To analyse data efficiently, digital teams need to have the right tools available. The sections below cover some of the key ones used over the different channels we have discussed during this article.
This article is part of a series of articles. We started with What are Digital Analytics and did a follow up with How to use Digital Analytics to generate ROI. This is the last article in this series.
There are several tools that can help you understand how users interact with your business website. Using this data, you can look to improve the site in the right areas such as ensuring it is more responsive on certain devices or enhancing the content for better SEO. Some of the analytics from digital platforms will help you kick-off A/B testing e.g. trialling two versions of a homepage to see which generates the most traffic or has the lowest bounce rate.
One of the best known and most popular tools is Google Analytics. Over the last decade, if you created a website without Google Analytics integration, people probably thought you was crazy. The popularity of the platform has come from its fantastic array of easy to use visualisations, ability to integrate all aspects of your digital marketing and, of course, the fact that it is free to use. Google Analytics is the go-to tool for anybody wanting to analyse their audience, devices, SEO and PPC activity. However, there are other tools on the market.
- Matomo – an open source free web analytics platform for detailed website reports
- Mixpanel – mobile and web analytics for user-centric data that has more social media focus
- CrazyEgg – looks at how customers behave on your website pages and how they carry out actions
- Hotjar – Looks at user website behaviour using heatmaps
A quick search returns a huge amount of tools available for analysing your website. Most businesses will start by opting for Google Analytics given its saturation in the market and level of integration. However, it is worth checking out some of the newcomers to the market that we have mentioned as they can give different and useful perspectives.
Social Media Analytics
Using social media if pointless if you don’t know what works. A Social Media Analytics platform will take all the channels you use, connect to them via APIs and store the information in a database so it can be used. This allows you to clearly benchmark your campaigns across platforms and get a clear view of spend against revenue.
- Facebook/Instagram/Twitter Analytics – each of these platforms offer their own analytics solutions for users, each of which are free to use. They will include metrics like views, impressions, followers and shares which are very useful for getting an isolated sense of performance
- Google Analytics – as well as website data, Google Analytics can track referrals from your social media platforms and see how they perform once hitting your site. This will help provide a picture of the entire customer journey during an acquisition process
- Brand24 – social media monitoring and analysis tool. This takes all your platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) and analyses the keywords, volume of mentions, reach and followers. It will also track the engagement across the different channels.
- Cyfe is a social media analytics tool with a massive array of connections include Facebook Ads, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Flickr, Bitly, YouTube and Vimeo amongst many others. You can try it for free and see both social media stats and advertising costs all in one place. Great for looking at optimising your spend.
- Keyhole focuses on hashtag data to learn a bit about the tags you use in posts and how they perform.
The platform you use depends on the digital channels being used in the business. Whilst most of them are free or offer trial versions, it is well worth exploring which work best for you and how they can produce digital analytics to truly optimise performance.
Business Intelligence (BI) tools will focus on making the most of your own data. In most businesses you will have various systems that feed into a central pool of data, known as a customer data warehouse. This will store all the information from transactional systems, financial data, telephony, email and chatbot data or anything else that your business owns. Usually, web and social data will have separate reporting tools rather than feeding into the central warehouse. It is possible to integrate them but as they all have their own formats and nuances, it can prove quite challenging which is why businesses often opt for the specialist platforms we’ve already talked about.
The aim of BI software is to visualise your data in graphs and charts. Digital marketing teams don’t want to have to filter through masses of data every time they do analysis and these platforms are able to translate that into actionable insight. There are a wide range of business intelligence tools that can help with the visualisation of data. Below are some of the most popular.
- Tableau. This is often the platform of choice for data professionals as it is easy to integrate with back office systems and has a wide range of integration options. It is perfect
- Looker. Similar to Tableau but has its own proprietary modelling language. This might suit start-ups and first-time users better as opposed to experienced MI professionals who have foundations in languages like SQL.
- Sisense. This is one of the stronger platforms on the market for integrating Google Analytics, SalesForce, Adwords, Facebook and Twitter into a single visualisation dashboard. You can set up alerts to ensure you are hitting targets or be notified when you don’t.
- HubSpot is designed to have all your marketing analytics in one place. This includes blog/landing page reporting, marketing automation, lead management tools, email analysis and funnel analytics. It is far more geared towards digital analytics than some of the traditional BI platforms, even helping with SEO, social media and ad analytics from all your different channels. HubSpot works best if used as your core business CRM tool as opposed to purely for analytics.
In the main, BI platforms have very similar functionality. Decisions on which to use is normally led by price and whether the specific integrations make sense for your business. Some will have a more digital focus than others and it depends whether that can work for you.
SEO, Content & Keyword Tools
Digital analytics tools like BuzzSumo are able to filter out online content that is currently trending or resonating with audiences. It doesn’t just look at the past data but also uses AI to predict what sort of content is about to trend. It will also include the most shared content across social media as well as analytics from different influencers in your market.
Other tools centre their efforts directly on SEO and keywords. One example is Ahrefs which is designed to tell you why your competitors rank so highly and how you might go about competing with them better. The platform provides the exact keywords for which your competitors rank in organic search and the amount of traffic being driven by each one. It will also show out of those which ones you don’t rank for an help to influence your bidding.
Competitors Analysis Tools
There are several tools that specialise purely in what your competitors strategy looks like. Pi Datametrics helps you understand the impact of your campaigns and where they sit alongside your competitors.
Kompyte is an all in one solution for detailed competitor research. The platform takes away the laborious mundane tasks involved in collecting competitor data such as price scraping, reviewing products and reviewing website changes. It automates these activities and turns them into actionable insight before distributing into BI tools that you already have. From those insights are recommend actions and then the ability to set up key performance indicators aligned to business goals. Through this analysis, you can create a heavily targeted digital marketing strategy that keeps you one step ahead of the competition.
It is quite clear that as companies invest more in digital channels, the amount of data available to help optimise the business and marketing campaigns is nothing short of vast. Companies failing to understand exactly what is happening in their business will likely fall behind the competition.
When talking about digital analytics, ensure that it fulfils not only the top line key performance indicator but also produces actionable insights. Change is rapid in the digital world and keeping on top of it is imperative to success.