How To Measure Your Online Success
The saying goes, “it’s impossible to manage what you can’t measure.” That is what keeps marketers and advertising agencies up at night, worrying whether their metrics are indeed reliable and if they actually validate the real value of their daily activities. Luckily, these hurdles are getting easier and easier to clear, thanks to the continuing innovations in software tools.
The biggest challenge now lies in comprehending the data collected and translating it into good, profitable decisions. With online marketing, an entrepreneur or marketer can measure the performance of their marketing efforts.
Identify Your Goals
Even before you begin collecting data, it’s vital that you understand the reasons why you need that data. You ought to have a specific question in your mind before proceeding with the process. Simply put, identify what your goals are. This enables you to appropriately set your key performance indicators (KPIs).
Finalize on the Metrics you’ll be considering
All metrics have their own worth; each metric should be tied to a certain goal. Consider measuring significant aspects such as demographics, keywords, search engines, location, conversion funnel, cost per lead, etc. However, you shouldn’t make use of too many metrics as it’ll only make the process more complex. It doesn’t imply that you should measure all. Simply measure the relevant metrics.
Collect Website Statistics
Information about your visitors is crucial here. You need to know what their response to your campaigns is. Your hosting firm can provide you with basic website statistics’ tools to collect the information you require. As well, there are many professional solutions available, both free and premium. Some sites that provide information you’d require include StatCounter, WebTrends, Google Analytics and Yahoo! Web Analytics.
A reliable statistics tool should be able to monitor your website traffic. You should get detailed information from the tool, including:
The number of visitors to your site
Geographic locations of your visitors
The referring site, that is, the site where they came from
How many pages they viewed
Time the visitors pent on your site
The landing page, that is, the page they enter your site on
How many visitors get to your site and leave without clicking any further into it (the bounce rate)
There are many, different data points from which you can measure your online success. Here are essential metrics you ought to monitor regularly:
Don’t downplay this metric’s value! This represents the audience to your content. Determine whether you’re engaging your audience well.
Where are the visitors coming from? This will help you to assess the effectiveness of your marketing strategies in different channels.
Every page on your site should be optimized for a specific keyword(s). Continually track the search engine ranking for every keyword. Consider using less competitive keywords if you find that your page(s) is/are buried in the search results.
This informs you of how many links your site has received from other websites. With inbound links, you can build up on your referral traffic. Inbounds links from authoritative sites will help boost your website’s ranking for certain keywords in the search engines.
An indexed page on your site is one that has been visited by a search engine at least once. A growing number of indexed pages will give you more insights into the overall effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
Landing Page Conversions
With these, you get to know what percentage of your website visitors actually become leads or customers. The number of visitors could be rising but your conversion rate isn’t. That would show it’s time to change how you’ve designed your landing pages.
The above information is more than enough to give you a glimpse into your site’s performance and/or popularity. You should particularly be able to identify pages and products that are more popular than the others. Track the success of a new call-to-action (CTA) on your site by tracking the number of click-throughs. Feed this information back to your online plans and business.
Note: Don’t use traffic numbers alone to measure success. This is a mistake often committed by most website owners and marketing agencies. High traffic numbers don’t necessarily translate to success. Many sites boast large visitor rates. However, does that imply that all those visitors become customers, supporters or donors?
In fact, you should consider your website as work in progress. Make use of analytics data to help constantly improve your content. Continually test what works and what doesn’t. Modify until you get the right fit. Over time, you’ll build knowledge and use the same to improve and target your marketing efforts where appropriate. This will guarantee you better results.
Online marketing and making use of the right technology creates a valuable way to meet your goals. You need not use your intuition only any longer. Online marketing is becoming more data-driven. Make use of the same to measure your online success. Use the results to make decisions which a real marketer would make.