Using Google tools to understand your audience

Guest Post: Understanding Your Customers by Jenna Hegarty – Adtaxi

As digital advertisers, we are constantly trying to determine the optimal targeting for our SEM efforts. Understanding your customer personas, the profiles that represent your ideal customers, will help you tailor your digital marketing efforts and set your campaign targeting effectively.

While there are a handful of methods you can use to understand your customer base, including market research, surveys, polls, and social listening, one of the best ways is to dive into your site & campaign analytics. Google offers two tools that can help you quickly understand your audience: Google Analytics & Google Ads Audience Insights.

Using Google Analytics for Audience Research

Google Analytics is a rich source of information about your customers. You can see where your site visitors came from, which terms they searched to find you, how much time they spent on the site & more. You can also find valuable information on your customers’ interests, age, gender, location and even which device & browser they used.

Audience Reports in GA

Google Analytics Audience Reports give detailed information about who visited your site. Audience Reports contains over 15 subsections, but we will focus on Demographics & Interests here.

The Demographics report gives you insight into the age and gender of your site visitors, and each demographic group’s behavior on the site. The overview gives you a high level demographic breakdown of users by age and gender, and you can toggle through other key metrics like sessions, bounce rate, and session duration as well. The Age & Gender reports give a more granular look at each age group’s or gender’s behavior on your site, including bounce rate, pages per session, duration, and goal completion.

The Interest report in turn gives you a psychographic view of your audience. Google Analytics segments interests into three categories: Affinity, In-Market, and Other. Affinity includes users with a more general interest in topics, such as “Cooking Enthusiasts” or “Travel Buffs.” In-Market includes those users at the bottom of the funnel who are ready to convert, with more specific segments like “Home Decor” and “Hotel & Accommodations.” Other categories is similar to Affinity, but provides a more granular view, for example “Home & Garden/Bed & Bath/Bedroom/Bedding & Bed Linens.” Like the Demographic overview above, the Interests overview breaks down key metrics by each of the top ten interests in each category, and you can drill down into each category’s report acquisition, behavior, and conversion metrics.

Understanding the demographic & psychographic composition of your customers will not only ensure your campaign settings target the users with the highest conversion or goal completion rates, but also inform the creative, ad copy, and overall messaging of your marketing efforts. These reports can also help you gauge whether your campaigns are, in fact, sending the right visitors to your site. You can even use age, gender, and interest segments to create remarketing audiences to use in Google Ads.

Using Google Ads Audience Insights for Audience Research

The Google Ads audience insights tool helps you learn about who your converters and website visitors are, as well as find new audiences to target. Audience Insights is housed in the Shared Library under the Audience Manager.

Google Ads Audience Insights report

The Audience Insights report is a valuable resource for determining where, when, and to whom you should be advertising your products or services to drive conversions for your Gmail, YouTube, & display campaigns, and can also help you choose more relevant keywords & messaging to implement in your search campaigns, set bids, and more. Audience Insights benchmarks your website visitors against the United States on demographics, location, devices and interests. For example, the traffic for one of our clients in home goods retail is 66% more likely to be female and between 35 to 54 years old, 42% more likely to be parents, and 76% more likely to be visiting from a computer than the general US population. We also know that our visitors are 10.3x more likely to be in-market for “Kitchen & Bathroom Counters” and 3.2x more likely to be “Beach Bound Travelers.” Armed with your customer persona, you can leverage your findings and refine your paid media strategy to drive high-value traffic to your site.

Once you’ve created your customer persona, continue to periodically review your data in Google Analytics & Google Ads. Buying habits & preferences can change over time, so it’s important to reevaluate and recreate your personas especially if you’ve gone through new product launches or industry changes.

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Adtaxi is a client-centric digital organization that brings scale, precision, and sophistication to digital marketing. Leveraging the belief that people matter as much as technology, we help advertisers solve complex marketing challenges with custom, performance-driven solutions. Adtaxi just recently won Digiday’s Worklife Award for Most Passionate Employees at an agency!

Four Metrics to Better Evaluate and Optimize Your Social Media Content

It’s important to constantly evaluate and optimize your best social media content to ensure your feeding content into an engaged and active audience.  Whether you’re a large brand or a blogger, if you’re spending time creating and sharing content no one is interested in, well, you’re just waiting your time!  Avinash Kaushik’s four major social media metrics were designed in a 2011 blog post to address the way in which we evaluate our social media performance.  Both Moz and Buffer use Kaushik’s social methods within their social media marketing, and theres an analytics tool, True Social Metrics, based solely upon his metrics.

Kaushik’s four metrics are:

1) Conversion Rate: The number of conversations per post.  For example, on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn (comments), on Twitter (replies).

2) Amplification Rate– The number of reshares or retweets per post.

3) Applause Rate- The volume of ReTweets, Likes, +1’s, and so on.

4) Economic Value– The sum of short term revenue, long term revenue, and cost savings.

How To Evaluate And Optimize Your Best Social Media Content: 5 New Methods To Try Today image Amplification

Kaushik’s four metrics can be found across every social channel as they are independent of the individual social media networks.  The four metrics are now more easily measurable due to tools and free analytics such as:

  • The release of expanded twitter analytics which now allows you to easily view impressions, engagements, engagement rates, and much more information for free.
  • Social Media Examiner shared a comprehensive excel spreadsheet for evaluation and optimizing social media content.  The spreadsheet includes 14 different variables for each social media post including likes, shares, clicks, engagement and more.
  • Buffer allows you to stack social media updates across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms and gives fantastic free analytics on retweets, mentions, favorites, clicks and more, as well as recommendations as to when to schedule and optimize content.
  • In my opinion the economic value is the hardest part to track within Kaushik’s metrics. At work we use a BitLy Google Analytics shortening tool from Setaris which allows you to measure specific keywords and campaigns through to conversions easily within google analytics, and shorten and track your links posted as well.

It’s important to consider Kaushik’s four metrics, and review and evaluate your social media content to ensure it’s always optimized and functioning well.  if you’ve got a tool or article you’ve read which has more information or insight, please share within the comments, or send me a tweet @MarissaPick. Thanks!