As we approach year-end, are you curious as to how your online marketing performed for your business?
I’m about to make it stupidly simple.
I’m a huge advocate of the 80/20 rule: 20% of your effort generates 80% of your business.
So we’ll be measuring the top 20% of your promotional tactics to see what drove the most results.
Not everything. Not a 10-page spreadsheet in tiny mice font.
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You’ll identify only the top results that you need to do more of in 2014.
Here are the three key metrics to measure to discover your most powerful marketing tactics of the year. (If you want to dig deeper, knock yourself out. For the rest of us, this will do nicely, thanks.)
1. How Much Traffic Did Online Marketing Drive to My Website?
One of the biggest questions you need to answer is this: what impact did online marketing have in driving customers to my website? Whether your business is online or local, you need a simple way to analyze where they came from.
This is easy if you’ve integrated Google Analytics (GA) into your website. My instructions for adding GA are here. Google tells you how many of your website visitors are coming from social media. From the GA screen, select Acquisition>All Referrals:
My own numbers tell me that my top social networks driving traffic to my site are Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Those are definitely where my primary focus should be in 2014.
2. What Were Your Best-Performing Posts?
Once you’ve discovered which social networks are the most powerful generators of traffic to your website, next you need to identify what you did to motivate them to visit you. Which posts stopped people from enjoying Facebook photo albums & Pinterest recipes to click-through to your website?
For Facebook & YouTube, review the Insights they provide (see my Facebook Insights post here, and for more detailed help, refer to Lesson 20 of Facebook 101). For the social networks that don’t provide measurement data, you can still return to trusty GA to see what’s working for you (you can also use it to review any network results).
From GA, go to Acquisition>Referrals>Facebook (or whatever social network you’re checking), as shown below:
GA displays two timelines: the bottom one is traffic from All Visits, while the top one (in blue) is from Facebook only. I can immediately identify that Nov. 8 showed the largest spike in traffic from Facebook.
My next step: identify the post that drove all those visitors to my website. I do this in Facebook, either by scrolling down my Timeline or viewing my Insights.
Which post was it? Take a look:
Not surprisingly, it was a post that offered a freebie: a $10 Gift Card to anyone who commented on the post. I was celebrating 2,000 fans and wanted to reward my fans.
Again, this is definitely a tactic I should use in 2014. It drove the most visitors to my website of any post I did on any social network.
Now you can repeat this process for each of your top social networks.
3. Measure Sales & Compare with Traffic: Is There a Correlation?
The simplest way to measure the sales you receive from your online marketing efforts it to track your sales over the course of the year, and compare them to the chart you see in step 2. Did that spike in November traffic also correlate with higher sales?
This method offers a correlation between sales and online marketing. If you need to scientifically accurate data, you’ll need to set up goals in GA for product sales, phone calls, newsletter sign-ups, or other actions you want visitors to take from your website.
Goal setup is a more complex process, and since we’re keeping this simple, let’s leave it at the correlation. That’s good enough to see if your online marketing is having a positive impact on your sales.
What we see from this revenue chart is that sales were indeed high in November; however, they weren’t the highest total month overall. Why? Probably due to people receiving their gift cards but not redeeming them immediately.
Your Action Items
Now it’s your turn: measure these three simple metrics for your own business using this step-by-step lesson. You need to identify:
- Your top social networks
- Your best-performing posts
- If sales correlated with your high-results posts
- Finally, how you can improve upon these top 20% of your marketing efforts for an even more profitable 2014.
Share your results in the comments below!