Google Shares Top Predictions for 2018—and One Overhyped Metric
By: Sophie Maerowitz
December 21, 2017
Social media measurement sometimes feels like trying to find buried treasure.
The insights gleaned from platforms like Google Analytics can be invaluable, but with so many different places to dig, so many different metrics to consider, it’s difficult to know where to train your focus. And that dilemma is only multiplied when you think about how online consumer behavior has splintered off into so many different directions.
“There’s such a fragmented way in which people are discovering brands,” says André Moraes, a principal analytical lead at Google. “We’re not bound by regular discovery.”
We recently sat down with Moraes—who will be speaking on the analytics panel at The Social Shake-Up, May 7-9, 2018, in Atlanta—about the KPIs and metrics he thinks are most important, and where search going next.
The Social Shake-Up: What’s one metric communicators should put less value on?
André Moraes: Bounce rates. It’s a qualitative metric that means very little unless you have very robust tracking and are really paying close attention to landing page actions. I often see marketers concerned about bounce rates, when there’s really no action for consumers to take once they visit the site. Bounce rates won’t show which elements of a page are broken; it’s too much of a catchall.
The Social Shake-Up: What are your top predictions for 2018?
Moraes: We’ll see voice search continue to grow. Voice-enabled purchasing will be getting its feet wet, and people will be relying more on voice-enabled searches. 2018 will be the year of the assistant. We now have assistance systems on our phones, headphones, computers and home devices. We’ll see how those interactions affect consumer behavior.
The Social Shake-Up: How can communicators turn metrics into actionable insights?
Moraes: It all comes down to better understanding your objectives. In terms of raw data—just like any raw ingredient—you need to have an understanding of what ingredients you’re working with. What is your channel: Where is the data coming from? What are the interactions expected from consumers on those platforms? And what did you get, ultimately? Once you understand the ingredients you can understand what insights to draw on.
The Social Shake-Up: What were your biggest lessons learned in 2017?
Moraes: We need to constantly be thinking like consumers ever more so now. From voice, to mobile, to video, there are so many more ways people are consuming data today. We need to put ourselves in shoes of the consumer and ask, “What are my day-to-day online behaviors, and how have my interactions changed in the last few years?”
Follow Sophie: @SophieMaerowitz