As online marketing and search engine marketing in particular have evolved over the years, more and more metrics and data sources have become available to marketers. This is a great thing for analyzing campaigns and strategies, learning from them and improving upon them. However, all of this data can get extremely overwhelming, which is why it's important to have strategies for the analytical process itself.
A couple weeks ago, Google's Analytics Evangelist, Avinash Kaushik gave a keynote speech at Search Engine Strategies New York. WebProNews interviewed him shortly after, picking his brain about how online marketers can sort through and maximize the incredible amounts of data they have access to.
Kaushik says a lot of people will open their analytics tool and just look at the top ten or twenty rows of data, but there are strategies to help you see more of the picture. A few specific examples:
- In-line segmentation
- Tag Clouds
- Keyword trees
Basically, these are all things that can take large amounts of keywords and let you visualize the top performers, and understand the data. It can help you look at how strong your brand terms are, compared with different categories, for example. These things are explored further in Avinash's keynote:
Avinash places great emphasis on quantifying the economic value of things - your different goals. Quantify the "micro-conversions" as he calls them. This could be placing a dollar value on RSS feed subscribers, or on ad clicks, affiliate clicks, number of reviews, number of downloads, number of phone calls that were made to convert offline, etc.
"Quantify the complete impact of a site, otherwise you're going to be making bad decisions," he says.
The more you can break down your site in terms of the goals you are trying to achieve, and place specific values on these goals, the better you can understand the bigger picture and the vast amount of analytical data that concerns the performance of your online marketing efforts.