Why Google Analytics is the a MUST HAVE Web Management Tool

A lot has been said about the different types of tools you can use to analyze website traffic. 

It seems like every year there is a new data management software that hits the market promising to have the secret insights you need to boost traffic. 

The software usually costs a pretty penny of course, which might add to your skepticism about it. 

The thing is: that tool already exists, and it’s free. 

Google Analytics should be the first tool you install on your site, and it is probably the tool you should be using the most to measure data about your site. 

From tracking visitor flow, to measuring engagement from mobile and desktop platforms, to checking CTR’s on each page and aggregating them over the long-term, to ….. the list goes and on. 

For those who want to get the most accurate and comprehensive data about their site in one piece of software, Google Analytics is a MUST HAVE tool. 

You just need to know how to unpack the data. 

Get Right To The Good Stuff

The Behavior tab is a great place to monitor user behavior across your site.  It lets you know which page on your site is most popular, amongst which demographic of people, in which location. 

Getting this kind of insight is great for all your marketing endeavors.  This simple bit of data can tell you three important things:

1) Now you know that all your pages should be optimized to the most popular page.  You can check audience growth overtime by going to Audience > Overview

2) You know the age, gender, and general interests of the people who frequent your site.  You can plug this right into Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, and SEO content on your blog and start to see engagement rise.  In order to analyze demographics, you need to have an Adwords account and enable remarketing and advertising on Analytics. 

3) Location is important for Adwords and SEO initiatives, both of which would be like shots in the dark without the help of Google Analytics.

Check The Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is that one area of traffic that is kind of embarrassing. 

It refers to the number of visitors that visit one page of your site and then leave.  That number might be upwards of 80% at first glance, and points to the fact that your site is not optimized for user experience.   

But, as with all things in life, overcoming embarrassing things will only make you stronger.  You can reduce your bounce rate by understanding why it’s happening. 

Deal with pages that have the highest bounce rate first by bringing the content more in line with your marketing strategy. 

If all the pages have a high bounce rate, it’s probably time to change up the design.  You always want to keep your site fresh, easy to read, and simple to navigate. 

Google Analytics comes with another free software called Optimize that you can use to experiment and test new website designs before launching. 

These tools only scratch the surface of what Analytics can do for your business.  It really is the only data management tool you need to propel growth and get your website working betting than ever. 

Grow Your YouTube Metrics

YouTube is the third most visited website in the world. I believe it.

And it’s not just TV. It’s a social network + advertising platform + content platform.

In other words, YouTube is many things to many people. In many ways, it defies categorization.

And that’s frankly a bit scary.

As Mr. Ziglar said, and I remind myself of it as much as I can: “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”

YouTube is an enormous opportunity for everyone who wants to produce content.

Let’s talk numbers, because I’m a numbers guy.

  • The total number of people who use YouTube – 1,300,000,000. (Billion! That’s a LOT of zeroes!)
  • YouTube gets over 30 million visitors per day.
  • In an average month, 8 out of ten 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube.
  • The average mobile viewing session lasts more than 40 minutes.
  • More than half of YouTube views come from mobile devices.

There are plenty more stats, if you want them.

But I think I’ve painted the picture for you: you could make a splash and get some customers on YouTube. There are people there.

So how do you find them, keep them, and convert them to paying customers?

What YouTube metrics matter?

It’s not necessarily views, even though that’s what you hear about in conversation.

A view, by definition, happens when the video is played.

Here’s the tricky part of a view: it’s logged every time a video player loaded, which doesn’t tell you whether or not that person actually watched it.

So what you want, in fact, is watch time.

Watch time

Watch time tells you how engaged your viewers are.

Longer watch time = better.

It’s measured in cumulative minutes watched, and every video and every channel on YouTube is ranked by watch time. If your video or channel has higher watch times, it’s more likely to be higher in the search results and the recommendations.

For example: a 20-second video that gets watched from beginning to end will outrank a 10-minute video that people only watch for a minute or two.

Note: YouTube ads don’t count toward your watch time.

Subscribers

Subscribers, those people who subscribe to your channel (or any channel), are far more engaged than other YouTube viewers.

Subscribing connects viewers to you. They’re as warm an audience as you can get!

Shares, links, and embeds

Shares are an indication of what is resonating with your audience. You’ll also want to look at how often the links and players are embedded on other sites.

How can you impact your YouTube metrics?

Get more subscribers

One obvious way is to convert casual viewers to channel subscribers. Here are some tips to make that happen:

Creation story. Share how you began and what got things started for you. Make your message relatable to your audience.

Creed. What makes you tick? How can you make it resonate for your audience?

Personality. Consistency is important: subscribers like personalities associated with the channels they subscribe to. Be an authority and let your personality shine through.

Rituals. Maybe you have a certain greeting or phrase that you begin or end with.

Language. Here’s a way to make your viewers feel like insiders: come up with your own lingo or phrases that describe things.

Put annotations on videos

Have you ever watched a video and noticed that there are clickable words and boxes that show up?

Those are annotations.

The best place to use them is “10 in and 10 out” — the first 10% and the last 10% of your video. So take the length of your video and make sure you have annotations planned for that first 10% and last 10%.

A cautionary note: only use one annotation at a time.

Know your keywords and phrases

Your Google Analytics and YouTube accounts should be linked. (If they’re not, go do that right now.)

Spend time on YouTube researching the keywords and phrases that bring up content like yours. This is worth an investment of time, and maybe even asking some people who are in the group you want to reach (i.e., if you’re trying to reach women, ask women). What are people searching for?

Then make sure you are using those keywords and phrases within your descriptions and tags and even in the title of your video.

Strong CTA

Does your video have a strong call to action? Because if it doesn’t…why not? You can do that within your annotations, in the description, and also within the video itself.

Produce great content

Saving the best for last: great content!

Some quick tips related to that:

  • Focus on one specific need in each video.
  • Get the right length, about 3 minutes
  • Consistency + congruency = win!

What can you measure and track to know if you’re succeeding on YouTube?

There’s a lot of information available, that’s for sure! These areas should be, at a minimum, things you’re considering and looking at as you build and grow your YouTube presence:

Views over time

This gives you an idea of trends, of how you’re growing (or not) and of changes. It’s a way of stepping back and looking at the big picture.

Source of traffic

Where are people coming from? Are they embedding your player, finding it through an ad, YouTube search, Google search, an outside website…?

Demographics

You might think you’re appealing to a 40-something woman in the Midwest when, in reality, you’re being watched and shared by 30-year-old men on the west coast. (That is a slight and crazy exaggeration, yes.)

Understanding your audience will help you make better content and who you are reaching. There’s a lot to be learned from that information, including where your viewers are from and what kind of impact you have geographically.

Playback locations

How is your audience discovering your content? You can learn whether they are searching and finding it within YouTube or from another website.

Retention

Wonder where you lose people? The Audience Retention page will tell you…and paying attention to when people stop watching can inform your future videos.

Subscribers

Yes, this is a theme: subscribers are important! But when are they joining? And leaving? What does that measurement look like?

Social Shares

This goes almost without saying: tapping into the social nature of YouTube is a must. You can also see where people are sharing things (hint: Facebook wins most of the time).

Commenting

When you get comments, respond to them. This is part of the back-and-forth that makes YouTube a community atmosphere.

You can also cross-reference your commenting statistics with others, you can gain further insight into what’s working with your audience.

Likes, dislikes, and favorites

Very few people will actually leave a comment, but a lot of people will like, dislike, or favorite a video that strikes a chord. Make sure you’re tracking this information and watching it.

Things to make sure you have set up properly

  1. YouTube channel and AdWords account
  2. The connection (link) between YouTube and AdWords
  3. Video remarketing lists in AdWords
  4. Conversion tracking pixels from AdWords placed accordingly

Strategies to use with YouTube

  1. Get back in front of users who don’t register or buy
    • Build video remarketing list off first video ad
    • Target those viewers with a new video ad
    • Exclude those who convert
  2. Stop advertising to those who have registered or purchased
  3. Increase your reach with similar audiences and Google Display Network

Numbers Matter: How to Measure Your Social Media Campaigns

Measure Your Social Media Campaigns - EZMetrics

I’m a numbers guy. I’m such a numbers guy that it drives my wife crazy.

But here’s the thing: you need to be a numbers person, too.

If you’re spending money on advertising — and let’s not forget that time is money! — then you need to know if it’s working or not.

And the way you know that is, usually, by some sort of number.

Social media is a hot way to advertise, and with good reason.

You don’t always have to spend money on social media — we grew the Zig Ziglar Facebook page purely organically — but you can (and often, it makes sense).

If you have a budget, I’m a big fan of Facebook ads. (Which would be why I have a whole course on it…) They allow for targeting in a way that, quite frankly, makes every dollar well-spent.

Know why and what you’re measuring in a social media campaign

To be clear, I’m not a fan of numbers just for the sake of numbers.

You have to know why you’re measuring and what you’re measuring, because that’s how you find out what’s working.

And when you know what’s working, you can keep rocking it, tweaking it, and improving it so that you convert prospects into customers.

Two types of metrics for social media

We’re going to consider that there are two types of metrics for social media:

  • Ongoing metrics
  • Campaign metrics

Ongoing metrics are things you keep your eye on all the time: you want to understand the trends and activity from one point in time to another. You want to look at snapshots, but also at the bigger picture. This is something you check in on regularly and keep track of.

Campaign metrics are focused on a definite beginning and end. These numbers help you know whether your specific campaigns or outreaches are effective. You can look at these within the overall scope of things, and you can look at them individually.

Both types of metrics are critical: you should be looking at both and keeping track of both.

How to measure social media campaigns

Ask — and answer — these 5 questions to measure your social media campaigns. In fact, I’ve found it’s a good practice to revisit these on a regular basis.

1. What are your goals?

What do you want to accomplish and where can you best accomplish it?

Some goals might be:

  • To gain exposure
  • To sell products
  • To spread the word about something
  • To engage with customers or prospects
  • To share news and information

You may find that, due to limited energy or resources, that it’s best to pick one social media channel (i.e., Facebook or Instagram) and build that up before you attempt another channel.

2. What metrics matter for your goals?

What numbers tell you what people are doing and whether things are working?

Here are a few metrics to get you started:

  • What are people talking about? Your “conversation rate” helps you build relationships and helps you nurture leads, answer questions, and support current customers so that you have retention.
  • How many shares/retweets do you have? This “amplification rate” will tell you your reach and determine what kind of content to create and what channels to use.
  • How many likes/favorites do you get? This “applause rate” and it can tell you what your audience likes, which should inform your future decisions.

3. What tools will measure and capture the numbers?

Each social media platform has some built-in analytics, but there are also external tools that can help you. For example, Google Analytics should be installed and running on your website already.

You don’t have to spend anything on tools: if you’re starting in Facebook (and why wouldn’t you?), the analytics and insights are part of the dashboard. For more tools, do a quick search for free social media metrics tools.

4. What gets monitored and reported?

For some people, this is the hardest part. You have to sit back a bit, and at the same time, you have to watch and keep track.

You want to know how your numbers compare to what you expected. Are your conversions better or worse or right on target?

Take a look, too, at how often and what you’re reporting, even if it’s just to yourself.

You can help a good campaign go to great, and you can help a faltering campaign rebound, but only if you’re paying attention.

5. What needs changed?

The real power of the numbers is that they inform your decisions. You can change your tactics and consider if you’re missing something.

Maybe you’re not looking at the right thing. Maybe you see a trend that shows you an opportunity.

The next step

Social media can be a drain on your time and energy. It helps to understand the metrics that matter and adjusting your strategy in light of your numbers.