IntroductionEver found yourself lost in the wild maze of website stats? Not sure what's hitting the mark and what's missing it? We've all been there. It's like stumbling through a foggy forest without a compass. You're just guessing what's hitting the mark and what's falling flat.
But what if I told you there's a secret weapon to cut through the confusion? Your backstage pass to understanding what's working on your website are tracking and metrics. They're not just random digits. They're the breadcrumbs leading you to the heart of your audience. When you crack the code of website tracking and metrics, you're not just crunching data – you're creating the stories that hit home.
In this episode, Simon Harvey and Daniel Kleber are not just talking metrics; they’re exploring the narratives hidden within your data. Let's venture into the realm where analytics meets intuition, uncovering trends that are goldmines of insight into your audience’s behaviour and desires...
Let’s dive in.
To help you create quality websites that convert, download the free storytelling website wireframe, which includes storytelling structure and techniques we discuss in our episodes, here (or copy and paste the link below):
Now you've created your website, you're wondering whether your narratives are captivating hearts or missing connections. Over the last few episodes in this season we've guided you through the process of crafting a website that's not just functional but irresistibly engaging. However there's one question that still stands. Does what you've done resonate with your audience? I'm a regular runner But without my trusty Apple Watch, I've got no idea whether or not I've outdone myself or I've fallen short on any particular run. And your website isn't any different. Peeling back the layers on user interactions isn't just insightful, it's crucial. It's going to help transform your tales from guesswork into strategic masterpieces. In today's episode, we're not just going to talk about metrics, we're exploring the narratives hidden within your data. We venture into the realm where analytics meets intuition, uncovering trends that are gold mines of insights into your audience's behavior and desires. So tighten your shoelaces. We're about to sprint through an episode of discovery using data to enhance your narratives and refine our strategic marketing approach. On your marks, get set. Let's get started. Hi there and welcome to the authentic marketing podcast in association with Demodia. Where we give you actionable insights that help you create marketing that works. I'm your host Simon Harvey and I'm joined by my co host Daniel Klaber. Hi there Daniel.Daniel:
Hello Simon, helloSimon:
listeners. So here's an interesting thing for you Daniel, I came across the other day... It's a statistic that knocked me over pretty much here. I don't know whether you know much about the advertising industry generally, uh, particularly when it comes to sort of these outdoor billboards and things. But do you know the Times Square in New York? And you know the billboards and things that they've got there? Yes, yes, I'm familiar withDaniel:
Times Square. Yeah, um, any idea how much it costs to rent one of those billboards?Daniel:
No, but it sounds like a pricey spot.Simon:
Yeah, you could say that I guess go on give me a guess How much do you think?Daniel:
Um, I would say about 10 grand a monthSimon:
Maybe yeah, I think you're a little bit short on that though. So yeah one of those boards Costs a minimum of 5, 000 and that's not 5, 000 a month. That's 5, 000 a day. So if you want a short term rent along with those things, yeah, it was saying this article, you could pay between about 5, 000 a day and up to as much as 50, 000 per day. Ridiculous, isn't it? That's crazy.Daniel:
Yeah, that's a crazy amount. You could buy a new car every day for that amount of money. Yeah,Simon:
theoretically you could. That's absolutely the case.Daniel:
Imagine if you pay this amount and not get anySimon:
return on it. Yeah, my God, if you're one of the marketers that was putting an advert up there or a company sponsoring that, you'd be wanting to know absolutely that you are getting a return on that, you know, as the marketer that's responsible for that. So the manager that's responsible for that, if your campaign fails with a spend like that, you're definitely out of a job. So. That's the key thing, and that's actually what we want to talk about today. We don't just want to publish stuff for the sake of publishing stuff. We want to know that it works, and we want to know that it's resonating with the audience. So it's really important to know that any content that we produce, or any marketing activities that we do, are working. And when I say working, what I mean there is that it drives traffic, you know, it's got to generate leads, otherwise it's not worthwhile.Daniel:
Absolutely, I couldn't agree more. It is really essential to rigorously test your content, but I'm wondering, Simon, how can I test my content to see if it'sSimon:
working? Yeah, so there's various different strategies and tools here that you can use to actually test your content and see whether it's any good or not. The first of those that I'd say, talking about websites, is you've got to look at website traffic. You've got to look at the metrics that are coming from your website and it's generating itself there. And the starting point of all that is to know what data to track to measure the effectiveness. One that I'd recommend to everybody that I talk to as a starting point in here is page views. So you can use tools like HubSpot or Google Analytics or many of these other things to give you quickly that measure in there. And what it's going to tell you is the number of times that each page is viewed over a particular period. So it's going to give you an idea of overall how popular this content is. How many times people are coming in and how many times they're looking at those pages and through your site, which of your pages and which of your stories is ultimately the most attractive to your actual audience.Daniel:
Okay. So we have to measure important KPIs to see if our content is compelling or not. And what you just mentioned, uh, Page views are one of those KPIs and how many do I need to track in total?Simon:
Um, I would say you want to start with something manageable to be honest. Typically I would guess with most of the customers I work with something like five or ten different KPIs that cover various different areas of performance. As you get more comfortable with tracking things and understanding which statistics or which KPIs are the ones that are helping you to adjust your story and increase your conversion rates the best. You might want to expand that, but to start off with I'd say just pick the few simple ones that are going to give you some top level information to know whether your story is working. So it's better to have a few meaningful KPIs that you monitor regularly and you act upon. And that's the other thing, you've got to do something about this at the end of the day than having so many metrics that you really can't do anything with, you know, they're not going to contribute to your goals in any way, basically.Daniel:
Okay, I understand. And apart from page views, which other KPIs would you recommend our listeners to track in the beginning?Simon:
Um, Another one I think that's quite interesting, as well as views, is just how long people spend on pages. So it's really interesting to see how much time on average that somebody looks at your website and looks at an individual page in there. That, I think, gives you a fairly clear indication of how interesting your content is. You know, if somebody doesn't find your content interesting or it's not the sort of stuff that they're expecting in there, they're going to skim read it. They maybe look at a couple of headlines and then they're gone. If they find your content interesting, obviously they're going to spend a couple of minutes to read through that content. Um, you know, how long it takes yourself to read through your page from top to bottom. So, if you're seeing a few seconds in there, you know, it's not particularly interesting. If you're seeing something up to a minute or two, yeah, you know you've probably got a reasonable amount of people hooked on your content.Daniel:
So, that means if someone stays on a certain page for a long time, the content is good. And on the other hand, if someone leaves a page very early, it means that the content is bad.Simon:
Yeah, more or less, inside that I wouldn't necessarily say bad, but it just means it's not necessarily so interesting to them. Um, another stat actually that follows along the same thing here is looking at exit rates. So when a visitor exits or leaves your site, That can be a key teller too. If people look at more than one page on your site, then typically it means that what they've found is interesting to them. But if they only look at a single page and then they head off, that's not such a good indication. It's more an indication that they didn't find the answer to the question that they originally had. What we call this is the bounce rate, so that's the number of people or the percentage of visitors that leave your site after viewing just one page in there and a high bounce rate basically is an indication that your content really isn't engaging enough or that it doesn't meet the expectations of your visitors, you know, they're not getting engaged by the story and they're not going through into that next episode or they don't want to learn more about what you've got to say in there. So you want to aim for a lower bounce rate to ensure your visitors are exploring your site. So to put that numerically, if your bounce rates are in the 90 plus percent in there, that's high. If the bounce rates that you're seeing are more like sort of 70 percent, those are starting to get much more realistic. And if you're down into the sort of 40 or 50 percent, then you're amongst some of the best performing pages that are out there. All right,Daniel:
that makes sense. I read that social shares are also an indicator that visitors like your content. And social shares is the number of times your content is shared on social media platforms. They indicate that visitors find your content valuable enough to share with their networks, expanding your reach, and attracting new visitors. To make it easy for visitors to share your content, you could build in share buttons.Simon:
That's great to know when people are going to share our content. It's really a big thumbs up in there. Speaking of sharing content though, the other thing is to not forget CTAs or calls to action that we talked about a while back. Tracking the click through rate on those is also another very good statistic. If that rate is high, You know, if people are clicking through on there, it means that your top level messages and the things that you're asking them to do inside those calls to action are clear and they understand where they're going to next. So that's really a good understanding that your content is doing its job and it's pulling people through the various different stages in there. If you click through rates are low, somewhere down there, there's a disconnect.Daniel:
And think about the potential if we also track the click through rate on those share buttons too.Simon:
Yeah, I think that would be a great thing to do because then again, you know, how many people actually thought about sharing but didn't necessarily share if you don't see those numbers of likes or follows appearing on your social stats. SpeakingDaniel:
of rates though, the conversion rates are another biggie. Like, if we're trying to get people to sign up for something or to buy a product, that rate tells us how good our content is at sealing the deal.Simon:
Yeah, absolutely. It's like a scoreboard. Um, this is going to tell you how many visitors liked our content enough to actually give us their email address. And the great thing is that once we've got an email address, once we know exactly who a specific visitor is, then we're going to be able to create even more personalized content and tailor the fit even better for them. AndDaniel:
for those wondering how we keep tabs on all this, tools like Google Analytics 4 are our best friends. Not only does it give you info on all these metrics, but it goes beyond. You can set it up to track specific actions, think, form submissions, downloads, and even purchases. There's also this cool behavior flow report, and it's like a map of the visitor's journey on our site. Super useful to see which contents a hit and which, well,Simon:
Yeah, I really like that behavior flow report. It's a little bit difficult to get your head around to start off with, but it just helps you to understand the flow that people take through your website. You can see which page is linked to which and how many people actually go more than one or two pages deep into your site. And that's really all about understanding how folks interact with your content and what you put out there. Uh, another one you, speaking of Google Analytics, that is well worth doing, and you can also do this with tools like HubSpot, is if your site has a search bar, you can monitor what people are searching for inside there, you know, it will actually log the search terms that people look for, and if you see regular things popping up in there, it's probably a good idea to provide some additional content or make sure that that sort of stuff is clear within your content within the site, you know, you want to place a focus on the things that people want to know the most. AnotherDaniel:
thing you could use too is ASimon:
B testing. Yeah, it's a good one. It'sDaniel:
like a litmus test. Comparing two content variations to establish the most engaging version. It's a strategic move to align more closely with your audience preferences. And this feature helps you identify which version of your content resonates better with your audience.Simon:
Yeah, A B testing is certainly a very powerful tool, but you've got to know how you're using it to get the most out of it effectively. As we talked about on our episode the other week, when we were looking at web page optimization inside there, it's not just about making some simple random changes. You've got to think about how you use that to get the best out of it. But the thing is that by harnessing all of the tools and methodologies that we've talked about above, what that's going to give us and what that's going to do is put us in a much better position to refine the content that we've got and to refine our approach. And the other thing that I would say is that that's something that we need to do continually. You know, we need to be proactive. And adapt what we do based on the feedback. It's not like we're going to create one set of content or one web page and then put it out there and forget it. We need to be looking at whether that's working, what our users are looking for, how are they interacting with that, where in that overall. flow is things breaking down, you know, people not getting to pages, people not converting, people not sharing, you know, where's the message not resonating and we need to act on it. You know, we need to make sure that we're continually updating and continually making sure that the content and the stories that we tell are the content and the stories that our audience want. I think that the key message today is that a website's not just about set and forget. It's a living entity and just like any other living being you need to monitor its vital signs and act if things don't look right. By monitoring the changes and taking appropriate actions you're not just going to boost your customer interaction but also your lead generation. And you're going to turn casual browsers into loyal patrons. So if you're having problems setting up and optimizing your website, then you can hire an authentic engagement coach. You just want to go to wantauthentic. com to hire a coach that will show you how to increase the effectiveness of your website and give you an easier way to grow your business. So it's time for some concrete actions for you to do that will help you improve your website. And drive business through your sales pipeline. Today, my actionable step is going to be simple. And I really hope that most of you have already done this. I want you to set up a Google GA4 or a similar sort of tracking tool on your website. So some of you might already turn around and say yes we've got this but watch out if you're using the older Google Analytics 3 code then it's time to update that too as Google deprecated that a couple of months ago and you're going to find that you're no longer getting any data coming through into the system. When you've done that with the tracking script installed, I want you to keep a regular eye on the performance of your website. The best thing to do is to monitor key metrics such as page views, engagement rates, bounce rate or conversion rates in there. You know, using these metrics you can see what parts of your story are working and which need further tweaks. And by performing regular optimization You're going to see how performance changes over time as your narratives improve. So that's all for today's episode of the Authentic Marketing Podcast. Thanks as always for listening and don't forget to bookmark the podcast and follow us on LinkedIn. We love to hear what you want to know and how we're helping your business to succeed. See you next time.