Metrics that Matter

When it comes to online marketing, there are a million metrics out there…but which ones are important? You can pull so many tables, graphs, charts of data that it can be hard to sort through things! Do you look at impressions? What is this CTR? Are sessions more important than new users?

You can find pretty crazy metrics using Google Analytics. I’ve looked at user behaviors, device information, and site content and then looked up at the clock and realized I lost 2 hours of my day. It’s so easy to get lost in the numbers! One number leads to another and then you start wondering things like, ‘did they read my blog post? Ooo, if they read that, did they click on my link that included UTM parameters?’ And down the rabbit hole, you go.

Don’t worry…we got you.

Google Analytics

You certainly can view all the data if you REALLY want to analyze every detail, but for your marketing purposes, this might be an overkill of data. There are key metrics you should monitor each month to give you an idea of who is on your site, how they are accessing it, and if they are engaging.

Who is Looking

  1. Sessions
  2. Ages
  3. Gender
  4. New Users
  5. Returning Users
  6. City, State
  7. Bounce Rate
  8. Average Session Duration

With all of these items, we are getting to know our website’s users. With the location, age, and gender, we can see if our target market is visiting our site or if we’re a little off.

By looking at the number of sessions, new and returning users, and session duration, we are able to see how often people are coming to the site and how long they are looking at our content. If we have a low time on site and not a lot of new users, we may need to update our website or adjust our site content.

By checking out the bounce rate, we can see if they’re hanging around taking action, or peacing out after visiting. A website should have a bounce rate between 30% and 50%. If you’re a little higher, a few things to look at include: website content, is the marketing taking them to the right page (for example, if you make a post on Facebook about an available home but the link goes to a contact us page, you will probably see a high bounce rate), and mobile-friendliness (if the site isn’t mobile-friendly, people typically won’t hang around).

How are they Accessing

  1. Device Usage
  2. Referral Sources – source/medium
  3. Keyword Queries (not your meta data, but the search terms users are typing into search engines and find your site)

These 3 metrics will tell us how users are getting to our website – did they find us through our marketing, an organic search, or direct traffic on their mobile device. By viewing the source and medium, you can see if your CPC (cost per click) sources are performing well or if your social media sources are doing well, and then adjust accordingly.

The keyword queries can be helpful to see if you need to focus on certain terms. Users drive this data so if users are searching for something and trying to find your site, use that to your advantage! For example, maybe you put a big emphasis on your community name and neighborhood location but you find from your research that users are actually searching for ‘new home communities in [city name]’ and getting to your website. This tells you to shift your marketing to boost the city name and the fact that you have a ‘new home community’ there.

What is Engaging and When

  1. Number of Form Submits* (pro-tip: set up an Event for form submissions and then a Goal for that Event to track conversions)
  2. Number of Clicks on Phone Links* – how many calls did you get and from what page and number?
  3. File downloads* – especially helpful if you have a lot of PDFs on your site, this can tell you if users are interested in the PDF content
  4. Time of Engagement – look at the day of the week and the hour to see when most are submitting forms online, downloading content, or clicking on your phone number. This can be helpful to know so you make sure to have someone in the office ready to answer calls or emails.

This section is where your quality content and marketing come into play. You want to get people to your site, you want leads, and you want them to hang around for a high time on site. To do this is simple: have quality content and a lot of it. Google recommends most pages have a minimum of 500 words. Now, for home descriptions that can be a little rough but for pages like blog posts, about us, or processes, this should be easy!

With quality content you will see a higher engagement rate for file downloads, form submits, and phone clicks. Users will have the information they need to make an informed decision and contact you to be their builder.

Pulling it Together

All of this data is great information, but how do you pull it together in a readable format? You have a few options and they mostly involve Google. Google Analytics has report options for you to create and can email out each month. Create your Dashboard and export it as a PDF to email to your team.

Another option is the very new Google Data Studio. There are a lot of options there for report layouts including pretty graphs and charts. The downside is that since it is so new, there is currently no way to export automatically into a PDF or an automated report.

Lastly, you can use the good ol’ fashioned Excel style reports. From Google Analytics you can export to a Google Sheet and create your charts and graphs that way.

Once you have your numbers, find what works for you. And if it sounds like too much, you can always contact our team. We love numbers and creating pretty graphs and charts for your company each month!

*Note: adding tracking options for these events may require programming help on your site. Contact your website developer (hopefully is Builder Designs) for information about how to get this reporting option in your Google Analytics.

Katie Raymon

Katie is our Director of Digital Marketing. She makes things pretty with her skills in graphic/web design and manages our master report data and email campaigns. Katie works closely with our SEO and Social Media team to make sure things are all working together for our clients. If you have a question about digital marketing, she's the one to ask!