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Online Marketing 101

Online Marketing Orientation for Entrepreneurs: Part 3/3

[Editors’ 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.]

How to Use Digital Marketing Analytics to Measure Online Performance

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 strategy.

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.

[Editors’ Note: If you are interested in learning about digital marketing from business to business, read The B2B Marketing Strategies You Need to Succeed In a Digital Age]

Google Analytics

Created and owned by Google, this is a free analytics tool that will track the performance of your website. Websites do not naturally come with Google Analytics already installed so you or your website developer will need to do so.

Google Analytics gives a great variety of useful information. You will want to familiarize yourself with how to use Google Analytics so you can take advantage of all the valuable data it has to offer, including metrics on audience, acquisition, visitor behavior, and call tracking. Learn more about each of these below.

Audience

In this section of analytics, you can view details about your audience, including:

  • 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 measuring 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 what led visitors to your website. 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 has more information about what your website visitor was or was not 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 they took from one page to another.

For example, let’s say you have visitors directed to 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 how they heard about your business, but that’s not the most accurate (or efficient) way to track where phone calls come from.

Instead, try using a call tracking software like CallRail. 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 specific 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 in the way they present their data, but there are many similarities. Consider whether each platform provides analytics when choosing which social media sites to utilize.

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, but it doesn’t drive any business over a 3-month period. If that’s the case, it would probably be wise to remove pay per click advertising as part of your marketing plan.

Take the money that was previously being spent on the ineffective marketing tactic and reallocate it to something that has proven to generate traffic, leads, and sales. The same thing is true with investing your time. For example, Twitter may be free to use, but you’re investing 2 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

Throughout this online marketing orientation for entrepreneurs, many different aspects of digital marketing were presented. Everything discussed in the three-part series ties together and functions as building blocks for continuous improvement. Here’s a recap:

  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 all 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 happen until the plan is executed. 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 overview, 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!


[Editors’ Note: To learn more about this and related topics, you may want to attend the following on-demand webinars (which you can listen to at your leisure and each includes a comprehensive customer PowerPoint about the topic):

This is an updated version of an article originally published on May 24, 2019]

©2022. DailyDACTM, LLC d/b/a/ Financial PoiseTM. This article is subject to the disclaimers found here.

About Joshua Lyons

Joshua Lyons, Co-Founder of CRE Marketing Group, has been part of the marketing world since 2009. He began his marketing career upon graduation from the University of West Florida, with an education in public relations and marketing. Joshua worked for several companies, developing and implementing proven online marketing strategies and boosting their exposure and revenue. After many…

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