What analytics are you measuring online?

"How many likes do we have?" This is often the number one question clients ask me about their Facebook page.  While this number is a metric to consider for certain objectives, in other instances it's entirely irrelevant. It's all about context.

what metrics do you measure online?
what metrics do you measure online?

What analytics are you measuring online? 

Today I want to break down some of the analytics, based on objectives, that you should be looking at in relation to your online marketing strategy.  This is a very basic level of analytics to analyze. Google Analytics and a variety of other software platforms can provide you with some incredible data to help measure your online strategy.

First and foremost, WHAT IS YOUR OBJECTIVE? Why are you creating a social media marketing strategy? Why are you blogging?

This is really important to understand. Saying "because everyone else is doing it" isn't really a good answer. Yes, it's true, but if everyone else jumped off a bridge would you? (That was one of my mother's favorite phrases when I was a child. Guess it stuck!)

While there is some validity to that, yes, everyone is online and you want to be seen as a "progressive" company "with the times," so-to-say, there are more important and bigger reasons you should be considering social media and the online world in general as a place to market your company.

Typically marketers are looking to achieve three objectives:

  1. Raise Overall Brand Awareness
  2. Generate More Leads
  3. Sell More Products/Services

For each of these objectives there tends to be a key set of metrics you should be looking at.

Brand Awareness:

When I think of brand awareness I simply think of visibility.  How many people are seeing my brand? My content? My social posts? My emails? Etc. Therefore, it makes sense to take a look at the analytics that measure online views.

Website Visits- How many people are visiting your website? Don't just look at the overall number, get details. Where are these visitors coming from? Which social media platform drives the most visits? Which blog posts? How long are they staying on your website?

Likes/Followers- While this number is slightly important in this particular category, it's also important to realize that unless those followers are your target audience they become irrelevant. While it's important to pay attention to the growth of your following, it's also important to analyze who is following you.  This doesn't just apply to social media either! Look to see how many people are signing up for your newsletter and/or subscribing to your blog's RSS feed. If no one is, it may be time to consider spicing up your content.

Keyword Rankings- It's always a good idea to analyze where you're currently ranked for certain keywords.  As it takes a bit longer to develop good search rankings, it's usually good to do an in-depth analysis about once a month. Google Webmaster Tools is an awesome, user-friendly tool that can help you see where you are being ranked for certain keywords. Furthermore it will show you the keywords that are actually driving traffic to your site, something that should be considered for your content creation strategy moving forward.

Lead Generation:

Lead generation is one of those buzz words that can mean different things to different people. What do we mean by lead generation? In my mind, generating leads means getting a new contact into your customer relationship management (CRM) system, even if they are a top of the funnel lead.

How do you get potential prospects in there? Offer them something! Be it a free download of an ebook, signing up for your newsletter and/or a complimentary consultation. By placing these offers behind a form fill you can easily start to collect leads and track those leads.

Conversion Rate- They key metric you'll want to watch to determine whether or not your lead generation is at an acceptable rate, is the conversion rate. Of all the visitors you have to that offer,  how many filled out the form to get it? If this number is staggeringly low, it may be time to come up with a better offer.  If it's at a higher than usual rate, consider creating more types of this content.

Tip: Once you are generating these leads, how are you organizing them? Make sure you are properly segmenting these generated leads in your CRM system. Create separate lists for those who have signed up for your newsletter vs. those who have downloaded an ebook.

Sales:

When it comes to tracking sales in relation to your online marketing strategy, you will want to pay attention to where your sales originally came from. This can be the hardest objective to measure. There are a number of ways you can track sales depending on how intimate your sales process is.

Conversation- If you sell more expensive products and services and generally only sell a few a month, you will likely be able to hear right from the source how they heard of you.

Special Sales- Offer specific sales for specific tactics.  You can offer special sales only available to your online community.  Create different sales codes for each different product/service.

Unique URLs- If your sales process isn't hosted online but your marketing strategy is leading prospects to a landing page where they can be contacted by a sales rep, you can create a unique URL for that landing page for each marketing tactic you are deploying.

Now that you know the numbers you should be watching for, don't forget to act on them! Remember those objectives that you started with.  If you see that you are generating the most leads from Twitter and none from email marketing, it may be time to consider reallocating your time (and your budget) to a more Twitter focused strategy.

I want to hear from YOU: what analytics are you measuring online? Can you think of any other important factors depending on objectives that you should be watching out for?