Whenever I ask an online marketing manager what they are doing for Web Analytics, I get the same reply: “Oh, we have (insert product name here, usually ‘Google Analytics’)”. This is a fine response, but it doesn’t really answer the question of “What are you doing (or not using) for Web Analytics”. A better reply would be “I’m monitoring the bounce rates of my organic landing pages” or “I’m analyzing how people interact with different colors on my navigation menu” or even “I’m just spending fifteen minutes a day, usually while stuck in a meeting, to look for really big and obvious problems”.
But we don’t say these things because we really aren’t doing them. At some point in the past, someone installed Google Analytics on the website and, for too many of us, that’s it. But the point of any tool is not to have the tool, not to install the tool, but to use the tool. Nobody goes to the hardware store because they need a quarter-inch drill bit – they go because they need a quarter-inch hole. Likewise, nobody needs a Web analytics tool for the sake of having one, but we all need to know what’s going on with our website visitors.
I’m not talking about analyzing the small, subtle behavior patterns of your visitors or advanced statistical analysis. I’m talking about big, gaping problems with your website that, if no one has been keeping an eye on the analytics, are almost certain to exist. Things like the bounce rate on your web site has doubled since you redesigned it three months ago. Or that not one person has clicked on that flashy “Request a Free Trial” button that’s taking up a third of your home page. These are big issues, revenue-killing issues that should be easy to spot in any analytics solution.
So, if you aren’t already using your web analytics tools, I urge you to spend fifteen minutes a day, possibly while stuck in a meeting, to look for really big and obvious problems on your website. If no one at your organization has done this before, I can almost guarantee you’ll find them.
If you aren’t sure where to start, Nowspeed offers analytics consultation for Google Analytics, Omniture, and many other platforms that includes setting up Goal Tracking, Dashboards, or even implementing the web analytics solution if you’re starting from scratch. Please contact us to talk it over.
Are you asking yourself “Should we buy online marketing services from an agency, or hire/train our own in-house person?”
This is a great question that cannot be answered without first considering the following:
Can we find one person to perform all the online marketing services we could get from an Internet marketing agency?
Almost certainly not, unless you are very fortunate. Online marketing is comprised of different and disparate services, including Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Web Design and Development, Web Analytics, and more. Generally, an online marketing professional is proficient at a few of these services, familiar with some, but incapable of being able to deliver quality work for all of these services. To cover these online marketing services, companies are really looking at hiring a team of online marketing professionals, driving up the cost of taking these services in-house.
This is precisely what an agency provides – a complete team of online marketing professionals, each individually proficient at a couple of facets of online marketing and collectively proficient at all of them.
Do these online marketing services constitute a full-time job?
Generally, individual online marketing agency services are not full-time jobs. Once running, Pay Per Click or Search Engine Optimization campaigns can usually be managed in a few hours a week. Web Analytics and Email Campaigns take more time, but are still not usually full-time endeavors. Web design and development can be very labor-intensive, but this work tends to be sporadic, only really busy when a new site launch is planned. Social Media can be very time intensive depending on the number of platforms and the amount of content.
By outsourcing these online marketing agency services, you can take advantage of a fully fleshed-out web marketing department, but on a part-time basis. Many businesses find this approach a very attractive alternative.
Am I prepared to keep these positions filled?
Online marketing professionals are a mobile bunch. Many take a position for a couple of years and then move on. In this industry, someone who has held the same position for more than a few years is a rarity.
By outsourcing these services, you are also outsourcing the HR headaches of keeping the position filled. When someone leaves the agency you’ve hired, it’s the responsibility of that agency to replace that person – not your company’s.
What is the best choice for me?
The “make-or-buy” decision is nothing new for any business in any industry. While there are many companies that truly merit and require a department of online marketing pros, many companies, especially those in the B2B space, will find online marketing agency services will deliver better results, be more cost-effective and easier to manage.