I hate to beat a dead horse – but I am still surprised at how many companies do not measure their online marketing efforts. This post is aimed at the basics of ROI measurement for web and online marketing campaigns.
Working in the online marketing space targeting small – mid size firms, I hear alot of marketing depts saying we have a website b/c it’s important for our customers to access our information, but then they don’t really know how their customers are using their website.
- Where are your customers going?
- Which pages are most valuable?
- How are users interacting with your site (sequence, contact forms, purchase behavior, etc.)?
- How many people can’t find the information they are looking for and quickly bail out of the site?
Answer those questions and you’ll have a better organized, user friendly, and content rich website that your customers will value.
Another popular comment I hear often is we should have blogs, RSS feeds, utilize facebook, twitter, etc. because everyone else is doing it. But then if I asked why they want a blog, many times the answer is unclear.
- Do you have a following of regular customers that may want to find out updates to your site? Then maybe an RSS feed would work better for your product.
- Are you considered an expert in your field? Then a blog would probably be better suited to keep your customers engaged with your company and perhaps even gain some new readers.
- Do you have a community of people that swear by your product and are spreading the news to their friends? Great! Welcome to word-of-mouth marketing! A natural fit would be social marketing tools like a forum or facebook or even creating a user generated section of your site, e.g. testimonials.
Online marketing is a great and important way to reach out to your customers but there are lots of different methods depending on your customer segment and your industry as well as your budget. Make sure that you are thinking through the best marketing strategy for your product before jumping on the bandwagon. An experienced online marketing company, such as Delphic Sage, can research your business and customers and help you set up an ongoing online marketing plan (wink, wink).
If you implement some sort of measurement tool, you will more likely be able to get buy-in from the powers to be because you can quantify the ROI for your spending. There are many free analytics and marketing tools (Google Analytics) out there that can help you measure your online marketing efforts. The number one mistake I see companies making is not tying their online efforts into tangible sales whether online or offline. You should track that customer from their initial click, throughout their visit and monitor their purchase behavior. If there is an online order form, great! If there isn’t, there are many 3rd party metrics tools that can help you track a user from online to an offline phone call for purchase. And if you are losing your customers somewhere along the way, these tracking tools will help you find the drop-off point!
5 things each company should measure:
- Web Traffic (sources and quantity)
- Bounce Rates (especially on landing pages)
- Top Keywords (search engines and internal search logs)
- Click thru rate
- Conversion Rate
- Bonus: Measure User Engagement