to track the success of those efforts; that’s where a tool like Sprout Social can be a lifesaver.
Sprout was founded in 2010, and in just over 5 years, has become a must-have for serious marketers looking to maximize their impact on social media.
Some of Sprout Social’s most visible benefits include the ability to publish, monitor and respond to social posts across a host of platforms:
- And more
It’s also a great tool for analytics.
Sprout Social’s handy “Discovery” feature allows users to see not only their lists of followers, but also those who have mentioned them in a Tweet or post or interacted with them on a social platform.
You can also keep track of your followers’ demographics, audience growth over time, number of clicks on your posts, number of unique engagements and so much more.
Perhaps most valuable is the platform’s ability to translate your social media metrics into PDFs and spreadsheets, which is invaluable when you have presentations or reports on the horizon.
A mind-boggling number of websites utilize Google Analytics to track their metrics each month. In fact, there are some 30 million websites that utilize the tool…and that’s just the ones we know of.
The popularity of Google Analytics is understandable: it’s free, and it offers some of the most valuable comprehensive information on your website’s performance, even in comparison to paid tools.
There’s a number of features on the platform, however, that many users aren’t aware of. In addition to the power of GA to track website visitors and activity on your site, you can also do the following:
- Utilize Multiple Views: customize your filters and view your data and information the way you want
- Create Reports on Demographics and Interest: this will allow you to track the ages and genders of your website visitors, as well as the interests reflected in their online surfing and purchasing habits.
- Track Event Data: this will allow you to see specific interactions users have with your content. Engagement with downloads, mobile advertisement clicks and video plays are some of the interactions event data will allow you to track.
- Create Goals: This handy feature will allow you to set particular goals for your data. After you create the goal in GA, you can record its results and revise the goal at any time.
These abilities will allow you to further customize your marketing efforts, and save time and money in your future campaigns.
HubSpot’s Marketing Grader
This free tool offers a comprehensive report on your entire website, providing insight into your marketing efforts in a host of areas:
- Blogging: Does your website have a blog? Is your blog driving quantifiable results that are worth the time you’re dedicating to creating the content?
- Social Media: Are your social media efforts producing the engagement and interactions needed to truly benefit your brand?
- SEO: Is your website optimized properly? Do you have backlinks, proper title usage and important on-page SEO factors in place?
- Mobile: Is your website properly optimized for mobile devices?
With this information on hand, you can make the proper adjustments and decisions in regards to your marketing budget and efforts.
Google Webmaster Tools
Heading into a deeper level of analytics, Google Webmaster Tools is a must for those who want complete control and a deep knowledge of their site, its functions, its shortcomings and its emerging issues.
GWT is completely free; once you confirm that you’re an authorized owner or overseer of a site, you can start using Webmaster Tools.
Some of the information you’ll have access to in your GWT Dashboard?
- You’ll be informed if and when your site is infected with malware
- You’ll be informed when your website installation needs to be updated to protect against security issues
- You’ll be informed when there are issues with your HTML or user experience; for example, GWT will inform you if the pages on your site have issues with their titles or descriptions or are formatted in a way that makes it difficult for search engines to deduce their content.
As we move into 2016, the value of tools that provide marketers with quantifiable data will only increase. Considering the sheer number of free analytics tools, you have plenty of options and opportunities to select the tools that work best with your website and your marketing efforts.