Why is it important to have Web Analytics & Tracking Infrastructure in place for my website?
Your website acts as a nucleus for your entire digital presence. The majority of people who take a meaningful action towards your overall business goals will pass through your website at one point. We have the ability to track and measure key data points on these vast numbers of people to help you understand your audience better, and make better marketing decisions based on that information.
The benefits of having pixels & such installed on your website fall, broadly, into two major categories.
As mentioned above, people are very likely to pass through your website if they end up becoming a customer. We want to be able to capture as much data as possible on a) your existing customer base and b) prospective customers. By installing pixels onto your website, we can get an overall view of your website traffic (and later activate that data on different platforms, see #2).
• When you do this, you can answer questions like:
• What are the general demographics of my website visitors (age/gender/location/interests/etc).
• What is the average amount of time people spend on my website? And approximately how many pages do they view?
• How are people arriving on my website (through ads, email, social, etc)
• Which percentage of my customer base takes a meaningful behavioural action towards my business goals (like a purchase or a lead form) and how can I improve that percentage?
This, of course, is only the beginning.
This information will help you go beyond intuition into who your ideal customers are and solidify your gut with data. Alternatively, the data may not match your intuition, in which case, you've learned something new about your customer base!
It's important to note that, through pixels and tracking code are often associated with digital advertising, there is a ton of incredible information to be had without ever running a single ad. These tracking tools will give you an overall picture of your business and will allow you to measure the effects of any changes you make to your business.
Now that you've used these tools to gather an incredible amount of data on your online users, you can activate that data with digital advertising.
We can use tools like the Google Ads Remarketing Tag or the Facebook pixel to carve out “audiences” and target them with ads directly. Audiences, generally, are subsections of your overall dataset of users that are segmented based on a specific trait or behaviour a user has taken.
A few examples of audiences are:
• Men aged 18-34 who have spent at least 3:00 on your website in the past 30 days
• Anyone who has filled out your “get a quote” lead form over the past 14 days
• People who have added a product to their cart but have not purchased yet.
Again, this is only the beginning. When you create audiences, you give yourself the ability to use different creative messaging with your ads based on the audience the user belongs to. Not all users are equal, the ones that take more meaningful steps towards a conversion are likely more ripe for digital ad targeting.
Having the ability to directly target people who you have information on with digital ads is the primary value add of this section.
The above is all based on targeting people you know and know you. These people have engaged with your brand in some capacity in the past and you also have some data on who they are and what they've done on your website.
The second value add has to do with people you don't know. You want to find people who have never interacted with your brand in the past, but you think they may be interested in what you have to offer. Without web tracking, you're basically shooting in the dark. There are some tools available without pixels, but they will never be as strong as when you combine these options with your pixel data.
I want to focus on the ability to create “look-a-like audiences.” In a nutshell, what these do is use your existing customer data to find new people who “look-like” your existing audience.
Let's say you sell gaming chairs and you want to find new people who would potentially be interested in your products. What you can do is take information on your past purchasers, send them to an ad platform and create a “look-a-like audience.” What this does is it will find a certain percentage of the population who shares similar traits to the people you provided and it will create an audience of entirely new people to target.
In summary, you are using your prior customer data (the best data you have available) to find new customers with ads.
Capturing and understanding your user data is key to making better business decisions. With effective web tracking you can understand your audience and ensure that you're getting the highest returns on every dollar you spend on ads.