Measure and Manage Your Digital Marketing Strategies23 Feb, 2016 By: Jennifer Schulman, Fortune Web Marketing
When it comes to marketing there is a golden rule to live by: Never implement what you can’t measure. While in a perfect world this rule would remain true 100% of the time, but there are certain metrics that are very hard, if not impossible to measure, such as brand awareness, which we touch on below.
The good news is that digital or online marketing strategies are incredibly easy to measure and the data is plentiful. It doesn’t matter if you are an online retailer or generating leads from your website. In this article, we will focus on two critical online campaigns: Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing. Listed here as well as for those attending the upcoming ITEX Expo March 7-9 (www.itexshow.com) where I’ll present in depth information, you will learn what tools to use and what data to specifically look for. This data will allow you great insight into how well your campaigns are performing as well as how effectively they are at helping you to reach your goals.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the practice of implementing keywords and building content within your website to better rank organically on search engines. However, there are many off-site SEO techniques as well, such as cleaning up bad links pointing to your website, acquiring good links to your site (link building) and even making sure that your business name, address and phone number are correct everywhere they appear on the Web. These are called citations, and if you are a local business, these are critical to ranking locally.
The main tool to use here is Google Analytics. This is a free tool and can easily be implemented on any website by simply dropping in a piece of code on every page. For our overview we will focus on the main data points for any website.
Tools to Use & What to Look For:
· Look at how many visits and users are coming to your site over any given period of time. You can obtain all of this information by looking at the “Acquisition” reports in the left menu.
Acquisition / Overview
Ø All Traffic
Ø Search Engine Optimization
· Look at your traffic sources, which will specifically breakdown how much organic, direct, referring websites and more. You also want top ay attention to your “Bounce Rate”. A high bounce rate means users did not like what they found on your page, perhaps it was hard to read, poorly written, etc.; a high bounce rate signals to Google that this page is not quality and thus can negatively impact how high it ranks. You can find this report below in “Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels.”
Google Webmaster Tools (now Search Console): This is also a free tool and this can be implemented and verified on your website in several simple ways, including syncing with your analytics account.
There are a myriad of things to look for in Search Console and tools to even help you get your site crawled faster and correctly by Google. But here are a few in regards to measuring an SEO strategy:
· Under Search Traffic:
o Search Analytics: Provides keyword and landing page data (represents impressions, clicks CTR and rank). Use this data to view your top performing pages and the keywords driving traffic to them.
· Links To Your Site:
o Provides data on external domains linking back to site. You can use this data to clean up links on poor quality or irrelevant websites that are pointing to your site. This directly has an impact on organic ranking so it is good to perform a link audit and cleanup every month.
· Under Google Index > Content Keywords:
o Shows the popularity and how frequently a keyword is used on the site. Use this to better optimize your pages for the keywords you want to be found for.
Social Media Campaigns
Data from Simply Measured’s 2015 “State of Social Marketing” report reveals that 60% of respondent’s identify ROI as their greatest social media marketing challenge. Yes, within the same study, social media will make up 23% of marketer’s budget by 2020.
So what can we draw from this?
Social Media is becoming increasing in importance for marketers, but it is quite hard to measure its overall impact on the bottom line.
Keep in mind though that social media marketing is meant to increase brand awareness. Yes, it can generate leads and sales as well, but its main function is to spread the word. Think of social media marketing as word of mouth marketing done online, and there is no doubt that word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. That said measuring brand awareness is very difficult and most of the time ROI cannot be placed around that. However, there several specific statistics to look for regarding your social media campaigns that can help possibly determine ROI and make sure that you are on the right path.
Tools to Use & What to look for:
Google Analytics: Analytics has a specific section dedicated just to social media statistics. It is in located in the left menu under “Acquisitions > Social”.
Acquisition / Overview
Ø All Traffic
Ø Search Engine Optimization
Ø Network Referrals
Ø Data Hub Activity
Ø Landing Pages
Ø Users Flow
Use the “Conversions” report to see how much traffic you are getting to your site from social channels as well as how many sales or leads you generated. Here is an example of data from an eCommerce site.
Since brand awareness is key with social media, measuring your posts engagement, reach, and of course new followers to your channels, is crucial.
You can grab this data from the reports and analytics provided within the social channels themselves, such as Facebook Insights, or use a paid tool such as Sprout Media, which we use within our agency.
To measure how well your social channels are engaging with and growing your targeted audience, look at this data:
• Interactions (Facebook, Twitter)
• Unique users (Facebook, Twitter)
• Demographics (to help us craft future content) Facebook, Twitter
• New followers (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
• Unlikes (Facebook)
• Link clicks (Twitter)
• Mentions (Twitter)
• RTs (Twitter)
• Page Impressions (Facebook)
• Reach (Facebook)
• Engagement (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
• Highest performing posts (Facebook)
• Top Influencers engaged (Instagram)
In essence, you want to figure out what posts or pierces of content your users resonate and engage with the most and produce more like it. Also, what posts earned you the most followers or increased your reach by obtaining likes, clicks, re-tweets, and mentions, etc.
There is much to be learned from multiple data sets available to you; this is just the tip of the iceberg! Our hope is that this will provide a reference point and get you started. If you’re attending ITEX, join us for a session on this topic and more. In the meantime, here’s to a happy analysis of your online goals for 2016!
NOTE: For charts on above content, see the digital edition flipbook or printed issue.
Jennifer Schulman is President of Fortune Web Marketing, a full-service online marketing agency based out of Asbury Park, NJ. Visit www.fortunewebmarketing.com for full information.