Don’t keep score — with respect to business, relationships, wealth, or just how many tacos or burritos you can swallow in one sitting?
Keeping score only makes you miserable. It pushes you to chase invisible ghosts. You’ll only exhaust yourself one day and have nothing much to show for whatever it is that you were trying to keep score with.
Take travel for instance: you might have heard about how people make it a mission to all of 195 countries in the world with as often as just a few minutes in a country. It might sound impressive at first but you need to dig deeper.
Travel isn’t just about keeping score — it’s more about exploring the vast diaspora of cultures, languages, food, places, habits, and social constructs that make so many different places unique (and some countries like The United States, India, and China are even more complex).
People who travel 195 countries (in 2,5,7 years flat) barely ever being able to appreciate the vast, almost impossible wealth that each country with its people, food, and culture can really give you).
Why am I talking about travel, countries, and people who keep score with travel (# of countries) collecting visas like Pokemon cards, you ask?
That’s something marketers and entrepreneurs do as well. The underbelly of business has a lot to do with keeping score, tally, to measure up, to keep track of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and so much more.
It’s just the nature of the beast. Because your digital marketing — and hence your business — makes itself vulnerable to “keeping score”, here’s why you don’t keep score and you can do instead:
It’s assumed that basics are sorted
You might have already gone ahead and have the right foundations in place (hopefully). If you haven’t, here’s a rundown of options.
Pick the right Hosting Solutions. Your options? WPEngine, FlyWheel (also owned by WPEngine), Cloudways (gives you at least 5 other avenues for hosting such as an ability to choose from Digital Ocean, The Google Cloud Platform, AWS, and more), 10Web (on Google Cloud Platform but gives you 22+ premium plugins, a WordPress website builder built on top of Elementor, and more).
Put your unwavering focus on the complete digital marketing engine (all channels). So, it’s not just SEO or social media. Start with blogging on a schedule, do content marketing the right way, distribute your content on social media regularly (Hint: use Linkiro to make social work for you), grow your email list, and also consider paid advertising (with emphasis on lead generation and marketing automation). Need help? Get this Content Marketing Tool kit from SEMRush
Use landing pages for lead generation (even e-commerce sites should be doing that). The best options are Unbounce, LeadPages, Webflow and Simvoly (the last two also help you develop websites built on HTML/CSS).
Choose whatever email marketing tool you want — say, MailChimp, Drip, ConvertKit, or whatever. Grow your email list (partially with the organic traffic visiting your site and partially with orchestrated effort with marketing (including Paid advertising).
Digital marketing doesn’t end here. You’ll also need to ensure that you are tracking your marketing efforts the right way. Learn to use UTM (Urchin Tracking Mode) to measure and tracking everything.
Conversion Benchmarks, KPI, Metrics? Just Compete with yourself
Let’s say you use landing pages and sales funnels for your campaigns. You then would have a fair idea of what the usual benchmarks are for your particular business in a particular industry.
One look at this exhaustive landing pages Conversions Report will tell you where the averages stand, what the percentage of conversions should be, and more.
After you run campaigns for a while, you’ll know how your landing pages perform. Most people just stop there.
Don’t go deep diving into industry averages, conversion benchmarks, and other numbers so much that you forget to put in the work for your own landing page optimization.
If you want a quick way to see just how well your landing pages are stacked up and optimized for conversions, all you have to do is to use this Landing Page Analyzer by Unbounce.
To perform better, you’d have to test one landing page against the other.
Or one web page against the other (if you were testing web pages, as against landing pages). Leading landing page tools such as Unbounce, LeadPages, Simvoly, Instapage, and several others allow you to do A/B testing for your landing pages.
WordPress website builders such as Divi also provide you with ways to test every single page on your website. In other cases, you can also use Optimizely or Visual Website Optimizer to test pages for conversions.
Track, Measure, Analyze. Know your numbers.
Knowing your numbers (tracking, measuring, and analyzing) is one thing. What you compare this data with and what you do with it is what matters in the end.
You have Google Analytics that gives you a wealth of information about your website — visits, time spent on pages, location of visitors, and where you manage to acquire users from.
You have statistics and numbers on everything — from the number of page visits, bounce rate, page speed, etc., to landing page conversions. Tools like SEMrush can give you even more insight on each page of your website, traffic analytics, backlink profile, your social media KPI, and just about everything you ought to know about how your SEO is working.
SuperMetrics allows you to connect all this data from various sources to simple, everyday tools such as Google Sheets or Excel, prepare reports (for yourself, your team, or for your clients) for ease of understanding, and more.
As for analytics and numbers, there’s nothing stopping you really. What matters is what you do with this data, how you understand this data, and how you use this data.
The only recommendation for you is to collect, understand, and use this data to improve.
Do better tomorrow than you did this month or the previous month.
Whatever you do, just don’t bother keeping score by comparing yourself with your competition. A bird’s eye view of the average numbers (for everything) will certainly help but don’t get obsessed with “beating your competition” or “kicking your competition’s ass goodbye”.
Don’t keep score with your marketing efforts. Doing so is the digital marketing version of “keeping up with the joneses”.
But it’s truly a world of hurt when it comes to connecting your ecommerce store with Google Analytics. The setup isn’t as straight-forward as dropping Google Analytics code on every page of your website or using a simple plugin for Google Analytics.
Setting up Google Analytics for e-commerce is slightly more involved. Sure, there are a few free plugins available to help but I see that they don’t help as much.
For instance, I used a free Plugin from the ever-growing repository of plugins from the WordPress directory but I don’t think the plugin was able to make my life any easier (or maybe I missed setting up the plugin the right way).
But this is the point: I don’t want to spend a day dealing with plugins to help deal with my e-commerce store front. Plus, as with most free plugins, you take the risk of plugin creators not even updating their respective plugins to keep up with the newer versions of WordPress).
I don’t want to stare at this kind of a screen when I do know that there are visitors to my shop pages, service pages, or individual product (services packaged as products or productized services).
So, I was on the lookout for a much better plugin (and even paid plugins for ecommerce analytics are fine).
I’ve always known that MonsterInsights was a capable e-commerce analytics plugin.
You can see total transactions, conversion rates of your product pages, average order values, and the total revenue your ecommerce store makes. For an e-commerce store owner, this is heaven.
If you dig deeper, you’ll be able to understand just where your traffic is coming from, with your top referral sources and the exact conversions and revenue attributed to your traffic sources.
This way, you’ll know precisely which referral sources to maximize, and what doesn’t work for your store.
The best part about MonsterInsights is that it presents your e-commerce data in a way that’s clear and easy to understand (this will help you understand your customers and optimize your store for more sales).
As is a must for every e-commerce business, MonsterInsights will also be able to track the following:
A full list of traffic sources that bring you the most revenue (along with average order values, total orders, etc.).
The most popular products on your store
The Average order value of total transactions.
Ecommerce conversion rates
Why MonsterInsights Just Works?
Imagine having to set up e-commerce store on WordPress using WooCommerce and then sitting down to twiddle, tweak, and break your head over trying to figure out how to ensure that you are setting up Google Analytics for your e-commerce store.
For a typical business owner, this is a complete waste of time (unless you don’t mind taking Google Analytics for Advanced Learners and then implementing everything you need to, and you know there are no guarantees).
The Funnel, as we know it, has changed. According to a study by Google, no two customer journeys are exactly alike.
To succeed with your digital marketing (especially with your Google Ads and other advertising strategies), you need a deep understanding of your own customers’ journey.
How do they get to know you? Or, how do they find you?
How many times do they come visiting — and what exactly do they do — before they finally make a purchase?
What specific patterns of behavior do they exhibit — including a myriad of touch points on various digital platforms and devices?
Do they come back after they make a purchase? If yes, do they purchase again?
To begin to understand your potential customers’ journey, you’d need to go beyond just checking your Google analytics for generic data. If you are using Google Ads for lead generation or for sales, you’ll need to integrate Google Analytics with Google Ads.
Note: If you thought that connecting Google Analytics to Google Ads was an obvious thing to do (and it is), you’ll be surprised just how many businesses (and even agencies) don’t bother with this.
Marketing Driven By Insights
When you integrate Google Ads with Google Analytics, what you get is a robust analytics system to help you with Insights-driven marketing.
You can understand how your ads are performing, which keywords (or ads, or both) lead to conversions. Then, you’ll know how to adjust your Google ads creative, bids, and make informed decisions that can help you do better with Google Ads.
The issue with all of us is that we think and act emotionally. We tend to use the color red on a CTA button because we like red and its flashy.
But that’s not how it’s done. With digital marketing, you have the gift of analytics. You have the gift of data-driven decision-making. Use it.
Optimize your Bids like a pro
You don’t just jump into your Google Ads interface and tweak your bids willy-nilly. You’d need a full set of data to make decisions about what exactly you need to do with your bids and ads.
By integrating your Google analytics account with Google Ads, you gain a clear understanding of what happens after a customer clicks an ad. For instance, you can determine what keywords are driving conversions. This set of data will then tell you exactly which keywords you’d need to increase bids for. Or, you’ll be able to figure out if mobile is driving more conversions than desktop (and then you can tweak your bids accordingly).
Customize and personalize your messages
Google Analytics Integration with Google Ads is a two-way street. While you can access all kinds of data about your Google Ad campaigns within your Google Analytics account, you can also share audiences (and the respective pertaining data) with Google Ads to create and deliver ads tailored to various groups of customers.
Practical use cases:
Create an audience of users (Custom audiences) who visit a particular URL (let’s say men’s category on your e-commerce store). Then create a campaign addressing “men” when you create ad campaigns.
Create audiences for those who abandon their shopping carts before they complete a transaction. Then, launch dedicated campaigns to bring those cart abandoners back to drive more conversions for your business.
Upload your existing list of email subscribers or customers to include, exclude, or create relevant audiences from these lists.
Use Google’s advanced Machine Learning
Google invests billions in its expansive data processing and data learning capabilities.
Equipped with machine learning and artificial intelligence, Google analytics is now equipped to provide various insights to help you understand your website visitors better.
You can practically ask questions like:
How did my website traffic fluctuate this month, compared to last month?
How long, on average, do users stay on my website?
How much time do mobile users spend on my website?
How many web pages does an average visitor visit on a single visit?
While that’s for Google Analytics, you can use this data to find a list of your most valuable visitors (or customers or subscribers) by using smart lists. You can then dynamically adjust your Google Ad campaigns to reach out to these customers.
Or you could use these lists to create retargeting audiences and launch dedicated retargeting campaigns.
As a full-time marketer managing campaigns for clients and for our own business, I depend on numbers, statistics, analytics, and data to make decisions. Marketing data comes in from various sources. You’d use Google Analytics almost by default but you’d also bring in other tools like GoSquared, Snitcher, and Mouseflow.
You’d want to keep all this data you need in one place using tools like Cyfe.
In any case, all that data you’d accumulate is one thing. Watching what your visitors do on your website is something else altogether.
That’s what mouseflow is really good at. Mouseflow helps you go behind the scenes and see exactly what your users see.
We don’t realise this, but there are a lot of applications with a tool like Mouseflow for digital marketing.
At the outset,
You know who visits your website and what they do while they are on the website.
You’ll be able to see what they click on, how far they scroll, how engaged they are with your content, and more.
If you setup funnels (even if it’s something simple like converting on your contact form), you’d like to how your funnels convert.
Hungry for more? Here’s how you can use Mouseflow to make better marketing decisions:
Redesign Your Website With Authority
When you use Mouseflow and actually go through your Mouseflow Recordings, you’ll notice links that don’t work and ads or pop ups seem to obstruct user experience.
Pages don’t load, forms that don’t work and content seems to be misplaced.
You aren’t looking at your website the way your visitors do. You’ll meet other design flaws that you’d never know existed.
Next time you ask a vendor or a developer to help develop a website for you (which we also can help with, sorry about the shameless plug), you’d know exactly what needs to be taken care of when you expect a website redesign.
Instead of anything vague like “I need a new website design” or ” I want a more professional looking website”, you say:
“Please see the instructions for new design. Pay special attention to my forms are convert only at 12%. Specific pages need specific design changes as noted in the document “
The Mouseflow Treatment: Optimize Your Website
Designing your website is not the end of the story; it’s only the beginning.
Apart from all the marketing itself, measure online user sentiment. Frustrated users can bleed off opportunity and you don’t want that, especially with 97% of visitors already leaving your website on their first visit.
Add Optimizely to the mix, along with Mouseflow, and you have insights — everyday, throughout the year, forever — to help you make changes to your website to help your website work like a sales machine.
Funnel analytics, website recordings, form analytics, geo heat maps, scroll analysis, and with the data from Optimizely experiments gives you real focus points to work on conversion optimisation.
Testing Your Landing Pages With Authority
Most marketers don’t even use landing pages. Those who do work with half the data needed to make effective data-driven decisions to improve the effectiveness of landing pages (and hence marketing campaigns).
Knowing how many people visited the landing page versus how many people converted on an offer isn’t the complete story.
Assume that a landing page converts at 30%. What happened to the other 70%? Why did those visitors leave? What did they do while they were on the page?
Setup separate funnel analytics for each of your landing pages. If you are a business, you know exactly what’s happening to every visitor you spent money to receive on your pages. As an agency, you provide value to each marketing dollar used up as client’s budget. As a marketer, you have strong reasons for everything you ever do.
You sit there staring at stats like bounce rate, time on page, and even heat maps, wondering what could possibly be driving away all these hard bought clicks. The problem is these stats lack context and order and are blurred averages leading to blurred insights.
Sure you could A/B test landing pages based on your blurred view, or you could use Mouseflow to see exactly what it’s like to be a visitor.
With Mouseflow, you will be able to sit next to your visitors as they enter your site, engage with your landing page, and take the journey to being a paying customer.
Along the way they’ll stumble, not find what they need, look fruitlessly for help, click on things that don’t work, and quickly blow past reams of content you thought were super important. You’ll experience this with the visitor and be able to use these insights to improve what you do to turn more paid clicks into paying customers.
For most websites, contact forms are a great conversion point. They can start a casual conversation, allow potential customers to know more about your services, or make direct requests for proposals through contact forms. Websites that have contact pages (and contact forms) ought to know what’s happening with their contact forms.
You might think: I have a form, and I get the messages often. I am good.
No, you aren’t. Just like we measure conversion rates off an ad or a landing page, we want to know how well your forms convert too.
Using Mouseflow, you can easily setup form analytics and measure your performance over time, as shown below.
You can also use this as a base for better performing contact forms through regular A/B testing.
Where are the funnels hiding?
If there’s a page on your website, you have the mouth of a sales funnel.
Funnels begin with a well-written about page with a button below the copy that says, “Hire Me”. Or maybe you have dedicated pages for your products or services and each of those pages are potential starting points for your funnels.
You already know that a few pages on your website are potential candidates for good starting points as the mouths of your sales funnels. But you don’t know everything. You might realize, from your analytics data, that a few pages or blog posts have been extremely popular. It’s just that you didn’t know.
While all that spam in Google analytics isn’t helping, we already suffer information overload. As entrepreneurs and marketers, we do need data, analytics, stats, and references to base our decisions on. We need to do what we can to point exact areas of improvement on our websites to help convert better.
Websites aren’t just code that looks nice on browsers. Websites should be sales machines.
If numbers are so important for us, and if your decisions are backed by data, why not go visual with that too?
There’s a way to do that, and it’s called Mouseflow.
Get Live Recordings Of Your Visitor Sessions
Most analytics tools only give you the numbers. Mouseflow gives you entire sets of recordings that show you exactly what your visitors do when they visit.
On fetchprofits.com, the day I signed up for mouseflow, I realized:
17% of my traffic doesn’t go beyond the home page.
The usual starting point of every visit is my blog.
Know what you didn’t know before With Session Replays
Imagine a full day of marketing, hustling, blogging, social media, and more. Is there a chance that you’d be missing out something important that needs done on your site? With multiple browsers, a need for responsive design, page load speeds, and all that content, there are things you don’t know. Those unknowns are hurting your conversions.
I did a test on my supposedly non-responsive contact form ( now fixed). See the live recording here
What I knew about my own site
Pretty soon, I figured that the previous WordPress theme we purchased was clunky and loaded too slow. We all know what happens to slow loading websites. Although my site is configured with Cachefly, it didn’t seem to work.
So, we switched the theme.
Plus, right now, the contact form doesn’t work at all. We lost at least 16 users who did send us request for quotes but as you can guess, we didn’t receive those memos.
How it worked for a client
I work as a digital marketing lead and consultant for hostcats.com and when they signed up with mouseflow.com, we realized that 73% of their traffic comes from outside the country they operate in.
Hostcats.com has a “live chat” too. Their mobile responsive version was impossible to navigate with the live chat on. We got that rectified now.
Since hostcats.com is a web domain registrar and hosting provider, we could see what domains users were typing into the “domain search field”. Later, we could use this information to follow-up with those users with a personalized email (along with the exact domain name they typed – talk about extreme personalization).
Those are just a few examples, from 2-3 days of working with Mouseflow.
Bird’s Eye View of Engagement, time spent, clicks and Render
Log into Mouseflow (the new beta version) and you’ll see a snapshot of your pages, engagement patterns, average time spent on your site, clicks, render ratios, size of the page downloaded and more.
All that is before you dig in.
For example, I picked on my Contact Page, which had the worst performance (and it was supposed to be an important page).
Heat maps, scrolls, and movements
It’s not just the live recordings that’ll give you insights. You also get heat maps, scroll analysis, movements, and attention analysis.
Without the right numbers and analytics tools, you are a sitting duck. You’d have no idea about the impact you are making with your marketing efforts. You have no clue about what marketing channels are working for you and what aren’t.
You have no way to justify marketing budget spend on a particular digital marketing channel when compared to another.
Plus, you’d have no numbers to justify conversions versus traffic. All of this isn’t even the beginning of the story. Not even the damned foreword, if you ask me.
You have customer analytics, digital marketing analytics, and predictive analytics. Within digital marketing analytics, you have content marketing analytics, email marketing analytics, social media analytics, and link analysis.
That’s just way too many numbers for you to sit on. As entrepreneurs, time is one thing you don’t have. Hence, you’d need web-based tools to help you sift through data, get the numbers you need, and make decisions based on those numbers.
Here are a few super analytics tools for business that you can consider using:
Google Analytics is the mother of all analytics tools, and it’s free (much like mother’s love). While it might seem like a no-brainer to use Google Analytics, most businesses oversee this little integration you’d need to do.
Google Analytics shows you the traffic inflow for any chosen period of time, real-time analytics, in-site analytics, visitor flow, referrals, bounce rates, time spent on each page of your site, and site load time (you do know you’d need a website that loads fast [http://ow.ly/LezHk ], don’t you?), and exactly where your visitors come from and where they exit at.
If you dig into Google Analytics a little more, you can even setup goals per page, UTM (urchin tracking modes) to pin point your exact sources of traffic and conversions, and a lot more.
Just because it’s free, don’t let that fool you.
As your business grows, the data that you’d need to consume to make better decisions also grows. Just to see where you are and where you want to be, that’s a lot of data coming in from everywhere.
A tool like SumAll can make it easier for you to organize all your social data and web data into focused, beautiful dashboards. You can have unlimited tracking (and pull in every important social/web metric you need). You can connect unlimited accounts, and invite unlimited collaborators.
But all that is not where the magic is. If you are a marketing intern, super marketer, marketing consultant, or even an agency, you now have a great way (light weight PDF reports that look smashing) to show (whoever concerned) how awesome your social and web marketing work has been.
It’s another thing that your data remains secure and that you can integrate with over 42 different services and counting.
Let’s say have you have a live PPC campaign and you’d love to see how your ads are performing. The best practice is for your ads to point to a landing page.
Traditional analytics will only show you metrics such as ad impressions, CTR, and ad rank. You’ll also get the numbers for the visits to your landing page and the conversion rate. However, what exactly is happening on your landing page, real-time?
Where are they clicking, or are they anywhere near that big CTA button at all? What do they do while they are on the site?
Right then, you’d need what we call as Real-time visual analytics. Lucky Orange is a tool that show you exactly who is on your web page, doing what, and where they came from. You’d be able to see what happens on your page visually.
How cool is that?
If conversions are everything for you, tracking them becomes as obvious as falling in love with yourself. Improvely helps you track your conversion.
If you are doing online marketing (as a business, affiliate marketer, or as an agency), you’d know that digital marketing makes you sweat all over the place. Links can be everywhere and it’s a little too much to come to terms with.
Improvely pinpoints you to the links that matter to you, where clicks and conversions are coming from, check out your visitor profiles, and enable email/audio notifications. You also have access to A/B testing to see what pages work for you.
With Improvely, you also have the option of tracking organic search traffic, social traffic, and zoom into locations, keyword, and device type.
Do you run events? Have you already created hashtags for Twitter that you use regularly to start focused chats? Do you frequently feel the need to monitor conversations around your brand?
You should consider KeyHole, it features a single page, single dashboard to report on all things your little hashtag, keyword, or URLs trigger.
You aren’t done yet. Use KeyHole’s 2nd level searches to make your searches more effective. Plus, you can be smart and find clients, influencers, bloggers, journalists, and everyone else you might need with those 2nd level searches.
For instance, if you were looking for clients, you could type in “looking for _______________ [whatever you provide] ” and find high quality, high-intent leads for your business.
So, you have an analytics tool with additional features to help monitor trends, influencers, keywords, and also get business?
Let’s forget numbers for a while and focus on what’s most important to you. Increase sales and boost conversions?
Mouseflow lets you record web sessions in the sense that you’d be able to see what happens on your web pages with live mouse tracking. You can spot trends boost conversions with instant heat maps. Use scroll maps to see where your visitors pay attention (or not), and quantify visitor behavior with in-page analytics.