An Introduction to Data Visualization: How to Create Compelling Charts & Graphs [Ebook]

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Your data is only as good as your ability to understand and communicate it. Effective marketers aren’t only able to understand and analyze the numbers, but also to effecticely communicate the story behind those numbers.

The best way to tell a story with your data is by visualizing it using a chart or graph. Visualizing your data helps you uncover patterns, correlations, and outliers, communicate insights to your boss, your team, or your company, and make smart, data-backed decisions.

Designing charts and graphs may seem intimidating — especially to folks who aren’t designers by trade. But the good news is, you don’t need a PhD in statistics to crack the data visualization code. We’ve created a new guide to help you: An Introduction to Data Visualization: How to Design Compelling Charts & Graphs That Are Easy to Understand.

This guide will walk through:

  • What data visualization is and why it’s important;
  • When to use the different data types, data relationships, and chart types;
  • How to visualize your data effectively;
  • The best data visualization tools.

Ready to learn how to analyze, visualize, and communicate your data better? Download our free introductory ebook on data visualization and use what you learned to run better experiments, create better presentations, and make better business decisions.

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/marketing

The Beginner's Guide to Email Marketing [Free Ebook]

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Companies often list email as one of their most powerful marketing channels. With email usage worldwide projected to reach 3 billion users by 2020, businesses simply have to continue using email marketing to reach their audiences if they want to scale quickly.

But anyone who’s tried email marketing knows it’s not as simple as quickly drafting a message and hitting the “send” button. You have to build a healthy email list, make sure you’re complying with CAN-SPAM regulations, segment your lists so you’re delivering the right messages to the right people, create different types of emails for all different situations, design attractive and on-brand emails, analyze results … is your head spinning yet?

Yes, effective email marketing takes time, effort, and strategy, but it’s something you can learn and implement quickly. We’ve creating a new guide to help you do just that: The Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing.

This email marketing beginner’s guide will take you step-by-step through how to get started with email marketing, starting at the very beginning. It covers:

  • Email marketing best practices;
  • How to grow a healthy email list;
  • How to save time using email automation;
  • The different types of marketing emails (with examples);
  • The most important email metrics to measure (with formulas);
  • An email A/B testing checklist.

This guide will give you all the information you need to start a successful email campaign on your own. So download our free ebook,The Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing, and you’ll find that you don’t need to be a seasoned email marketing expert to see a positive ROI in a short amount of time.

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/marketing

What Is Bounce Rate? (And How Can I Fix Mine?)

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Outside of the marketing context, the word “bounce” is actually kind of fun. It reminds us of childhood hours passed in an inflated bounce house, of a basketball game, or maybe even a game of jacks.

But when it comes to your website’s analytics, it’s part of a metric that can be really confusing when you first stumble upon it: The bounce rate.

A lot of questions pop into your head. Is a bounce rate close to 100% good, or bad? Is it at all like a bounced email? Is it a fluffy metric that I should ignore? And if I want to fix it, what should I do? Learn how to succeed in your new inbound marketing job with the help of this  free guide.

Luckily, you’re not alone. Many marketers have asked those questions and might not have found a solid answer yet. We’re here to shed some light on the elusive bounce rate. We’ve put together a quick overview of what constitutes a bounce rate — and what doesn’t — and help you find some ways to fix it.

What Is Bounce Rate?

To answer what is perhaps the most important of these questions: No, your website bounce rate is not the same as your email bounce rate. Your website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on a page on your website, then leave. They don’t click on anything else. They just get to one of your pages, hang out for a bit, then leave.

Keep in mind that bounce rate is different than an exit rate. Bounce rates only measure “one-and-done” visits — the ones in which people arrive and leave your website without navigating away from a single page. Here’s what they look like in your HubSpot Web Analytics Dashboard, for example:

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Exit rates, on the other hand, are a little more complicated. They include the percentage of people who leave your website from a certain page — but, that’s not necessarily the only page they’ve visited on your website. The page from which they exited could be the last in a long sequence of page visits. That’s why the exit rate isn’t always as troubling as bounce rates.

Comparing Bounce Rates and Exit Rates

Let’s say you were comparing bounce rates and exit rates for a thank-you page. A high bounce rate on that page would be kind of alarming, because that means people are only viewing that page alone, then clicking away. Even worse, they didn’t fill out a form to get to it, which means you’re losing out on conversions.

But a high exit rate, on the other hand, wouldn’t be cause for concern. It would mean that this page was the last in a chain of visits — people exiting from that page probably arrived from its preceding landing page, downloaded the offer on the thank-you page, and left to go make use of the content they just downloaded.

Keep in mind that this scenario is hypothetical, and these takeaways can differ based on other page metrics — but it serves as a simple illustration of the difference between bounce and exit rates.

How to Reduce High Bounce Rates

Now you know what a bounce rate is. But what can you actually do about it?

In general, high bounce rates might indicate that the page is irrelevant or confusing to site visitors. But don’t jump into drastic actions like deleting a page or undertaking a redesign right away. There are some important steps you need to take before you figure out which action to take.

Remember: Bounce rates really only tell you that someone landed on a web page and left it without visiting any other page on your website. It doesn’t tell you how someone interacted with your page. That’s why it’s important, says HubSpot’s Principal Product Marketing Manager Jeffrey Vocell, to take “practical steps” to examine other metrics and pieces of your web presence to see what might be behind the bounce rates. We’ve outlined these steps below.

1) Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

There are now more searches and traffic coming from mobile devices than desktops. That makes it crucial, says Vocell, “to not only provide a mobile-ready experience,” but to make sure that experience is engaging. How annoying is it when you arrive at a mobile site, only to have to zoom-in to read its content? Having a responsive site is no longer enough — engagement with the mobile version has to be user-friendly and interactive.

Video is one particularly engaging type of content. It can often explain complex topics more concisely than text, which might be why 4X as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. But when it comes to mobile usage, long videos require a significant amount of data and might therefore slow the user experience — causing the visitor to bounce. For that reason, Vocell suggests eliminating these longer videos from your mobile site, or creating more concise versions that still address the most important points.

This kind of improvement, however, isn’t limited to video. Take a holistic approach to evaluating your mobile experience, and consider how you’ll address contingencies like these.

2) Look at your bounce rate based on different sources.

Sometimes, the sources directing traffic to a given page might have something to do with its bounce rate. That’s why the HubSpot Web Analytics Dashboard allows you to break down the bounce rate according to source:

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Let’s say your bounce rate is particularly high for visitors coming from social media — take a close look at the message you’re using to accompany the content you’re distributing.

“Does it truly match what the content is about?” Vocell challenges marketers to ask. “Would a visitor clicking on that link in Twitter, or Facebook expect to see the headline, and initial image?” If the answer to either of those questions is “no,” your promotion strategy might need some work.

When you’re distributing your website’s content, make sure the messaging actually matches the page to which you’re directing visitors. You have to clearly meet the expectations of the visitor — regardless of source.

3) Avoid other disruptions that might hurt the user experience.

We’ve already discussed the importance of a good mobile user experience — but that actually goes for all platforms. Things like full-screen pop-ups, for example, are not only annoying, but given Google’s recent algorithm update, they can also result in search penalties.

But the key thing to consider is the user. “You want visitors to be drawn into your page and stay for as long as needed to convert,” says Vocell, and while “some pop-ups are good,” — like well-crafted inbound messages that add context to a site — avoid any that significantly disrupt the user experience in a way that might cause visitors to leave.

4) Determine which keywords this page ranks for — and if your content sufficiently covers those topics.

Remember how we cautioned against misleading visitors about your site’s content in social distribution? The same goes for keyword rankings. “Matching keyword intent to your content is important to ensure organic visitors get the content they expect,” explains Vocell.

Let’s say someone is searching for “marketing automation software solutions” — it’s likely that this person is looking for software to help nurture leads into customers. But if someone is using the query, “What is marketing automation?”, she’s probably not at a stage where she’s looking to buy a product. Rather, this person is looking for content that’s more informative than anything else.

So when you evaluate the keywords for which you’re page is ranking, make sure they’re aligned with the actual content. Once you’ve done that, try looking at a topic-cluster framework — the kind that groups your site’s pages into clusters according to subject — to help attract organic traffic to the right pages.

Let’s Bounce

When you’re investigating bounce rates, make sure you’re looking at the full picture. Take a look at the time people spend on your site, where they’re coming from, and what device they’re using — and if your content and experience are aligned with all of those factors. You might uncover patterns that show how you can fix the bounce rate problem.

Think of bounce rates like your car’s “check engine” light. When it goes on, you know there might be a problem — but you need to check all of the car’s systems to accurately diagnose the issue. There’s no one-size-fits-all fix for bounce rates, but knowing what they are and how they can inform your marketing strategy can help ensure your website’s success.

What have you done to address your bounce rates? Let us know in the comments.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/marketing

5 Helpful Insights You Can Find Using Twitter Analytics

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When it launched in 2014, Twitter Analytics marked a solid (if long overdue) move towards greater transparency and measurement abilities for all users. And since then, Twitter has continued to make upgrades to the tool, most recently by creating a standalone analytics app called Engage, and launching analytics for Twitter Moments.

Though users now have more insight into their Twitter account metrics, they might not be using them to their full potential.

They’ve poked around the Twitter Analytics homepage and figured out they can track impressions and metrics by promoted or organic activity … and that’s about it.

The good news is there’s much more you can discover in your Tweet activity dashboard — you’ve just got to know where to look. Beyond the basic metrics, here are some incredibly important things you can discover about your Twitter account and audience using Tweet Analytics.

How to Use Twitter Analytics

You can access Twitter Analytics by tapping your profile and selecting “Analytics” from the dropdown menu:

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1) See Which Content Resonates With Your Audience

Understanding which types of content and topics your audience members most enjoy can help drive your social marketing and content strategy. What’s the point in sharing content no one cares about or enjoys?

On the “Tweets” tab, you can see Impressions, Engagements and Engagement Rate (Engagements divided by Impressions) for each tweet, for paid and organic posts. Engagements include all activity on the tweet: retweets, follows, replies, favorites, and all clicks on the tweet, link, hashtag, etc.

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For a more granular view of the volume of each type of engagement, you can click on the specific tweet:

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Understanding which content items get the most engagement on Twitter is huge. If you can even commit 10 minutes a week to recording your top five or ten tweets by engagement so you can start seeing trends over time — and then applying those insights to future tweets — you’ll be able to better connect with your audience.

2) Understand How People Interact With Your Tweets Over Time

This is a really common question among social media marketers and brands: What made my tweet take off?

Some tools can analyze your Twitter followers and recommend the best day of the week for you to tweet. There’s also research out there showing when people are most likely to be active on Twitter. But of course, the best way to get to know your own audience is from your own account data.

On the Tweets dashboard, you can customize the date range you want to analyze to see when you published your highest-performing tweets:

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Twitter used to offer the ability to view a tweet’s engagement over the course of a day, and I think it was a mistake to remove that feature. I hope they bring it back in an update soon so users can analyze the best time of day to tweet from their account.

3) Get to Know Your Followers

Twitter’s audience data in the “Followers” tab contains a ton of valuable and useful insights. This is where you can really get to know the people who follow you.

You’ll find answers to questions like: Are your audience members more likely to be male or female? Which countries and cities are the majority from? What are their top interests? You can also see who your followers follow as well as your follower’s top five most unique interests. Answering these questions can help you better identify what content to create and share on Twitter — and when to share it.

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You can also compare your Twitter followers to different segments — for example, to all Twitter users total:

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4) See Whether Your Follower Base Is Growing (or Shrinking)

I’d call myself a Twitter power user now, but it wasn’t always so. For several years, I slowly grew my following up to about 8,000 followers. In the past few years that I’ve really focused on my Twitter presence, I’ve picked up another 704,000.

Now, Twitter allows you to track your follower growth. Twitter Analytics shows you how many followers you had on any given day with the interactive timeline pictured below. Hovering over various points on the timeline will show you the exact follow count on that day. It spans back to the day your account was started.

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If you’re seeing blips in your follower count over time, it’s important to revisit your activity in those periods and see if you can learn from it. How often were you posting then — and what were you posting about? Were you taking the time to reply to folks, too? Answering questions like these can help you explain these blips — and avoid the same mistakes in the future.

5) Determine If Your Twitter Ads Are Worth the Money

I’ve been experimenting recently with paid promotions on Twitter. After reviewing my own data in Twitter Analytics, I realized my ads weren’t as effective as I thought they would be.

In the Tweets tab, right at the top, there’s a chart that gives an overview of your paid and organic tweet performance. Like other Twitter Analytics charts, this one is interactive, so hovering over specific parts will show you more precise numbers, as in the example below. Keep in mind that the data only goes back 91 days, so take advantage of the ability to export it regularly. You can make comparisons over longer periods of time in another program.

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I’m not spending a ton on paid promotions — around $100 a day when I use them — but at a glance, I can see that compared to organic posts, they’re not having a huge effect. If I were running specific promotions, I’d be interested in the Conversions information available in Twitter Analytics. But for getting more impressions on my content, it doesn’t seem worth it because I could get that exposure for free by just tweeting a few extra times per day.

Obviously, this will vary for every user, but this panel in Twitter Analytics is a pretty simple way to see what you need to make that decision.

Just below that chart, you can click “Promoted” to see all of your paid promotions in chronological order. This shows you how many engagements and impressions each one earned, helping you pinpoint which paid promotions are working (and which ones aren’t).

Exporting Data: How to Discover Even More Trends in Twitter Analytics

Twitter Analytics is great as an interactive dashboard for accessing increasingly granular data about your Twitter account performance.

The most useful feature I’ve found is the ability to export data from the Twitter API as a CSV file. Even power users with a ton of account activity can fairly quickly export their Analytics data.

To export your data, select the timeframe you’d like to use, and click the “Export Data” button in the top right corner of your Twitter Analytics Dashboard.

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You can then sort through your exported data using Excel in ways not possible within the platform itself. For example, I extracted the time of day of my last 2500 tweets and plotted the tweet engagement rate vs. time of day, as shown here:

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What I found was that the engagement rate (i.e. the # of engagements/impressions) held steady (on average) regardless of the time of day — possibly because I have a ton of international followers. It got me thinking that I really ought to be scheduling my content for all hours of the day, not just during business hours in my local time zone. Sure, fewer people will see my updates at 2 a.m. local time, but those who do are just as likely to engage with the content as those who see it during business hours.

There are so many other columns of data in the CSV export, including the number of favorites, retweets, link clicks, replies, URL clicks, follows, etc. So you can do this kind of customized analysis on whatever metrics you care most about.

Ultimately, the best data is your own, so make time to check out Twitter Analytics and see what you can learn and do with it. Figure out which tweets resonate and why. Then, work those insights into your social media marketing strategy for a more successful way forward. For more ideas, download HubSpot’s guide to getting more Twitter followers.

What are your must-know tips for using Twitter Analytics? Share with us in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Source: 5 Helpful Insights You Can Find Using Twitter Analytics
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