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Online Marketing 101

Online Marketing Orientation for Entrepreneurs: Part 3/3

How to Use Digital Marketing Analytics to Measure Online Performance

[Editor’s Note: This is the final part of a three-part series by Joshua Lyons on online marketing. Read his previous articles, “Online Marketing Orientation for Entrepreneurs: Part 1 & Part 2.”]

Marketing is incredibly valuable, but once your marketing initiatives are executed, it’s important to monitor their outcome with digital marketing analytics tools. This means more than just waiting to see if someone gives you a phone call. The most effective entrepreneurs and online marketing professionals will track the performance of each tactic used in their marketing plan.

In this final installment, we’ll discuss how to use Google Analytics and other tracking and metrics tools to measure the effectiveness of your online marketing strategy.

Google Analytics

This is a free analytics tool that will track the performance of your website. This tool, as the name infers, is created and owned by Google. Websites do not naturally come with Google Analytics installed, so this will need to be added by you or your website developer.

Google Analytics gives a great variety of useful information. You will want to familiarize yourself with how to use Google Analytics, so you can use it most effectively. Some of the most valuable information you will receive in regards to your website performance is listed below:

monitor social media performanceAudience

In this section, you can view details about your audience. Some details include:

  • The number of new visitors to your website
  • The average amount of time visitors spent on your website
  • The average number of pages each visitor looked at
  • The percentage of people who landed on your website and instantly left (i.e. bounce rate)

This is great information for gauging the growth of your website traffic over time. You can view the number of website visits in a line graph over any given period of time. This is one of the most frequently utilized features in Google Analytics and in digital marketing analytics in general.

Acquisition

How many people came to your website because of an email blast, an ad on a free listing website or a Google search? These are some of the questions that will be answered in the acquisition section. You’ll be able to analyze exactly from where your traffic came. This is very helpful if you’re spending money on a third-party website and want to know if it is driving traffic to your website.

Behavior

This section lets you get more information about what your website visitor was interested in viewing on your website. You can see the pages or blog posts that were most frequently visited, how much time people spent on those pages and the path people took from one page to another.

For example, let’s say you have visitors landing on a custom landing page, and you have multiple links on that landing page. You may not know which links people are clicking most often. Where are they going after they get to the landing page? This information can be seen in the Behavior section of Google Analytics.

Call Tracking

How do you know if someone calls you because of a Google ad, your email signature, a billboard or some other type of promotion? You can ask everyone who calls, and you can say “How did you hear about me?” That’s not the most accurate way to track where phone calls come from. It’s also not the easiest way to track phone calls.

Instead, try using a call tracking software like CallRail for your digital marketing analytics. This type of service will allow you to create multiple forwarding numbers with area codes that match your phone. Then, you can make a unique number for each type of marketing tactic you use. Whenever someone calls that number, the software will keep track of the call. Then, you can run a report that shows which phone numbers were called most frequently.

There are also other features that come with most call tracking software, which can certainly add additional value. The pricing for this type of monitoring is very affordable, even for entrepreneurs who are working with a limited budget.

Other Tracking

Most social media and email marketing platforms include their own analytical tools. They will provide information on what content was engaged with most (likes, comments, shares, etc.). In the case of emails, you’ll be able to see which emails were most frequently opened. You’ll also be able to see which emails had links that were clicked. Each social media and email marketing platform is a little different with the way they present their data, but there are many similarities. Make sure the platforms you choose do have data to look at.

Adjust Your Strategy

The whole reason for tracking performance is to identify how to best adjust your marketing strategy. Let’s say you spend a portion of your marketing budget on pay per click advertising, and this type of advertising doesn’t drive any business over a three-month period. If that’s the case, it would probably be wise to remove pay per click advertising as part of the marketing plan.

Take the money that was previously being spent on the ineffective marketing tactic and repurpose it to something that has generated traffic, leads and sales. The same thing is true with investing your time. For example, Twitter may be free to use. But if you’re investing two hours per day on Twitter without any notable return, then it’s probably time to scale back on the tweets and start spending more time on something else. Learning how to use Google Analytics or other digital marketing analytic tools will give you an idea of where your time is best spent.

Summary of Online Marketing for Entrepreneurs

Because this is an online marketing orientation for entrepreneurs, there were many aspects of marketing that were presented. Everything presented in these posts tie together and function as building blocks for continuous improvement. Below is a demonstration of this:

  1. What is your marketing budget? This needs to be decided before anything else because this will impact what tactics you can and should use.
  2. What tactics are available to you? You need to analyze the options, whether it’s social media or email marketing, and make sure you implement practices that will make an impact on your bottom line.
  3. After reviewing the available options, you should make a plan. Decide what you will implement, based on your budget and the tactics available to you.
  4. Execute your marketing plan and monitor the results. Having a plan is good, but results don’t come until the plan is executed. And the monitoring your performance aspect ties into the next point.
  5. Adjust your strategy. During this phase, you will return back to the very first step. You will look at your budget again and make any needed adjustments. You will look at the tactics that aren’t working well for you and replace them with untested tactics. You will execute the new tactics and monitor their performance. Then you will adjust the strategy again.

This orientation provides a guide to entrepreneurs and marketing professionals who truly wish to be effective and drive sales. The information presented in this three-part series should be very useful as an orientation, though it only scratches the surface of online marketing strategy.

This article is not a complete “how-to” on all things related to online marketing. Keep an eye out for future posts on Financial Poise that provide in-depth insights on how to effectively leverage the power of online marketing. And until then, best of luck with your business and online marketing initiatives!

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About Joshua Lyons

Joshua Lyons, is the owner of Joshua Lyons Marketing, LLC and the co-founder of CRE Marketing Group. He began his marketing career upon graduation from the University of West Florida in 2009, with an education in public relations and marketing. After many years of marketing, in commercial real estate, hospitality and other industries, Joshua began…

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