- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On August 16, 2012
“What gets measured gets done” is a phrase from the Management by Objectives movement pioneered by Peter Drucker, perhaps the world’s greatest management writer and guru. We like to adapt this phrase and apply it to today’s marketing environment as “what gets measured gets better”.
With the correct measurement of your local business internet marketing campaigns you can test and tune all of your marketing activities. You can experiment with different offers, language and media (for example search vs. social media); measure the results and adapt your approach. You can shift your investment of time and energy to the activities that are working best for you and pare down those that are not.
There are dozens of metrics a local business can measure related to its online marketing efforts (and we will touch on many of these during later posts on this blog) but in this post we will cover five basic metrics you should consider tracking as a minimum.
1. Website Traffic
How many people visit your website? In today’s world, the number of people that visit your website will have a correlation with your sales. You will want to check monthly that your website traffic is rising.
Look at the figure for “unique monthly visitors” in your web analytics software (many people use Google Analytics – it’s good and it’s free.) Take a look at the main sources of your traffic. Is your traffic mostly “direct” meaning people are typing in your website address into a web browser (maybe getting it from a print magazine or newspaper ad or a printed direct mail piece)? Is a large portion of your traffic coming from Google? Maybe you’ve done some search engine optimization work and it’s paying off. Maybe you are engaged in online advertising and the traffic to your site is coming from there. Or perhaps your social media activities are driving traffic – this will show up as referrals from Facebook or Twitter etc.
2. Social Media Reach
Social media sites are huge (Facebook now has 900 million users) and many are still growing at incredible rates (Pinterest). Clearly a good “footprint” on these sites is going to be important for most local businesses, now, and maybe even more so, in the future. A good number to track here is your overall social media “reach”. “Reach” is simply the number of people you are connected to on all social media sites, so your business’s Facebook fans + your Twitter followers + your Pinterest followers etc. Like website traffic you should track this number and see that is rising with time.
3. Opt-in Email List(s) Size
How many people have opted-in to your email list(s)? Email lists are still critically important to local business marketing. Email allows you to reach out to people in a more direct way than social media – and search is essentially a passive medium. So having a good “house” email list is still an important foundation for digital marketing.
Don’t confuse an email list that you have compiled with a true opt-in list. Opt-in means that people have signed up (typically on your website) to receive information from you. They have given you permission to email them. They see value in what you send them. Take a look at some of the metrics your email service provider supplies you to confirm that your recipients value your emails. One of the key metrics here is click-through rate, which implies (if you design your emails correctly) that people are clicking on the links in your email to read your stories or evaluate your offers more closely.
4. Leads Generated
A “lead” as we define it here is someone that enters their name into a form on your website for an offer you have made. The offer may be for an informational ebook, a discount or a free consultation. Treated correctly these leads can be the initial stage in you making a sale, especially if you implement a lead nurturing program. Therefore tracking how many leads you generate each month is a critical metric in measuring the success of your online marketing efforts.
5. Sales Generated
Ultimately it all comes down to sales. The bar to strive for here is to be able to link each of your online marketing efforts right through to the ultimate sale. This is not easy to do in practice but is achievable if you set up the right tools and business processes. No doubt you track your monthly sales but how much of those sales happened due to your online marketing? And which online marketing effort generated each sale? Not easy to do but worth striving for.
If you’d like to know how to improve your online marketing efforts, download our free ebook below.