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Web analytics and goal conversions by Greg Jarboe

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Presentation by Greg Jarboe entitted, "Using web analytics and goal conversions to show your contribution to the bottom line," at the Measurement Base Camp on Feb. 2, 2021

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Web analytics and goal conversions by Greg Jarboe

  1. 1. Using web analytics and goal conversions to show your contribution to the bottom line Greg Jarboe President and co-founder of SEO-PR Measurement Base Camp 2021 February 2, 2021 1
  2. 2. Both Katie and I worked for a CEO who thought Advertising Value Equivalency was a bogus metric 2 • 35 years ago, the CEO of Lotus Development Corporation looked at my AVE calculations for 700 magazine and newspaper clippings and said, “Jarboe, if I could deposit these little pieces of paper in a bank, then I’d know what they were worth. But, until you can measure the impact of PR in cold, hard cash, don’t waste my time with these so-called reports.” • Today, I often use web analytics and goal conversions to measure SEO-PR’s contribution to the bottom line. Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Measuring the Effectiveness of News Releases – a Case Study,” Feb. 17, 2016
  3. 3. Just as history is written by the victors, the history of web analytics was authored by Google Analytics • After acquiring Urchin, Google launched Google Analytics at Pubcon Las Vegas on Nov. 14, 2005. • I was there with a client, John Marshall, the CEO of ClickTracks Analytics, which cost $495, $1,195, or $3,495. • We learned Google Analytics was “free.” • Back then, the market for web analytics was very fragmented. • Today, Google Analytics is used by 84.1% of all websites for which the traffic analysis tool is known, according to W3Techs’ market share report. Source: PRWeb, “ClickTracks Ships Version 6 of Its Web Analytics Software,” Oct. 13, 2005 3
  4. 4. Google Analytics provides many metrics right out of the box that communications professionals can use ACQUISITION • Users: The number of unique visitors to your website. • New users: The number of first-time users to your website, according to Google’s tracking snippet. • Sessions: The number of individual visits initiated by all the users of your website. BEHAVIOR • Bounce rate: The number of single- page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page. • Pages/session: The average number of pages viewed per session. • Avg. session duration: The total duration of all sessions (in seconds) / number of sessions. 4 Source: Google Analytics Help, Glossary
  5. 5. Go to Acquisition, Channels, Referrals and you can find out how many users a story drove to your site 5 Source: Google Analytics, Acquisition Report, Channels, Fast Company, January 1 through July 31, 2019
  6. 6. But, you must define your goals and estimate their goal value before Google Analytics can report them • Goal conversion rate: The number of goal conversions divided by the number of sessions, times 100. • Goal completions: The number of completed activities that contribute to the success of your business. • Goal $ value: When you set up a goal, you have the option of assigning a monetary amount to the conversion. • Each time a goal is completed by a user, this amount is recorded and then added together in your reports as Goal Value. 6 Sources: Google Analytics channel, “How to set up Goals in Analytics (7:32),” June 9, 2017
  7. 7. A micro conversion, like signing-up for your email newsletter, can be translated into a dollar amount • One way to help determine what a goal value should be is to evaluate how often the users who complete the goal become customers. • For example, if your sales team can close 10% of the people who sign up for a newsletter, and your average transaction is $500, then you might assign $50 (i.e. 10% of $500) as your newsletter sign-up Goal Value when users complete the final newsletter sign-up page. • In contrast, if only 1% of signups result in a sale, then you might only assign $5 to your newsletter sign-up Goal Value. Sources: Google Analytics channel, “Goals,” April 11, 2013 7
  8. 8. Google Analytics has a template for standard goals: Revenue, Acquisition, Inquiry, and Engagement • Google Analytics has Goal templates to help you set actionable goals for standard organizational objectives. • You can edit any template field. • The 4 goal categories are: Revenue, Acquisition, Inquiry and Engagement. • Use them as an organization tool to think about the purpose of your goals. • Create at least one goal for each category to understand of how users interact with your content. • These categories don’t affect any data. Source: Google Analytics Help, Create, edit, and share goals 8
  9. 9. If you get Edit permission in Google Analytics, let me show you how easy it is to create Goals 9
  10. 10. You can also track and measure ‘events’ like form submissions, downloads, link clicks, and video plays • Events are user interactions with content that can be measured independently from a web-page or screen load. • Form submissions, downloads, link clicks, and video plays are all examples of actions you might want to analyze as Events. • You need to add code to your site or app in order to see data in your Events reports. • Setup tags with Google Tag Manager. 10 Source: Google Analytics Help, About Events
  11. 11. Google Analytics can show you what visitors do on your website, but it can’t tell you why • Google Surveys offers a free website satisfaction survey that asks visitors: • What is the purpose of your visit to our website today? • Were you able to complete your task today? • If you were not able to complete your task today, why not? • How satisfied are you with the overall quality of this website? • You can create additional surveys with customized questions for $0.01 per response, or $5.00 for 500 responses. Source: Google Surveys Help, Website Satisfaction
  12. 12. Many organizations are focused on driving traffic to their website, generating leads, or increasing sales • This includes: • Media companies. • Colleges and universities. • Ecommerce companies. • But, other organizations are focused on increasing brand awareness, generating social media engagement, or driving foot traffic to stores. • So, you can use web analytics and goal conversion to show your contribution to the bottom line for many, but not all, organizations. 12 Source: Katie Delahaye Paine, Measure What Matters, February 2011
  13. 13. Communications professionals with limited budgets can also measure the brand lift of their campaigns • Ask your target audience up to 10 questions before your PR campaign. • Unaided brand awareness: “When it comes to <category>, what brands come to mind?” • Consideration: “How likely are you to consider [brand] when making your next <category> purchase? • Purchase intent: “How likely are you to purchase [brand]?” • Favorability: How likely is it that you would recommend <brand> to a friend or colleague? • Ask your target audience the same questions after your PR campaign. • We did this in 2019 for Rutgers University and pre- and post-surveys cost <$2,000. 13 Source: Greg Jarboe, Search Engine Journal, “No-Click Searches Require a New Way to Measure SEO Results,” Jan. 14, 2021
  14. 14. You can compare the engagement rates and economic value of all your social media accounts 14 Source: True Social Metrics
  15. 15. You can use unique products or coupons to track offline conversions like store visits or phone calls • A video news release for Jazzy Nola featured their Roger Goodell voodoo dolls and unique wine tumblers made in a distinctly New Orleans style. • The voodoo dolls sold out in a matter of days and the media asked Goodell about them at the press conference before “The Big Game.” • He joked that he’d read about them, but there were no stories; just the release. • The wine tumblers, which were great for tourists and visitors wandering the French Quarter during “The Big Game” also sold out. 15 Source: Jamie O’Donnell, Business Wire, “Get City Dealz, SEO-PR, and Business Wire Win SNCR Award,” Nov. 11, 2013
  16. 16. I helped to launch the Rutgers Online Professional Master’s in Human Resource Management in 2019 • In 2019, SEO-PR helped Rutgers University launch an Online Professional Master’s in Human Resource Management program. • Our objective was to generate 30 applications by August 1, 2019. • Students can complete the 12-course Master’s program in as few as 18 months and as long as 5 years. • Tuition is $3,174 per 3-credit course, or $38,016 for 12 courses. • So, 30 applications represented up to $1,140,480 in tuition for Rutgers. Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Rutgers Master’s Launch Optimized by SEO-PR Boosts Enrollment by $380K,” Sept. 30, 2019
  17. 17. The launch was a team effort, but Debbie Vogel of Rutgers and I were two-thirds of the small team • Debbie Vogel, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, created a landing page for the new program, created a video for our news release, and posted a copy to the news section of the website. • I conducted market research, created an optimized news release, managed SMLR’s ad campaigns on Google and LinkedIn, as well as analyzed results from Google Analytics. Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Rutgers Master’s Launch Optimized by SEO-PR Boosts Enrollment by $380K,” Sept. 30, 2019
  18. 18. We used keyword research to learn what people were searching for, but Google Surveys told us why • Survey found target audiences included personnel, staffing & recruiting, and talent acquisition as well as human resources. • Respondents with 4 or more years of HR experience said the follow factors were important when selecting a university: • “Fully online graduate program.” • “Flexible schedule/completion time.” • “No GRE/GMAT required.” • “Top-ranked university.” Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Rutgers Master’s Launch Optimized by SEO-PR Boosts Enrollment by $380K,” Sept. 30, 2019
  19. 19. We emphasized three of these important factors in the subhead of our optimized multimedia release Source: Business Wire, “Rutgers Launches Online Master’s in Human Resource Management Program,” Jan. 17, 2019
  20. 20. We used the Google Campaign URL Builder tool to add campaign parameters to URLs in the release • We used Google’s free Campaign URL Builder tool to add campaign parameters to URLs in the release to track our Custom Campaign in Google Analytics. • This enabled us to track the number of users, new users, sessions, bounce rate, pages/session, average session duration, conversion rate, conversions, and goal value generated by our optimized multimedia release on a daily basis. Source: https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/ Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Rutgers Master’s Launch Optimized by SEO-PR Boosts Enrollment by $380K,” Sept. 30, 2019
  21. 21. The campaign included an optimized landing page about the new Online Professional MHRM program Source: Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, Online Professional Master’s in Human Resource Management
  22. 22. We shared the optimized release with Emily Bader of ROI-NJ and David Hutter of NJBIZ under embargo Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Rutgers Master’s Launch Optimized by SEO-PR Boosts Enrollment by $380K,” Sept. 30, 2019
  23. 23. A copy of the optimized release was posted in the news section of SMLR’s site without multimedia Source: Rutgers SMLR News, “Rutgers SMLR Launches Online Master’s in Human Resource Management Program”
  24. 24. Google chose the Rutgers news version of duplicate content to show in its search engine results pages • Doug Lederman, the editor of Inside Higher Ed, wrote a roundup story on Feb. 20, 2019, which included a high- quality, relevant link to the copy of the release posted in the news section of the Rutgers site. • Although the optimized multimedia release was also distributed to 271 news sites, Google only showed the one without multimedia on the Rutgers site in its search engine results pages, not the “duplicate content” on the 271 other sites. Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Rutgers Master’s Launch Optimized by SEO-PR Boosts Enrollment by $380K,” Sept. 30, 2019
  25. 25. Our marketing campaign increased ‘familiarity with’ and ‘likelihood to recommend’ Rutgers University • In late June, we used Google Surveys a second time to measure the impact of the integrated marketing campaign. • The percentage of respondents who said they were “familiar with” Rutgers University had increased from 13.8% pre- launch to 18.5% post-launch. • The percentage of respondents who said they were “very likely” to recommend Rutgers to a friend or colleague had increased from 16.7% pre-launch to 19.0% post-launch. • So, you can measure brand lift instead of using advertising value equivalent (AVE). Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Rutgers Master’s Launch Optimized by SEO-PR Boosts Enrollment by $380K,” Sept. 30, 2019
  26. 26. Our launch campaign generated 8,337 new users, 85 leads, and 38 applications worth $1.4 million • Our integrated marketing campaign drove 8,337 new users to the Rutgers Online Professional Master’s in Human Resource Management landing page. • Our optimized landing page generated 85 leads (clicked on the Apply tab in navigation). • We also evaluated the source/medium of the new users and leads in Google Analytics: • LinkedIn ads generated 81% of the new users, but 66% of the leads. • Google Ads generated 11% of the new users, but 8% of the leads. • Google organic search generated 3% of the new users, but 7% of the leads. • Optimized multimedia release generated 1% of the new users, but 13% of the leads. • More importantly, the campaign generated 38 completed applications, worth up to $1,444,608 in tuition over the next 18 months to 5 years. Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Rutgers Master’s Launch Optimized by SEO-PR Boosts Enrollment by $380K,” Sept. 30, 2019
  27. 27. Optimized multimedia release generated 90 out of 8,332 new users (1%), but 11 out of 85 leads (13%) 27 Source: Google Analytics, Acquisition Report, Channels, Business Wire, January 1 through July 31, 2019
  28. 28. Inside Higher Ed story generated 17 out of 8,332 new users (0.2%), 0 leads, but an authoritative link 28 Source: Google Analytics, Acquisition Report, Channels, Referrals, Inside Higher Ed, January 1 through July 31, 2019
  29. 29. In 2019, our Rutgers case study was shortlisted in two different categories for the US Search Awards • We were a finalist in the Best Integrated Campaign category for demonstrating that PR, SEO, display advertising, and PPC advertising can increase brand awareness and generate leads at the same time. • And we won in the Best Use of PR in a Search Campaign category for demonstrating that an optimized multimedia release and duplicate content in the news section of SMLR’s website generated 4% of the traffic, but 20% of the leads. Source: Greg Jarboe, The Measurement Advisor, “Rutgers Master’s Launch Optimized by SEO-PR Boosts Enrollment by $380K,” Sept. 30, 2019
  30. 30. Web analytics and goal conversions show your contribution to the bottom line better than AVE • Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) is a bogus communication metric. • If your organization is focused on driving traffic to your website, generating leads, or increasing sales, then you can use web analytics and goal conversions to show your contribution to the bottom line. • But, you need to use other tools and techniques to measure brand lift, social media engagement, or foot traffic to stores. 30

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