Monday, February 18, 2013

5 Key Web Metrics to Gauge Your Online Marketing Campaign


I recently met with a potential client who told me that he set up his company’s website three years ago and has not gotten many leads from the website since its inception. I asked him how he had been promoting his website for the last three years and he looked at me as if I had just asked him a question in Greek.

Unfortunately, this business owner is not alone in thinking, “If I build a website, people will come.” Most people will agree that a website is necessary for all types of businesses in today’s Internet-savvy society. However, there is more to generating new business via the Internet than just creating a website.

If I could recommend one skill to business owners with a website it would be to have a solid understanding of the website’s analytics. If you build a website for services you offer or products you sell, what people see and how they interact is directly related to how much money your website pulls in.

Understanding web analytics can be both empowering and overwhelming. More often than not, marketers get into the habit of monitoring just the basics of web analytics: traffic and leads.

Yes, it is true that traffic and leads are important web analytics; however, there is a plethora of vital information beyond these basic web analytics. Understanding how certain marketing campaign components are working together is vital to learning what improvements need to or can be made to an existing campaign. Conversely, understanding what marketing components are not working will help you decide what adjustments to make in order to avoid a similar mistake in future marketing campaigns.

In order to navigate the minutiae of web analytics available through online tools such as Google Analytics, you first must decide the objectives of your campaign. Avinash Kaushik uses a great acronym that every business should adopt: DUMB. What this stands for is Doable; Understandable; Manageable; Beneficial. Once you have a clear idea of your goals and objectives, you can then decide specific web analytics to monitor to determine the effectiveness of your campaign. To help you get started, here are five key marketing metrics you may want to consider in analyzing the effectiveness of your online marketing campaign.


1) Leads Generated Per Offer 

One great use of your web content is to gate it behind a landing page to encourage your visitors to fill out a form. If your business is selling a product or service and is looking to drive leads (e.g. sales, sign-ups, downloads, free trials, etc.) you want to send them to a targeted landing page that is light on content and guides them through their desired conversion path. This strong, simple message will help reduce bounce rate and increase your conversions. 

By tracking how many people filled out that particular form on the offer's landing page, you now have a number. How does that lead volume compare to other offers of yours? Knowing that will help you determine how effective different types of offer content are to your marketing efforts. 

2) Landing Page New Contacts Rate
If you are comfortable with landing page submission rate, or the rate at which landing page visitors fill out your landing page form, how can you differentiate your repeat form-fillers from your newcomers? The new contacts metric is a wonderful tool that allows you to view the percentage of new people you are attracting to your business.

To put it simply, what is the rate at which new contacts only are filling out your form? This is a much better gauge of whether your content is helping you attract a new audience that you can convert into leads. 
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3) Call-to-Action Clickthrough Rate
A key question to ask is just how do potential leads get to your landing pages again? Through Calls-to-action (CTAs), of course! You know, those little mini "ads" for your best content on your website that guide people to the content on your landing pages. Effective calls-to-action provide focus to your website, give you a way to measure your site’s effectiveness, and provide direction to your users. By monitoring your call-to-action clickthrough rate, you will be able to understand how valuable that offer is to incoming traffic.

Keep in mind that sometimes a CTA's performance can be optimized simply by updating the CTA itself. Remember to test CTA variations like color, text, and position before deciding to change your entire content strategy. 

4) Traffic-Driving Keywords
Another way to evaluate if your content creation is impacting your business is by tracking how well relevant keywords related to your business are performing on various search engines.
This metric evaluates keyword performance based on the traffic that is coming to your site via those keywords. If you have many traffic-producing keywords, you have done a great job creating a piece of content that has received significant links and shares, helping it perform better in search engines. Create similar and even stronger content to help your goals. 
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5) Marketing Qualified Leads
A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a lead that is ready to be rolled over to the sales department. There could be many ways to determine which leads are MQLs. Your company might decide a lead is a marketing qualified after it takes a certain combination of actions, such as filling out a form, visiting your website several times, and/or visiting your product page. The purpose is to know what leads are the most sales-ready so you are passing on the most qualified ones to your sales team.


In today’s society, web analytics make the marketing world go round, and there are more excellent ones to look at outside of the ones presented on this list. What are your company’s online marketing campaign goals? Share what metrics you measure in the comments, and keep sharpening your analytical skills so you can make the smartest decisions possible for your business.


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