Tips for Better Digital Marketing Analytics for Outdoor Brands

You know the saying: “you can’t manage what you don’t measure?” Even if your wellness brand is in a moment of growth, without truly understanding how your digital marketing efforts are affecting that growth, it will be difficult to craft a strategy that ensures that growth will continue. Here are four analytics tips for better tracking of your digital marketing activities.

1) Pull an Analytics Report More Frequently

Even if you don’t dig into deep analysis with every single report, you should be pulling Google Analytics reports on your key metrics on a frequent basis — monthly, or even weekly. To start, establish data benchmarks that will help you easily check progress (and just as important: communicate that progress to your team or to your organization’s leadership). You can also consider segmenting your traffic by audience, goals, and geographies to dig a little deeper and help you understand more about what is affecting your brand’s growth. Are there seasonal dips and peaks, for example? Did COVID-19 affect your business, and does it continue to do so? By taking at least a glance at your analytics on a regular basis, you’ll have a better understanding of where your marketing is working — and what you may need to change.

2) Use Analytics to Create Better Content

One of our outdoor industry clients, Backpacker’s Pantry, is a leader in the industry — consumers know they can trust them to provide high-quality delicious freeze-dried meals, and their audiences know they’ll get great advice and insights that are customized to their lifestyle. One of their best-performing blog posts, 10 Foods to Keep in Your Emergency Kit, is a great example of content that not only performs, but that teaches the team at Backpacker’s Pantry what content attracts people to their site. By looking at data around what content is drawing people to your domain, and what keywords and search terms help get them there, you can create content that helps your brand continue on a trajectory of growth and increased reach. Some of this information is not available via Google Analytics anymore, but by combining data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you can analyze where people are landing on your site, in addition to the search queries that people are using to find your site. In addition to this, you can look at what people are searching for on your domain with Google Analytics. This can help you create content that helps answer questions and serves up insights your audience is seeking and also fill any gaps in service or product offerings that have the potential to help you earn more sales.

It is important to analyze your data through three different lenses:  recent performance, trending performance, and YoY performance. These separate lenses each provide additional context to the trend you are seeing. For example, if a blog page is all of a sudden receiving a lot of traffic, the first step that we recommend is to look at the current timeframe and identify what may be causing the increase in traffic. Here, we like to look primarily at the source and medium to identify where traffic is coming from. Let’s say 70% of the traffic is coming to the page from organic search.

Then we move forward to the trending analysis. Extending the time frame provides additional context to the findings. What does the historic performance of the page look like? Has the page been trending upwards over time or is the spike only for the current timeframe? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself in order to understand the full picture.
Finally, it is important to also analyze the data with a YoY lens. This will help to determine if seasonality may be playing a role in what you are seeing.  These three lenses help show the full story behind the data and can lead to more useful analysis and context for your brand.

3) Understand Where Your Content is Going

The third tracking tip for your outdoor brand is to ensure that all the share buttons on your site are properly tagged. By tracking where and how your content is getting shared, you can better understand which channels are working for your business, and how you can optimize any organic or paid efforts to maximize the potential of each channel. 

This type of event tracking can be done in two ways: by your developer, or through Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager is a user-friendly tool that is used to supplement the information that is provided through Google Analytics. By properly tracking these actions, you will be able to know what content is being shared the most, and on what social media it is being shared. All of this information can be used to help further identify what content is resonating with your users, and how they are engaging. Then, you can use this information to help guide your content and social media strategies.

4) Update Popular Pieces of Content

Every brand has that one piece of content that is consistently among the top five or even three landing pages to the site. By tracking which pieces of blog content perform better, you can also see which pieces of content tend to rise to the top of the pack among your highest-hitting posts. Take those most popular pieces of content — the ones that continue to perform over and over — and update them on at least an annual or even quarterly basis to show your audience that you have your finger on the pulse of the industry and that they should continue to rely on you as a trusted brand.

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