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Elena Terenteva

Data-Driven Marketing #semrushchat

Elena Terenteva
Data-Driven Marketing #semrushchat

Hello SEMrush Blog readers! Hope you had a nice and inspiring weekend and that you're full of energy for applying new techniquess that we are ready to share. Open your Google Analytics and dive into recap of Data-Driven Marketing SEMrush Chat with amazing Annie Cushing, VP of Marketing for YourTango.

Website metrics

Different websites have been created for different purposes. Depending on what goals you’re trying to achieve – to drive more visitors for your blog, to provide potential customers with information, to sell your product - you may find these or that metrics more relevant.

The most useful metrics will give answers to your vital questions.

Regardless of your ultimate goals, you will definitely want to know how much traffic you receive. This provides you with insight into the success of your strategy.

Knowing your traffic volume is important, but it is even more important to know how many users leave your website immediately and why they do so. Bounce rate is a metric that actually tells how appropriate, helpful or entertaining your website is for your visitors.

Every metric - traffic volume, time on page, user demographics - adds another piece to the holistic picture of your strategy or effectiveness. But the key measure of your success is whether or not you achieve your goals and increase your actual profits.

Useful Google Analytics reports

Everyone's favorite equals the most useful. Let’s take a look on the list of popular Google Analytics reports.

Top Google Analytics Reports

Our special thanks to following participants for their answers used for this checklist:

Annie Cushing ‏@AnnieCushing  

Automatic Backlinks ‏@AutoBacklinks  

Broke Bloke ‏@brokeblokeblogs  

Emary ‏@MReeVasquez  

Kirill Ougarov ‏@kougarov

Matthew Young ‏@MatthewAYoung  

Nitin soni ‏@ntsoni_group  

Umar Khan ‏@MUmar_Khan  


If you are going to do something, you’d better do it right. The most common mistake marketers make when performing analysis –  forgetting that numbers themselves are just numbers. They only make sense when they are properly mixed up (or divided) and compared.

Let’s take look at other typical (and atypical) mistakes that devalue data.

For proper analysis, you need clean, correct data. UTM parameters on marketed URLs can help you collect a treasure trove of data. Although, if you are careless and inconsistent, your data will be inaccurate. For more information about setting campaign tagging, read this guide by Annie Cushing: “The Definitive Guide to Campaign Tagging in Google Analytics”.

Talk about clean data! There is always a way to mess things up. One of them – not filtering. Why should you rely on approximate data, when you can have a real one?

“Not filtering for bot traffic AND self-traffic. Your analytics will be seriously skewed if you count your own visits to your site” - Medium Blue ‏@MediumBlueSEM.

And here is an explanation why - “Your user/customer ID data from GA should be married to your CRM data to find out your site's VIPs. See what pages they visit. Segment your email lists. Give top customers special deals. Get jiggy with that data” Annie Cushing ‏@AnnieCushing.

Track SEO changes

Most common answer that we received to this question – create annotations!

Every single change that you make can influence your results - where there’s a cause, there’s an effect. In a year, you'll totally forget about things that seemed to be important back then; so, without annotations, you can become quite confused, and even lost, in your data.

You'll find more information in this article by Annie Cushing - How and Why to Use Annotations in GA.

Also, annotate more than the changes that occurred without your participation.

Well, everything that is related to changes is a high priority. Google Analytics has a fantastic feature – Google Intelligence Alerts, which will warn you about certain changes, so you’ll know right away.

“Analytics monitors your website's traffic and detects significant statistical variations, and then automatically generates alerts, or Intelligence Events, when those variations occur.” - Google Analytics Help Guides

You want to know more? Check out this article - Become Intelligent: Use Google Analytics Intelligence Alerts to your Advantage

Every change has to be documented – we’ve learned this already, but remember that they also have to be shared.

Another key to proper tracking is regularity.  “Check Google Analytics daily. Monitor users trends, demographics and behavior” - Ayesha Ambreen ‏@AyeshaAmbreen.

Social media reporting

Influence of social media can’t be underestimated; it’s a big topic and we already discussed it during one of our Twitter Chats - Social Media Impact on SEO. Let’s take a look on different reports which can help us to measure this impact.

Main principle of social media impact measuring is the same as for any other data measuring - keep data clean and filtered. If you using Google Analytics, “DON'T get social data from your Referrals report. Social data often comes from multiple sources” Annie Cushing ‏@AnnieCushing.

Here is the illustration in difference between two reports.



You can  get even more explicit data if you apply deeper segmentation. 

Another important aspect - attribution. General flow is important, but closer look to conversion path will provide you with highly important information which can influence your strategy in the future.

Google Analytics is not the only helper you have - there are plenty of other tools which can give you deeper understanding of engagement and point out main influencers, which drives up your content sharing, etc.

How to measure word-of-mouth marketing

Ok, now we are coming closer to the the most difficult topic - how to measure word-of-mouth marketing. It’s vague and uncertain, but really important channel for any business.

You can start with the easy and general metrics.

For brand mention tracking you can use Google Alerts, Moz Fresh Web Explorer or Mention.  

If people are talking about your brand, they're also searching for it in on the Web - reading reviews, visiting related websites and your website, of course. If you want to narrow down your metrics, you can measure impact of more specific queries. If you started a new campaign or just launched a new product, this approach can be useful.

“If you're measuring response on a very specific campaign, specific queries/urls might work”- Ian Lurie ‏@portentint.

You can also ask users how they found your company.

Social media - is another communication channel you can use for word-of-mouth impact.

Although be aware, that all this methods make sense just when you work with a small amount of data.

That's it for today! We hope to see you this Wednesday at the same time - 4 pm UK/ 11 am ET/ 8 am PT. Check your local time with World Time Buddy if you are not sure.  This Wednesday we are going to have an April Fool's special - don't miss it! 

Elena Terenteva, Product Marketing Manager at SEMrush.

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