What are digital analytics?

Definition, examples, and how to get started

In marketing, digital analytics refers to the process of measuring data from channels like websites, email, social media and more to gain an understanding of customer behavior, user experience, and business impact.

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What are digital analytics?

Digital analytics are quantitative measurements of the performance of online content, including advertising campaigns, social media, and websites. That means digital analytics provide information from digital sources on how customers respond to or interact with your content and marketing campaigns. Digital analytics are important to help you assess both campaign success and audience responses, providing you with details that inform your marketing strategy.

To get you started, here’s our complete guide to digital analytics. You can explore even more of our research insights for advertisers and marketers.

What are digital analytics and marketing?

Digital marketing is the creation of advertising campaigns for online audiences, and digital analytics measure the performance of that online content. Digital analytics include a broad variety of online marketing and advertising metrics, which help determine the performance of ads and provide insights to inform future campaigns.

Types of digital advertising include display advertising, audio advertising, and streaming media advertising. Digital analytics are the quantifiable measurements of these campaigns, and are broken down into marketing metrics, such as click-through rate (CTR), email open rate, bounce rate, impressions, search traffic, and more. Advertising metrics quantify the performance of your campaigns, and examples include marketing reach, conversion rate (CVR), and returning customer rate.

Digital analytics and marketing

Why are digital analytics important?

Digital analytics are important because they give insights on what content is working for your brand and what content is not. Digital analytics allow you to directly measure your success and address pain points, helping you create better content and ads.

Considering analytics in digital marketing is important to further optimize your campaigns, reaching audiences with relevant content and driving sales or conversions, for example. It’s especially useful to use analytics to ensure you have a holistic view of campaigns and content, which can help your customer experiences stand out.

Digital analytics can also help measure the cost of your digital ads, often determined by cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-mille (CPM) pricing models. These metrics can help understand the return on ad spend (ROAS)of your ads, an integral part of your digital marketing strategy.

Benefits of digital analytics

The benefit of digital analytics is the ability to receive information on your digital content and campaigns, which leads to visibility on their performance. Using digital analytics reduces the guesswork in your marketing strategy.

Nearly 1 in 5 marketers struggle to measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts, but utilizing digital analytics could help your brand find success.1 The more information you have on your brand and campaigns, the more effective your digital presence and messaging.

Examples of digital analytics in marketing

There are many ways of looking at your digital analytics, and the most effective approach is highly dependent on your unique brand’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and objectives and key results (OKRs). In general, a good place to start with web analytics is breaking down your main content and ads by website traffic, product information, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media engagement. There are also digital analytics that can help provide clarity on the needs of your customers, which can then help you pinpoint your top products and opportunities for increasing conversion rate and sales, for instance.

Here are just a few examples of digital analytics and the metrics to consider for each:

  • Website traffic: page views, unique visitors, clicks, exit rate, bounce rate, time on page
  • Sessions: overall site visits
  • Product information: product page views, ad engagement, sales
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): keyword rankings, keyword search volume, share of search, search traffic
  • Social media engagement: comments, likes, shares
  • Traffic source: referrals from search, ads, social media, etc.
  • Customer retention: number of new visitors, returning visitors, repeat shoppers, conversion rate
  • Customer feedback: complaints, post-purchase surveys, reviews

Building a digital analytics strategy

Building a digital analytics strategy begins with looking at your metrics. Defining your KPIs is the next step in ensuring your analytics are properly communicating the metrics you want to adjust or improve. You can hone your digital analytics by addressing the high and low points in your metrics, leveraging overperforming areas and reducing underperforming ones, for example. Another way of improving your digital analytics strategy is to integrate personalized offers, a major commerce trend in 2022. According to eMarketer and Data Axle, the majority of US internet users want personalized offers based off past purchases.2

There are many different techniques of information consolidation in digital analytics in advertising, depending on the location, quantity, or reach of your campaigns. Amazon Ads offers several tools and solutions for brand measurement that can help you gauge the effectiveness of your advertising. For example, Brand Metrics from Amazon Ads includes a feature, “Return on Engagement,” that shows the average sales over a 12-month period after customers engage with a brand, to better understand longer-term shopping impact. Other product options include Amazon Marketing Cloud, which allows you to explore campaign measurement and audience analysis, and Sizmek Ad Suite, which can give valuable insights with metrics for campaign optimization and media planning. Also, Amazon Attribution is a free way to measure how non-Amazon marketing strategies—across organic and paid search, social, display, video, and email—impact shopping activities and sales performance on Amazon. It covers a range of insights across organic and paid search, social, display, video, and email.

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1 Merkle, Customer Engagement Report, US and UK, Q1 2020
2 eMarketer, “US Internet Users Who Want Personalization from Brands to Which They Are Loyal, by Generation,” US, 2021