Jan 31, 2019

The Best Analytics Tools for Digital Marketing

by Digital Marketing Institute

Is your digital marketing campaign successful? How successful exactly? In order to determine precisely how successful your digital marketing campaign, you need to be able to apply the appropriate analytics tools to measure efficiency. Every marketing dollar counts. So, wouldn’t you like to be doubly sure that you are maximizing the return on your marketing investment?

As with everything else in the digital landscape, digital marketing analytics are constantly changing. It’s one thing to determine the efficiency of your digital marketing campaign; it is another to stay on top of the latest and greatest tools to deliver you the most accurate information.

Marketing Analytics Defined

Let’s take a moment just to refresh our collective memory on what marketing analytics are, which will help you drill down your objectives in using them.

Marketing analytics involve gathering and measuring data around your digital marketing to gauge performance and rate return on investment (ROI). One of the major benefits of using marketing analytics is sales and lead generation. Another obvious benefit is optimizing your marketing activities. And you can identify customer trends and preferences, which can be useful in developing future digital marketing campaigns.

Unlike web analytics, which really just gauge the effectiveness of your website, digital marketing analytics look at your digital marketing efforts as a whole. It digs into the details because there is a focus on some of the variables, such as:

  • How did you reach your audience?
  • What was the time of day?
  • What sort of response/engagement were you able to generate offsite?
  • What sort of shares are you getting from influencers?
  • How successfully are your competitors doing the same thing?

Digital marketing analytics also examine what your competitors are doing, to help you really understand your impression in the marketplace.

Some of the common key performance indicators (KPIs) for digital marketing analytics include ROI based on channel, brand mentions and shares during an event, signups/lead conversion from email campaigns or press releases, number of shares identified by content topic, and so on. You’ll see that the one thing that these metrics have in common is that they are data-driven, but very much look at the people (or behavioral) element around the marketing.

Using marketing analytics can help you gauge the effectiveness of your campaigns over the longer term, which can help to properly guide your decisions for future marketing investment.

Analytics is about determining the efficacy of your campaign. For instance, are you measuring clickthroughs? How about conversions? That’s great if you’ve got these metrics! But how much do you know about what forces that transition? That key movement from click to conversion is one of the essential measures of the effectiveness of your strategy. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that your money is being spent in the right place?

Here are some new (or relatively new) tools that will help you get those answers.

Google Data Studio

Google’s free data visualization and reporting product has moved out of beta and is now available. Google Data Studio takes your data from various sources (such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, YouTube, as well as non-Google data sources) and presents it to you in an easy-to-read dashboard that helps you synthesize the information and make swift decisions. It’s also a great collaborative tool, allowing you to share your insights easily with others.

Let’s face it. Data is more easily understood when it is visualized, and this tool enables you to easily display data visually. You can convert data into graphs, charts, pivot tables, heat maps, geo maps, tables, bullet charts, bar charts, and more. It also has templates to help you set up reports based on your data.


Are your competitors beating you every time in searches? Maybe it is because of your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, but how do you know for sure? If you don’t have the data to understand the gaps in your SEO, it is really hard for you to make the necessary amendments to vault to the top of the search listings.

SEMrush provides you with keyword research while also doing an SEO audit of your content. And it extracts information about your competitors’ keywords so that you can assess your strategy against theirs. It helps to identify areas onsite for backlinks and other SEO boosting practices.

With this tool, you can enhance your content marketing to drive you to the top of search results. You will improve your keyword use and have hard data on competitors’ best SEO habits. With SEMrush, you can learn about different keyword variations to drive even more traffic. Additionally, you have the opportunity to track your current and past rankings, letting you accurately identify areas for improvement.


It’s crucial to know when and where your customers are looking at your content, which is why visual analytics are so important. Various tools can help you accomplish this, with Hotjar being a notable one.

Hotjar uses a heat map to show where the most heavily trafficked or clicked areas are on your pages and content. It also monitors scrolling behavior. This is useful because it gives you good insight into visitor motivation and goals. Hotjar also offers data split by device type, which can help you to tailor your content appropriately.

Social Media Tools

How are your fans and friends reacting to your brand and marketing campaigns? And what’s the social media response to your marketing activities?

Popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all have analytics built right into them. You can use tools to look at your overall social media presence. However, it is a good idea to break down each platform separately as well so that you can really understand how efficiently you are using each one.

If you determine that your audience has a preference for one social media platform over another, you can tailor your messaging and delivery to take this into account. Similarly, if you find that a particular platform is largely being ignored by your audience, you can reduce your marketing efforts on that platform.


Getting earned media through influencers and fans is a highly coveted digital marketing strategy. It’s also important to be able to target influencers accurately to improve the chances that you’ll be able to take advantage of this kind of marketing. Traackr is an influencer relationship management platform that provides analytics to help you to find influencers based on analysis of areas of interest, social media profiles and activities, as well as any social media connections that are to your benefit.

This tool lets you cast a wider net over more relevant targets. You can also measure influencer KPIs to help you determine where and when you’ll get your best ROI for influencer marketing.


Want to know what people are saying about your brand? What are they saying about your competitors? And which keywords are working and which ones are not? BuzzSumo measures the effectiveness of your content and helps you to connect most effectively with your audience.

You can find out what is being shared on social media in great detail, simply with a keyword search. You can pull a list of influencers who are talking about or sharing the kind of content that you are interested in. Additionally, you are able to source articles on your given topic and determine average shares as well as total shares.

You are able to break down mentions of your brand or company in detail, looking over a day, a week, or even back 30 days, to gauge consistency and trends.

All of these help you to create relevant, shareable content with people who are going to help you boost your brand.

Google Analytics and Google Ads

Google Analytics has been around for a while, but it is still one of the best ways to measure your campaign’s effectiveness. You’ll get detailed information about your users, leads, conversions, downloads, sales, and other important information.

If you aren’t already, consider linking Google Ads to your Google Analytics, leveraging search engine marketing (SEM) to your advantage. Google Ads does offer some data for analysis, but combining it with Google Analytics lets you go even deeper and get information that is more relevant.

When you link these tools together, you gather information such as the length of visit, how many pages are touched on per visit, and bounce rate directly from the Google Ads interface.

Even the best marketing strategy won’t get very far if you don’t have tools in place to provide hard analysis of your efforts. Compiling and organizing data to improve content and connection with your audience comes down to tapping into the best analytics tools on the market.

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