Although we’re already more than a month into 2014, it may be worthwhile for small businesses to evaluate which metrics they’re paying attention to this year. Google Analytics provides businesses of all sizes with a wealth of metrics tools, but it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the data.
Also, the importance of some key metrics changes over time. For instance, when businesses first developed websites, it was important for them to track how many people visited their site. Now we have the ability to hone in on the effectiveness of each marketing channel, and it’s critical for local marketing experts to analyze them.
Find Out the Average Lag Time
When you’re running an online ad, you may not necessarily sell your product immediately after someone clicks on the ad. There’s usually a lag time of several days. If you can calculate the amount of time that it takes for an ad to produce a conversion, you will have a clearer picture of your campaign’s effectiveness. Also, you’ll be able to more accurately predict your business’s sales revenue stream.
Take Cross-Channel Conversions into Account
Sometimes users find your product through more than one channel before they make a purchase. For instance, if a customer receives an e-mail with a link to your website, where they click on a banner ad, they’ve been affected by two of your marketing channels. You should incorporate both of these interactions in your data. Without one of these touch points or the other, the customers may not have made the purchase.
Calculate Your Customers’ Lifetime Value
For businesses both using local internet marketing and those with a national model, it’s important to determine the likelihood of turning a first-time customer into a returning customer. Until recently, many businesses calculated the average order value of each online transaction. Although this information is valuable, it tells owners less about their customer retention. If customers make regular purchases on your e-commerce site, you know that your marketing efforts are paying off. To calculate the lifetime value of each customer, divide your company’s revenue over time by the number of unique visitors to your website.
The Bottom Line
Many small business owners spend lots of valuable time with Google Analytics, which they use to tweak their advertising campaigns. Make sure that the data that you’re using to make marketing decisions is painting a clear picture of how your business is attracting and retaining customers. Every year or so, it’s a good idea to take a look at the metrics you’re using to make these decisions, and make adjustments if you need to.