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Measuring Online Marketing Success

Measuring the effectiveness of online marketing initiatives is relatively easy. So, why do so few of us do it? It’s another of the mysteries of online marketing.

First, let’s look at website statistics. You can learn a tremendous amount from looking at (a) where traffic to your website is coming from, and (b) visitor behavior once they reach your site.

But before those important measurements, the broadest important statistic to look at is the number of unique visitors. This is your total website traffic. The first thing you should do when analyzing your website statistics is to simply look at whether this number has increased or decreased for a specified period.

Then, when analyzing this website traffic, one of the most important things to do is assess the effectiveness and return on investment of your online advertising. If, for example, you’re paying $200 per month for an ad on a small local portal site, you can easily tell cost per click (CPC) for that advertising by looking at how many visitors clicked through to your site from that ad. Simply divide the cost of your ad by the number of visitors to get cost per click. Then you can assess whether the cost of that click-through makes sense for your business.

There are several important metrics to pay attention to in analyzing visitor behavior on your website. First is time on site. For most websites, this means “the longer the better” – signifying visitor involvement with your site. Another is which pages are most visited, giving you valuable information about what people are most interested in on your site. Finally, look at what page was the last visited. This tells you where they were when they decided to leave, which signifies either (a) a lack of interest in that page, or (b) good conversion from that page to some kind of action you wanted the visitor to take.

There are two ways of accessing your web statistics and analyzing visitor behavior. The simplest and most basic is to go to the control panel of your website (cpanel) and look at one of the statistics programs listed there. Our favorite is AWStats – it’s simple, complete, and easy to understand. It will show you a surprising amount of information, including which sites are referring traffic (and how much) and also which search terms send traffic to your site.

More in-depth analysis is provided by Google’s Analytics tool. With Analytics, you can specify “conversion goals,” which can give you extremely valuable data about what visitors on your website are doing. For example, if you have an online store, you can set up a conversion goal to see how many people clicked on a “buy now” button for a particular product. Or, with a hotel, you can track how many people clicked on a “book now” button – and where they came from. This tool is free from Google, but it does require some basic programming knowledge to install on your website.

Tracking the behavior of website visitors, and how that behavior relates to your bottom line, is extremely valuable. You can quickly see what’s working, and what’s not, and make adjustments accordingly. Then you can track the effectiveness of the changes you make, until you end up with the most effective (and profitable) website for your needs. And, with easy access to these free and powerful tools, there’s no reason not to track your online marketing effectiveness.

As that famous sage, anonymous, wrote, “If you can measure it, you can manage it.” This is nowhere more applicable than with online marketing, since it’s so easy to measure and track. FBN


Written By Anthony Flesch

Flesh, Pritchard & Peebler

 (928) 204-1872


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