Digital analytics involve measuring and quantifying everything about online business, including clicks, sales, visits, email opens, banner views, social media shares, search engine rankings, and on and on. Because of the nature of digital analytics, it is possible to gain insight into user behavior that is not possible in the real world. Users can be identified, tagged, and tracked through every interaction they have with digital properties.

Why analytics are important

The goal of analytics is to understand user behavior and to use that understanding to drive continued business improvement. Performance based marketing is the key to any successful digital marketing program.

Performance based marketing

The new standard in digital marketing is performance based marketing. Measurable results, ROI, and ROAS are made possible with digital analytics.

Personalized marketing

Personalized digital experiences have come to be expected by customers. Customers don’t mind marketing, in fact they often seek it out, but it must be relevant. Analytics make it clear what is important to customers and make it possible to target relevant marketing to the most appropriate customers.

Understanding user behavior through analytics

General user behavior is easily understood with analytics. Common page paths, time on site, bounce rates, most popular pages, and number of goal completions are all valuable pieces of information that can be found in every analytics program. But that only gives you the overall picture. The more valuable information can be found by slicing the data and doing more in-depth analysis on user behavior.

Segmentation is the process of using customer behavior or attributes to segment customers into groups. Group behavior can then be analyzed in-depth to discover potential areas of improvement and which marketing programs work best for each customer segment.

Defining measurable goals

Goals are accomplished when customers complete measurable actions that are relevant to your business. Common goals for online businesses are sales, newsletter signups, lead submissions, and account creations. Goals are often grouped into primary and secondary goals depending on the needs of the business. Primary goals serve the immediate needs of the business and secondary goals assist the primary goals. For example, an ecommerce site may use sales or transactions as a primary goal and newsletter signups as a secondary goal. The sales are the primary goal and driver of the business, but newsletter signups allow the business to continue to market to customers and hopefully increase sales.

Learn More About How to Measure and Define Analytics Goals »

Attributing goal completions to marketing channels

Attribution assigns the credit for a goal completion to a particular marketing channel. This is key in understanding which marketing channels are providing a return on ad-spend and which aren’t. The default method for attribution is last interaction, meaning whichever marketing channel immediately preceded the goal completion gets the full credit. However, the standard attribution model does not give the full picture. Even if your business deals primarily with customers making purchase decisions after the last marketing interaction they had, other attribution models can provide useful information.

Next steps

Now that you have a foundation of analytics knowledge, learn how analytics programs work.