Website Analytics Is the Top Priority for Marketers in 2012

June 26th, 2012 by | Print

website analytics, social media analytics, digital marketers

According to the Adobe 2012 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey, website analytics is the top priority for digital marketers this year to improve online conversion and marketing ROI. Social media analytics came in second while attribution modeling was at the bottom of the list. Eight in 10 of the survey respondents indicated, that they allocate 15% or less of their marketing budgets to on-site optimization. The report goes on to recommend that marketers should reallocate money from focusing on customer acquisition to marketing optimization as a way to save money or generate new revenue.

The report is a culmination of survey responses from more than 1,700 digital marketers who engage in both B2B and B2C across consumer goods, media, technology, finance and retail. When asked to list their top five optimization strategies that they intend to focus on in 2012, these digital marketers indicated the following priorities in descending order:

1. Website analytics – 68%
2. Social media analytics – 56%
3. Profile targeting – 40%
4. Mobile analytics – 35%
5. Testing – 33%
6. Social sharing – 31%
7. Audience segmentation – 28%
8. Behavioral targeting – 27%
9. Retargeting / remarketing – 26%
10. On-site search – 22%
11. Automated recommendations – 18%
12. Attribution modeling – 8%


Website Analytics

While past efforts required marketers to use more laborious processes mixed in with a certain amount of “gut feeling” to determine what caused prospects to convert into paying customers, today’s digital analytics on websites and in social media profiles help businesses identify information about their target audiences’ demographics and online behaviors. So it’s no wonder that many marketers listed analytics as of high importance for them. However, it is surprising that something as important as “on-site search” was towards the bottom of the list.


On-site Search

On-site search is more than adding a search field to your website. It includes optimizing the content on your site so that when your site visitors use the search bar, your site returns the most relevant content for what they’re seeking. This is especially true for sites that have a high page count. Think of how many times you go to a website, take a quick look at the primary and secondary navigation bar, and then either look for an on-site search option or a sitemap so you can quickly get to the content that interests you the most. Who wants to answer the question, “How many clicks does it take to get to the content that you want to see?”

According to Forrester Research, 34% of site visitors use an onsite search as their first activity, and this percentage is even higher for mobile sites. Their research goes on to show that 68% of web users search as their primary form of navigation. And if all doesn’t go well … 43% who use the site search feature give up after the first try according to N Norman Group.

Conversion rates increase when you can manage your visitors’ actions by helping them get to the information they want easily and quickly. The longer it takes them to find the information, the more opportunities you create for them to bounce to another site.


Content Is King

Original, quality content is still of great importance to site visitors and for achieving high organic ranking. Quality content is more likely to be commented on and shared, and ultimately receives better SERP love from Google. What type of content received the top votes in the survey? Here they are in descending order:

1. Video – 61%
2. Interactive publications (e.g. microsites, catalogues) – 45%
3. Interactive design tools – 27%
4. None of the above – 21%
5. Zoom / 360 spin / alternative images – 14%
6. 3D visualization – 9%
7. Color swatching – 6%

While online videos were a newbie to the market in 2000, by 2011 consumption for entertainment, education, and connecting with people was at an all time high.


Optimizing Social Platforms

Word of mouth (WOM) still remains the number #1 form of marketing conversion. The explosion of social media … with roughly 850 million users on Facebook, over 100 million on Twitter, and Pinterest entering into the top 10 within less than one year of launch … creates a whole new kind of virtual WOM. With that being said, what did the Adobe survey indicate as being top priority amongst digital marketers for social media strategies and tactics:

1. Social sharing – 79%
2. Blogs and social community pages – 60%
3. User comments / reviews / ratings – 33%
4. User-generated content – 20%
5. Live chat / instant messaging – 16%
6. None of the above – 12%
7. Collaborative custom product design – 10%
8. User-created collections for sharing and purchase – 9%

OK, so how does this data apply to you if you’re a digital marketer or if you’re responsible for the marketing a small biz?

Ask yourself these questions …

Is website analytics something that you understand and have implemented on your branding site?

Do you know how to use the analytic tools provided by the social media sites?

Have you optimized the content on your site for better conversion?

Do you need help creating effective marketing strategies and tactics for converting customers online? If so, leave your questions in the comment section, or contact us online at to help you strategize, optimize, and socialize.

All the Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


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