September 30, 2015

Written by Mark Smith

Retailers: Attract the Right Prospects from Your Digital Marketing Campaigns with Analytics

Retailers Use Analytics to Attract the Right Prospects from Digital Marketing Retailers who are investing money in digital marketing—and really, who isn’t these days?—want to drive as many prospects to their site as possible. But more importantly, they need to understand what is working—or not—in their paid-search and digital marketing efforts.

Getting people to your website is one thing, but it’s far from the only thing.

To be successful and cost-effective, you need to drive the right people to your site. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are we attracting the right prospects? If the wrong people are clicking your ads (like they were in this case study), that’s costing you money while not leading to a sale.
  • Are we reaching as many of the right prospects as you could? If you aren’t, you’re leaving money on the table.
  • What happens after those people arrive on our site? Knowing where and what they click can help you convert more sales. 

Do you have a way to answer these questions? Savvy retailers turn to analytics packages to help them get more from their digital advertising efforts.

There are numerous quality analytics applications that retailers can use, but we recommend Google Analytics. It’s free; others aren’t. But more importantly, its tight integration with Google AdWords gives retailers a broad and deep view into the performance of their digital marketing campaigns. With other packages, it might take some effort to gain the same level of insight. What’s more, Google is nearly undisputed as the market leader in search engine marketing. In a presentation to company management, having the Google brand behind performance and analysis figures can lend instant credibility.

Improving Paid Search through Website Visitor Tracking

So, how can tracking visitor behavior at a retailer’s e-commerce site improve paid-search campaigns? With Google Analytics, retailers can go beyond just seeing the number of people attracted by the digital marketing campaigns to understanding whether they are prospective buyers, now or in the future.

The tool provides two valuable categories of metrics: session metrics and performance metrics.

As the name suggests, session metrics deliver information about customers’ behavior during a specific visit to the site, including:

  • Average page views per visit is a good measure of how compelling content is and how easy a site is to navigate. When a prospective customer clicks on an ad and is taken to a website’s landing page, ideally the customer would navigate through the site to see what else it has to offer. These are high-value prospects and are worth heavy pursuit.
  • Average session duration is another excellent indicator of how engaged visitors become with content or a company. By measuring the total time someone spends on the site, it also gauges the effectiveness of a campaign—especially if the products are complex or require considerable thought prior to a purchase. Long session durations usually mean retailers are attracting the right visitors, and they’re engaging with the content.
  • Bounce rate, or the percentage of single-page sessions, tells retailers how many visitors hit their landing page but leave without seeing another page. A high bounce rate could mean that a retailer is attracting the wrong targets initially, that there is a problem with the landing page messaging or that there are site design or usability issues.

Armed with this insight, retailers can begin to deliver more personal, dynamic digital advertising. That was the point of my previous post, where I described how one retailer’s search engine marketing program was underperforming, especially in attracting new customers. After some fine-tuning and implementing new digital marketing strategies and programs, that retailer increased its revenue by nearly 40%, year over year, fueled by a 45% jump in orders.

In my next post, I’ll discuss performance metrics and how retailers combine them with session metrics to turn browsers into buyers. Until then, you can learn more by visiting our website or blog.