Digital marketing data analytics – tools and tips

How is analytics data collected, processed, and reported? How should different marketing channels be monitored?

There is no single answer to that question because the right measuring method is always dependent on the different elements of the marketing campaign. Measuring various marketing channels at once is possible but requires a systematic approach. It is also highly beneficial to have the measured things presented to you in a simple and neat manner.

In this blog post, you will learn how Aboad does marketing channel analytics and measuring so that we get the right kind of statistics that benefit our clients the most.

We have also compiled lists of the most common analytics tools and concepts that you can easily utilize.

Identifying the necessary services

Facebook, Google, and all other marketing channels have their own tracking codes and analytics tools. Some services have good analytics tools, while others are not even worth mentioning.
When logging in to the analytics tool of any service, many people have absolutely no idea what they should be checking and what is relevant. The tools are there, and they have been set up because someone once mentioned them and told you to start using them.
Here’s a little secret for you: you don’t need to understand everything. Most marketing channel analytics tools are meant for more efficient use of that particular marketing channel. In addition, all tools have the same rules, principles, and practices, although often in slightly different forms.
So, you don’t need to understand everything. And you can’t even see all the necessary information at a glance in any tool.

Taking care of the tracking codes

The marketing channels and their tracking codes are at the center of all web analytics. Each service has its own tracking codes that need to be added to your website so that each service can collect information there.
Everyone working in marketing has encountered these in one form or another – and maybe even been a little baffled about them. Wouldn’t it be great if all these codes could be replaced with just one and you would never have to worry about it again? Luckily, Google and, for example, Matomo have solutions for this. They are easy to use and help marketing professionals, in particular, to measure marketing performance even better.
Sometimes it is possible to “link” different marketing channel functions together so that they share the collected statistics and can perform more effectively. Do note, however, that usually, you can’t connect different marketing channels (Facebook, Google, X, etc.). Normally, you can only link tools from the same service provider. A prime example of this is Google which allows you to connect practically all the tools of its marketing channels. This means that you can connect Google Analytics, Ads, YouTube, and Search Console together so that they all can use the data they collectively gather.

Making sure the data is reliable

Aboad aims at using such marketing channels that give us synergy benefits. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many to choose from, which means that the statistics of different channels need to be looked at using their own tools (there is a solution for this, too, which you will learn more about below).

As our main website analytics tool (and in some way as a foundation), we use Google Analytics 4. It is an excellent tool for monitoring website traffic, but it’s not without problems. First, you have to check a number of things before you can start using it. After all, analytics isn’t of much use if the data it produces is not reliable.

When Aboad starts managing an Analytics account, we conduct an audit on it and correct any errors we can find. We use a simple yet detailed checklist as our aid, ensuring that all our clients’ accounts get the same treatment.

Normally, the audit is not a lengthy or daunting process. On the contrary, the audit of a simple Analytics account is fairly quick and straightforward. Usually, problems only arise if the account is connected to multiple websites, and modifications have not been documented in any way.

Showing all relevant information in one dashboard

We can manage all the tracking codes, or tags, in one place with Tag Manager, but the analytics data remains in each marketing channel’s own service. Of course, it is possible to go and look at each service’s statistics separately, but wouldn’t it be more convenient if all the data were in one place?

There are various tools for just this. Aboad uses Google Looker Studio to present statistics from different marketing channels. Tableau, for instance, is another popular and widely used tool.

Looker Studio has many features that make creating analytics dashboards quick and relatively straightforward. It is not necessarily the easiest tool you’ll ever use, but it is much simpler than many other similar tools.

Looker Studio works brilliantly and seamlessly with almost all Google services, but it doesn’t work, for instance, with Facebook or LinkedIn by default. To include third-party services in the dashboards, you can use a separate service that connects other marketing channel analytics to Looker Studio. Aboad uses Supermetrics for this.

With the connectors provided by Supermetrics, we can create a versatile, multichannel set of metrics that our clients value. This is helpful for us, too, as it enables the presentation of all necessary information about a marketing campaign in a way that lets you see it with one quick look.

Our Favorite Marketing Data Analytics Tools

Analytics Tools for Data Collection

Here are the most common tools we are using. If you are not familiar with analytics tools, start with these:

Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics hardly needs an introduction. It is a digital analysis tool that collects information from a website via a snippet of code and presents it in reports. Google Analytics 4 is the latest version of Google Analytics, which includes a new data model for data collection and Google machine learning-based reports and features.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a tool provided by Google for monitoring and maintaining site visibility. It also offers help with analytics, for example, researching website search traffic and search queries.

Behavior Tracking

Heatmaps show visually as a heatmap what parts of the site visitors click or do not click, which areas of the site are viewed the most, and how far visitors scroll down a page. The most popular (hottest) areas and functions appear in red. Based on this, the usability of the page and development needs can be assessed. Heatmap data is provided by, for example, Hotjar and Microsoft Clarity.

Recordings from sessions in the aforementioned software concretely show what visitors do on the page.

Tracking Codes

Tracking codes (pixels, tags) are snippets of code placed on a website that allow for analytics information about the site’s visitors and their actions to be collected. Based on this information, for example, the most suitable advertising for them can be made. For example, the Facebook pixel allows for more effective Facebook advertising and measuring its effectiveness.

Methods for Processing and Measuring Analytics Data

Once raw data has been collected, it should, of course, be leveraged to find out what is really wanted to know. Following methods are commonly used in Aboad.

UTM Link Tracking

In analytics, traffic coming to the site can be tracked and reported using campaign tags. In this so-called link tracking, query parameters containing the campaign’s name, source of traffic, method of entry, term, and content are added to the URLs. UTM tags send information to Google Analytics that it does not recognize itself. By leveraging this information, the success brought by different campaigns can be measured.

Attribution Modeling

Attribution modeling helps understand how different channels and campaigns work together along the conversion path to produce conversions. Without attribution modeling, you might live in what’s called the last-click illusion.

Conversions

A conversion refers to an event that is significant for the business. For example, subscribing to a newsletter or sending a contact form can be considered a conversion. In e-commerce, it is usually a purchase. A company can define several conversions and use them to, for example, measure the effectiveness of advertising or the success of an online store.

Assisted conversion helps understand the cooperation between channels and how a visitor ended up converting. Google Analytics’ multi-channel funnels show the channels that led to a conversion later. Therefore, they show what the website visitor did before the final conversion.

Segmentation

In Google Analytics 4, data can also be analyzed using segments, i.e., subsets of data. Segments can be defined to focus on certain traffic or visitor characteristics. A segment could be visitors to the site on a desktop or users who buy certain product categories or visit a specific part of your site.

Audiences

Based on analytic data, custom audiences can also created in channels and utilized in marketing. A good example of this is utilizing the data in remarketing.

Reporting and Visualizing the marketing results

Analytics and marketing reporting at its best is open and informative. It clearly expresses what has been done and what the results are so that the recipient can easily interpret them. At the end of the report, it is always important to answer the question: “What did we learn, and what actions will be taken next?”

Data Dashboard

A data dashboard serves as an excellent tool for processing, visualizing, and analyzing even large amounts of data. It is a tool that does not collect data itself but to which data from many different sources can be connected, compare different channels with each other, and create understandable, visual dashboards for many different purposes. Google Looker Studio is one of the well-proven tools for data collection and visualization.

Statistical Significance

Statistical significance ensures that a test result is not by chance but as close to the truth as possible. It is important to remember that results are never 100% certain, but they can still be very close to the truth. At Aboad, we routinely ensure when reviewing results whether they are statistically significant.

If you are looking for insights on how to use analytics in marketing, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can explore tools to help your development.

Also read:

B2B marketing measurement – Creating a meaningful measurement system

How to begin measuring your marketing efforts

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