If you’re going to have a website, a blog, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and a presence on any other social media sites, you’ll want to know how these Internet marketing initiatives actually help your business – and you can’t evaluate your performance unless you have procedures and tools to analyze results.
One advantage to Internet marketing is that tracking and measuring results is relatively straightforward, and certainly easier than assessing results from traditional media campaigns, such as advertising in newspapers, magazines, radio, or on TV.
There are plenty of analytics tools that can help you track website performance and measure the effectiveness of your social media activities. Ultimately, these tools can help you measure your overall return on investment (ROI), plus provide information on your social media channels that generate the best results and which web pages are most effective.
By tracking specific metrics you can learn how online marketing adds value to your organization, find out how well it meets your strategic objectives, and discover ways to refine your website and social media activities to further improve performance.
When it comes to your website, what specifically should you measure? Traffic alone doesn’t necessarily generate sales, so you’ll need tools that help you identify which visitors are most likely to contribute to bottom-line results, how long users interact with your site, and where your visitors are coming from.
Social media represents a relatively new phenomenon that is rapidly growing. Yet many business owners still haven’t figured out how to use social media to their best advantage. There are dozens of metrics to consider in evaluating performance, but you’ll need to select the ones that are most relevant to your business to determine whether your social media activities are effective and where you can make improvements.
There are plenty of choices for tools and technologies to measure both website and social media performance. Many are even free, but in most cases, paying a relatively inexpensive monthly fee offers more analytics options that provide greater visibility into results. Which tool you use depends on which metrics are most important to your marketing plan, so you’ll want to select technologies that offer those metrics and deliver the most valuable performance reports.
Your website and social media analytics tools will likely generate a lot of data. Some of it will be highly relevant, whereas other data may be distracting. Whichever metrics you are using to measure performance, avoid focusing on short-term information, but review trends over time – a more valuable way to view and evaluate your results.