If you’re experienced in digital marketing you know that it is important to get beyond just the campaign’s CTR. CTR is important, and often the primary indicator for how well a campaign did, especially if the client is unable to implement conversion tracking. However, there is more you could be looking at.
From a platform and platform reporting-side of things there is only so much that you can know and provide reports on — like the number of impressions, clicks, CTR and the number of actions/conversions. This is where Google Analytics steps in to tell a bit more of the story (and why we encourage all of our clients to have GA on their site).
What should I look at to see how well my Marketing Effort worked?
First, you need to do some “Pre-Post” Comparison. Be sure that you look at data from the time period before you did marketing and compare it to the period you were engaged in marketing. And make sure you are looking at comparable date ranges – like February 1-28 vs January 1-28.
Second, look for an increase in Site Traffic/Actions.
Third, look for improvement in the Quality of Traffic –via an increase in Site Engagement.
If your site is not getting much traffic a campaign is beneficial in-and-of itself because it will be sending you web traffic and generating brand awareness. This pays off immediately in terms of an increase in sessions, but if properly coupled with a remarketing component it can drive that audience back to the site – and lead to an increase not only of sessions but in time on site, pages/session, and goal completions.
Where can I find this in my GA data?
We UTM tag our campaigns. Find our specific marketing efforts under “Campaigns” and “Source/Medium”. This will let you see how the specific campaign(s) performed — you don’t have to rely on just some general Pre-Post traffic trends but can look at your campaign(s) specifically — and even see how they did down to the differences between the types –like display vs paid search vs paid social vs email.
If you are doing marketing and not UTM tagging things – (1) start doing it! and (2) you can still get a sense of how well your marketing efforts did by looking at the general trends.
Look for an Increase in Traffic/Actions
- Web Traffic: Do you see an increase in web traffic? (Sessions; New Users; Pageviews; Users)
- Organic Keywords: Do you see an increase in brand searches?
- Goals: Have you experience an increase in goal completions?
- Calls: Have you experienced an increase in calls?
- Sales: Have you experienced an increase in sales?
Look for an Improvement in Quality of Traffic
- Bounce Rate: Do you see a decrease in Bounce Rate? [lower % is better]
- Session Duration: Do you see an increase in Time on Site?
- Pages/Session: Do you see an increase in the number of Pages per Session?
These are all things that will indicate what kind of impact the marketing efforts had. When it works right you will discover that your Pre-Post Comparison will show you have more and better qualified traffic to your site – not only is the campaign sending people to your site but those people are staying longer and doing more once they are there.
Now a caveat to all of this is that it often takes time for a campaign to gain traction – to generate enough brand awareness and engagement to start to make that noticeable uptick. You will want to be careful in trying to tell the story too soon.
For example, a client has been running a campaign with us for about 1 year, but in January we transitioned to a new DSP. The client experienced a dip in CTR. The client was concerned about the dip as was I – so I consulted their Google Analytics data to see if it could tell me a better story about the campaign. I compared mid-Nov thru December to Jan1 thru mid-Feb to establish that while campaign CTR was lower than the old DSP what we were seeing is better engagement on the website.
It did take some time to tell that story though — if I had to use just the first half of January as my storyboard I had a less inspiring story to tell — but one month later the story started to take better shape. This is one of the reasons why we recommend 3 month campaigns at a minimum — it gives the campaign time to reach your audience and it gives us time to see what is and isn’t working for your campaign and to optimize it. By the end of the 3 months your campaign will have run long enough to generate that brand awareness, provide that desired CTR uptick, as well as show its worth when you examine it in your Google Analytics data.
Get beyond CTR when you assess whether or not your marketing efforts were worth the investment.
Don’t just rely on a platform report, but instead dig into your Google Analytics data to see what kind of story the data tells.
As you assess the quantity and quality of this traffic it is also important to know what KPIs and Metrics are important to your organization.
- You may only care about bringing new users to your site – if so, great!, check out how many new users the campaign introduced to your brand.
- You may also want people to consume your content – if so, great!, see how many pages/session they consumed and how many sessions those users had.
- You may find one campaign type did better than another – if so, great!, this could lead you to investing more in that particular type going forward.
Now get digging into your Google Analytics!
Need help setting up Google Analytics? Contact the BENN Team – we can help you with that too!