Managing and improving your digital marketing strategy means having to hand a toolbox full of digital tools you can use to make sure you can do the jobs you need to do as effectively as possible.
Looking back to pre-digital age
From time to time in business, it is always important to reflect on our successes and maybe on what we could have improved on. Trouble is with looking back is that sometimes we yearn for times gone by, the ‘good ol’ days’…
Wasn’t it all just a bit easier then? No digital tools to worry about. You opened a business/shop on the High Street, and enticed people in with a nicely painted sign. You advertised by placing a small notice (nothing too flash) in the local rag and sometimes perhaps splash out on the Yellow Pages (no longer in print, of course). You knew who your customers were and what they liked because you knew them. You would occasionally send out parcels (wrapped in brown paper) via the local ‘posty’ (called Bob). Your customers would keep coming back, because they really liked you….
Or, was it because they just had no-where else to go?
The arrival of the digital age – with digital tools to match
There lies the problem – as soon as the Internet starting getting involved, these customers did go elsewhere. Suddenly they could shop for goods and services just anywhere and they did!
So, jolted out of our reminiscing and back to reality, we realise the world has changed and we need to keep up. Suddenly we’re chasing trend after trend of ever more confusing and seemingly conflicting Apps and digital strategies. Now how do we know where our customers are and what they like? How do we know if our time and effort is fruitful?
The answer lies in using the best digital tools available – analytics to evaluate the success of your digital marketing efforts (or ROI if you will).
These digital tools will measure exactly what you are doing online and tell you what results you are achieving – leaving you with more time to speak to your customers again!
Our top 5 tools for telling you what results you are getting online – and how to improve them:
We know that Google is the most used web search service worldwide, so it’s hardly surprising that Google Analytics is the most-used tool to analyse all that searching. The basic version is completely free to use, but if you need more capability a premium version is available, called Analytics 360.
Using their customer interface expertise, Google have turned it into the simplest tool on the market that provides data on pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. This is because it integrates directly with Google AdWords, where advertisers pay to display advertising copy and product listings to web users.
You can also use e-commerce reporting to monitor sales activity and performance and it is also integrated with Real Time analytics, providing users with insight data on visitors currently on the site. Google Cohort analysis breaks down the users into related groups for analysis.
Hootsuite is one of a number of digital tools designed for managing multiple social media channels. It not only manages the major names like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but also smaller ones like Tumblr and Reddit. The advantage is to have them all in one place, avoiding switching between apps and needing to remember a host of different passwords.
The platform also contains inbuilt reporting tools, such as real-time analytics of social media metrics. This analyses your followers, mentions, engagement, clicks on links, and the performance of your team in responding to messages!
Hootsuite also reports on which different market segments are talking about your business/brand and breaks down the content of mentions: whether they are positive, negative or neutral among different groups. This information can be key when focusing on brand awareness or testing the success of a particular product or event.
Hubspot is described as an all-in-one place for inbound marketing and sales platforms. The basic version is free to use and offers a step by step process to take you through running campaigns, whilst simultaneously monitoring and tracking the whole process.
The dashboards are simple to use and show instantly how your website, social media channels and ‘calls to action’ are performing. It will also show how many visits each segment has had and where those visitors have come from. It also provides a comparison with your main competitors, and how many inbound links you’re getting.
The free version contains some simple SEO tools to help you monitor how you’re ranking, and how much traffic you’re getting, from using specific keywords. You can also upgrade as you demand more functionality from the available tools.
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool is free at its basic level –which covers 500 URLs. If you need to cover more than this, you will need to subscribe. This spider software ‘crawls’ around on websites, collects user specified data and produces reports. It collects a variety of data, including: SEO, meta data, URL and Schema categories.
Usefully, it enables searching and filtering SEO issues without the need for an in-depth understanding, because the tool filters it all for you. It can find bad redirects, meta refreshes, duplicate pages, missing meta data, server and link errors, redirects, URL issues, external and internal links and their status, the security status of links, page response times, page word counts and a lot more, if required.
Just about all the data we recommend that you collect can be done through the Screaming Frog tool – a complete and comprehensive site/content audit on your behalf.
The name Serpstat refers to search engine result pages (SERPs) and ‘stats’. It does what it suggests, ie provides statistical analysis on a whole range of SEO issues. This includes keyword research, search analytics, backlink analysis, advertising analysis, competitor research, rank tracking and more.
The tool is designed to help businesses improve their site performance in search analytics, content marketing, PPC and more. The platform also provides information with regard to competitor rankings and input on how you can improve your own performance.
Serpstat provides the rank of your domain for specified keywords and also all the details of the top 100 results. This saves time in gaining insight into rankings of top domains for a keyword without having to create lots of individual searches. It also provides an in-depth backlink analysis report whilst enabling you to track the backlinks of your websites and that of your competitors.
Serpstat analytics will show the market share of domains in the top 100 searches for keywords and keyword groups. The system also highlights errors and duplicates and then rectifies the issues so that your websites will achieve better rankings in the SERPs.
So, if your own reminiscing is leading you towards developing a measurable digital strategy but you are not sure how, then get in touch! WebAdept have been producing digital marketing solutions and analysis for 20 years.
We can lead you through the confusion of analytics and deliver a working digital strategy that leaves you time to speak to your customers again. Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!