At times the internet may seem like a vast impenetrable jungle, so accurately understanding and interpreting what’s really going on with your online marketing is difficult. Navigation becomes essential in such environments. Simply knowing your website’s traffic isn’t enough, and with different providers each supplying different data points, it’s hard to know what to think. In order to better understand the secret to what’s really happening with your digital marketing, let’s first examine the problem so we may better realize the solution.
As you familiarize yourself with digital marketing, it makes sense to begin by looking at the data provided by major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. These sources may seem to give you all the data you need about the number of visitors to your site and where they come from. The problem is that the data as you see it may not be truly accurate. As with most complex challenges, the devil is in the details and a deeper understanding is needed to know what is actually going on with your online marketing.
For example, say you want to understand your site’s traffic by examining the data from your web server compared with data from major search engines. This comparison is likely to yield two entirely different numbers. Maybe your growing business needs additional systems to sustain its growth. As you add these new systems, you’ll receive more information and data. This may seem very useful until you realize that none of these data points seem to align with what your other sources are reporting to you. Then as your business grows, these data conflicts will only become more troublesome and difficult to understand.
So… what’s the solution? What’s the secret?
The secret to discovering the truth about your marketing efforts is to utilize a dashboard system that compares data from multiple systems so you can discern the best course of action. A dynamic dashboard will include inputs from numerous data sources and make comparison easier for accurate analysis and decision-making. Take as an example one business I’ve worked with that saw a major spike in traffic one day yet also saw an increase in communication from its email server. As the company dug deeper into the data, they discovered their server had been hacked. So the spike in traffic wasn’t even remotely the boost that it had initially seemed. Another business I’ve dealt with learned that its Google account wasn’t configured properly. This insight was achieved only when a crossover comparison between its web server data and Google Analytics data was examined. The point here is that a broader analysis of multiple data sources beats any single data stream every time.
An effective dashboard will analyze as much data as possible to help you make the best decisions for your business. For example, it could be useful to have Google Analytics, web server logs and stats from your e-mail server visually displayed in dashboard format for quick analysis. This enables you to examine patterns and trends across multiple data streams rather than relying on any single (possibly inaccurate and inconclusive) data source. No one wants to make mistakes based on skewed data. Once you have the tools and technology needed for accurate navigation in place, such as an insightful dynamic dashboard system, you will be well-equipped to make influential choices about your digital marketing.