In a perfect world, your business would create a product, offer a service and, without lifting a finger, customers would simply discover your company. It’s the old “if you build it, they will come” dream. It’s a nice thought, but realistically, in modern business, you need to connect with your customers and showcase your services through marketing. To make sure your marketing campaign is as effective as possible, you put in a considerable amount of time, energy and money into identifying your key demographic, personalizing content for these varying groups of individuals. All of this is done so you can drive home how your products and services can improve the customer’s life. It all sounds good, but the problem is, how do you know if your marketing strategy is working?
Here are a few tips and tricks into uncovering the truth about your advertising campaign and if it really is driving home desirable results.
Check Out Your Bounce Rate
Whether you solely rely on Google Analytics or you have other website data services in place, the bounce rate is one of the most important bits of analytical data. It also is one of the most overlooked. As a refresher, the bounce rate of a website is the number of people visit a single page on the site and then back out, instead of searching through other content. Essentially, this is the number (or percentage) of people who arrived on your site and did not like what they found, so instead of sticking around or exploring, they simply left (or “bounced”).
After you put your marketing plan into action, the first number you’ll likely monitor is visitors. More people coming into the site is always a plus. However, if they don’t stay or visit additional pages, it doesn’t matter how many more visitors you receive. The people who “bounce” from your website are not quality visitors. They will not be back and, even if they came to your site via the current marketing campaign, it doesn’t matter all that much. Due to this, one of the best ways to determine if your advertising campaign is working is through the bounce rate. If this rate has increased, it is a clear sign you need to change the marketing approach.
It is interesting to note that the average bounce rate of a website is right around 50 percent (give or take a few points, depending on what analytics agency you talk to). However, if your bounce rate is under the 40 percent mark, it means your marketing is doing substantially well as more than 60 percent of visitors move past the first page (Inc, 2017).
It sounds so simple, but often the simplest solution is the best solution. When a customer checks out or if they fill out information to be on a mailing list, ask how they came by your website. Providing a multiple-choice selection makes this easier and gives the website visitor specially targeted options. Here you’ll learn what prompted the individual to visit your website.
By tracking how clients hear about your website and how they visit your page, you’ll have a better understanding as to whether your current marketing campaign is working or not. With the questionnaire in place before a new campaign, you can monitor any possible changes in the way visitors come to your site, sign up for newsletters or purchase products (Uber Flip, 2016).
Organic Search and Search Engine Optimization
SEO is an important element to your marketing campaign. It shows that you not only understand what a customer is looking for, but also how to make your website more appealing to search engines. Traffic generated through search engines is the most important form of incoming visitors to your page because you do not pay for these visitors. You are not putting money into pay-per-click advertising or putting assets into Google AdWords. Organic search is the way to identify how much traffic your website generates “organically” through search engines (i.e. you are not paying for the traffic).
To check this information, head over to Google Analytics and look for “Organic Traffic.” If the amount of traffic you receive is increasing in this category, it means your company’s search engine SEO is doing well. If, however, organic search is down or steadily declining, it is time to focus time on improving your search engine optimization (Forbes, 2016).
A quality marketing campaign will attract visitors and bring them to your page. Have you ever seen a product advertised on television and you had to look it up as soon as the commercial finished? That’s exactly what you’re aiming for. If someone becomes so interested they need to stop what they are doing and check out your product, you’re doing something right. Of course, there’s no real way to determine if customers are doing this, but you can look in to see if you are converting visitors into sales.
The conversion rate is an important bit of data to consider, right there along with the bounce rate. While a bounce rate indicates the percentage of individuals who come to your website and click beyond the first page, a conversion rate is the percentage of individuals who come to your website, purchase a product or fill out information (such as inputting their email account into a newsletter request). During a quality advertising campaign, you should see an increase in the conversion rate. If the rate remains the same or drops after the campaign goes into effect, it means you’ll need to tinker with how you’re marketing yourself in order to boost the number back up (Trekk Soft, 2017).
Keep Your Goals Modest
Who wouldn’t love to see visitors triple following a new advertising campaign? After all, you’re laying out new marketing material in hopes of attracting new visitors and developing new customers. With your brilliant new marketing material, how could viewers of the material not completely fall in love with what you’re company is doing? The thing about this is there really is no way of knowing what might work or what might not work for your marketing. All of it might seem like a good idea, but you won’t know until results start coming back in, so keep your goals modest. If you have grand expectations of boosting sales 20 percent, but sales only climb five percent, you might find it disappointing, when, in reality, this increase proves your marketing is working. Try not to put the cart ahead of the horse with this one. Don’t try to put specific number expectations on your results. This way, you’ll be able to see success as it is and not weighed against lofty expectations (Duct Tape Marketing, 2016).
Social Media Interest
Social media should play a role in your marketing campaign. Measuring success in a social media campaign is often a bit different than on your website. For starters, you have “vanity” results, which revolve around the likes, shares, retweets, and comments on your content. If you begin to see an increase in interaction with your published social media content, it means what you’re doing is working and drawing the attention of others.
The purpose of social media marketing integration is more than just to generate a few comments and likes. It is ultimately to send in traffic to your website and, hopefully, increase sales. This is where monitoring website traffic is a must. Whether using Google Analytics or one of your own traffic tools, look in to see if traffic originating from your social media accounts has increased. A noticeable increase indicates that not only are other social media users connecting and communicating with your posts but are also following through and considering information found on your website as well.
Return on Investment
Ultimately, even if you are seeing an increase in website traffic, a better bounce rate or more sales, is it enough to make up for the additional money you’re spending on marketing? Measure out what you’re spending on marketing with the sales the company is making. If sales are increasing and the bottom line is growing along with it, you have a favorable return on investment with the current marketing campaign (Social Media Today, 2015).
In the business world, knowledge is power. The more you know about your demographic, the more finely tuned your marketing campaign becomes. The more knowledge you have regarding the marketing campaign and how it is working, the easier it becomes to edit and improve its outreach potential. By following through with these different tips and tricks, you’ll have the ability to not only uncover whether your marketing campaign is working, but identify what needs to improve and change in order to better reach your key demographics. Instead of pumping more money into advertisements that may or may not be working, look into the current campaign with these pointers. Your bottom line and growing list of leads will thank you for it later.
Which factor do you think is the most important in determining if your marketing strategy is working? Would you add any other one to the list above?