The yacht industry is unlike others when it comes to using analytics data; the goal is not to increase sales on the company website or track the ROI of social media campaigns. But, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Analytics data can still be useful even when we're working in a super luxury market.
Sifting through the numbers
As a foundation, you will probably want to look at fluctuations in gross traffic over time and in relation to special events, marketing efforts, social media activity, newsletters, etc. Diving deeper into this data, "marketers need to look beyond the high-level visitors and click rates. A successful business will look at where those consumers are coming from," explains to Boating Industry. In Google Analytics, the Geo section of the Audience tab shows you where traffic is coming from in terms of geography and the Acquisition tab displays the source - this includes your paid campaigns, newsletters, social pages, search engines (see organic traffic), referrals from other websites with your link, and more.
"Ultimately, only you can decide which metrics are important for your business to track, as this will depend completely on your businesses model," states Yachting Pages. For this reason, start by making a list of the metrics that are important for your company to track, because you also don't have time to look at all the detailed data and fancy graphs available.
Make data work for you
Today, digital really can’t be an afterthought, states the Superyacht Agency; the data collected regarding your company's website should heavily influence your marketing strategy and - vice versa - the marketing strategy should aim to influence this data.
The CEO of the International Yacht Charter Group, Derek Holding, said “we constantly change our site using data from analytics...We rarely make any change without the use of data or knowledge of what any change may do to our traffic, online positions, and lead basis,” as explained in a Google Analytics case study.
Here are some ways that data can be effectively implemented:
Not all traffic is equal; a shipyard is only interested in attracting potential clients, business partners, brand fans and industry journalists to their website, every other user is an added bonus. Referral data can be used to identifying the main sources of high-quality traffic to your website in order to increase or decrease the budget and time invested in similar marketing efforts.
Marketing resources should be directed toward referrals that deliver traffic characterized by low bounce rate, longer average session duration and/or higher rate of pages viewed per visit. You can find this data by clicking on each referral channel in the Acquisition tab. For example, if online articles by an industry magazine are attracting more interested users, look for more paid and content exchange opportunities to get your name and links published online.
By tracking user engagement in relation to your various efforts, developing and updating the marketing strategy becomes much easier. Compare the cost of creating and delivering each ad, newsletter, YouTube video, social post or campaign, etc., to the number of sessions produced and the relative bounce rate, page view rate and session duration to see clearly which channels are performing well. When it comes time to make budget cuts, which unfortunately is always part of our duties, expensive and underperforming channels should be the first to go.
Don't be overwhelmed by data; harness its power to get the most bang for your marketing buck.