Gain Clues for How to Set Your Digital Budget with Website Analytics
by Brian Talty
Deciding on and setting a digital marketing budget can seem like a shot in the dark – how are you supposed to know which digital efforts are going to actually bring in a return on investment and which are completely futile for your business? Maybe you’ve been pumping up your SEO, but is it time to move those resources to PPC or a targeted display campaign? And what about social? Are your followers even visiting your website?
While a number of factors can influence where you should direct your marketing dollars, one of the most informative tools you can use is a website analytics program. Below are some tips to help you leverage your analytics data in order to optimize your digital advertising budget.
1. Look for recurring trends or themes in the data.
When it comes to analytics, the data always tells a story. Scan your traffic stats and look for recurring trends or themes in traffic flows. For example, you might discover that your website naturally tends to garner more visitors during weekdays than on the weekends, or you may notice a strong seasonality trend when viewing traffic stats for multiple years. If you’re running any display ad or PPC campaigns, those times of natural peaks in traffic volume would be a safer bet in terms of reaching your target audience at times of higher interest.
2. Pay close attention to the source of sales or leads.
If you’re using Google Analytics, you can easily do this by using the “Goals” feature, which helps you establish and keep track of conversions. Using Goals, you can measure how often users complete a desired action (e.g., making a purchase, completing a contact form, installing an app, etc.), as well as which marketing channel that action comes from.
Take note of which sources tend to generate the highest quality or highest volume of conversions, and tweak your budget allocation accordingly to direct more resources toward the most productive marketing channels.
3. Put unproductive marketing channels on the “chopping block.”
Using your analytics data, you can also identify the “dead ducks” in your marketing mix. If you’re noticing poor click-through rates, high bounce rates, dismal conversion ratios, or other dead giveaways that a certain marketing channel isn’t cutting it, you can either make adjustments via split testing without changing the budget, or reduce/cut off funding for that particular marketing channel altogether.
4. Keep an eye on profitable campaigns as potential candidates for scaling.
Your analytics data will let you know which campaigns are yielding a profitable return on investment (ROI). Once a campaign proves to be profitable, it can be a prime candidate for scaling. Be mindful, however, to only scale when you have enough statistical relevance to support the decision. Sparse data can sometimes paint a distorted picture of a campaign’s potential, on both the good and bad side.
Your analytics data can be a gold mine in terms of providing you with key metrics that can inform your marketing campaigns. While there are no silver bullets, taking the time to pore over and thoroughly assess your analytics data can provide invaluable insight that will help you maximize every marketing dollar and achieve a more robust ROI.