If you do any kind of digital marketing, or intend to, it’s crucial to have some method of tracking in place to measure the success of your efforts. Otherwise, you will waste a good deal of time and money on campaigns that are less effective than they could be.
Luckily there are plenty of tools these days that make analysis of your online marketing insightful, powerful and simple. Let’s discuss a few of the most essential.
Most Popular Marketing Tracking Tools
This is an absolute must for any company with a website. If you have not set up Google Analytics for your site yet, do it ASAP. And if you have it connected to your site but you never look at it, start checking in on it regularly. This program plus its sister tool, Google Search Console, will allow you to see how your website traffic is trending, which pages are the most popular, how long people spend on your site, what your “bounce rate” is (i.e. how many people come in and leave after viewing only one page), what search terms people are using to find you, where your traffic is coming from, and much more.
This is powerful information to have. If you own a landscaping company and you discover that 80% of your traffic is coming in via a few how-to articles on your blog, you may decide to devote more energy to how-to articles and videos. You may discover that many people hit your home page but then leave without looking any further. You may see that you get lots of traffic from Twitter, but very little from your other social media. Or that Facebook brings you a lot of traffic, but those visitors aren’t converting into sales. These are all valuable insights that will help you refine your message and your focus.
The Facebook Pixel is a powerful piece of code that you add to your website which allows you to track what visitors do after they click on a Facebook link that leads to your site. If you run a Facebook ad, this will allow you to see whether it’s working. You can create a few different Facebook ads and run them concurrently, tracking which is the most effective. If you plan on doing any type of Facebook advertising that will send users to your website, be sure to set up the Facebook Pixel.
Social Media Analytics
All the social media sites provide at least some sort of analytics for business pages so that you can see which of your posts are the most popular, which get the most clicks, trends and so on. They have different names depending on the app but are usually called something like “insights” or “analytics.”
Truth be told, the social media giants don’t provide the most robust or user-friendly analytics. If you schedule your social media posts through Buffer or Hootsuite, you can use those programs to see the analytics for your social media accounts all in one place in an easier-to-use format.
Advanced and Paid Tools
If your sales and advertising process is large and complex or you’re ready to take the next step up in tracking your marketing efforts, you can look at a program like HubSpot or one of its competitors which will allow you to organize your marketing campaigns in a more detailed and thorough way.
Using Your Marketing Tracking Tools
Focus on the data that matters most.
Analytical tools include a lot of information, and some pieces will be more relevant to you than others. If you are starting a new company, you should be focused on brand recognition. You may be most interested in seeing improvements in your overall engagement on social media, new followers and traffic to your website. If you are an established company, those numbers are less important than conversions (sales, subscriptions and so on). Figure out which numbers and trends are most important to the current state of your business and focus on those.
Set a regular schedule to check in.
Consistency is key. Be sure to keep an eye on your stats regularly so that you can see how things are trending. You will especially want to be aware of any sudden declines in traffic, engagement or sales so that you can determine the cause and potentially recalibrate your efforts. Document the data for future reference and comparison to other time periods and marketing campaigns.
Frequency of check-ins will be determined by the time frame and intensity of your campaign. Short-term, intensive marketing campaigns might need to be monitored daily, whereas a longer-term campaign may only need weekly or monthly updates.
Beware of coincidental effects.
A sudden increase or decrease in website traffic can occur due to factors that have nothing to do with your marketing efforts. Google can suddenly change their algorithms, causing your search engine rankings to go up or down. Seasonal changes affect people’s interests. Internet connectivity issues in one area of the country or the world can cut off part of your audience.
That’s why it’s important to use the tracking tools mentioned to parse out where your traffic is coming from and how your visitors are finding you. If your traffic suddenly slows down, it may or may not have anything to do with your ads, social media or email marketing. The tools can help you figure that out.
Need some assistance with your digital marketing? Contact us at J&M Business Solutions to customize a plan for your association, nonprofit or business!