Web Metrics

Web metrics are the secret of what makes marketing on the internet so effective both from a campaign success perspective and from a cost perspective. When you market on the web, the amount of data you can get back out of your campaigns is absolutely mind boggling, and using that data, you can literally figure out just about anything you could possibly want to about how your campaigns are working (or arenaEUR(TM)t working). By studying these metrics, you can adjust your campaign and fine tune it to work as well as possible and also to be as cheap as possible.

Whether it be your copy, your targeting, your delivery medium, your website or landing page, or any other aspect of your online marketing efforts, your metrics will show you (with a little skillful interpretation), exactly what you want (and need) to know to succeed.

Can your offline marketing do that? I donaEUR(TM)t think so.

Your metrics are provided in a few different ways depending on what aspects of your campaign youaEUR(TM)re looking it. Your website will have one set of data you can look at, your online ad campaigns will provide another set, etc. Often times these different areas can be integrated so that your numbers for each can be compared and contrasted with each other, giving you a fuller picture of your overall marketing efforts. You donaEUR(TM)t have to spend a lot of money to get these different sets of analytics, in fact, some of the best packages are completely free to use, you just need to know how to set them up and get them started. The following are some of the different areas you can use metrics to analyze, and the specific types of data that theyaEUR(TM)ll give you.

Website Analytics

Website analytics will tell you about how your website is performing in a multitude of different ways. They can give you insight on everything from how your site should be organized, to which areas of the site visitors spend the most time on, to how they move through it, to overall traffic numbers and much more. Google Analytics is a free web analytics package provided by Google which can be installed on your website for free and setup to provide you with all this information. There are also paid options for analytics packages that work equally well, if not slightly better, but the quality of data Google Analytics provides at no cost makes it a favorite for most applications.

Here are just some of the types of data you can get from these packages;

Visits: This describes the number of gross visits that your site receives from web users.
Unique Visitors: Visits will double count the same person if they come to your website more than once in the same day with a gap in between. The unique visitors stat eliminates this double counting and tells you exactly how many unique individuals came to your site in a given period. This is highly valuable since itaEUR(TM)s essential you know how much traffic is coming through your site each day.

Pageviews: Pageviews tells you the number of individual pages on your site a visitor sees. If a person comes to your site and clicks through 10 pages, theyaEUR(TM)ll count as one unique visitor, and 10 pageviews.

New Visits: The new visits metric tells you the percentage of people coming to your site who have never been there before. This is incredibly important for a couple of reasons. One, you obviously want to know how many new potential clients are finding your site, but you also want to know if people arenaEUR(TM)t returning. If your site has a very high percentage of new visitors compared to returning visitors, then youaEUR(TM)ll need to examine why people arenaEUR(TM)t coming back.
Average Time on Site: This well tell you how long the average visitor spends on your site. Obviously if this is only a matter of seconds, that tells you a lot!

Geographical Location: Your analytics package can tell you where your visitors and prospects are coming from on scales both large and small. You can narrow down location by country, state, and city. This is obviously very valuable information, especially for businesses that sell across State or Provincial lines.

Traffic Sources: This metric tells you exactly where your visitors are coming from. If your visitors are coming from a link on another website, an email campaign, an ad campaign, or a number of other sources, itaEUR(TM)ll tell you where they came from and how they got to your site. This is very important since it gives you the ability to narrow down and target your best traffic sources so you can eliminate the ones that donaEUR(TM)t work and put extra focus on the ones that do.

Keywords: This tells you which keywords and key phrases visitors used when finding your sites through search engines. This combined with data from some other sources is incredibly valuable to your online ad campaigns as well as your search engine optimization efforts, since you can determine what key phrases youaEUR(TM)re ranking well for and which ones you arenaEUR(TM)t ranking well for.

Navigation Analysis: This lets you see which pages on your site visitors are coming from when jumping to other pages, and where theyaEUR(TM)re most likely to go next.

Entrance and Exit Pages: This metric shows you which pages visitors are landing on when entering your site, and more importantly, which pages on your site theyaEUR(TM)re leaving from. If theyaEUR(TM)re leaving at a point you donaEUR(TM)t want them to, something needs to change!

Goals Tracking: This is one of the most powerful areas in the Google Analytics package. This metric allows you to set up your site in order to track the movements of your prospects through your sales funnel. This provides incredibly valuable insight into where along your sales funnel prospects are dropping out.

Custom Reporting: Custom reporting allows you to set up your own custom reports that will focus on only the areas youaEUR(TM)re most interested in analyzing, leaving out those you arenaEUR(TM)t interested in. This is valuable since the sheer amount of data provided is large, and itaEUR(TM)s nice to not have to sift through all of it when you donaEUR(TM)t need to.

Ad Campaign Analytics

Another area where you can get very detailed analytics to help you with your marketing is online ad campaigns. Online advertising,including pay-per click, cost per mille (per thousand impressions), and more will all provide you with significant stats regarding how your online efforts are performing. Here are some of the metrics you can analyze when examining your online ad campaigns;

Impressions tells you the number of times youaEUR(TM)re ad has been served. Every time a web user sees your ad it is counted as animpression. This isnaEUR(TM)t the same as a unique impression, because raw impressions counts page reloads, multiple pages and return visitors,meaning your raw impressions is much higher than unique. Impressions are essentially the same as page views, but for an adrather than a web page. If youaEUR(TM)re paying for your ads on a CPM basis (cost per 1000 impressions), then this is an extremely importantnumber for you since it determines what your cost to run the ad is. Clicks: This number tells you how many times the visitors who saw your ad actually clicked on it and went through to your website or offer. This is a very important stat for a couple of reasons. First of all, if youaEUR(TM)re running your ads on pay per click system, then youaEUR(TM)ll be paying each time someone clicks your ad, so those clicks are your cost driver. Secondly, your ad is only doing its job if people are clicking on it, so determining your number of clicks is an important step in determining your ads success. Click Through Rate: Your click through rate (CTR) is the percentage of impressions that turn into clicks. You simply divide your clicks byyour impressions to get your CTR. A low CTR tells you that your ad isnaEUR(TM)t performing well for what could be a number of reasons. It could be that you ad copy simply isnaEUR(TM)t compelling enough, or it could be thatyou have good copy but your adaEUR(TM)s targeting needs to be improved.

CTR is a very important metric and often times, youaEUR(TM)re better offworking on your CTR rather than trying to drive more traffic to your ad or site. Cost Per Click: Your cost per click (CPC) is the price you pay each time someone clicks on one of your ads. This will normally be paid to the ad network that is serving your ads, or if youaEUR(TM)re doing youradvertising independently, directly to the sites hosting your ads. Cost per click is one of the most important metrics to analyze when examining the cost effectiveness of your campaigns because often times, by improving your ad and improving your targeting, you can drive your CPC down to a lower rate than it is currently at. Nailing your CPC down to the lowest point possible is a key to maximizingprofit.

Conversions indicate how many times your ad clicks result in the visitor taking the desired action youaEUR(TM)ve set out. That could mean they click through to your site and sign up for your mailing list,or that they click through and purchase a specific product. This is an important indicator of how well your ad, your copy and your offer are working together. For instance, if you have a large number of visitors clicking on your ads and going through to your offer, but then very few actually taking action on that offer, that tells you there is a problem in one of a few possible areas. It could be that your adaEUR(TM)s copyand your offeraEUR(TM)s copy donaEUR(TM)t synch up well enough which is causing confusion among your visitors. Or it could just be that your offer simply needs to be better. Either way, being able to accurately track conversions is extremely helpful in ensuring your campaigns are asprofitable as possible.

Email Analytics
Email campaigns are one of the best ways a business can stay connected with their existing customers as well as reach out to potential new customers. By maintaining and building a mailing list, you can keep in constant contact with your subscribers, building trust and ensuring they think of you first when they need products or services you provide. Like everything else though, your email campaigns canaEUR(TM)t reach their full potential without tracking their performance. Here are some of the metrics you can examine using the analytics packages that come with most auto-responder packages;

New Subscribers:
This metric will give you insight into how many new subscribers have signed up to receive your newsletters or emails. You can view new subscribers on a daily, weekly or yearly basis, giving you a great deal of insight into when your list building efforts are performing at their best.

Subscribe Method:
There are a few ways that users can sign up to your mailing list and this metric will show you exactly where youaEUR(TM)re getting your largest number of sign-ups from. Users can sign up for your list through an online form on a website, which is the most common way of gaining new subscribers, or they can email your auto-responder address to automatically include themselves. Finally, you can import subscribers manually from existing mailing lists you may already have.

Ad Tracking:
This feature lets you determine not just how yoursubscribers sign up for your list, but where they sign up from. For instance, you might have two opt in forms, one on your main websiteand one on a landing page for one of your ad campaigns. You might also put up ads in online classifieds with a subscription link. Using ad tracking, you can keep track of which of these avenues each of your subscribers come through, allowing you to pinpoint which methods are seeing the most success.

Geographical Location:
Geographical location tracking tells you where your subscribers are located. You can narrow down your geographical tracking on a number of levels. For instance the AWeber autoresponder package allows you to break down geographical location by country, state/province, cities, area codes (the 30 most popular) and Designated Market Area codes (the 30 most popular). Message Tracking: Message tracking allows you to measure the performance of your individual messages. By examining metrics such as the open rate of the messages, and the number of clicks on the links inside each message, you can determine which of your emails are having the most success. For instance, a message with a very low open rate is often suffering from a lack luster title. You can then identify which titles have given you the highest open rates in the past, and recraft the under-performing messageaEUR(TM)s title in the same fashion.

About The Author
John McGovern is currently the Managing Partner of AOA Market Solutions and Founder of an Internet & Marketing firm based in Central NJ. Having extensive experience in identifying; designing and implementing risk management solutions for businesses, he now focuses his attention assisting businesses to strategically manage their business in an online environment. Highly regarded for consistently creating business solutions for brokerage firms in the industry, he also helps those companies develop strategic business development & marketing plans to grow specialty niches into their firm. Mr. McGovern can be reached at 732-523-1456 and at johnmcgovern@agentsofamerica.org

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