Using Analytics to Improve ROI

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We all know that data analytics is a crucial element in improving business operations and working more efficiently. However, not all of us are aware of what kinds of data are important to track and how to do that in the most effective way. This is why this week on our chat, we invited ROI trainer and consultant, Amanda Webb, to talk about how businesses can get more from their efforts. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Amanda Webb
Topic: Using analytics to improve ROI
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What is ROI?

Return on Investment is a crucial indicator of your business progress. It’s the amount you receive after adjusting your investments in marketing and operations. When working out the value of your investments, it’s also important to include your time and effort, as our guest pointed out.

There’re many ways to calculate your ROI, and our guest shared her trusty method: Deduct your total investments from your total returns, and then calculate what that is as a percentage of your investment. In other words, (Return – Investment) / Investment x 100.

According to our guest, many people miscalculate their investments because they don’t account for expenses related to an investment, such as salary, time, software subscriptions, etc.

Q2: What analytics tools can you use to measure ROI in your business?

Amanda told us about the importance of measuring analytics from various sources, including Google Analytics for website, social analytics tools to measure your social media performance, and CRM analytics to measure the efficacy of your sales processes.

Our guest likes the built-in social analytics tool in Agorapulse. It outlines which social posts performed well and which ones converted into measurable sales.

All that said, however, there are a lot of things that your standard analytics tools don’t track. For example, your reputation and credibility grow through your blogs, podcasts, videos and live streams, and Twitter chats and Spaces. These data don’t always show up on analytics tools. How much people like and trust you is a significant factor in determining your success. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to what people are saying about you and whether they’re engaging with and sharing your content.

Q3: How do you go about setting up Google Analytics?

If you’ve never used Google Analytics before, start here. That Google page will give you a step-by-step walkthrough of how you can set it up.

If you’ve already used Google Analytics in the past, you might have to move to the latest version: GA4. To do this, go to the admin area and click ‘Create Property’. Take a look at the screenshots Amanda shared for more clarity.

Next, you have to add GA4 to your website. To do this, you’ll need your measurement ID. Go to Admin > Data Streams and click on your website’s name. It’ll open up a panel where you’ll see your measurement ID starting with the letter G. You can then add this ID to your website to start tracking it. How exactly you set this up depends on which platform your website is hosted on. Here’s a comprehensive guide to setting up GA4 on your website.

Q4: What are some things to consider before moving to Google Analytics 4?

Google is retiring its Universal Analytics from the 1st of July this year. So if you haven’t already, now’s the best time to move to GA4.

When you move to GA4, however, not all of your setup on Universal Analytics will be moved over automatically. Firstly, keep an eye on your Goals to Conversions setup, so that you can manually fix them if they don’t move over correctly.

Next, make a note of any audiences you’ve created on Universal Analytics so that you can recreate them on GA4.

If you move to GA4 well before July, you can use GA4 and Universal Analytics simultaneously until it’s retired. This means that you can set up your tracking on GA4 while you still transition out of Universal Analytics.

The biggest thing to note, though, as our guest told us, is the new language that comes with GA4. Have a look at our guest’s phrasebook to help with the new terminology.

Q5: What marketing metrics should you follow on Google Analytics?

That’s subjective. What you should measure depends entirely on your business goals. If you want to know how many people visiting your website sign up for a product or service, you should look at the conversations report and add a secondary dimension for Source. This way, GA can show you where exactly each conversion came from—social media, search results, an email campaign, a webpage, or somewhere else entirely.

To identify what other metrics you should track, ask yourself some simple questions about your business. For example, how many people look at your pricing page, and how many of those end up buying? How many of your blog followers buy from you regularly? Do your buyers have common traits? Are your ads bringing in visitors who end up buying from you?

When you try and answer these questions, you’ll automatically think of metrics that you need to keep an eye on.

Q6: How do you measure your social media ROI?

Calculate the amount of money you spend on social media. Then calculate the time and effort you put into it, and associate a monetary value. This should be at least minimum wage.

Then go to your GA setup and look at your traffic reports and your conversion reports. Do you see people coming in through social media and converting into buyers? If so, that’ll be part of your social media ROI.

It’s worth remembering that there are variables that won’t show up on GA or any other social analytics tool. If you run a social media campaign, does that positively affect your sales? Would doing two campaigns at the same time increase your sales significantly? If you took a break from your regular chats and Spaces conversations, would that impact your sales? Answering all these questions is important for understanding your real social ROI. Tools won’t do them all—you have to be a sleuth, too.

Q7: When measuring ROI for an activity, how do you account for time spent?

As we said before, a lot of people forget to valuate the time they spend on marketing their business. It’s important to have a proper monetary value for your efforts.

Our guest suggested using Toggl. It’s a tool designed to track time spent on projects, but you can use it for other activities also, as our guest does.

Q8: How does inflation affect ROI?

A lot of businesses are cutting back on their marketing budgets as inflation rises. If that’s happening to you, this is the best time to analyze your data and measure what’s working for you and what’s not. Doing that will help you plan more effectively for the future.

For more regular advice and tips on measuring and improving your ROI, check out Amanda’s newsletter here.

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading through and for more great insights from our chat with Michelle, have a look at this Twitter thread. If you like this summary, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us next Thursday at 1 pm ET for #TwitterSmarter. We also have an after-chat on Twitter Spaces at 5 pm ET. See you there!

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About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—marketing stuff to pay the bills; haiku and short stories so I feel wholesome. A social media enthusiast, I hang out with the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and am always happy to take on writing gigs.

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