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How to Track & Measure Website Goals

Too many times I get asked the question from people interested in SEO, PPC, or other online marketing strategies how to measure success of whether the strategy was successful or not.  I always respond that it is very easy yet difficult to measure success of online marketing campaigns, here is some elaboration.

Whats The Scoop on Analytics Tracking?

Usually the most difficult aspect of setting up goals and objectives to track on your website is determining what those goals are and finding out how to track them online.  It seems fairly easy, but when you really dig in and ponder it you may find its more complex than you originally thought.  Lets take a  local doctor as an example.  Obviously a major goal or objective of the website will be if people come to the website, become interested, and contact the doctor to ask a question or even setup an appointment.  The easy objective to setup would be if the website has an online request form that you can track how many times people use it to send an email.  The only problem is that many emails may be from non-client communications.  Some examples may be someone who is emailing to ask about a job, a current client emailing to find out when their next visit is, or an insurance company contacting the doctor to try and get him to service their clients.  Unless you have separate forms or handle different requests in varying methods you can not weed out which emails are which easily.  Even more so what do you do about people who do not fill out the form?  Some website visitors may prefer to call the office instead of send an email; this would be difficult to track unless you only put your phone number on your contact page and keep track of how many people visit that page – even that method lacks credibility because you do not know how many of those people actually called in.

The good news is that the technical aspects of tracking success is actually fairly easy, straight forward, and quick to setup.  I am most familiar with Google Analytics which is a free anlaytics tracking program that is currently the most popular web analytics system out there.   In Google Analytics you can setup a goal for almost anything you want to.  If you are an ecommerce website you can set it up to track revenue, if you are a ski resort you can set it up to track ticket sales, if you are a web design company you can set it up to track incoming emails, etc.  Sometimes all you need is the url of the ‘thank you’ page of a goal or action that you want to track.  You may run into problems with technical integration if your goal or action is delivered by a 3rd party vendor who will not allow you to enter the tracking code onto their website.

8 Easy Ways to Improve Your Tracking

  1. Concretely determine what your main goals are. Make sure you have thought through and you really know what factors contribute to the overall success of your company and which do not.  For example it may be as simple as tracking revenue for an e-commerce site, or as complex as tracking orders over $500 and for customers who make more than one purchase per month.
  2. Don’t be afraid to have more than one goal to track. You may have multiple goals and objective for your website, don’t be afraid to track them all.  You may track online email requests, people hitting your contact page, and people who sign up for your newsletter.
  3. Determine offline goals via offline methods. One simple example is having your staff who answer the phone start to ask how they found out about you so you have that information to supplement your analytics statistics.
  4. Place a dollar amount to every action. Find out what every objective you are tracking is worth.  You may learn that 5% of people who sign up for your newsletter purchase your products at an average value of $95.  That way you can place a value of $4.75 per newsletter sign-up.
  5. Work Together. Coordinate with other departments to get as much information as you can to work together. Offline marketing, online marketing, sales, management, support, and customer service all should work together to ensure goals are being met.  You may find that you have an excellent sales record but because of poor customer service you never have returning clients.
  6. Ensure your web analytics are working properly. If your analytics are not working properly and capturing as much traffic and data as technology allows then you may make big mistakes based off of inaccurate data.
  7. Work with 3rd party vendors or get rid of them. If you have vendors that will not cooperate with you to track analytics on their systems you should look into finding a new vendor who is more willing to work with their clients.
  8. Learn from your metrics! If you find out your banner advertising is not paying for itself then axe it!  If you find out SEO or PPC are doing really well and bringing in a profit then boost it!

Article Provided By:
Adaptivity Pro Web Design
Salt Lake City Utah
P.O. Box 951049
South Jordan, UT
o: 801-512-2006