Measurement is the key to business success. Unless you monitor your company’s performance and key marketing metrics, there’s no way to identify the components in your strategy that need to be replaced, removed, or optimized. It’s also important to closely track the impact of new strategies to see if they’re worth keeping.

However, making data-driven decisions is easier said than done. First of all, you need to have robust and cost-effective measurement platforms that generate an ideal ROI. Secondly, you need to know what to do with the information you gather.

When it comes to digital marketing and online businesses, below are the top seven tools you should use for actionable analytics:

1. Google Analytics

Let’s start with the platform that everyone knows. For most online marketers and businesses, Google Analytics is the go-to platform for obtaining data on advertising and marketing. It lets you understand your audience, traffic acquisition channels, conversions, and the overall performance of your web content.

The best thing about Google Analytics is that you don’t have to spend a dime to get all the core features. To set it up, you need to integrate it with your content management system, which can be done by generating a tracking ID and embedding it within your website’s code.

Once your site is confirmed, you should be able to access real-time information through the Google Analytics dashboard. It breaks down information into four main categories:

  • Audience – This section contains information that can help syou understand who your users are, where they come from, what devices they use, and what piques their interest.
  • Acquisition – This tab helps you review the results of your acquisition channels, including your social media marketing, SEO, and advertising efforts.
  • Behavior – Although it’s labeled “behavior”, the information you can find in this section is more focused on your website’s individual page performance.
  • Conversions – Lastly, this section lets you monitor your online conversion rates. It also covers advanced conversion data on customer journeys.

2. Cyfe

Cyfe is a comprehensive analytics platform for businesses with big needs. It lets you study aggregate data across all areas of your business – from social media marketing to your company revenue.

The platform works through customizable dashboards that can contain multiple widgets. These cover virtually every aspect of business analytics, including but not limited to blogging, sales, social media, and advertising.

Despite the depth of information you can obtain from Cyfe, you can use the tool for as long as you need for free. You may, however, avail a premium plan that offers additional features, multiple users, and the ability to create an unlimited number of dashboards.

3. Crazy Egg

Marketing analytics and business growth are all about numbers. But with Crazy Egg, you can cut through the number crunching and analyze the performance of your website visually with the help of heat maps.

Simply put, heat maps allow you to identify the “hot” and “cold” zones of your website. These are page elements that draw or repel your visitors’ attention. It sounds simple, but it is a more efficient way of formulating data-driven experiences than piecing together information from different platforms.

Another benefit of Crazy Egg is ease-of-use. After signing up for an account, you can get everything ready in your site’s end within minutes. The data, however, takes some time to deliver accurate tracking.

4. Buffer

Although there are pure social media analytics platforms like Iconosquare, Tailwind, and Followerwonk, an all-in-one social marketing platform like Buffer can provide most businesses with sufficient engagement statistics to boost the experience of followers.

The obvious benefit of using Buffer is that you no longer have to rely on multiple platforms if you leverage different social media networks. Even with a free account, you can monitor up to five different social media pages on Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In addition to analytics, Buffer allows brands to automate content distribution through a visual editorial calendar. However, the free account only allows you to schedule up to ten posts at a time, which should be enough as long as you know the best times to post content in each network.

Final Thoughts

All successful companies have adaptive leaders who never stop pursuing growth. With the analytics tools above, you can have a bird’s-eye view of the online branding, sales, and marketing aspects of your business.

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