Google Search drives trillions of dollars in local commerce around the world and continues to grow, meaning visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs) is one of the most important objectives for businesses. But search rankings are both competitive and dynamic, making it challenging for local businesses to achieve their goals without a plan or the data to track change over time. Let’s explore where local businesses should start with measuring and improving their search performance and lead generation opportunities.
What Is Digital Analytics and Why Is it Important for Local Businesses?
Many local businesses do not have a digital analytics plan. Without one, they likely lack the means to track their local search performance, how they compare against their competitors, the primary sources of their leads, statistics on conversions, the success of their digital marketing efforts and more.
This gap in knowledge means local businesses do not know why their company is performing online at its current levels. In addition, attempts to improve their position in Google Search or increase the flow of potential customers often prove ineffective without a way to track the results of such strategies.
“Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.”
Local businesses must first be able to measure performance and diagnose what is not working before they implement and track strategies to sustainably improve their digital marketing objectives. Without the essential insight digital analytics provides, local businesses are in the dark about why their lead flow fluctuates, and what they should do to increase their web traffic and conversion rates while staying within their marketing budget. Successful local businesses monitor, measure and report on important key performance indicators (KPIs) that aid in decisions regarding where they need to invest resources and modify digital marketing campaigns.
How to Get Your Digital Analytics House in Order
Here are the most important steps to take stock of your current performance, what goals you wish to accomplish and how your business can measure success over time.
1. Define Your Data Sources
To start, your business must be able to track your website’s search traffic and performance, and identify your primary sources of leads. Your data sources should also include all the major touch points that consumers can have with your brand – this includes your website, Google My Business profile, review and social media channels, digital marketing campaigns, email campaigns and more.
Your most important data sources most likely include:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google My Business
- Review sources
- Phone calls and forms tracking
2. Define Goals
Once you’ve determined and captured data from your data sources, identify the most important goals for your business. Your goals will be specific to your business and may change depending on what you wish to accomplish during a specific time frame.
Goals can include reaching a certain number of:
- Forms completions
- Phone calls
- Online or in-store purchases
- In-store visits
- App downloads
3. Define KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Now that you’ve identified specific metrics for improvement, defining measurements of your performance indicators – your KPIs – and implementing measurable strategies to improve those KPIs are often the best way to reach your chosen goals.
Your KPIs may vary, but can include:
- Number of web leads
- CTR (Click Through Rate)
- Conversion rates
- ROI (Return on Investment)
- CPA (Cost per Acquisition – specific to digital ads)
- CPC (Cost per Click – specific to digital ads)
4. Analyze Reports and Take Action Based on Data
At this point you’ve identified your data sources, defined what you wish to improve and decided on your most important metrics for success. Now, you need to analyze the data to determine if your marketing initiatives are meeting the mark and translating into new leads and new customers. To do so, you must be able to quickly access the information you need, which is why you need to consolidate your data into a single platform. Your data sources may function independently, but they should all be accessible to accurately analyze your KPIs and determine if your current strategies are meeting your goals. This platform should also be able to generate historical and real-time reporting so that you can make informed decisions based on time-based data collection activities. Over time, this provides much-needed insight into how prospects discover and interact with your business, how your position in Google Search changes, how successful your ad campaigns are and more. This insight is crucial to determine how to allocate your marketing budget and digital marketing efforts into the most successful channels and strategies for your business.
Once again, remember the quote: “Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice.” Your data is essential to determine what is and is not working for your business. Only once you understand and can diagnose where your business needs to improve can you begin to implement and manage measurable strategies targeted to your specific business problems.
Digital analytics offers essential visibility into your business performance, enabling local business owners to understand what factors influence the success of their chosen KPIs and take charge of their digital marketing efforts to improve leadflow and increase sales. Learn more about how 24/7 access to a consolidated analytics platform like Bleevit Interactive’s Digital Analytics and Reporting Dashboard can help your business grow. Consult with a digital analytics expert here or contact us to learn more today!
Rick Hogan, CEO & Co-Founder – Bleevit Interactive
Rick possesses over 20 years of digital marketing experience and started Bleevit Interactive with the primary mission of helping local businesses succeed online. When he is not working he can often be found hiking Great Falls, Virginia with his Labradoodle Lily, or sailing the Chesapeake Bay.
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