Everything we do online generates data and as a marketer, this data is key to understanding where our efforts are working and where they’re not. Most people when they think of Analytics, assume that it’s all about visitor numbers today I want to show how we can take things a little further.

For a lot of people digital marketing is simply about showing up online. Thats fine but smart marketers want to see results. Results in digital marketing come back to what I previously called the ‘stupid, simple rules of digital marketing’.

They can be summed up as : Traffic + Conversion = Money ( + Retention = Growth )

If we’re going to take that seriously then we need to measure and assess our efforts at every stage. Where we see success we need to replicate it and scale up. Where we see failure we need to learn from it and avoid the same mistakes.

There are a lot of things we can measure and depending on your budget, there are some incredible tools. For the purposes of this post I’m going to stick to the five free tools every business owner should be using.

Google Analytics

Google analtics is the standard website performance tracking tool which should be installed onevery website. It provides all the information you could want about how your website is being used. In basic terms it provides information about visits, their volume, where people come from, what they look at, where they enter and leave your site. You can also set up conversion goal reports and track them as well.

Facebook Analytics

Facebook analytics and google analytics track and display much the same data. Google analytics can go much deeper but arguably Facebook’s version is a bit easier to digest. Both Facebook and Google analytics work by setting up a tracking code. In Facebook’s case it’s called the tracking pixel. You may wonder if you could just use one or the other. My advice is to use both because by setting up the tracking codes you’re collecting the data you’ll need later if you want to run retargeting ads.

Both Facebook and Google analytics have great companion mobile apps which make drilling into the data much easier and I highly recommend them.

Hotjar

Hotjar is a different breed of tool entirely. Hotjar has several functions, but two stand out features. Firstly it will record every single visit as a video. You can watch website visitors scroll, click, linger and complete actions of all kinds on your site. Think of it literally as having the opportunity to watch over the shoulder of every website visitor. You’ll very quickly start seeing areas of your site where people aren’t doing as you expect them. By then making some small changes you can change how they use your site.

Hotjar will allso aggregate click, scroll and mouse movement data and provide you with heat maps which help you understand even more about how your website is being used. When I show hotjar to clients, they get excited. I think you will too.

Leadfeeder

Leadfeeder is, again, doing something different. Without going too deep into how it’s doing it, Leadfeeder provides reports on the actual businesses who visit our website. Every day you can log in and see a report of the businesses who visited your site, which pages they visited, if they’re a repeat visitor.

Leadfeeder is intended to allow those who sell into larger businesses be more effective in their sales prospecting. This can work really well when combined with a social media outreach program coupled with some social selling strategies.

Bitly

Bitly is traditionally used as a link shortening tool and it’s realy handy for that. It became popular through twitter due to the restrictions on the number of characters you could use in a post. If a blog article you wanted toshare had a long title then it might not leave you space to say anything about it.

Bitly solved this problem by converting long titles into short ones. But it has a trick up it’s sleeve for people who regularly share content on social media. Lets say you share one of your blog posts on several social media platforms. You’re going to want to know which social media platform achieved the most click throughs to your content. Bitly provides reports on this for every single link you create.

These five tools form the foundation of a solid performance benchmarking suite which can, and probably should be used i every business. They’re all very easy to set up and in every case available, albeit in cases, with some limitations, for free.

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