Analytics and growth hacking specialist Casper Rouchmann stops by to share his tips on data management, growth hacking, vanity metrics, trends, and much more.
There are multiple challenges, but in some way, they are all related:
Data is being collected left and right, but every time a new tool/strategy is introduced, the ‘old’ data from other platforms isn’t utilized. This makes it hard for many companies to transition to new approaches without having a significant ‘down’ period (where they need to re-establish a data foundation). The solution to this is CDI’s (Segment etc.), but at a fundamental level: people need to understand why it is important.
For some reason, companies still insist on placing the overall responsibility for data on key people – while this approach has its advantages, what I’ve continuously found is that you need to educate your entire workforce to be able to pull/analyze their own performance data.
A copywriter didn’t have to look at performance data 10 years ago, but today it is of utmost importance to continuously improve your content (and. to do that. you need to know if it works or not).
What I’ve continuously found is that you need to educate your entire workforce to be able to pull/analyze their own performance data.
Most people end up only tracking simple sign-ups but forget to track the events leading up to sign-ups. With Google Tag Manager, this is quite easy to accomplish and will elevate your performance in the long run.
Super simple: Optimize relating to where your traffic comes from / where the value is.
When you start out, most will refer to last-click… but as most know by now, it’s horribly inaccurate. If you don’t have access to a data-based model, then I’d recommend looking towards a position-based model most of the time.
When we started doing it more consistently, we found some interesting data points connected to our conversions – i.e. how many people convert the first time they see the page? (Hint: It’s way more than you think)
Google Tag Manager will elevate your tracking immensely. Deploying and managing scripts is just the very basic level. Once you start adopting a Data Layer approach, you’re gold. Essentially, it stores all the key information your marketing department will need (user ID, client ID, purchase history, product ID, product price, etc.). It will allow you to keep your data consistent, while your front keeps changing.
Search Console is just the bread and butter for anyone doing SEO, and for some reason, it’s not automatically attached from the get-go, and it should be!
Whenever I look for optimizations I often refer to this simple trick: where does your value come from? Most people only stick to a geographical/channel-based outlook, but you need to look at devices specifically.
Example: I had a case where a webshop had not optimized their site for mobile visitors (happens more frequently than you think), and as such, I found that out while their traffic was 65%+ from mobile devices, the value from desktop users was 3x times higher. Cross-referencing this with Facebook attribution, we could start optimizing with that in mind (i.e. bidding higher for desktop users on Google Ads).
It’s important to note that if you’re doing this, you need to view your funnel holistically – if you only look at it from a last-click point of view, the above will hold true, but not be accurate; mobile viewers might be bringing in the traffic, but then they convert on desktop later on.
One more thing: You can also view browser data. You’ll be surprised by the amount of different browser versions out there, and how much traffic you get from these. Use this tool: to see how your page looks on different devices with different browser versions… #MoreShockingThanHalloween
If you don’t have the correct foundation, you can’t make informed decisions. And while we must accept that we’ll probably never reach a 100% attribution overview, at least we must make an attempt to get as close as possible.
For me, needing a solid data foundation comes incredibly naturally. Maybe it’s because I’ve played chess most of my life, and always had to rationalize my decisions, or maybe I am just tired of all the fluff.
It’s simple really: If you don’t have the correct foundation, you can’t make informed decisions. And while we must accept that we’ll probably never reach a 100% attribution overview, at least we must make an attempt to get as close as possible.
I see it more as a gift to marketers: We can finally prove what we’re actually worth. (also helps when you’re negotiating salary 😉)
Adopt a mindset like this: identify, test, reiterate, test and implement.
Sounds simple, but it basically explains our finest role: to identify areas where the business can improve.
Also: spread the knowledge, internally as well. Educate your fellow co-workers, so they can make more informed decisions themselves without consulting you every time.
Adopt a mindset like this: identify, test, reiterate, test and implement.
God, there’s so many. A few:
Or, as I like to put it: stop focusing on vanity metrics, like bounce-rate, impressions, clicks, session duration, reach, engagement. All of the above serve a purpose, no doubt, but in the end: these don’t matter.
If my ad has 100 clicks-to-landing page, but a conversion rate of 80%, then it has still produced more leads than an ad with 1000 clicks and a conversion rate of 2% (disregarding things such as retargeting etc.)
Find the metric that really matters to your business – and NAIL that one metric.
I’ve tried it. You make some amazing ads, create smart email flows, optimize the landing pages and scrape data to create the most advanced audiences ever seen… but sometimes the product just stinks… or the salespeople are just not good.
We are part of an organization, and therefore we must adapt to our circumstances.
Personally, I do this: I work incredibly hard together with our Account Executives / Inbound Team. I educate them on metrics, ad structures, social selling and they provide me with invaluable feedback on the lead quality.
This old-school battle between sales/marketing is history and should’ve never existed in the first place. We’re fighting for the same goal: closing deals.
This is not necessarily an analytics thing, it is a marketing thing in general.
I’ve found that many will be more interested in the small hacks you can do – and while I love these things myself, I never confuse them with the real goal: producing results.
My boss actually put it extremely well at one point: would it produce better results to do this hack rather than optimize our Facebook/LinkedIn ads?
Essentially, it’s all a matter of prioritization (especially for start-ups!) and that skill is crucial these days.
There’s not a lot of talk on Safari & Firefox decreasing their lookback period, and it deserves more attention. They’re doing it to ‘protect’ the people (in truth it’s probably more to piss off Google), but it invalidates a lot of the data you see in Google Analytics.
We’ve all been used to Google Analytics being the single source of truth – however, I think that’s changing dramatically. Reason being:
1) Safari & Mozilla Firefox have changed their lookback period, which essentially means you can’t track beyond a 7-day period on these browsers. There’s not a lot of talk on this topic, and it deserves more attention. They’re doing it to ‘protect’ the people (in truth it’s probably more to piss off Google), but it invalidates a lot of the data you see in GA.
2) Google Analytics is based on cookies, and not users. This is problematic when people use multiple devices on their journeys. Facebook attribution solves this problem, by being person specific, and will become a much bigger player in the analytics space this year. The optimal solution lies somewhere in between the two, but try to convince them of that…