As digital marketers we’re far past the point of relying on our gut when it comes to decision-making. There are tons of tools out there for gathering data and guiding our strategies so we can make user-centered improvements to our marketing efforts. The real question is, what are the tools we can easily use that will have the most impact?
Here are several tools you can use to collect data and the types of conclusions you can draw from their information in an efficient manner.
Marketing Automation Software
There is a significant setup time for marketing automation software, but it is worth the wealth of information it will allow you to gain about user behavior on your site. One of the most valuable, low-hanging fruit data collection strategies you can implement with marketing automation is creating lists and campaigns based on user behavior.
To do this, you’ll identify what behavior you want to target. These behavior patterns may include things like a user downloading an e-book, spending several minutes on your services pages, or watching more than 75 percent of a particular video on your website. By determining user-behavior patterns that indicate specific interests, you can group users into lists and campaigns, and then use those campaigns to deliver targeted content that a specific portion of your audience wants to consume. Try these tactics:
- Create dynamic landing pages that recognize cookied users and provide additional details on topics that users have shown interest in.
- Adapt your content delivery to use more video, detailed lists, etc. based on the types of content that lead your campaign groups to convert.
When you analyze and understand what types of interactions and content that lead your users to convert, you can adjust your marketing strategies accordingly and win more customers.
Moz’s On-Page Grader
SEO is probably part of your job description, but unless it’s also part of your job title, you may not dedicate time to on-page SEO on a daily basis. We’ve all been there, and Moz’s On-Page Grader was created to help you analyze your keyword strategy for particular pages on your website.
Whether you’re re-evaluating your current keyword strategy or implementing a new one, this tool can help you see what you’re doing well, what you need to improve, and how you should prioritize your efforts. Here are a few ways you can utilize this tool:
- Analyze your key landing pages for the keyword you’re targeting and start by making changes to things marked as "easy fixes" or "critical."
- Evaluate how your competitors are graded for keywords you target and identify areas where you should tweak your strategy based on the opportunities how your website matches up.
- Evaluate how your competitors are graded for keywords that you would like to consider adding to your strategy. This can help you determine if your competitors are going after these terms already and how valuable or difficult it would be to successfully form a strategy around those phrases.
After you’ve identified areas for improvement, make changes and grade your pages again.
Visual Website Optimizer
No test is too small. A/B and multivariate tests can have a serious impact on a website’s performance. Visual Website Optimizer is a testing tool that requires minimal coding skills and can give you powerful data to help you make decisions, like what you should have on your homepage. Here are the things you should put to the test right away:
- Headline copy on key landing pages
- The color and copy used for calls-to-action on paid campaign landing pages
- Different ways to deliver content – substitute the paragraph of copy for content for a video or vice versa
Give these tests some time to run, and gather data about your site visitors that will help you draw conclusions about what is working and what isn’t. Then make changes – or don’t – based on the facts. User behavior doesn’t lie.
Litmus Email Previews
If you’ve ever sent HTML emails, you’ve probably experienced headache-inducing rendering issues across different email clients. Litmus is a tool that will completely change your perspective on the email campaign testing process. Instead of enlisting the help of everyone you know, including that one person who still uses AOL, this tool will preview your message across more than 30 email clients.
With Litmus, the steps you can take to become an email quality assurance expert are pretty quick and easy.
- Copy over your email’s HTML to Litmus and look for design breaks in the email clients you want to test. If you have some coding skills, you can even edit any breaks within their tool and integrate it back in with some email platforms.
- Ensure all of the links in your email are being properly tracked in Google Analytics, and make updates so you get the data and credit you deserve for anyone who clicks a link.
- Test and optimize the length of your subject lines in multiple email clients and email "preview" modes. Make sure your subject entices users to open and interact with your email.
What tools are you using to help yourself think more like an analytical marketer? Tell me what I missed in the comments.