In this blog, Matthew Creswick, Managing Director at The B2B Marketing Lab Singapore, shares his thoughts on what he believes to be the best analytics platforms to measure Inbound Marketing results.
Measuring the results of your Inbound Marketing is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your strategies and tactics are working.
And yet despite the amazing tools available, many businesses are not in a position to do so.
The fact is that the marketplace is absolutely bursting with analytics tools, all of which can help you measure every single aspect of your Inbound Marketing results and your activity, whether that's tracking website traffic, reviewing keyword performance or checking click-throughs from social media. Now, I'm not suggesting you measure every single metric you can - but you should be looking to create some KPI's that you measure on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis for sure.
In this blog, I've taken a look at five of the top analytics platforms that we use to track and measure Inbound Marketing results for ourselves and for our clients.
As an Elite HubSpot Solutions Partner, the majority of our team live in HubSpot for most of their working day. HubSpot has some fantastic features to allow you to easily measure, track, analyse your marketing success - as well as actually act on the data you receive.
HubSpot’s analytics allow you to easily create dashboards to gain deep insight into how people are finding your content (search engines, social media, email marketing, etc) and also how they engage with it.
HubSpot's dashboards provide a ton of information, covering everything from page sessions (you can do this for individual pages and blogs) to what devices are being used to view your web pages (really useful when it comes to content optimisation for mobile). You can also see bounce rates (people arriving on web pages and leaving), as well as what people click on (your calls-to-action).
HubSpot also comes with attribution reporting, which is a really useful tool for tying activities or content to business results - in other words, deals closed. For example, you can build attribution reports to highlight which pieces of content a prospect viewed throughout their lifecycle, as well as identify the first touch (i.e. the first thing they did or looked at) that led to them becoming a customer. To put it simply - you can pull reports that will tell you what element of your marketing activity (be it a blog or email) generated revenue for you. How cool is that?
Finally, compiling reports is also incredibly easy with HubSpot. You can either use standard reports to very quickly get information on Inbound Marketing results like page views and email open rates, or you can create custom reports specifically tailored to the metrics you want to focus on.
Like HubSpot, Google Analytics is a fantastic tool for getting a full picture of how your website is performing, and how your audience is finding and engaging with you. Using this information, you can optimise your site to get the best Inbound Marketing results. It’s also free to use.
But what’s really cool about Google Analytics, apart from being able to see the branded keywords people are using to find your website, is that you can also see the non-branded phrases they are using to find you. This is particularly useful if you’re using digital PR alongside your Inbound Marketing as it will help you to measure the impact press coverage is having on your search performance.
Also, like HubSpot, Google Analytics can be used to analyse how people engage with your content once they’re on your website. By setting goals via Google Analytics (specific actions you want your audience to take) and deploying specific tags on your website, you can judge whether your content is succeeding in influencing your audience or not.
Lastly, you can segment your audience based on your buyer personas and see where they are coming from (i.e. what channels they use to find your website). You can then use this information to determine if your content is attracting the right people - those you want to work with - to your website.
Ahrefs has become one of our favourite SEO tools, not just because it’s a great platform for tracking keyword performance, but also because its content research features are brilliant for optimising content strategies.
For example, using Ahrefs you can research which of your competitions’ pages are driving the most traffic (good to know on its own) and find out which of their top-performing pages have little or no referring domains, making them relatively easy to outperform.
Similarly, Ahrefs is a great tool if you’re trying to start a link building strategy to improve your site’s performance. For example, you can use Ahrefs to see what links your competition has managed to secure (and the content securing them) and then devise your own strategy to get links from the same domains. To go a step further, you can also use the platform to find guest blogging opportunities by capitalising on domains which you know give out links.
Outside of content planning tools, Ahrefs is also ideal for analysing technical SEO problems with your website by carrying out a site audit. With an audit you'll be able to easily uncover issues that are holding your website back.
When you have multiple data sources, pulling the information you need to compile accurate end-to-end reports of activity can be challenging - even at a high level.
It takes time and effort, and whilst reporting delivers insight and value, it shouldn't be time-consuming.
And that's precisely why we love Databox. It's simple, intuitive and can provide granular insights in just a few clicks.
Databox is a live reporting dashboard that allows you to pull data from multiple sources like HubSpot, Google Analytics and even ecommerce platforms and create real-time reports. These reports are updated on a regular basis, eliminating the need to constantly pull reports.
With Databox, you can also create real-time views of every stage of the buyer's journey and easily identify trends in content performance to inform your future content strategy.
Lastly, the really cool thing about Databox is the ability to share dashboards that you can stream to your devices in your office or at home - so your team can constantly keep check on how you're getting on.
BrightEdge is another great SEO tool that we’ve been using for about a year now. If you’re looking for a reliable platform to track your site’s SEO performance or review your Inbound Marketing results then you can’t go wrong here.
Along with the usual keyword ranking report, backlink tracking and SEO recommendations that you’d expect from an SEO platform, BrightEdge also has a “share of voice” feature which is useful for seeing how you stack up against your competition when it comes to search and keywords.
As part of measuring your Inbound Marketing results, the "share of voice" feature is great for assessing performance over time and whether you are outperforming your main competitors.
Now there are obviously many other tools out there for measuring Inbound Marketing results, but these are our favourites and we would recommend them in a second!
If you're just getting started with Inbound Marketing and using HubSpot to monitor and measure your results, we'd suggest taking a look at the eBook below. It'll help you to demonstrate the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing activities.