In this first post of our two-part series, we’ll share how to evaluate your current digital strategy with an annual analytics tagging and data audit.
Using data to make informed decisions about your products, marketing, website and apps is a vital part of your analytics and company strategy, especially in 2020. Everything about your digital strategy revolves around timing, accuracy and execution. Clean and accurate data has been proven to save time and money, because you are able to invest in the right solutions and strategy with factual knowledge. If you do not already have accurate data today, you are falling behind your competitors and are not truly understanding your organization’s customer journey. Without knowing what customers are doing, you will be unable to respond to their actions in a timely manner.
All companies have growth goals that typically involve increasing revenue through conversions. It is hard to understand what products or information your audiences need if you don’t have ways to track their behavior. The general user does not mind being marketed to, but it is the value of the advertising and information you are sharing that is crucial. So how can you set your company up for success this year? The answer is to evaluate your current digital strategy by reviewing your analytics tagging for web and app, audit existing data implementation and, as a result, determine business goals and target the correct audiences.
Analytics Audit & Tagging Best Practices
Data is only useful if it is accurate, relevant and used to make informed decisions. To ensure data accuracy and relevancy, perform an annual analytics tagging and data audit, keep records of short-term analytics requests and retire any unnecessary tagging.
Audit Checklist Ideas
▢ Review the tagging on the site for duplication, missing events and incorrect or inconsistent naming conventions
▢ Look out for personally identifiable information (PII) and make sure it is not being sent into analytics platforms
▢ Assess features such as goals setup and current data filters accuracy
▢ Research opportunities and ensure your company is using current analytics platform features available to you, especially if you have an upgraded platform such as GA360
▢ Review your campaign tagging for gaps and inconsistencies
▢ Reach out to marketing, product and executive teams to make sure questions are being answered through the current data
If you currently do not use GA360, and you are curious if now is the time to upgrade, view: How to Select the Right Marketing Analytics Solution.
We recommend keeping a record of your overall analytics tagging in a spreadsheet that we refer to as a Data Dictionary. A Data Dictionary includes a list of tags and their detailed components such as custom dimensions, core settings and event nomenclature that currently exist in your tag manager of choice. With a document like a Data Dictionary, marketing and data analysts can better understand what data is available to them and in turn, will be able to know what data they should request if their questions are not currently being answered.
Additionally, we recommend that you create some sort of Implementation Spec every time you make updates or add new tags to your website or apps. An Implementation Spec is a visual guide that outlines the specific tags, code and analytics configuration expected with screenshots of the actions needed to fire the analytics tags. A visual guide of your implementation will also make performing quality assurance reviews much easier and accurate.
Tagging Best Practices
- Reference or create a Data Dictionary that lists out current analytics tagging grouped by sites.
- Be consistent with your event and campaign tagging nomenclature. This may look different depending on the platform you are using so do your research or consult with an analytics expert.
- For campaigns, use a URL builder if you do not have one already. If you are using Google Analytics, you can use this Campaign URL Builder as an example.
- With consistent tagging, marketing efforts and user journeys, you can determine which campaigns and app or site features are working and which ones are not.
- Tag only what is needed and avoid duplication.
- Do not send PII, such as names, social security numbers, addresses, emails or any similar data.
If you need help with an analytics tagging audit or need best practices for your digital and analytics strategy, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Adswerve is here to help!