What defines Internet marketing success? Is it traffic? Lead generation? Your number of fans, Circles and followers? You may be happy with how your site is doing in these areas, or you might see room for improvement. The question is—are they really telling you the whole story?
The fact is, in order to know how you’re doing you need metrics. Metrics are the measureable data that tell you if your Internet marketing efforts are paying off. To get thereal picture, here are 5 metrics that will help you define success:
This is a combination of factors that indicate how much attention your site is getting, including:
- Return visits
- Time spent on each page
- Page views per visit
The best way to evaluate these factors is to use analytic software to measure unique visitors and page views. Even better—take a look at other important data such as time on the site and referring sources. This indicates the quality of the traffic by telling you where they came from.
Of course, visits are great, but conversions are what really matter. Track your conversions over time using a website analytics tool such as Google Analytics or other similar tools. This will tell you the sources of your traffic, i.e. email, pay-per-click, organic search, social media, etc.
3. Bounce/Response Rates
What are the actual results of your website activity? Bounce rates are a measure of how many times people visit your home page, then leave without navigating to any other pages. Response rates tell you how many times people engage, whether it’s to fill out a form, download an offer or make a purchase.
Error tracking is a critical metric for defining your site’s success. A weekly report of all errors, courtesy of your tracking software, lets you know how many errors are out there, costing you visits, leads and sales.
If you have a high volume site, you really should check errors daily. A site that gets 10,000 visits per day is losing 10,000 potential leads every time visitors land on a 404 page. Ouch!
For many, return on investment is the bottom line metric. Obviously, if you’re spending more to get your conversions than you’re getting back in revenue, you need to rethink your strategy.
Here’s where Google Analytics can do the work for you and make it easy to break down the numbers. Once you know the per-visit value of your clicks and where they are coming from, you’ve got hard data that tells you where to allocate resources and where you can make improvements to increase returns.
Ultimately, these metrics help define the success of your Internet marketing efforts. But it’s up to you to take the data and use it to refine your strategy and get the biggest bang for your buck. Stay on top of the numbers and you’ll always be in control of your website’s success!