How to Read & Evaluate Your Marketing Analytics

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Which marketing analytics should you care about and which are purely vanity metrics? How can you look at your stats to see what is working in your marketing? Today, I’m answering this questions and more with respect to your website, blog posts, social media, and newsletters. But first…

Create an Analytics Gathering Routine

While different marketing professionals may have varying viewpoints on what to track, my advice is to understand what your metrics mean, pick and choose the ones YOU want to track, and make a spreadsheet that you can update each month.

I know this sounds like work, but sites like Google Analytics, Google Console, and Squarespace Analytics only show a compilation of your website analytics and social media traffic. They don’t include everything you probably want to know about your marketing strategy.

Once you’ve made it through the rest of this post, you can set up your spreadsheet and quickly drop in your numbers in 20 minutes each month. Here are the analytics I like to track…

Which Website & Blogging Analytics Should You Care About?

When it comes to website traffic and blogging, it takes time to see results. Of course, we all want to see an increase in website traffic, but I would argue that it’s more important that you are getting the RIGHT traffic. Thousands of website visitors mean nothing if none ever join your mailing list or become clients.

Blogging is one way to increase your website traffic, and if you are writing on topics that are relevant to your dream client and their unique problems and interests, you are far more likely to see both traffic and your client roster increase over the long-term. (Here are 7 ways blogging helps your SEO.)

So… here are some stats to CARE ABOUT:

  • Is your website traffic increasing steadily over time?
  • Are there blog posts listed among your most viewed pages in Google Analytics? (Remember, this may take some time.)
  • Are your social media followers clicking on blog-related content and going to your website?
  • Are lead magnet downloads and newsletter subscribers increasing over time?
  • Are new client inquiries increasing over time? And booked clients?
  • Have new, current, or past clients mentioned your blog posts in conversation?
  • Has anyone ever told you they decided to hire you because of a blog post? (Yes, this happens.)

Include in Month-to-Month Spreadsheet: Website traffic, website traffic from social media, website traffic to blog posts, increase in newsletter subscribers, number of client inquiries. I would also include a section for the percent increase in each of these numbers from the previous month.

Again, if you’re seeing an increase in traffic, but no increase in clients over time, you may want to reconsider the content you are creating. If your blog posts are attracting DIY clients, for example, when you want full-service clients, you may be experiencing a disconnect. You can download my Content Strategy Workbook here to help you brainstorm some blog post ideas that attract your dream clients.

Which Social Media Analytics Should You Care About?

Not all social media stats are created equal. Despite what social media companies would want you to believe, what matters most to your bottom line as a client-based businesses is NOT your # of likes and comments. It’s not engagement either. It’s the number of people who visit your website and/or join your mailing list.

Really? Yes, really. Social media is a great place to engage with your audience and maybe even land some new discoveries. However, you don’t own that real estate. Instagram and Pinterest do. Or Facebook and LinkedIn. They could change their algorithms tomorrow and your followers might not see your content anymore. It’s happened in the past, and it can always happen again.

Social media may be out of our control, but as business owners, our websites and mailing lists ARE our domain. No algorithm can change them. This is why traffic to and engagement with your website and newsletters are far more important than those IG hearts!

So… stats to IGNORE:

  • # of likes on social media posts
  • “Engagement” with your social posts (although great for cultivating existing relationships or getting sponsorships if your audience is large)

Stats to CARE ABOUT:

  • The # of people clicking over to your website from social posts (are you seeing an increase? does it match what Google Analytics tells you)
  • Which content is encouraging those website clicks (most-clicked content)
  • Increase in reach (which means others are sharing your content)
  • Increase in followers but ONLY if this increase is proportional to your increase in website clicks (followers for the sake of followers doesn’t help your bottom line)

Include in Month-to-Month Spreadsheet: Profile traffic, website clicks, reach, followers. I would also include a cell for each of these to show the percent increase from the previous month.

Which Mailing List & Newsletter Analytics Should You Care About?

The goal of your newsletters is three-fold: to stay present in the lives of your ideal clients, to offer them valuable information and advice, and to help nurture your subscribers into paying clients when the time is right for them.

Stats to CARE ABOUT:

  • Open rates (ideally around 30-60% for <500 subscribers; around 10-20% for lists around 1,000 or more)
  • Click-through rates (ideally 10% for <500 subscribers; around 5% for lists around 1,000 or more)
  • # of clients inquiries

Include in Month-to-Month Spreadsheet: All of these

If your newsletter stats aren’t what you were hoping, there are several things to consider. First, can you make your subject lines more compelling? Second, is your content relevant to your dream client? And third, if these first two things are right on track and you’re still seeing low numbers, it may be that your subscribers simply aren’t your ideal client, and that’s okay, too. You simply need to attract more of the right client with a strategic and valuable lead magnet or more relevant blog posts.

That’s it for now, but I hope this has given you a concise overview of some stats that are worth your attention. Last year, I also showed you how to evaluate your entire marketing strategy (not just your metrics), if you’re looking to go a step further.

Until next time, have a great spring, everyone!







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