One problem with marketing data is determining what is significant. You see this all the time with services that promise to "increase traffic to your website". This is much like putting a business on a busy street and assuming it will be successful. The mantra, "location, location, location," for real estate is commonly used. The problem with this mantra is that it does not guarantee success. We have all seen businesses fail that were in great locations.
More traffic to your website just means more traffic.
Traffic does not guarantee success. I could create a website and retail store for 8-track tapes and generate all the virtual and physical traffic imaginable and it is highly unlikely that I could even cover the overhead.
Unless you have a background in statistical analysis, it is very easy to confuse correlation with causation. I enjoy spurious correlations by Tyler Vigen. Here is a sample:
So what is the connection between marriage rates and falling out of a fishing boat?
Don't make the same mistake with your marketing data.
There is a tendency to go deep into the weeds looking for connections that don't exist.
Make data collection easy.
Google Analytics is a free tool that will inform your marketing. We always connect Search Console so we can gather information about landing page performance.
You can easily export this data into Excel.
Please don't waste your time looking for unicorns and rainbows.
Find winners and losers.
Determine which pages are getting traction and what pages are not.
While we have nothing against the pretty chart above. However, it does not make it clear who is winning and who is losing.
I personally prefer a Pareto Chart. It is considered one of the Seven Basic Tools Of Quality and is used frequently in solving manufacturing and customer service problems. You may hear it referred to as the 80/20 rule.
If you are not familiar with creating a Pareto Chart in Excel Click Here for details.
The Pareto Chart above makes it visually clear that Page H and Page A are clearly winners on Click Through Rate and Pages C, J and I definitely need some work. Now that we have identified the problem, what should we do next?
Start with Page Title and Meta Description. We recommend that you use a search engine to experience the look and feel from the user experience side.
Does the meta description align with the page title?
If you were searching for Sperry shoes, you would expect to find information about them.
TMI- I don't like to wear socks and love Sperry's!
Likewise, if you were looking for a Coding Bootcamp in Cincinnati you would want the meta description to provide information about a coding bootcamp.
Most people are looking for immediate actionable information on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Here are some tips for writing a great Meta Description:
- Pose a Question. Go deep into the searcher’s mind - think like a searcher. Ideally, your post addresses a problem or issue your target audience has. If we ask them a question in our meta description that is or might come close to the problem they have and are looking to address, they might be more willing to click on the result.
- Provide a Solution or Benefit. Tell the searcher what they might expect. The last thing anyone wants to do is to have to click the ‘Back’ button because what they clicked on didn’t match what they expected or wanted. Write a short sentence previewing the content or telling the searcher WHY they should read your post. Give them a benefit of clicking through and reading your post, if necessary. This is your chance to sell them on what you have to offer - informative, valuable content.
- Keep it Under 155 Characters. Generally, we say that a meta description should be under 155 characters. However, Google actually doesn’t measure by characters - it measures by pixels. That is, it’ll cut off a meta description after a certain width. The reason we say 155 characters is to give marketers a benchmark to abide by. Double check the length of your meta description and title tags with this handy tool from SEOmofo.
- Make it Relevant to the Content on the Page. If your meta description deceives the reader with content not relevant to what they should expect, be prepared for the searcher to hit that ‘Back’ button again. Some meta descriptions are spammed with keyword-stuffed content - this is bad. When you see keyword-stuffed content, that should throw all kinds of red flags as that might be a precursor to a page that wants to draw you for a specific keyword but not offer you the content you want. It’s almost like having no meta description at all because it does the exact same thing. Moreover, it hurts the level of trust a searcher has in your content if you mislead them.
Once you have improved your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions, start the process again with a new Pareto Chart. We suggest comparing at least 90 days data. Now that we getting better Click Through Rates it is time to continue the improvement process.
Let's use a Pareto Chart to look at Goal Completions. If you are looking to receive more quote requests, you should should set that goal in Google Analytics. Need some help setting up goals- Click Here.
Once again we have a pretty chart, but is it obvious what needs improvement? Now let's use a Pareto Chart.
As a percentage, Page G is the winner at 100% and Page L is the loser.
Pro Tip-never look at data from just one perspective.
When we look at total quote requests, Page L is the winner and Page G is the loser.
Now you have two actionable pieces of information. Page G is a great converting page- get it more traffic! Page L is getting the traffic, so look for friction points in the Quote request process. The Pareto Chart is effective as an iterative tool to improve your marketing.
Don't want to do all this math stuff? No problem.
We will put our Herd of Nerds to work for you.
Don't forget to check out our Marketing Strategy page for more tips.