“For many entrepreneurs, analytics is the final piece in the digital marketing puzzle.”
Digital analytics for startups
Using data allows for informed decisions, better engagement and an increase in revenue
Terms like metrics and analytics may seem daunting for those not savvy in numerics. However, understanding the basics of digital analytics can help make informed decisions when marketing, advertising and interacting online.
How can metrics help your startup thrive?
As an entrepreneur, you’re inherently curious about applications and processes that will truly benefit your company. Analytics tools will help you test hypotheses about your audiences, challenge assumptions you may have about your product and determine if you want to keep or change your current marketing tactics.
“For many startups and small businesses, product development and marketing can feel like you’re just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks,” says Swartz. “You have no idea what tactics are working and which aren’t if you’re not measuring them.”
Collecting data is an essential part of making educated business decisions. However, it’s only useful if you can make sense of it. For this reason, successful businesses spend time analyzing their web traffic stats, sources and page performance, among many other types of data that can help clarify what your customers need and want.
Vanity metrics and other common analytics mistakes
Having more Twitter followers or Facebook likes is not your biggest determinant of online success.
“Like Eric Ries said in The Lean Startup, many entrepreneurs focus on vanity metrics,” says Swartz. “Those numbers might inflate your ego, but they’re likely not telling you much about how your business is actually doing.”
Instead of focusing on your growing follower ratio and other numbers that make your business look good, make sure the metrics you’re following align with your business goals. Trying to analyse every bit of data is another mistake you want to avoid.
“Pick one or two key metrics that give you actionable data,” says Swartz. “Focus on those and ignore the rest.”
There are no specific metrics that every startup should measure. Every business is different, so each entrepreneur can have different metrics on which to focus. However, Swartz notes that common metrics startups track include click-through rates, monthly active users, conversion rates and leads.
Time to get started
Ready to begin your analytics journey? There are plenty of free courses and platforms that can help your website perform to its full potential.
Web analytics tell you about traffic levels, referral sources and user behaviour on your site. Alternatively, social analytics allow you to listen to your customers, understand their wants and opinions and help to build trusting customer relationships.
Whether it’s Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Kissmetrics or Adobe Marketing Cloud, there are many online tools that can assist in measuring your users’ behaviours and digital marketing goals. Take their courses, explore their features and experiment with possible trends that could help your business grow.
If you’re someone who enjoys learning in a classroom setting, companies like Camp Tech offer half- and full-day workshops for adults who want to learn web and digital analytics skills.
“Often you don’t know what you don’t know and can get confused easily,” says Swartz. “Taking a class where you learn the basics of setup can save a lot of headache.”
Swartz’s final piece of advice is to schedule regular analytics review sessions with your team to keep your data and goals in mind.
“Look past the numbers and find the story that the data is telling you,” she says. “Are you on an upward or downward path? Are there opportunities you’re not seizing? Numbers are just numbers on their own, but the insight they can bring is invaluable.”