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There’s no denying that the one constant with digital marketing is change! New technologies, new platforms, and new ways to use technologies are leaving many business owners and marketers gasping for air. Keeping up can mean the difference of winning that next sale or loosing it. And, if your competition is ranking ahead of you, then you feel like you have to make improvements in double-time. You have to stop chasing digital marketing tactics and get your digital marketing strategy put together.
In our most recent white paper we talk about the issue and the need to slow down and take stock of what you are doing and to develop a plan, moving forward, before you take on one more campaign or spend one more dollar on ppc ads.
By taking the time to plan out your digital marketing efforts you’ll start to see better result for less dollars. You’ll be able to tie your digital marketing efforts directly to your business goals. And, by having a plan you’ll be able to eliminate a lot of stress out of your life, too.
Step 1: This is where you take the time to get a really good understanding of where you are, regarding your online marketing. In this first step it’s important to do a complete audit of your online presence.
The answers to these questions can easily be pulled from your Analytics software, but you have to set your account up correctly to get the answers. We have a number of articles on Analytics on our blog. Take a look when you get a chance.
Step 2: This is where you need to take a hard look at the traffic that is coming to your site and determine the quality of that traffic. By quality I’m referring to whether or not the people that are coming to your site are the people that you want to be coming to the site.
We all know that everyone in your market does not make the best customer. If your products or services are a premium, then you really don’t want sales leads that are looking for the lowest price. Or, on the opposite end of that spectrum, if your product or services are designed for mass consumption, then you do want people that are shopping for price.
The point to this is that you want to attract the people or businesses to your website that fit the profile of your best customer. You will find that certain sites, ad campaigns, or even marketing channels will be better at delivering those customers than others. By taking a close look at your traffic and where it’s coming from, you’ll be better able to identify where to get more of the types of people or businesses that you want.
Here’s a report in Google Analytics (GA) that can get you started with identifying where your traffic is coming from. You can get to it in your GA account by going to acquisition > overview.
Now, on the surface this report doesn’t tell you the quality of the traffic but it does give you a starting point to see where your traffic is coming from.
The first thing that you want to evaluate on this report is what is the [Infographic] Bounce Rate for each of these channels. You can see, in the screen shot to the right, that the traffic coming to this example site, from the social channels, has the highest bounce rate at 69.36%. This means that almost 70% of the traffic coming to this site from one of their social profiles is leaving the site after visiting just 1 page. This represents what is probably, not the greatest quality of traffic.
Step 3: Once you get a feel for where the traffic is coming from, now it’s time to take a look at what the traffic is doing once it gets to your site. The goal for any website is to get conversions. It’s important to identify exactly what a conversion is. Most of the time when we talk to people about conversions, they are generally only thinking about the final conversion which is a phone call or a contact us form that gets filled out.
There are a lot of different forms of conversions that occur throughout the customer’s buying cycle. As an example, people that are in the early stages of the buying cycle are researching potential solutions to a problem that they are having. A conversion for people that are coming to your site, at these early stages, could be the amount of time that they sped on one of your solutions pages in your website.
To start tracking the conversions on your site, within your GA account, go to Admin > Goals. This is where you can set up a lot of different types of goals. Depending on the type of measurement that you want, some of the types of goals that you can setup up are:
In the example that we talked about earlier, where we want to measure people in the early stages of the buying cycle. We want to measure the time that they spend in a page in your website. To do this, find a page that one of your prospective customers would go to learn more about the solutions that you offer for one of their problems. Copy the URL for that page. We’re going to need that as we setup this engagement goal.
Go back to your GA account and navigate to Goals > New Goals > Custom. Now, select Duration and click next. Now you’ll be able to enter the amount of time that you want to use to consider a visitor to your site as being engaged. As an example, if someone is on a product page that contains a minimal amount of text, 30 seconds may represent a long engagement. However, if someone is on a solutions page that has a lot of educational text that they have to digest, then maybe a minute is more the marker that you want to measure.
Either way this is a great way to measure the quality of traffic, especially when the visitor is in the top of their buying cycle.
We’ve just covered the tip of the iceberg in this post. We have a lot more information in our white paper “A Business Owners Guide To Digital Marketing”. This is a FREE download that will help you to catch your breath and start to develop a plan for getting more from your digital marketing.
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