Understand your analytics before hiring a contractor

analytics and hiring contractors.jpg

Writing for business isn’t just about being creative, it is about writing that creates measurable results for your business. Understanding how to measure those results is crucial.

When I sit down to write a website or an email sequence, I don’t just crack my knuckles and throw some words on a page. Oh, do I wish it was that easy. But hey, if it was that easy, my profession wouldn’t exist!

I start each project with a TON of research.

That research usually covers:

  • Interviews/surveys with current customers and employees

  • Data mining

  • Heat mapping

  • Employee interviews

  • Branding questionnaire

  • Social media review

  • Review mining

  • Audit of current analytics

That last piece: the audit of current analytics.

That is perhaps the most important. If I am writing an email sequence to sell a product or to help sell more products, how will I and the client know if it’s working if we don’t know how successful past emails have been?

Words and analytics seem like a pretty tricky relationship, an odd couple of sorts, but it doesn’t have to be. Words are measurable.

Quite often on my discovery calls, I am told that a potential client wants to work with me because they want more conversions. The questions I ask immediately afterward is what is their current conversion rate, what they would like the conversion rate to actually be, and what a higher conversion rate would do for their business.

Sometimes they can answer those questions quickly.

Most of the time these questions trip them up.

And hey, that’s ok.

At the end of the day, a business will be more successful the more conversions happen, so it’s logical that having a better conversion rate will increase the success of the business in question.

But it’s important to understand the current state of your data before jumping into a project. If you’re looking to hire a copywriter first really ask yourself: Why do I need their services?

Go beyond the “well I want a sexier website” answer.

Think about what will fantastic website copy do for your business?

  • Drive sales?
  • Get more leads?
  • Generate awareness?
  • Get more traffic to your website or brick and mortar store?

If you don’t know what exactly you want your proposed project to ultimately be achieved, there is no way to measure the results. You won’t be able to determine the ROI of working with a copywriter.

All you’ll get is some really really good lookin’ words in a Google Doc.

Really what I’m trying to help with here, in full transparency, is to make sure you don’t get buyer’s remorse when you hire a copywriter. I want to empower you.

So let’s go through the steps of how to determine where you are now and where you want to be.

 

Set up your tracking

I recently conducted a website audit for a project and found that a random blog post from 2014 was getting the second most visits on the site. After putting on my Sherlock Holmes cap I discovered it was because the images in the post were highly shared on Pinterest.

Armed with that information the client was able to add a call to action on the blog post to move all that traffic through their funnel towards buying a product.

Ah, the power of analytics.

 Track like a total boss

Track like a total boss

The lesson? Make sure you have at minimum Google Analytics and the Facebook Pixel installed on your website. Not sure how to do that? Shameless self-promotion here. Shoot me an email and I’ll help you out.

Already did this? Here’s the next key uber important question: did you create a view that blocks the IP address of your office? Because holy goodness that will make your metrics all sorts of wonky doodle. Learn how to do that here.

You might look like you’re getting a ton of traffic every week, but how deflating would that be if half of it is coming from you and your team?

 

Determine your key performance indicators

After all your codes are in place you’ll want to create a master marketing dashboard for yourself. That way, anytime you want, you can pop on over to your Analytics and check in to see if your latest blog post did any good for you.

You see? Analytics is not as frightening as it seems. It just takes time on the front end to get it all set up and running.

Here is where I would tell you the three key magical metrics you’ll need to put in that master dashboard, but to be honest, it all really depends on what the ultimate goal of your content is. If your goal is to drive more sales, then you’d be checking conversions. If it’s brand awareness it’s source and time on page. You get the idea.

 

Set up goals

Once you know your magical metrics, set up goals in Google Analytics so you can properly use attribution modeling. That’s a fancy term to see what source of traffic is converting the most sales. Learn a more about Google Analytics Goals here.

Attribution modeling is hella important. Google automatically gives the last click 100% of the attribution, but you can check all different types of attribution modeling.

 Goal: be able to do this

Goal: be able to do this

For example, if a customer first sees your stuff on social media, then subscribes to your email, then receives multiple emails, but then actually buys off another social media post, that social media post will get 100% of the credit.

That’s not fair to all those other steps! Your email list was crucial to making that final sale. Determining the success of your different channels comes down to playing with attribution modeling. You can set it to first click (ie the first social media post), last click, last non-direct click, last AdWords click, linear, and time decay. Learn more about attribution modeling here.

 

Poke around your funnel (or create a funnel)

Once your analytics are tracking and you’ve determined your KPIs you can start poking around your funnel. Where do people fall off and don’t convert? *Please note that Google Analytics doesn’t back-populate data, so you’ll only see the data from when you started tracking. I’d suggest waiting at least one month before doing this step after installing your code.

If it’s your landing page, then you need to optimize that. Maybe it’s your opt-in form- that could mean you’re asking too many questions or not the right kind of questions. Perhaps it’s your cart- what is holding people up? Have you made it hard for people to buy from you?

 Is it hard for people to buy from you?

Is it hard for people to buy from you?

Understanding how your funnel works and where there might be kinks will give you a solid idea of where you need to bring in outside talent like a copywriter or graphic designer.

 

Do the math

Ok, now you know what your conversion rate is, what kind of revenue it is bringing in, and where people are falling off track to purchasing. Figure out what raising the conversion rate on your landing page by even a percentage would do for your business.

Every copywriter or contract worker is going to ask you about budget. If raising your conversion rate by only 1% will increase sales by $15,000, the value of bringing on a copywriter for a landing page at $1,500 seems completely worth it.

 Very important.

Very important.

The lesson: know your numbers.

Copywriters do. Empower yourself to know yours.

When you do hiring a contractor like a designer or copywriter will not only belay buyers remorse, but it will give you much more bang for your buck, as you can direct the expert exactly to the place you need fixing.