One of the keys to a successful online marketing strategy is knowing what to measure and how to measure it. So whether your online marketing consists of social media, search optimization, PPC, or other tactics, here are some simple steps to take to measure your strategies for the best results.
1. Get your website’s baseline.
If you haven’t already, get a baseline of your stats now. This includes your website’s:
- PageRank – Google’s ranking of your domain based on incoming link strength. If you use Google Chrome, you can download the SEO Site Tools extension which will show you the PageRank of any site you are viewing. Alternatively, you can enter your domain at PRchecker.info for a quick check.
- Domain Authority – SEOmoz’s ranking of your domain based on incoming link strength. The higher your domain authority, the more likely you are to rank for your desired keywords compared to competitors. To get this, you will need to login to or signup for a free account at SEOmoz.org and then enter your domain on their Open Site Explorer tool.
- Total Links & Linking Root Domains – While you’re in Open Site Explorer, you can grab your number of total incoming links and linking root domains to see how many pages and unique domains are linking to your site.
- Twitter Followers & Following – Note the number of people who are following your company’s Twitter account as well as the number of people your company’s Twitter account is following. You will always want to have more followers than people you are following if possible.
- Facebook Fans, Post Views, and Post Feedback – Using your fan page’s View Insights link, you can see your total amount of fans for a particular date range as well as Post Views (how many times your fan page updates are displayed in fan’s news feed) and Post Feedback (how many comments / likes your fan page updaets receive from fans).
- YouTube Subscribers – If you have a YouTube channel for your business, you can view it to quickly see your number of subscribers and number of views for video uploads.
- Unique Visitors, Visits, Pageviews, and Bounce Rate – Using your Google Analytics account (or other analytics software) for your website, jot down the number of unique visitors, visits, pageviews, and bounce rate percentage for your website during the previous month. This will give you an idea going forward if your traffic is increasing and if visitors are staying on your site longer.
- Keyword Rankings – Pick the top keywords your website is targeting and check the rankings for it. I would suggest logging out of your Google account and checking your search settings to make sure personalization is off – this will ensure that your rankings are as accurate as possible.
My suggestion would be to enter these numbers into a spreadsheet so it will be easy to update regularly with your new data and to compare it to previous months.
2. Setup your Google Analytics goals.
Speaking of Google Analytics, another thing you will want to do is not just look at your stats, but figure out if your traffic is leading to conversions by setting up goals. You can setup four kinds of goals in Google Analytics:
- URL Destination – This goal is completed when someone arrives on a specific page on your site. For example, if a conversion is when someone signs up for your mailing list, then the URL for the goal would be the thank you page that someone is directed to after entering their email address.
- Time on Site – This goal is completed when someone spends a specified amount of time on your website. Using this goal, you can see which traffic sources (search engines, social media, etc.) bring visitors that spend the most amount of time on your site.
- Page/Visit – This goal is completed when someone visits a specified amount of pages on your website during one session.
- Event – This goal is very customizable and will track when someone clicks on an outbound link, the play button on a video, the download link for a whitepaper, or other specified actions that lead to items which are not tracked with your base analytics code.
Once you have your goals setup, you can go further with Google Analytics, including creating advanced segments which will allow you to see if traffic from certain groups of referring sites (such as social media) or from particular regions of the world are leading to conversions.
3. Note special campaign dates.
Be sure to note any special dates throughout the month when you run campaigns such as social media contests, guest posts on related industry sites, PPC campaigns, or other events that might affect your traffic and social engagement. This can come in handy when you are looking at changes from month to month and want to know what campaigns had the best impact on the bottom line.
4. Review stats and goals monthly.
Use the spreadsheet that you created with your baseline data in Step #1 and continue to update it with the new data for your incoming links, social fans, analytics, and keyword rankings. This will make it easy to see what areas of your online marketing campaign are flourishing and what areas need more attention between social media and search optimization.
5. Adjust your marketing strategy.
Last but not least, use the information you have gathered to adjust your online marketing strategy accordingly. If you see that a contest on Twitter led to more traffic, then consider running another one. If you see that a guest post on one industry site didn’t lead to a spike in traffic, consider guest posting on another. If you see that your keyword rankings are dropping for one particular term, be sure to focus on that term in the upcoming month’s link and social media strategy.
Reviewing your online marketing strategy and adjusting it based on your goals will lead to a much more organized and successful campaign for your website’s online visibility.