Digital Marketing Tips & Advice For 2021
Struggling with your digital marketing and need some help?
We’ve asked 25 online marketing experts from digital marketing agencies and in-house teams to give us their top digital marketing tips from their digital marketing strategy.
From content marketing to brand awareness tips, you’re sure to find plenty of actionable marketing tips below!
- Always Verify Your Data
- Make Use of Tracking Pixels
- Discover Your Winning Pages
- Assign a Monetary Value to Goals
- Standardize Your Tracking UTMs
- Don’t Forget Social Analytics
- Investigate Your Bounce Rate
- Invest In Third Party Analytics
- Review Search Bar Data Regularly
- Focus On Practical Data Only
- Combine Sources With Data Studio
- Be Careful Of Last Click Attribution
- Filter Out Bad Internal Traffic
- Track Changes With Annotations
- Track Your Metric Changes Weekly
- Take Advantage Of Push Notifications
- Use Search Console To Tweak Content
- Organise Your Ad Account
- Dig Deeper Into Your Analytics
- Check Your Traffic Acquisition Channels
- Don’t Forget Email Analytics!
- Identify Slow Loading Pages
- Investigate High Bounce Rate Pages
- Utilize The Power Of Automation
- Name Your Campaigns Correctly
1. Always Verify Your Data
One thing that usually goes unmentioned is how you can use some platforms to cover ‘data gaps’ in other platforms and to verify existing data. Too often we look at one result and think ‘oh that’s data, it must be right!’ and make quick decisions.
So I always encouraged people to compare data across different analytics platforms. For instance – if Facebook is telling you a certain location is responding poorly to a Facebook ad, you can use Google Trends to see which demographics are searching for relevant products or services in that location.
Then you can go back to Facebook and tune your target audience again – with a layer of data not found on the Facebook platform.
Nicholas Prangnell – The Good Bamboo
2. Make Use of Tracking Pixels
70% of online shoppers abandon their baskets before purchasing. This is a crazy statistic, and if you’re not making efforts to draw your audience back to your site, you’ll be missing out on a huge amount of revenue.
The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that will help supercharge your retargeting strategy and target all those users who abandoned their basket. By tracking user activity on your site, the pixel gathers invaluable data that you can then use for your campaigns.
You’ll then be able to create campaigns that only target people who have performed certain actions (viewed items, added items to basket, initiated checkout etc), helping you serve hyper-relevant ads.
When someone visits your website, the Facebook Pixel is triggered and drops a cookie into the visitor’s browser cache. The cookies are used so that we can retarget visitors later. The Facebook Pixel is also great for tracking a visitor’s behaviour when they are on your website.
You can use this data later to create custom audiences and retarget the right people. As an agency, we won’t run ads for a client unless they have the pixel installed and working correctly – that’s how crucial it is.
Kirsty Allen – Digital Media Team
3. Discover Your Winning Pages
We use Google Analytics to identify which pages are drawing in high converting traffic. By searching through the behavior flow data that Google provides, we’re able to see which blog posts and pages convert visitors into customers.
For example, our in house zoologist wrote an in-depth article on bearded dragon care. We theorized that an article like this would provide more value for our existing customers and audience. But what we discovered was that this article would readers into a new customer, because the people looking for this information, are very likely to need live insects (like crickets or roaches), and become customers.
Our audience that landed on our bearded dragon care page were 12% likely to convert into customers. This was a nice golden nugget of knowledge. So our zoologist wrote other care guides on leopard geckos, anoles, frogs, and other common pets that feed on crickets.
Now our SEO team is working to rank our other reptile care guide pages so that we can continue earning more sales through valuable content.
Jeff Neal – Cricket Depot
4. Assign a Monetary Value to Goals
You should definitely be setting goals in Google Analytics. If you aren’t, you’re basically just looking at relatively useless metrics such as page views and time on site.
However, you shouldn’t just be setting goals – you should also be assigning them a monetary value.
Because until you assign a monetary value to your goal flow, it’s impossible to gauge how much money you’re losing on every lost lead that exits the funnel.
Muhammad Mateen Khan – PureVPN
5. Standardize Your Tracking UTMs
A great digital marketing tip is to standardize the UTM parameters used to track a URL. We suggest all UTM parameters should be lowercase and to use underscores if there are multiple words for consistency and readability.
Furthermore, we suggest the text used for the UTM_campaign parameter be the same name provided for the PPC, social, and email campaigns.
The benefit is that after the campaigns are completed, and the UTM performance is tracked through Google Analytics, the person doing digital analytics can easily evaluate channel attribution.
By matching all the Google Analytics campaign performance data with all the PPC, social, and email campaigns of the same name, they’ll be able to get new data insights.
Nick Swekosky – Market Metrics
6. Don’t Forget Social Analytics
As an influencer marketing agency, social media marketing is an integral part of our daily work and the data is that comes with it is essential for campaign optimization.
The primary goal for any business is to drive revenue and growth, whether online or offline. Social media is no exception as long as you are investing in promoting your business there.
The best way to measure ROI on social media campaigns is to track social traffic to determine if your strategy results in conversions.
Always define your conversions goal. For example: increase conversions from social by 15% within three months. To meet this objective, you’ll need to run an influencer campaign and then measure the conversions from influencer’s posts in your website analytics.
To further measure other social media metrics impacting your conversions, you can collect data and analyze how engagement like clicks, shares, and comments affect the conversion rate. For example, split testing your social posts and tweaking captions, post timings, and CTAs can increase or decrease conversion rates.
Based on this analysis, you can determine what content and engagement level are resulting in higher conversions and when. You can also filter influencers based on conversions and focus on working with those that deliver the highest ROI.
Then, using Google Analytics social traffic reporting tools, you can tie specific goals to your campaigns and optimize them to get the lowest cost per conversion.
David Morneau – Inbeat Agency
7. Investigate Your Bounce Rate
We offer SEO services to multiple clients, and our favorite digital marketing tactic is to link your bounce rate to your keyword strategy.
High bounce rates indicate a mismatch between your ranking keywords and the content of the page. Bounce rate can also affect your SERP rankings.
For example, imagine that your site ranks on the first page for a particular keyword and gets 10,000 traffic. However, 9,000 users leave the site in 3 seconds.
The conclusion is that the webpage is not relevant because 90% of your audience abandon it straight after clicking. Google tracks user’s interactions with the site, and high bounce rates can lead to a loss in SERP rankings which is obviously not good when it comes to lead generation or sales.
When analyzing your keyword strategy and ranking keywords, go through the content of your pages and look at them from the user’s point of view. You may have keywords that drive a lot of traffic to your website, however, do not generate any conversions due to high bounce rates. So it would be best if you got rid of these keywords entirely or re-designed your pages to make them relevant to user searches.
For example, suppose you rank for keywords “social media marketing agency,” but your main focus is on offering SEO, content writing, and UX design. In that case, you may need to create a dedicated page for social media marketing services or to remove these keywords from your SEO strategy.
Sam Cohen – Gold Tree Consulting
8. Invest In Third Party Analytics
One of the best digital marketing tips for marketers with limited technical resources to quickly build useful and insightful reports is to use third party tools such as Databox. Databox is an analytics software tool that comes with pre-built integrations with over 70 of the most popular software tools including Google Analytics, Ahrefs, SEMrush, Facebook and Twitter.
In roughly 10 minutes, it’s possible to sign up for Databox, link your other software accounts, pull in your data and create reports. Databox also has pre-built reports for all digital channels. Once a report is created, it is hosted in the cloud by databox and accessible to any member of your team.
Databox offers four plans that are priced based upon the number of data sources you integrate, and the number of dashboards you want to create. The best part is – the company offers a totally free plan that can be used to integrate with three data sources and build three reports.
This means that an SEO manager can use Databox to set up a report for organic search performance, backlink monitoring and keyword rank tracking in under 15 minutes, and host all three for free, forever. With access to so many reports, it’s perfect for identifying your best performing marketing channel and comparing them to other methods such as traditional marketing efforts.
Bruce Hogan – SoftwarePundit
9. Review Search Bar Data Regularly
If someone’s new to your website, at first, they may have trouble navigating it. If you have a search bar to help users locate what they are searching for, it can be a tremendous benefit for both you and the user.
By checking your data regularly, you’ll be able to see the most commonly performed queries for your site, with the specific keywords used.
It will provide you with an idea of what people might anticipate as they visit your website. It’s a perfect way to capture keyword data that can help push up interaction figures while using the data to deliver information and content that users want.
Eliza Nimmich – Tutor The People
10. Focus On Practical Data Only
If you’re not coming in with a plan, then it’s easy to get lost in the maze of big data. Instead, be like a sniper. Know exactly what information you need to discover, and ignore the rest.
Personally, my belief is if data isn’t practical to act on, then it’s not worth my focus. As an SEO agency, we track seven main marketing campaign metrics for our clients. The analytics we track includes organic traffic, Google keyword rankings, backlinks, domain authority, traffic source, top pages, and number of conversions.
Every other data point is only going to be a distraction. Knowing these seven core numbers allows us to improve our SEO strategy, drive more traffic, and enhance the ROI from the campaign. And how we track these digital analytics is through Google Analytics and Ahrefs.
Again, simplicity is key here. It helps you think fast and adjust quickly. This is paramount to long term success.
Brian Robben – Robben Media
11. Combine Sources With Data Studio
We love looking at multiple data channels using free tools like Google Data Studio or PowerBI. Data Studio, in particular, is free, easy to learn, and allows for easy integration of Google Analytics data alongside Facebook, Hubspot, Salesforce, and more.
For any type of client deep-dive or monthly analytics reviews, we often build ad hoc Data Studio dashboards that allow us to put Google Analytics data alongside social media data in one blended chart, to find new insights around best days to run ads, optimal demographics, personalized messaging, and so on.
This greatly streamlines our insights process and allows us to deliver more impact to our clients on a regular basis.
Sam Underwood – Futurety
12. Be Careful Of Last Click Attribution
One of my best analytics tips is to use the top conversion paths report to assess the true value of each acquisition channel.
In most eCommerce businesses, sales and conversions tend to happen over a period of time. A user might visit your website several times before actually making a purchase or completing a goal you’ve set up.
By default, Google Analytics uses the last-click attribution model to track conversions. This method of tracking gives all credit for the sale or conversion to the channel the user came through before completing the goal. This is quite a simplistic way of viewing your marketing activities, as other channels may have contributed to that particular conversion or purchase.
The top conversion paths report will show you which other channels the user visited on their way to completing a goal on your website. The report gives you a more holistic view of your digital marketing performance and it should prevent you from devaluing a digital channel that is, in fact, contributing positively to your business.
Amara Ukaigwe – Book Learn Pass
13. Filter Out Bad Internal Traffic
Make sure you are not making bad decisions based on inaccurate data. Internal traffic can lead you to falsely conclude your content is performing better than it is because repeat visits and time on page metrics increase significantly when content is under development.
Alternatively, visits from computer programs (bots) and spammers quickly scanning the site and leaving again can cause you to believe the opposite when, in fact, neither of those statements may be true.
Your best bet is to filter internal and bot traffic out of your analytics (no affiliation) before drawing any conclusions. In my experience, very few people do this.
It takes less than an hour per account to configure and test filters depending on your comfort level with Google Analytics and testing. Then you should budget an additional 15 minutes per quarter per account to maintain them. Well worth the effort, in my opinion!
Donna Duncan – B-SeenOnTop
14. Track Changes With Annotations
The annotations option in Google Analytics allows you to add comments and notes to the charts. It is useful for those who want to keep up-to-date with the entire history of changes in the account. Annotations can be added to any event that you think will be important to reference later on.
Having a sale on your website? Add an annotation, and in a year you will remember where the traffic jump came from and you can compare it with the actual data.
With annotations, you can also track different changes on your website such as adding “alt” tags to all of the images. Make a note, updated a couple of old articles. Make a note, launched a new digital marketing campaign. This will both help you to understand and remember reasons for the spikes in the traffic, and track how much time it takes from your changes to traffic reaction.
To add an annotation, you need to go to the view settings in the administrator panel and create a new annotation in the appropriate section.
Oleh Sorokopud – Softjourn
15. Track Your Metric Changes Weekly
The best digital marketing tips that I can give to any analytical consultant whether it’s a PPC or SEO expert is to track your numbers weekly to monthly so that you can find the trend in the numbers.
Yes, looking at your current numbers may tell you if your current cost per acquisition is higher than expected or that you’re getting a good click-thru rate. But it won’t tell you if the changes you made to try to correct or improve those numbers was the right move.
Only tracking your KPIs over time will tell you that. Use an excel spreadsheet and track the top KPIs everyone is looking at, your impressions, clicks, cost, CPC, CTR, conversion events (all of them from the top of the funnel to the last target conversion), and finally your CPA.
If you want to delve deeper and track other things depending on the source, go for it, but these top KPIs will tell you the majority of the story. If you can find where the kink is in the funnel by tracking all your conversion events along the ride, then you will be worth gold to your boss or clients.
Alving Garcia – M is good
16. Take Advantage Of Push Notifications
Building a highly engaged newsletter list might have had its best days.
Instead, plenty of successful affiliate marketing publishers are growing a highly engaged subscriber base with browser push notifications. One of our clients experienced up to 400% higher open rates than email when using push notifications.
Other publishers regularly post both informative and entertaining YouTube videos from within their niche. Although just as in SEO, knowledge about how the YouTube algorithm operates and years of persistence is necessary to make any traffic channel a high converting one.
With just a single click of a button, users are subscribed to these lists, which makes it ideal to grow these channels via paid campaigns.
Sirio Kupper – WeCanTrack
17. Use Search Console To Tweak Content
Login to Google Search Console and navigate to the ‘Performance’ section. View your top ranking search queries and which pages are ranking for specific keywords.
If there’s a specific page I want to improve the ranking for, I’ll select that page (in the ‘Pages’ tab) then review the queries just relating to that page. I’ll add the ‘Average Position’ filter and ‘Average CTR filter’ then focus on search queries that are in position 2 through to position 19 (this shows queries that the site is currently ranking for already on the first or second page of Google search results).
I’ll be looking for search queries that have a good number of impressions, but not a great CTR (click through ratio) – this indicates I can improve the content relating to this query.
These are queries that I can potentially rank higher for. Then I’ll go through the content on this page, add headings and sections of text that address these search queries. I may also update the meta description of the page to include those queries – this is the short sentence overview of the page that Google shows in the SERP (search engine results page).
Tim Wells – Infinite Marketing
18. Organise Your Ad Account
When taking over a Google Ad account for the first time, we often find it difficult to quickly understand what’s what. Poorly structured accounts with badly named campaigns can be a nightmare to navigate, and it’s why we always recommend keeping things simple.
Every time we inherit a large-scale PPC campaign, we conduct a full audit of the account, ensuring we know the purpose of every campaign and ad group, as well as identifying any issues or optimisation priorities. It’s a good way of weeding out any campaigns that might be unnecessary or underperforming – generally, it’s better to get strong results across a smaller number of campaigns, rather than spreading your budget thinly across more.
Taking the simple step of ensuring a Google Ads account is well organised, with good grouping and naming, can be a massive help when it comes to looking after your campaigns, also making your optimisation work much easier to carry out.
Jamie Swain – Pixel Kicks
19. Dig Deeper Into Your Analytics
One of my favorite digital marketing tips is to always dig one step further. We rely heavily on SEO for customer acquisition and we have been hit with a Google update a few times before and we always looked at our data, wondering what possibly could have caused these major drops.
And a lot of times, it wasn’t the update itself, but some other underlying cause. In the most recent case, when an algorithm update hit us earlier this year, it was just a case of poor loading speed.
The organic traffic drop was caused by poor user experience and the fact that the average user bounced before they had a chance to look at our content and overall offer.
In other words, the best tip I have for you is to look further in the cause-effect chain to find what really happened. A lot of items, just looking at the surface won’t give you the insights you need.
Jane Kovalkova – Chanty
20. Check Your Traffic Acquisition Channels
One of my most actionable digital marketing tips for SEO is to always check the channel overview section under acquisition in Google Analytics. The reason is it shows me and gives me an idea of where the traffic to the website is coming from.
In other words, you can say that it is the primary metric to understand which channel is giving you the most traffic to your website.
From this, you can further analyze the channel traffic and see which landing page is performing well or which has a high bounce rate and needs improvement.
Using data from previous users who have already visited your website, you can get a good idea of what changes need to be made.
Again, it doesn’t mean that other metrics are not important; they are. But before implementing any analysis, you should be aware of where the traffic is coming from. This allows you to focus your efforts on underperforming channels to increase the traffic from those channels as well.
Tarun Gurang – iFour Technolab
21. Don’t Forget Email Analytics!
Marketing analytics are typically considered to be for SEO, social media, or PPC, but most people don’t think about email analytics!
Email is a huge part of most peoples’ workday, and it includes a ton of communication with vendors, clients, and sales prospects, which all affect your marketing and sales strategies.
In particular, your average email response time has an enormous impact on sales close rates. As much as 35-50% of sales go to the first-responding vendor, and only 7% of companies respond to new leads within 5 minutes. So being fast and responsive via email can enormously impact your sales and revenue!
To find your average email response time and other email analytics, you’ll need to use a third-party tool like EmailAnalytics. Just remember; what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get improved!
Jason DeMers – EmailAnalytics
22. Identify Slow Loading Pages
Identify slow-loading pages with Google Analytics to improve your chances of conversions. The trick is using this tool to create a strategic roadmap for your website to ensure every page loads fast.
They say patience is a virtue. Well, it doesn’t apply here.
By improving your site’s slow loading pages, you’ll instantly notice the benefits. Make every page load in under 2 seconds, and you’re guaranteed to see an improvement in your metrics and KPIs.
At the end of the day, conversion rates are what matters the most when it comes to digital analytics. Not only do they determine how much money you make, but they also show you how well your website is performing.
Israel Gaudette – Link Tracker Pro
23. Investigate High Bounce Rate Pages
One of the most important marketing tips for anyone in the digital space is to always start with the bounce rate if you’re investigating your website’s results. There are lots of great metrics to check how your website is doing, but the most important one is your bounce rate.
It’s like a litmus test for your website. If your content is poor, it will show in your bounce rate. If your page load speed is slow or your pop-ups are too intrusive, this will all show in the bounce rate data. So, if you suddenly see a loss in conversions, organic traffic or something else, do yourself a favor and investigate your bounce rate first before going any deeper.
Petra Odak – Better Proposals
24. Utilize The Power Of Automation
I’m fortunate to live in a country where it rains almost 24/7, which is great for keeping people inside. And when people are inside, it’s much more likely they’ll be searching online for things to buy to cheer them up.
My tip is to use a Google Ads script to programmatically fetch weather data and modify your bids to adjust if the condition is met.
If there’s a freak heatwave outside, users are much more likely to be searching for shorts and t-shirts rather than woolly jumpers and bobble hats. By using this data and marketing automation to your advantage, you’ll be able to profit from any weather scenario.
Lewis Kemp – Lightbulb Media
25. Name Your Campaigns Correctly
Naming conventions are even more important in 2021 than ever before.
My tip is to make sure you don’t use Excel special characters (e.g. a tilde or question mark), as this will cause you lots of problems in the future.
Always remember to watch your capitalisation. You can use a code (try to avoid it but keep it consistent) and use the ‘Google ISO Country & Language Codes’ for international campaigns.
Here’s an example of a campaign naming convention we like to use at our agency:
For more naming convention tips for your paid search ads, be sure to read our article “The Ultimate Guide To Paid Search Naming Conventions” on our blog.
Dan Chorlton – GOA Marketing