Like any other tool you use to promote your business, online marketing needs to be accountable so that you can calculate the return on your investments of time and money.
The tools you need to do this are readily available, and many of them are free.Unfortunately, they’re also relatively new, and many organizations are still learning how to take advantage of the technology that tracks online results.
Many of my clients who use online marketing are concerned that they’re just proceeding blindly. They feel like they’re doing what they “should” be doing, but aren’t really sure why. Almost every day I hear comments like these:
- “We don’t know how to measure the results of our online marketing.”
- “We don’t even know what we should be measuring.”
- “How can we justify the cost of online marketing if we can’t tie it to a measurable outcome?”
- “We’ve got reams of analytics data, but we have no idea what it means or what to do with it.”
If these sound like questions you’ve been asking, you’re not alone. Many businesses and other organizations are asking them every day, and are losing patience with fans of all things digital who can’t tie activities to outcomes.
The good news is online marketing results can and should be measured. It’s a simple matter of watching three key types of data, called “metrics,” that provide deep insights into what’s going on out there in the cloud.
which metrics matter?
You can get analytics data for just about anything that can be quantified about your online visitors, but not all metrics are created equal. Generally speaking, there are three types of metrics that are worth paying attention to:
- Traffic metrics—These measurements track patterns of visitor activity, such as what web pages they visit, when they visit, and what they click on.
- Engagement metrics—An indicator of users who are interested enough in what you offer to provide an email address or other information.
- Purchase metrics—Who’s buying, how much, and how often.
what’s the value of metrics?
By using the three types of metrics described above, you can measure which online efforts are working and which ones aren’t. More specifically, you can get insights like these:
- Which pages on your website are important to your customers, and which ones aren’t.
- Where visitors are entering and exiting your site.
- Patterns or cycles of traffic. For example, you might discover that you get more visitors during certain times of the year or on particular days of the week. You can also measure the response to a specific direct marketing effort.
- Where your traffic is coming from. If you’re paying someone to create traffic, such as Google or Facebook, you can also determine if the cost is justified.
- What devices your visitors use most. If you’re heavy on mobile users, for example, making sure your site is mobile-friendly should be a top priority.
I’ll talk more about the three key metrics and how to use them next month.
want more advice about tracking online marketing effectively?
Whole Brain Creative can help you understand your analytics data and how to use it to grow your business. Call or email us for a no-obligation consultation: 503.325.4485 or [email protected].