Digital marketing provides businesses of all sizes the opportunity to connect with more customers, generate leads, and drive sales. Through a well-designed website, search engine optimization strategy, and social media marketing, you can build a stronger presence and grow your business.
While there’s no question that digital marketing can be a powerful way to promote your business, many business owners struggle to measure the true impact that their digital marketing efforts are having on their bottom line. If you’re looking for ways to measure your business’s online success, here are some simple ways to get started:
Option #1 | Web Traffic Reports
If you want to understand how your website is performing and determine which areas may need some improvement, the reporting tools built into Google Analytics should cover your needs.
Google Analytics is free to use, but you will need to add some code to your website in order to track your web traffic. Your developer should be able to add this code for you. You’ll also want to set up goals, which will allow you to track any valuable actions users may take on your site (such as requesting a quote, making a purchase, or calling your business). For help getting started with Google Analytics, visit Google’s Analytics support site.
Once you have set up your Google Analytics account and your goals, you can start monitoring your web traffic. Here are a few key metrics you should monitor, and what they mean:
- Sessions. The sessions metric shows how many times a user was active on your website. It’s important to know that the number of sessions does not necessarily reflect how many individual users were on your site within a given time period. If a user visits your site, leaves, and then returns the next day, it will count as two sessions.
- Users. While sessions will show you how many times your site was visited, users will show how many unique visitors came to your site. In the previous example, a user who visited two separate times would count as two sessions but only one user.
- Page Views. Page views will show you the total number of individual pages that were viewed. An individual user who visits four separate pages on your site before leaving would count as one session, one user, and four pageviews.
- Pages Per Session. The pages per session metric will show you the average number of pages that are viewed within a session.
- Session Duration. Session duration is the average amount of time that a user is spending on your website.
- Bounce Rate. Your website’s bounce rate is the percentage of users who only visit one page on your website before leaving.
By understanding and reviewing the metrics listed above, you can learn more about how users behave once they arrive on your site. It’s important to note that the way you interpret many of these metrics will vary depending on your specific goals.
For example, a low bounce rate is often seen as a measure of success for businesses who want users to spend time exploring their site, reading content, or browsing multiple products. However, a high bounce rate could also indicate that users are arriving on the specific page that answers their questions, and do not need to navigate to multiple pages to find what they need.
If you have concerns about any of your specific performance metrics, it can help to take a step back and review the big picture before making any changes. If you’re getting steady, high-quality leads from your website, there’s no need to panic about the occasional highs or lows with your other performance metrics.
Option #2 | SEO Analytics Reports
Implementing, maintaining, and monitoring an SEO strategy can be a challenge for many businesses. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of optimizing your website and digital presence for search engines in order to drive high-quality organic search traffic.
While there are many advanced tools out there to help business owners analyze the results of their SEO efforts, you don’t need to invest in expensive analytics tools to cover the basics. Using Google Analytics, you can gain valuable insight about your SEO performance.
One of the simplest ways to take a closer look at your organic traffic is through the Channels report in your Google Analytics account (this report can be found under Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels). The term “channels” refers to the various ways that visitors are being drawn to your website (such as social media, paid search, organic traffic, and other channels). This basic but important report allows you to see how traffic from each of these channels is performing on your site.
By clicking on “Organic Search” in the Channels report, you can take a closer look at the specific keywords that are driving traffic to your site. You can also sort these keywords to see which ones are driving the best quality traffic. Using the Primary Dimension tabs at this level, you can also compare traffic coming from various search engines, which landing pages are driving the most traffic to your site, and more.
Tip: You can also add “Organic Traffic” as a segment in other reports to learn more about how your organic traffic is behaving on your website.
Option #3 | Social Media Reports
If you’ve ever struggled to measure the impact that social media marketing has on your business, you’re not alone. According to one study, 44% of businesses are not able to measure the impact of social media on their business.
Fortunately, businesses are able to measure the impact of their social media marketing efforts without the need for costly third-party reporting tools. In fact, most platforms now offer built-in reporting (sometimes referred to as “Insights”) at no additional cost. Many of the key metrics that matter most to your business are only a click away. Here are a few metrics you should monitor:
- Reach. Reach is the total number of people who are seeing your content on social media. Even if you have a decent-sized following on social media, your content is probably reaching only a very small chunk of your followers. Most popular social media platforms (such as Instagram and Facebook) use algorithms to determine what content appears in users’ feeds, making it a challenge for businesses to reach their followers.
- Why Reach Matters: Though it has become more challenging for businesses to reach their social media followers through organic content, it’s still important to monitor your reach. Measuring the reach of your social media content can help you determine what types of posts perform well, and get a sense of how well your brand awareness efforts are paying off.
- Engagement. While metrics such as reach can help you determine how many people you are reaching through your social media content, engagement will help you determine how many users are taking action on your posts. Engagement can include a variety of different actions, including leaving a comment, sharing your post, clicking on a link, or making a reaction.
- Why Engagement Matters: Most social media platforms now use algorithms to determine which posts show up in users’ feeds. Posts that receive more engagement are more likely to show up in your followers’ feeds, so it’s important to monitor how much engagement your posts are receiving. As you learn what your audience likes, you can start incorporating those elements into future content.
- Traffic. Beyond measuring how many people are seeing and engaging with your social media content, you’ll also want to keep track of how much traffic your website is getting from your posts. Using the “Network Referrals” report in Google Analytics, you can see which social media platforms are driving traffic to your website, and how those visitors behave once they land on your site.
- Why Traffic Matters: Engagement, page likes, and other metrics can help you measure what actions people are taking on your social media platforms, but the ultimate goal is to get your followers to click through to your website and take action. Monitoring your social media traffic will help you discover what content is driving results, or pinpoint areas where there is room for improvement.
If you’re not measuring your digital marketing performance, you’re missing out on valuable insight that will help you grow your business. With so many tools, reports, and metrics available, finding the best strategy to measure what matters can seem like a daunting task. If you need help making sense of your digital marketing results, contact our team today!