Hey there everyone and welcome to episode 21 of Conversations with a Digital Strategist. I’m your host Jessica Davis. Thank you for coming back to listen. On this week’s episode I’m going to talk about why I believe web metrics are irrelevant. Yes, I know! I can’t believe I just said that either! But allow me to explain…let’s talk about it.
Cool Tool of the Week
We’re going to stick with our theme of Instagram again this week. I’d like to introduce you to another iOS app called Square Fit. Another common frustration with Instagram, because there are so many, is its need for only square images. If you don’t properly resize and crop your images and videos, they will not display as you’d like them to. It can often times be very frustrating, when you don’t notice what it looks like until it’s been posted. And depending on how quick your followers are to jump on Instagram when you post, you may end up having to delete and repost an image that already has likes or comments. Well, Square Fit let’s you resize, crop and edit photos before posting them to Instagram. It’s very easy to use, and also allows you to add various ornaments to the image if you decide to do so. Next time you want to easily crop and decorate images, check out Square Fit. It’s free to download, but also has an upgrade for $5.99. And, if you didn’t know, now you know.
Metrics are Irrelevant
Ok, so metrics aren’t completely irrelevant. But, generic metrics are. When you’re looking at your digital analytics, simply scrolling through your Google Analytics and getting excited that 200 people visited your website, does nothing. You must be strategic, if you want to improve your numbers. An increase in your numbers, usually means an increase in your sales. So, you should want to affect the right metrics, and move them in the right direction. You can’t do that by just cherry picking metrics to analyze. Metrics by themselves are completely, and whole-heartedly irrelevant.
Let’s say I log into your Google Analytics and tell you that you have received 4,500 visits during the month of January. What can you do with that metric? Nothing. I didn’t tell you where that traffic came from, I didn’t tell you what pages that traffic visited. I didn’t tell you if any of that traffic converted or bounced! One metric or even two or three, don’t mean anything, if you aren’t using them to answer relevant questions.
So, what is relevant when it comes to creating a strategy around your metrics? The questions…
Questions are Key
Yes, the questions you ask are key. Map the important metrics back to the important questions. What questions are most pressing for you right now? In a moment, I’m going to discuss some very common questions, that can easily be mapped back to certain metrics, but let’s talk a little bit about deciding on your key questions.
Your key questions are going to revolve around your bottom line. What is the bottom line for your company? Sales? Leads? Donations? Once you’ve identified what your bottom line is, you can begin to list out the those things that speak to this bottom line. For example, where are your customers coming from? This question can inform which of your marketing campaigns are working and which aren’t. It can also lead to additional questions around why campaigns are working and aren’t.
Now let’s get into the questions…
How many visitors originate from paid campaigns? And, how many visitors convert after originating from those campaigns?
These are great questions, because they speak directly to your investment into your business. If you’re running any type of paid campaigns, or using a paid tool to push traffic to your website, you need to be able to answer this question. The metrics that best answer this question include, visits, visitors, bounce rate, goal conversions and sales per campaign. Let’s break this down.
Within Google Analytics, you can setup a custom report where the dimension is campaign and the metrics are visits, visitors, bounce rate, goal conversions and sales. This custom report, lets you see which of your paid campaigns are outperforming the others. You may find that some campaigns are bringing in a lot of traffic, but have have bounce rates. Ten thousands visits with a 90% bounce rate is defeating the purpose. In these cases, you may just need to adjust the creatives associated with those campaigns. You may also find that some campaigns don’t bring in a lot of traffic, but have high conversion rates. Five hundred visits, with a 75% conversion rate. This type of scenario leads to so many other questions like, which is more important eyes on your content or sales from your website? Or, how much did those 500 visits cost you to acquire and how much revenue came from that 75% conversion rate. If it cost you $350 to acquire 500 visits, but it converted at an average of $200 per person, well we’re doing darn good, don’t you think.
How many people engaging with my social media posts, are following me?
This is a question I’ve asked myself recently. I found that many of the people who like or comment on my Instagram posts are not necessarily following me. The same goes for Twitter. Your posts may be showing up in keyword or hashtag searches. If people are liking and commenting on your posts and not following you, what good is the engagement? Now, yes, you may be able to influence a commenter to begin following you, by responding to their comment, but what about the likes? You can’t necessarily respond to a like. So what good does it do?
So often, I hear clients get super excited because they receive a lot of engagement on their posts, but when asked, how many of those likes originate from followers, they aren’t able to answer me. This is a key question. It helps you properly identify priorities and puts metrics like thumbs up, comments, and likes in the proper perspective.
How many social media followers, have visited my website? And How many social media followers, have made a purchase from me?
Similar to the previous question, these questions help you put some things in perspective, with regard to social media. I always tell clients, the goal in everything you do is to sell your products and services. Whether that means, getting actual sales or collecting leads, you want people to purchase from you. With that said, how many of your social media followers have visited your website? And on top of that, how many of those followers have made a purchase?
If you tell me you have 35,000 followers. On the surface that sounds impressive. But, if you tell me none of the followers have ever made a purchase from you, then your impressive number evaporates immediately. What matters here, is not how many followers you have or how many people supposedly like you, it’s how many like you enough to buy.
As I said, metrics by themselves mean nothing. You need to sit down and identify those questions that help you meet your bottom line. From there, you can devise a strategy to use those questions and their associated metrics to meet your goals. I’m a data geek and I believe there is no such thing as too much data, but data without relevant questions is a complete and utter waste of time.
Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of Conversations with a Digital Strategist. If you have questions about anything I covered, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like more information about me, visit my website at Level360.co. I’m also social, you know. Follow me on Twitter at Level_360. Or on Facebook at Facebook.com/Level360LLC. Until next time, live true, work smart, and in the words of one of the greatest strategists to ever live, think different! Bye!
Intro and outro music by: DJ Quads
DJ Quads Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/aka-dj-quads
DJ Quads YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCusFqutyfTWRqGhC8kHA5uw