Analytics are at the center of everything in online marketing. Without a good analytics program to back your initiatives, you have no idea how well there are doing! I am a very strong believer in an analytics first mentality, meaning we use metrics for the basis of making all decisions.
In this post, we hear from industry experts on their top analytics programs for 2015.
SproutSocial provides detailed information about our posts -which posts did well and which posts directed people to our website (the ultimate goal). With this information, we can base our future social media promotion on what has worked well in the past.
SproutSocial also offers a Twitter comparison to view how we’re doing compared to our competitors. This helps us see what they’re doing, if their methods are working or not, and what we could improve on.
Other innovative tools we are using are LinkedIn analytics and Twitter analytics. They allow us to see which posts are receiving high click-through rates and base future social marketing from that information.
Facebook Audiences has made a huge impact in how we target our ads. Understanding what types of people are already associated with Facebook and web properties allows for far more intelligent targeting. It also is letting businesses understand potential monetization strategies.
Co-Founder of Matchnode
I primarily use Moz Analytics for my SEO clients. Their new Landing Pages report helps connect some of the dots lost in the move to secure search and (not provided), at least when it comes to seeing potential for a certain keyword you’re tracking. The other big wins with Moz is the brand monitoring and Twitter research. As link building has become increasing more difficult, brands need to take advantage of tactics like brand mention link outreach as social outreach. Fresh Web Explorer is great for the brand mention opportunities and FollowerWonk is excellent for researching potential social outreach targets. I particularly like to use FollowerWonk early in the process for a brand to begin identifying targeted lists to run Twitter ads for content promotion. Works great for sharing a new blog to a relevant audience.
IP tracking and marketing has become critical to Netrepid’s growth as we shift our target customer from local SMBs to midmarket and enterprise clients in a 5-state radius. To do that efficiently, we deployed an IP tracking software (VisitorTrack from Netfactor) this past year – and will continue to use it in 2015. We have a plethora of content on our site that is relevant to IT professionals and those “in the industry” – but that content is often too technical for decision makers in other areas of business. With a growing number of technology decision makers coming from Ops or the C-suite in industries like healthcare and transportation, we needed to stay on top of what content is most valuable to them, not the “IT guys”. Tracking visitors by IP allows us to do just that – with discretion. We also now do a much better job catering our user experience and content marketing plan to improve our reach with companies that meet this new target customer profile.
Marketing Manager, Netrepid
The most useful platform-specific social media analytics tools are Hootsuite (Twitter), Iconosquare Instagram) and Curalate (Pinterest). For the best all-inclusive social media management, posting, analytics and monitoring platforms, businesses can’t go wrong with Sprout Social, Brandwatch and SimplyMeasured.
The most important thing companies should keep in mind is that analytics tools are only one part of social media and marketing efforts. They shouldn’t just be used to provide pats on the back. They should be studied, yes, and then applied to actions that will improve efforts. Businesses can’t keep doing the same things expecting the same results – especially not in the social media space.
President of Social Climber
We are using keen.io with a custom built PHP script. We first track all users’ activity in a database; execute that script automatically once a day to import events into keen.io. After that we created a beautiful dashboard using keen.io API and some PHP code. That dashboard contains every marketing metric we need (Purchases per day, support email received per day, emails sent per day, monthly number of trials vs previous month, number of users who visit important pages…)
Finally, we use Zapier.com to track keen.io events and get signaled by email or sms if one of the most important metrics drops or increases above a specified threshold. Based on that we can quickly take appropriate actions.
MixPanel and SimilarWeb are the two coolest analytics programs we use right now. MixPanel allows us to analyze all of our data quickly without requiring extensive tech support and be able to see in real-time what’s happening on our website. It also integrates with email service providers like Vero to provide a great solution for marketers looking to do marketing automation on a budget.
SimilarWeb is a great tool to help marketers know how they stack up to other companies in the industry. For example, it shows where traffic came from, which could unveil tactics competitors are using that you could also use. One example would be if you notice a competitor has a higher than average number of visitors coming from referrals. These analytics provide you the opportunity to see trends and make decisions based on those trends.
VP of Marketing, Clutch Prep
We use Voodoo Alerts every day in our marketing efforts simply because of the custom alerting features it offers. Rather than having to set up marketing campaigns that I need to check on, I can just set an alert to let me know if a certain URL parameter is doing well or poorly. That way I can spend more time doing actual work, rather than pouring over analytics and statistics trying to figure out what stays and what goes.
The coolest analytics program we’ve been using lately is a tool called Linkdex. Linkdex does all the things that a typical SEO platform does (rank checking, backlink analysis, keyword research, on-page issues, etc) but really excels at identifying *people* who may lead to potential link opportunities. Ultimately, it is other people who link to you, and Linkdex has helped us to identify and build relationships with influential bloggers in our niche which has helped our link building efforts. Linkdex also provides a lot of data around social media, helping us identify which of our content is popular on which social networks.
SEO Team Lead, EntirelyPets.com
One of our favorite analytical tools is Lucky Orange. It’s an online product that provides companies with the ability to track how websites are being used through heat mapping and session recording. Essentially, it gives you the ability to “look over the shoulder” of anyone who has visited your website. We find this kind of information absolutely critical when analyzing the best ways to optimize a landing page for online advertisements. By watching how people interact with the pages you’ve created, you’re able to determine which elements are helping/hindering the sales process. Over time you can use this data to test the impact of changes that are made to the design or layout of the site. We use it extensively when we launch new online advertising campaigns for our clients to make sure we’re optimizing the new site for conversions.
Inspire Business Concepts
To build an all-encompassing marketing program, HubSpot is one of the most useful tools I have come across. HubSpot enables users to post, track, and optimize a variety of marketing initiatives. From email campaigns to blog SEO optimization, the HubSpot platform has been an integral part of our marketing strategy. We utilize this platform to plan blog content, email our users, and optimize our search rankings.
For social media analytical, Simply Measured is by far the coolest way to visualize actionable social media data. With Simply Measured, an users can view brand sentiment, find top digital advocates, and analyze engagement from within a clean intuitive interface.
We have started to use Megalytic – a tool that automates analytics reporting to our clients. Clients are getting more and more data savvy and they expect their agencies to provide analytics around all their SEO, PPC, and content marketing services. We used to cut and paste, export to Excel, and manually produce the reports each month. Megalytic eliminates the massive time suck of that manual reporting process. It connects with Google Analytics, AdWords, and Webmaster Tools and lets us easily set up client report templates that can be scheduled to automatically send out updated reports each month.
One of the best analytics tools that is still not on the radar of many marketers is click-to-call tracking. We use Mongoose Metrics (recently acquired by IfByPhone), but there are many good options out there. This gives marketers granular, per-user data tying marketing source to individual phone calls. This data is a must for performance-based campaigns where phone calls are a significant form of engagement!
Soren Soren Ryherd
President Working Planet
Crazy Egg is a great tool to use in conjunction with Google Analytics. It provides a heat map of different pages of your website, which lays out exactly which elements of your pages are getting the most clicks. This allows you to add your call to action buttons and other important information in the areas of your website that are most likely to have a high “heat index”. Use of this tool is an easy way to boost conversion rates and better understand user behavior.
One of my favorite new analytics programs is Peek Analytics, by UserTesting.com. They allow 3 free 5-minute usability tests on a website or an app every month. It’s an amazing way to get a quick glimpse into the user experience and diagnose problems on your website right away. I find that a lot of companies may monitor social, or look at their Google Analytics, but user experience testing is either forgotten or written off as too expensive. That’s where Peek comes in. They just launched the product last month, and I love it. Highly recommend as something a marketer needs to have in their 2015 toolkit.
PresidentDigital Analytics 101
Our favorite tool is the Cyfe all-in-one dashboard. It allows us to create compelling dashboards for us to monitor and track various analytics from several different platforms in one area. It provides us with opportunities to create custom dashboards for a limited time engagement campaign or brand launch to being flexible enough to use on a client that is purely a SEO engagement. It’s a great tool and very useful in our toolbox to monitor and find opportunities for our clients.
BuzzSumo makes it incredibly easy to find social media influencers in any given industry (or targeting any given keyword). You can sort these influencers by their followers, Klout, likelihood to respond to your tweets, etc. It’s reduced our research time significantly, and makes it easy to find up-and-coming thought leaders to interact with.
You can also use it to see what pieces of content on any given subject are most shared – and it uses that data to dig deeper and provide you with info about which types of blog posts are likely to resonate well with your target audience. It’ll suggest target word count, whether the post should be a “how to” or listicle, and give you all kinds of other valuable information all in one place. If you already know which keywords you’re targeting, BuzzSumo’s analytics help you to optimize your content not just for search engines, but for actual readers as well.
As if all this weren’t awesome enough, BuzzSumo can monitor the Internet for both brand mentions and links back to your website. Over the last month, it has consistently kicked the ass of Google Alerts – it pulls many more results than Google Alerts catches, and finds them faster.
The Content Factory