Top Business Metrics for 2013

We’re already well into the first month of 2013, but it’s not too late for some essential New Year’s Resolutions to grow your business this year. Google Analytics makes it easy to get a wealth of knowledge about your company, but what should you focus on to maximize results? Here are our top business metrics recommendations for 2013:

Mobile Engagement+

Mobile websites are no longer a luxury, bottom line. According to statistics from eMarketer, retail ecommerce on mobile devices increased 81% to nearly $25 billion in the United States alone. As I discussed last November, mobile websites represent not only a key opportunity, but a necessity if companies want to continue to be competitive. With mobile devicesexpected to be used for 15% of all US retail ecommerce in 2013, now is the time to be sure your mobile experience on your website is the very best it can be.  Key areas to track in Google Analytics:

  1. Mobile conversions and conversion flow:  Pay particular attention to any areas where there are sharp drop-offs, as this may indicate not only content issues, but UI or navigation issues.
  2. Bounce Rates on mobile devices: Likewise, if you have high bounce rates on pages that perform well on desktop devices, you may have a UI issue in your mobile experience.
  3. Mobile ad ROI: Your mobile channel should be evaluated separately to be sure it’s up to par with your other marketing efforts. Campaigns here will likely need to be customized in order to take into account both mobile-specific features and limitations.

No matter what kind of business you own, mobile engagement is essential to maintaining a competitive online presence. Start tracking your mobile engagement now in order to get the biggest ROI in 2013.

Bounce Rates+

Bounce rates are a standard measure of engagement for websites. Typically, the lower the bounce rate is on your webpage, the greater the engagement. Most business owners strive to achieve lower bounce rates by changing one or two elements on the page. In 2013, go deeper – take a good look at your overall website design and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is my messaging clear and concise?
  2. Are website visitors easily able to find what they are looking for?
  3. Do I give users a reason (and the ability) to “dig deeper” with my content?
  4. Am I providing share-worthy content?
  5. Do I have a clear call to action that motivates visitors to take the next step?

Don’t get caught up in superficial changes to decrease your bounce rates. Compare top-performing pages to under-performing pages and determine what you can change to make your website fundamentally better for every visitor that comes to your website.  Set up customized reports in Google Analytics that will give you a clear picture of which pages have the highest and lowest bounce rates.

Campaign ROI

SEM has come a long way from simple PPC advertising. Chances are good that you’ve invested at least a portion of your online marketing budget to SEM in the past, but do you really know how well it paid off? For 2013, start taking an in-depth measure of your campaign ROI and get more out of your marketing budget. Evaluate each campaign’s performance in these key areas:

  1. User Conversions – Not all conversions are created equal. Separate high-value conversions into their own custom Google Analytics report to see if some of your SEM channels are bringing in larger numbers of highly profitable customers.
  2. Repeat Visits – When looking at value, it’s also important to look at which customers and visitors are sticking around versus which aren’t and why. Take a look at the average lifetime value (LTV) of your typical customer across multiple campaigns to see which messaging resonates more with people who continue to buy.
  3. Lead Generation – Of course, not all conversions are about making a sale. List building and lead generation are two of the largest goals for many small businesses this year. Take a look at the typical number of sales you get from your leads to determine if a lead generation SEM channel is performing well.
  4. Cost – This is not just the cost of your SEM campaigns themselves, but also the work that goes into them. Factor in the cost of creating the marketing collateral, the ads, the landing pages – everything that goes into making a successful sale.

It’s also important to remember that not every customer comes to your site via paid SEM. For a true test of campaign ROI, compare statistics with organic leads such as customers who find your site via organic and social search as well. This brings us to our next top metric…

Social Attribution+

Social media is big part of why people are online and it’s not going away.  If you haven’t already started creating social media campaigns for your company, let 2013 be the year that you take advantage of the broad reach of social media.  If you already have social media campaigns, this year is the time to start tracking how they contribute to business growth and overall success. Make sure to use Google Analytics Social Reporting tools to:

  1. Track the most popular pages on your site from social media outlets: Do your social media messages generate interest?
  2. Track conversions from social media channels: Are your special offers resonating with your target audience?
  3. Track social engagement on your pages: Which content is being shared and why?

When using a multi-touch attribution model for conversions versus a last-touch attribution model, evaluate social media on the basis of continued engagement rather than just sales or leads. Remember that most users who engage with your brand via social media do so only when you provide real value in terms of both products and services as well as genuine interaction.

Custom Tracking for Optimization

Lastly, make 2013 the Year of Customization. No one knows your business better than you do. Capitalize on that knowledge and create custom charts, reports, and dashboards to give you greater insights about your company’s performance.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ways of comparing data, and take every result – positive or negative – as a learning experience that you can use to improve upon your business in the future.  You might need to track:

  1. Conversions resulting from an in-person seminar or convention.
  2. Whitepaper downloads or video plays.
  3. Leads generated from webinars or online presentations.
  4. Cross-channel conversions, such as print or radio advertising.

Regardless of what the new year brings for your business, a solid foundation of analytics will help you to be prepared to take the most out of every opportunity that arises. If you need help getting your business website optimized with Google Analytics, Bear Creek Web is ready to assist. Give us a call, or fill out a quick form to get started today.

eMarketer: Tablets, Smartphones Drive Mobile Commerce to Record Heights –
Keywords: Google Analytics, conversions

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