What Gets Measured Gets Done
What gets measured gets done. It’s a familiar aphorism, certainly, but that doesn’t make it any less fitting. It’s true with almost anything you do, whether professionally or personally. For example, when you’re on a diet, tracking your weight, measurements, food and exercises lets you know how effective your techniques are.
It’s just the same in business. If you’re not regularly tracking the effectiveness of your specific procedures, how do you know whether they’re working? You might see an uptick in leads, orders or the average price point of your window and door sales and services, but if you can’t tie them back directly to certain initiatives, you don’t know exactly what worked—or whether that aspect could work even better.
Maybe that uptick would evolve into a surge if you made a few tweaks, or maybe it would disappear entirely. Tracking the results of each business decision you make lets you know whether you’re on the right track or heading down a road to nowhere. It’s also the only way to truly know the return on investment for everything you do. This is the essential starting point for any kind of performance management.
With that in mind, I’ll cover several aspects of analyzing key performance indicators for an online marketing campaign.
Google Analytics: the Foundation
If you do nothing else to measure the effects of your marketing campaign, you must at least employ Google Analytics. This is the starting point.
If you’re unfamiliar with Google Analytics, this tool makes it easy to see exactly how visitors interact with your website. You can see how much traffic your site gets, determine where visitors are coming from (and where they go afterward), and see which pages they visit and for how long.
Like any great business solution, Google Analytics can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. In addition to analyzing the basics, you can set goals (such as tracking conversions), create custom dashboards to track specifically what’s important to you, set custom alerts for whenever certain metrics rise and fall, track email campaigns and do much more.
As the owner of a brick-and-mortar window and door business, you might wonder how important it is to track metrics to that degree of depth. In fact, it’s becoming extremely important in this digital age. Every retailer’s online presence now is essentially the “storefront” for many consumers, but especially the new generation. The Internet is the first place they go to purchase anything.
Google Webmaster Tools: the Next Level
Google Webmaster Tools isn’t just a tracking tool. It actually covers much more than that, so you should take the time to get familiar with it if you’re not already. Essentially, GWT helps your webmaster interact with Google, improve your site’s search engine optimization and easily determine where to make changes.
With GWT (which is entirely free, as is the standard Google Analytics service), you get additional insights beyond what Analytics provides and actually play a role in how Google reviews your site. You can find the keywords visitors used to find your site and click-through rates for keywords. And, you can even adjust how often Google indexes your site. You’ll learn a lot more about how Google ranks your site, which, of course, is the biggest key to how highly your business ranks in search results.
While the Internet has become an essential aspect of even the most traditional brick-and-mortar business, such as window and door services or related home improvement providers, phone calls aren’t going away anytime soon. You likely still book many more appointments over the phone than through other means. Understanding what directly prompted that phone call is critical to improving your marketing efforts.
Call tracking software is extremely important for understanding how effective your marketing is and how it might work better, especially if you invest in pay-per-click advertising.
If you’re not tracking incoming calls, you won’t necessarily know what prompted the call, whether it was a visit to your site’s landing page, a PPC ad, an organic hit in search results, or another type of ad. And only by tracking calls can you differentiate between which ads are driving calls and which are not.
These are just a few of the tools you can employ to track the effectiveness of your marketing and advertising. If you’re not employing them yet, don’t worry about anything else and just start with these. The more you focus on tracking and tweaking your online marketing efforts, the greater advantage you’ll have over your local competition.