How To Track Marketing Results
I often ask what results people are getting from their marketing efforts. Many times the business owner can’t tell if their marketing strategy is working or not. There are reasons for this. Some of the most common reasons for not tracking results are:
- Traditional marketing methods such as billboards, flyer ads, and Yellow Pages listings are extremely difficult to track
- Business owners don’t have time to put together a tracking method
- Business owners don’t know what tools they can use to track their online marketing campaigns
The truth is that offline methods that many small business employ are almost impossible to track. The ways most businesses keep track of their results when they try at all to track are to ask customers how they found them. This is a hit or miss way to track because you won’t always remember to ask or even have an opportunity to ask. The customer may not remember or want to say how they found you. For these reasons, any data you get will be faulty or incomplete.
Putting tracking mechanisms into place for either online or offline campaigns can be time consuming. Tracking offline marketing can include using special phone numbers or coupon codes. It takes time to segregate data manually, not to mention this can get costly over time.
For online tracking, there are tools available that give very accurate data that can be downloaded and analyzed. However, unless you do this kind of thing often it may not be easy to find the tools to use and learn how to use them.
Google Analytics is an excellent tool that gives good and useful information. When you set up a Google Analytics account you’ll get a small bit of code that you then enter on each page of your website that you want to track. Data is generated by this code that tells you where your visitors are coming from, how long the stay on your site, how many pages they looked at, and much more.
You’ll also be able to see which keywords people typed into Google that made them find your site. This information does two basic things for you:
- Tells you which keywords you’re optimizing for that aren’t working
- Tells you which keywords you need to capitalize on
By seeing the list of keywords that brought people in, you’ll know if your main keywords are in the list or not. If not, you’ll be able to decide to work harder on those keywords or to move on to focus on others that may bring better results. If you haven’t been working on those keywords long, maybe more time will do the trick. If you’ve been working on them for a while, it may be time to dump those and focus on new ones. If certain keywords were working before and now they’re not, you’ll need to research to find out if your competition has taken the traffic you were getting or if they keywords are no longer popular.
If you notice that you’re seeing keywords in the list that you didn’t optimize for or put much content toward but you got traffic for it, it may be a good idea to add those keywords to your list. If you put more effort into those unexpected keywords, you could get even more traffic from them.