What would you give to rank 1st for “near me” searches for your business? How about to see almost a 200% increase in organic traffic?
These are pretty stunning results for a year over year review, and it isn’t unheard of to see major leaps in YOY performance if you take the time and effort to be strategic about your end of year analysis.
The insights you gain from an end of year review make a huge impact on your marketing plan, and success, in the coming year. The clincher is, you need to know what you’re looking for as you dig into your Google Analytics reports, and why.
A deep dive into end of year analytics is a big endeavor, requiring time and monetary investment. Is it really worth all that effort?
Deep dives are usually more eye-opening than a triple shot of espresso
With so many things happening in your business it’s easy to take a position of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” and let your marketing run on autopilot. We assume if something isn’t working out we’ll notice and can handle it then.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Many times an underperforming part of our marketing efforts can be hidden and only a deep dive into your Google Analytics can uncover it. Many times our clients are surprised to find glaring inefficiencies and unfavorable results they would have missed otherwise.
It’s not pleasant to think you’re doing great and find out otherwise, but it sure beats the alternative of not knowing your website is underperforming.
YOY trends ensure you aren’t chasing down the wrong “problems”
Year-over-year traffic can give a more accurate picture in some cases than month-over-month or quarter-over-quarter.
Seasonal businesses may show predictable increases and decreases around specific seasons or events. Here are some examples of situations in which your website traffic could show seasonal patterns:
- You see a drop in visits during the summer, but an increase when families get ready for back to school shopping
- You get spikes in traffic when you hold events or attend chamber of commerce functions
- An annual lunch-and-learn sends lots of social media traffic each year
In each of these cases, traffic spikes can give the impression that there are problems with the website when it’s actually a seasonal pattern.
What should you be looking at in a YOY review?
This is the prime time of the year to analyze (or at least set up) conversion events. Conversion goals help you measure which marketing initiatives created traffic that actually results in leads.
This could be a Conversion Goal on a “Thank You” page when someone completes a contact form, makes a purchase, or downloads a piece of content. Using a conversion goal allows you to measure which marketing initiatives lead to web traffic that actually result in leads
Event tracking lets you track actions that are specific to your website such as video plays, link clicks, downloads, or navigation. This can offer insight into the design and content of your site and help you optimize for better engagement.
Time out...what’s the difference between event tracking and conversion goals?
While event tracking seems an awful lot like conversion events, there is a key difference that’s worth noting because it will factor into your YOY review.
Event tracking is an action-based goal, something clicking a button or interacting with a video on your website.
A conversion event is different and related to behavior that sends the user to a thank-you page or similar page-based movement around your website. Usually, this means they opted in, bought something, or downloaded something that led them to a specific page.
Basically, event tracking is an action on a page that tells you about how users engage with your website, while conversion tracking relates to actions that send your user to a page and gives you insights about lead generation.
Content Marketing Wins
Do you know what your audience is looking for when they come to your site? Your blog is the perfect place to gain insights on this aspect of your content marketing plan.
Dig into your analytics to see which posts had the most views and the highest visit duration. The topics and style of the winning posts should guide the type of content you produce in the coming year.
Internal Site Search
Your site’s internal search logs are a goldmine for data and marketing insights. The search terms users are typing into the search bar on your site are a perfect place for sourcing keywords you may not have thought of that your customers are using.
We have clients ranking for over 300+ search terms for their businesses, you can bet that we didn’t just pull many of those unexpected keywords out of thin air. It’s all about data and informed marketing decisions, you don’t want to be limited by using just the terms you think you should rank for.
Demographics and Psychographics
Who are the people coming to your website? While you may not get to meet them face to face if they don’t become leads, it helps to dig into the demographics and interests of the people visiting your site. This can help you check assumptions from your personas and targeting and make sure that the stories you tell in your content marketing speak to the people coming to your site.
You don’t know what you don’t know…
While a YOY deep dive is a marketing best practice all businesses should be doing, it’s not an easy task. It can take years to truly know how to navigate Google Analytics, and digging through the nuances of the platform can leave most marketers feeling like their brain is made of swiss cheese.
Even the Google educational courses are a huge time investment and often leave you with more questions than you started with.
Where you may be left feeling lost, a credentialed Google Analytics pro can uncover a tremendous amount of information about your website, leaving you with real, actionable data and insights.
More importantly, the time to start setting up your account to track properly is now. While a seasoned pro can start uncovering insights right way, you need to collect a minimum of a year’s worth of data for a really good audit.
Things change, notably where your resources are allocated when marketing your website, and you will want a pro who takes these variables into consideration when performing an audit.
How it works
Getting started with your review is even easier, and more secure, than you’d imagine. No sharing passwords, proprietary information, or any business data outside of the metrics in Google Analytics. It’s as simple as adding a new user to your account.
For security minded business owners the simplicity of this process is often a relief, knowing they can add, and more importantly remove, a user’s permissions at any time. The users you grant permission can only see your analytics data, leaving your proprietary information safe & secure.
Once your audit is complete and reviewed it’s just a few clicks to remove the user again.
Now it’s your turn
Ready to dive into a YOY review? You might be surprised to learn that the examples we shared at the beginning of this article were real results we helped one of our clients achieve. They now get 85% of their traffic from organic search, saw a 190% YOY increase in organic traffic in 2018, and rank for over 300+ search terms.
While some of these results are exceptionally good, we surely don’t expect another increase in YOY organic traffic of that size, a savvy look at your YOY Google Analytics can set your business up to start seeing major gains like this client did.
Ready to see for yourself where your marketing blinds spots are and how you can address them to see huge boosts in traffic next year? Contact our team now and we can get started right away.