If your business is channelling a lot of energy and resources into a new digital marketing campaign or a website redesign, you’ll want to know that your efforts are working. You’ll also need specific data on which elements are the most successful and which could be improved, and crucially – you’ll need to know what kind of return on investment (ROI) your new project is achieving.

All of this information can be found, and packaged into a tidy report, using analytics software and tools. However, there are many, many different options available, and not all will deliver the information you want or be as user-friendly as they should be.

Data overload

In some cases, analytics software delivers too much data. As these tools are designed to meet as many different customer needs as possible, they produce statistics on every possible metric and criteria. If it can be tracked, it can be turned into a graph or a report. This might not sound like a problem, but it really can be if you can’t find the information you really need – or when you’re trying to work out exactly what information you need. Tracking and analysing everything can be very time-intensive, and it won’t help you to root out the statistics that really can help you analyse how close (or far away) you are from achieving your objectives.

Google Analytics isn’t for everyone, or for every project

A massive 30-50 million websites throughout the world are estimated to use Google Analytics, and it really does have a lot going for it when it comes to assessing the performance of your website. For starters, it’s free to use, and once the user is familiar with customising and personalising their reports, it can provide easy-to-understand and useful data for business owners. However, it doesn’t necessarily suit every business, nor is it by any means the best tool for measuring the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns across multiple channels. There are alternatives available for web tracking, as well as digital campaign analysis.

Here are some useful tips to help you get right to the heart of what information you need, which should point the way to the right analytics tool for your business:

  • Try before you buy. Many tools offer a free demo period or version, and this is well worth taking advantage of so you can gain first-hand experience of whether a tool works for you or not
  • How many channels do you need to track? If your business is active across many different channels and platforms, it is essential for your software to monitor all of them in one streamlined interface.
  • What are your key objectives, and what are the KPIs of each? Before you start gathering data, you need to pinpoint exactly what statistics will tell you how close you are to achieving the key objectives of your campaign. These are the metrics that are worth tracking, helping you to focus your attention on what really matters.

How did you find your perfect analytics tool? If you’re still searching, what are the most frustrating problems you’ve encountered with available software? Please feel free to share your thoughts.