The relationship between digital advertising and analytics is fundamental to the success of performance-focused Web marketing campaigns. What, however, do 'Net professionals really know about how ads fit within the modern, ad-laden experience for their users? What impact are they really having and is there an optimization opportunity?
Without a formal understanding of what's working (and why) when it comes to how users engage and interact with a digital presence as a result of advertising efforts, it's difficult for those ultimately responsible for a brand's promotional and sales success to know how best to optimize the overall spend, which specific acquisition strategies need rethinking entirely, and perhaps most importantly, which tactics and techniques to avoid altogether.
One of the most common mistakes made by today's advertisers is simply not knowing which aspect(s) of their campaign is responsible for generating a response (be it a conversion or a highly specific action such as clicking a link).
Focusing on identifying user action triggers at the outset and optimizing campaigns to better influence success is a hallmark of all savvy digital advertisers, but Web pros have to know the right questions to ask and the right answers to look for first. Explore a few data-focused ideas to gather useful insights and even a new point of view that could be used to optimize the modern advertising experience for users interacting with a brand.
IT ALL STARTS WITH DATA COLLECTION
Unless advertisers are collecting data on a very granular level, the result of digging through streams of data could be wasted hours. Fortunately, with a little planning, it's easy to set a brand up for success.
Tagging advertisements (and creative assets), for example, makes it far easier for advertisers/analysts to accurately explore audience dimensions (specific, customized groups or subsets of users sharing similar characteristics) - including for example the type of keyword, the specific ad group, the format or distribution network, etc. - responsible for key performance indicators.
Tagging campaigns (either manually or by automating this process) yields the rich set of data that advertisers need over time to ensure their digital advertising success. The result is an opportunity to segment behavior in order to understand the audience.
Essentially, there's no other way to ask the right question if enterprises are not asking the right group. Instead of reviewing audience metrics in large buckets, they'll want to examine the data in its smaller, component parts to learn how each group interacts with a site. Ultimately, that makes it easier for advertisers to bid, message and direct their traffic accordingly.
BEGIN CAMPAIGN DIAGNOSIS
Once all the data has been collected and analysts are confident in their ability to sort through various audience dimensions, they can begin exploring. Let's take a look at some questions to answer and some data points to gather for advertisers looking to optimize the modern user experience and generate a higher return on advertising spend for the betterment of their enterprise's bottom line now and in the future.
+ Which keywords drive high-quality traffic but not conversions?
Filter by goal conversion rate and add a dimension that explores bounce rate or time on site.
+ Which keywords perform well on mobile devices but not desktop?
Segment and filter a keyword list by device category.
+ Which user behavior should be factored in when making bids?
Understand how time of day, location and other purchasing behaviors are influencing ad campaigns.
+ How do first-time users react compared to those returning?
Segment traffic source by new and returning user segments to understand behavioral differences.
+ Which pages deliver high-page value for advertising traffic and which the lowest?
Should users be directed toward those pages with the best chance at conversion?
Consider these questions just a few to get you started thinking about optimizing the modern ad experience and the advertising campaigns specifically that your brand is currently planning or running.
Digital marketing executive with proven experience in all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), performance-based advertising, consumer-generated/social media, email marketing, lead generation, Web design, usability, and analytics. - 20-year Internet marketing veteran, currently serving as the Digital Marketing Campaign Manager at Antenna Group (formerly Chicago Digital). - Former Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine, and a regular speaker on Web technology digital marketing strategy - Author of several books on digital marketing Including Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success; Affiliate 360: The Fundamentals of Performance Marketing; Domains 360: The Fundamentals of Buying & Selling Domain Names, and SEO 360: The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization.