Actually falling into a physical pit can definitely be painful, but metaphorical pitfalls can be worse – professionally and in your private life. When it comes to reporting on your marketing performance, You gotta learn to keep your head on a swivel and avoid those dangerous pitfalls when reporting on your marketing performance, so let’s get to it!

Mistaking correlation for causation is just one major analytical pitfall. Take the classic billboard as an example. Does the ad bring in new business or drive new purchasing customers? Was it because of the “BUY NOW” in giant red letters? How do you know? Since correlation does not imply causation, you just won’t know and the ROI on those big roadside boards are rarely measured accurately

Thankfully, we live in the always-online information age where software tools are a dime a dozen. Nowadays, everything from how many comments your delicious homemade dinner generated on Instagram to how many qualified leads your latest email marketing campaign created can be measured. The biggest problem with all of this wonderful information is the is SO MUCH to learn and SO MANY pitfalls to avoid.

Below are some of the best ways to measure your analytics and to know when and how to avoid breaking your ankles on those notorious pitfalls.

ANALYTICS AND IP ADDRESSES

 

Analytics and IP Addresses

 

If you find yourself thinking one day “What can Google do for me?”, think about the analytic programs inherent to those systems.

Applications like Google Analytics, HubSpot, and other programs are dialed-in on metrics. These programs aren’t just tracking URLs, but they also keep track of cookies and IPs so the page owner can see what content is driving the most traffic. This is valuable because it helps determine which strategies are working and which need to be dropped.

However, you have to be careful, if you do not turn account for your companies local IP addresses to show up as a user, it can significantly skew your metrics.

Tip #1: Be sure to turn off your local IP address for more accurate targeting.

 

CLICKING YOUR OWN GOOGLE ADS

If you decide that your SEO strategy is working but you desire more interaction with your customers, tit’s probably a good time to invest in Google Ads. Google Search Ads put your business at the top of Google’s search results and aids in attracting people to your page.

 

clicking ad

 

Google Ads come at a cost, however. They are PPC or Paid-Per-Click meaning you are charged every single time someone clicks on your ad. This means that if you or the ones you work with get excited to see the new ad in action and give it a click, you are simply wasting your money.

Simply, the reporting on those ads will be ruined by the internal attention they are receiving from you or your employees.

Tip #2: Don’t click on your own ads!

 

A/B TESTING ISN’T FOR EVERYONE

 

ab testing

 

A great way to keep your customer base informed and interested as well as providing a call to action is by sending out emails. With A/B Testing, test emails are sent to a small portion of your subscriber base, whichever one performs the best is the one that is sent out to the rest of your list, ensuring the best performance possible.

Using A/B Testing isn’t always effective, though. If you only have less than 1000 people subscribed to your email list, then that population is too small to perform an accurate A/B test.

 

Tip #3: If you have a small email list, the best thing to do is skip the AB testing and send the same well-crafted email to everyone.

 

BOOSTING LOW-ENGAGEMENT POSTS

Warning: the following may seem logical to some content managers

 

Boosting low engagement posts on social media

 

So let’s say you have created some content and post it online, but after a few days, you notice it has a low amount of engagement (likes, shares, comments, etc.). You then decide it’s time to put up some of your hard-earned cash to boost that low-performing post.

However, this type of bass-ackward thinking is a great way to go broke and fall into a serious analytical pitfall.

Simply put, if your content is boring, boosting it will just highlight the snore-fest you have made and waste even more money.

Tip #4: When boosting content on social media, use content that has good organic engagement.

VANITY METRICS

Say your content went viral and got millions of views, likes, shares, etc. Congrats! Brand awareness and that feeling that you have won the internet is great, but any seasoned professional will tell you to take a good look in the mirror and ask “How many sales did that really create?”.

 

giphy (1)

 

If you arent seeing a connection between your content and your call-to-actions, then you shouldn’t celebrate just yet. Unfortunately, vanity metrics can get the best of all of us. The content may have been awesome, but the call-to-action didn’t quite measure up. Maybe it went viral for something negative or maybe an influencer gave your content some exposure, but ultimately the influencer is seeing the credit instead of your business..

Trending is fun but don’t confuse popularity with success.

Tip #5: Focus on creating content with solid call-to-actions so you can have a healthy ROI and succeed.

 

Metrics and analytics are the future. It’s time to put out to pasture the days of guesswork and old mentalities. There should be no more guessing if that big beautiful billboard is helping your bottom line. If you continue to be smart, diligent, and adaptive with data and how you measure your analytics then you’ll see growth like never before.