How to Use Data to Drive Business Growth
Do you understand the data that is driving your business? Here are three steps, courtesy of the experts at Google, you can follow to grow your business using a data-driven campaign.
Data can help your business grow, but only if you’re able to understand what the numbers are trying to tell you. In a session titled, “Using Data to Drive Growth” at the recent Grow with Google event in downtown Cleveland, Google experts laid out how to use analytics to unlock new opportunities for your small business.
Step 1: Outline goals
The first step to winning the data war is to clearly define what you are trying to achieve and then set good goals around that. And what makes a good goal? Think SMART:
Step 2: Ask questions
Once you have your goals in place, ask yourself a few questions. Specifically, ask yourself questions surrounding the reach, engagement, conversion and sustainability of your analytics campaign.
Listed below are some sample questions you should be able to answer about your data-driven strategy:
- What are people searching for?
- Who is your audience?
- How do they find you online?
- What do people do once they find you?
- Where do customers engage you online?
- How do people interact with you online?
- Which channels drive conversions?
- What calls-to-action drive conversions?
- Which channels have a higher ROI?
- Do people continue to engage with you? And if so, where?
- Do you respond to this engagement? How quickly?
- Are you giving people a reason to return?
Step 3: Take action
Once your business starts generating data, it’s time to start combing through the numbers to find out what you can learn about your customers’ behavior. Use analytics software, such as Google Analytics, to help you interpret the data. Below are some examples of these lessons your data can teach you and what your potential action might be.
Data lesson: Where are your customers coming from (referrals? Organic search? Paid search?)
Potential action: Focus your attention on your most profitable channel to maximize it. For example, if organic search is performing well, optimize your site by improving page titles and descriptions to further increase search engine visibility.
Data lesson: Learn about the demographics or traits your customers share.
Potential action: Tailor your marketing creative to your customers’ demographics. If you notice a lot of your customers are coming to your site via smartphone devices, create mobile-focused ads and optimize your site for mobile friendliness and speed.
Data lesson: See which days and times your business gets the most calls.
Potential action: Boost phone staffing for peak times or offer incentives for your customers to contact you on other days of the week to avoid a staffing crunch.