When I begin a digital marketing campaign I have a goal. You should too. Understanding your business success metrics or marketing goal helps you decide which digital platforms to use. If you are looking for traffic to sell a product, then Search Engine Marketing (SEM) might be the best solution. If you need to improve branding then social media or display advertising could be your answer. Once you start a campaign how do you know if it’s working?
If your goal is more revenue (sales), than you need to know how much new traffic your company website needs to reach your financial goal. For example, if you have a thousand visitors per month land on your website and you receive ten orders per month, what percentage more in new traffic do you need to meet your new revenue goal? You must also ask if the cost of your marketing efforts will be more than the profit from your new traffic.
Bottom-line, when it comes to success metrics, it’s about the bottom-line. Are you making more money? Did you engage in marketing activities and has your revenue and profit increased by the end of the month, quarter or year?
Although digital marketing gives you measurement tools, they do not tell you the whole story. There isn’t always a direct line from seeing your ad, content, offer or article and a sale. I’ve seen companies lose revenue because they stopped a campaign that does increase sales, yet the full story don’t show up in their Google Analytics. When they began the campaign, sales increased, when they stopped, sales decreased. Your online statistics are only guide. Below are a few measurements which help me make better decisions.
Traffic: When I measure success of my traffic development campaign, I measure visitors year over year. To compare month to month is not a fair method. Each month has its own seasons, holidays and weather. All can affect sales. When I measure SEO (Search Engine Optimization) I base success on the traffic alone. I like to increase traffic 20-25% year over year for mature websites (over three years old) with established search engine optimization. SEO is about driving the traffic, sales come from the visitor experience on the website.
Time On Site and Bounce Rate: Both of these metrics offer an indication of engagement. They are good metrics for social media traffic. Do the people visiting from specific websites really care about what they find on your website. You can use these measurements to asses the value of paid traffic too. How long do people visit?, are they clicking on website links or buttons?
Time On Site depends on what is on your webpage. Read your webpage, view your images and play your videos as if you are a first time visitor. How long did it take? then compare the time to your average visitor. Remember, the statistic is an average, however, the closer the stat is to your time estimate the better.
Your bounce rate is also important. If someone lands on your webpage and clicks one button, that is a zero percent bounce rate. If a different visitor lands on your page and returns from where they came from, then that is a 100% bounce rate. The average between the two visitors is a fifty-percent bounce rate. The closer to zero the better.
CTR (Click-Through-Rate): A click-through rate of about 2% is my minimum goal for search engine marketing campaigns. CTR is also a good measure for SEO success. You can find your click-through rate for organic traffic in your Google search console. Earning a top search spot for a heavy traffic blog topics can earn up to a 75% click-through rate. For your business pages, a 5-10% CTR is a good target. Both your title and description tags play a big role in achieving a solid click rate. This is because your headline and description is speaking directly to the searcher. Your industry, rank and topic does play a role in CTR’s too. So, try to compare similar topics when setting your goals. I often select high volume keywords and phrases to try and increase the conversion rate by a few points. A spread sheet is helpful for tracking such efforts.
Conversion Rate: When I consider a conversion rate, it doesn’t mater what the platform is, I shoot for 1 percent as my starting point. This means one out of one hundred website visitors converts (or buys). It is true different marketing platforms drive different types of traffic with varying results. However, 1 percent is an acceptable standard which you can make a good prediction related ROI (return on investment), when you begin your campaign.
Source and Pages: I like to know where visitors come from and what pages they visit. I use the above metrics to figure out where I should spend more time and effort. Does more quality traffic come from Facebook or Twitter? When people find my website via search, which pages do they gravitate to when they view my site? This type of information helps me make better decisions.
That is what data does, it helps you make better decisions. However, first you need a goal, so you know what type of decisions to make. The more data you have the better. If you only have a few hundred visitors a month, increase the chart date range to increase the amount of information you have to analyze. I like to have at least 1000 views or data points before I consider it enough information to make a judgement about website activity.
Google and other companies offer more information than the average small business needs. Yet, it’s nice to have. Don’t get lost in the data. Ask questions first and then search for the answer with the information you have available. If you can’t find the answer, research the available tools to get the information you desire.
Good data is powerful only if you review it, learn and take action.