Marketing means work — possibly the most important work you’ll put into your business.
After all, as management consultant Peter Drucker says, marketing and innovation are the only things that grow a business (all other operations are costs).
If you’re not getting the word out about what you can do, in a way that convinces your audience of the value you provide, you won’t have a business for very long.
But work doesn’t work automatically…
You need to be doing the right things… at the right times… in the right ways…
And you need the right tools to make sure you’re on the right course.
Predictability is golden: find out what works, and you can do more of it to see ever-better results.
1. Link Tracking is an Absolute Must
There’s one thing that almost all of your online marketing efforts have in common.
Paid ads, blog articles, social media posts, emails, landing pages… The goal of them all is getting viewers to click through to read more, sign up, opt in, or buy.
Tracking which links are getting clicked, and by whom, lets you know which channels and which individual pieces of marketing are driving traffic to your website…
See where people are taking the actions you’re after, and you can better focus your energy on those efforts.
There are loads of link tracking services and URLs out there. Some are better suited for specific purposes, but whether your link is on another website, in a social media post, in an email, or anywhere else, services like Infusionsoft and Hubspot can help you track them.
Some services can provide certain demographic information about the people clicking your links, show timelines of when links are coming in, and even track individuals who click your links in different media and show the greatest interest in your offerings.
Two of my favorite resources are Clicky.com and Google’s free analytics tool.
There’s a wealth of information your links can provide, and you can use it to better focus your online marketing.
2. Look Beyond Clicks to Views and Behavior
PPC advertising is a big part of many entrepreneurs’ online marketing efforts…
According to Inc.com, small businesses spend an average of $1,200/month on AdWords. Many AdWords campaigns live and die by the click-through rate, but those clicks aren’t telling the full story.
An ad doesn’t work when someone clicks…
An ad works when someone buys.
And while a click might bring someone one step closer to buying, it’s no guarantee of a purchase…
And the click isn’t totally necessary either.
In fact, in a recent case study, a restaurant ad was shown to 2.2 million people, and only 6,000 of them (0.27%) clicked it…
…but 143,000 (6.5%) of them purchased from the eatery after viewing, but without clicking.
For every person who viewed, clicked, and bought, 219 people went straight from viewing to buying – without a click in between.
Tracking these purchases can be difficult, but there are a few services that offer add-ons to AdWords (and other display ad networks) that can track individual users from views to purchases, without clicks as a go-between.
Cardlytics is one provider you might want to check out…
Giants like comScore are also worth a look.
You’ll get a much better handle on how to run an effective PPC campaign when you have the right analytics in place.
3. Go Beyond Google for Your Site’s Analytics
Your website is probably at the center of your online marketing efforts, and maybe even at the center of your business…
Your data collection and analysis efforts need to reflect this level of importance, and Google Analytics is only the start.
There are a bunch of well-respected plugins, web apps, and other tools available that can take the foundation Google provides and build a tower of actionable analysis.
ClickTale is a powerful tool that not only delivers broad visitor information, but actually shows how individual users interact with your site.
With ClickTale installed on your website, you can actually see videos of mouse movements as visitors move through your site, seeing what they click on…
…and what they hover over without going all the way.
This tool even provides “heat maps” to show aggregate mouse movement data, giving you a way to see how your audience at large views and navigates your site.
Meanwhile, tools like RankWatch help you track something just as important as your visitors’ behavior:
Your site’s performance in comparison to your competition.
Search engine rankings are still a hugely important part of online marketing…
They affect organic search results, PPC effectiveness and costs, sheer visibility, and much more – but ranks are constantly changing because of Google algorithm changes and the content (especially the keywords) you and your competitors are posting.
RankWatch keeps you constantly updated about changes in your site’s ranking, tracks your keyword performance, and gives you other valuable insights into what’s working to drive traffic to your site.
If you’re stopping with Google Analytics, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of useful data, and you need to start tracking more!
Get granular details about the people who stop by your site…
Track performance on specific pieces and types of content to see who responds most to the different things you do…
See what tools and tactics are working to bring people to your site in the first place…
The more details you have to track, the more you can target your marketing, and the more predictable your growth and profits will become.
In your corner,