Online marketers have a notorious (and unfortunate) reputation for not being able to concretely demonstrate the ROI of the services they provide. This statement holds true even with sophisticated marketing, tracking and analytical tools because it can be very difficult to determine where sales come from.
For example, if someone reads your blog for 6 months and then suddenly decides to give you a call, how do you attribute all revenue generated from this client to your internet marketing efforts? If you ask them about what convinced them to work with you, will they simply say “the blog?”. Probably not. Besides, how did they find your blog in the first place?
Even though you can’t always precisely track your website and marketing ROI, you can track some very important metrics which tell you how successful your marketing efforts are and how well your website is converting.
Here are 5 of the TOP Google Analytics metrics we recommend you track:
1. Bounce Rate
This metric measures how many people view only one page on your website and then leave. A fair to good rate is somewhere between 40 – 60%. If your rate is any higher than 60%, your page (or ad copy) likely isn’t resonating with your visitors well. Look for low bounce rate pages and compare them to pages with high bounce rates to evaluate the differences. Once you’ve identified the “bad” pages you can work on the headline, copy, images, etc. and improve the content there for a better user experience, which should lead to lower bounce rates.
2. Conversion Rate
Your conversion rate measures how many people took the desired action on a particular page, or perhaps across your entire website. For example, conversions could be the number of people who download a free report, contact you using your online form, subscribe to a newsletter or purchase a certain product. If your website has low conversion rates, you know that the offer isn’t compelling enough or that the ad/organic keyword they clicked through from wasn’t relevant enough to the goal of the page. Make sure your keyword strategy, ad copy and website information match for improved conversion rates. And don’t forget to add a clear, compelling call to action on EVERY page of your website.
3. Traffic Sources
By tracking where you traffic is coming from, you can better understand how successful your organic marketing, PPC campaigns, content strategies and/or social media efforts have been. Google Analytics can make it difficult to understand which exact keywords drive traffic to your website, but you can at least get an overall picture of where your traffic is coming from (referral sites, social, organic, paid, etc.). If you tie your traffic sources to leads and conversions, you can really nail down exactly where you should be spending your marketing dollars and in house efforts for a better ROI.
It’s not so easy to rank organically for specific keywords anymore, but it’s still important to track them to get a decent gauge of which keywords not only drive targeted traffic – but traffic that converts! Another way to analyze keywords is to look at how many people click through on your search listing for each keyword (click through rates). This tells you how relevant your search listing is compared to what people are searching for. You’ll be able to see which keywords convert the best, and then you can reasonably surmise additional variations of those keywords to pursue in your future internet marketing efforts. You can also try different meta titles and descriptions to help you identify which keywords and benefits get you a better click through rate.
By examining the total number of visitors to your website, you can start to track month over month increases. We recommend diving deeper into this metric and looking at overall visitor’s verses unique visitors. If your goal is to drive NEW traffic each month, it’s more important to have unique visitors than repeats. However, the number of visits – unique or not – is secondary to conversions. Ultimately the most important metric is your website conversion rate. If you only get a small amount of traffic but most of it converts, then you are on the right track.
This is really only scratching the surface of Google Analytics and tracking important metrics, but if you can nail down these metrics then you can rest assured you have at least begun to understand your SEO and marketing campaigns and how effective they are in helping your website convert.
Of course we recommend hiring a professional SEO firm if you are struggling with website traffic and conversions… oh, and guess what? That’s what we do best. Just give us a call if you need help: 800.871.4130.