This article is the thirteenth chapter in our Digital Marketing Blueprint. Our series includes Identifying Your Marketing Problem (Step #1), Understanding Why Digital Marketing Is the Solution (Step #2), Creating a Digital Marketing Budget for Your Business (Step #3), Getting to Know Your Audience (Step #4), Examining Your Key Messages (Step #5), Analyzing Your Existing Online Presence (Step #6), Creating a Keyword Strategy (Step #7), Optimizing Your Website (Step #8), Developing a Content Marketing Plan (Step #9), Getting People to Your Website (Step #10), Converting Website Visitors into Leads (Step #11), and Nurturing Leads (Step #12). Additionally, you can download the full guide here for free!
Step #13: Analyzing & Refining Your Strategy
Once your marketing strategy is up and running, it’s time to start analyzing the results and refining your strategy! This last step is an ongoing process that should never end.
Measuring success will depend greatly upon the tactics utilized. If you’re analyzing digital advertising campaigns, campaign effectiveness will look slightly different for search ads (also known as pay-per-click) than for social media advertising or display advertising. It’s also critical to tailor your analysis to your unique goals to ensure you’re focusing on the metrics that are most important for your business.
Below, we will discuss some of the best ways to track your overall marketing strategy, helping you delve a little deeper into Google Analytics—while also providing sample reports that we create for our clients.
If your goal is to get more traffic to your website, then Google Analytics is where you need to start. See the screenshot below of a report comparing April 2020 to March 2020 for one of our clients.
As indicated in this report, overall website traffic increased dramatically from March to April. In fact, the number of new visitors nearly doubled within that time period. In this particular case, we can dig into the acquisition report to see that the sharp uptick in traffic coincided with the simultaneous launch of the client’s new search, behavioral, and retargeting advertising campaigns (a combination we often see work well together).
If their goal is to improve website traffic, this report (which was created from their Google Analytics information) clearly shows success.
You can track a plethora of information through Google Analytics—everything from your top landing pages, most common user paths through the site, organic conversions, and so much more—much of which is customizable to your particular business needs. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that you have Google Analytics properly installed on your website and that you are logging into the platform at least once per month to ensure your marketing strategy is on the right path.
Advertising Conversion Tracking
The best way to prove your ROI with digital advertising is to start with accurate conversion tracking. What is a conversion? Simply put, a ‘conversion’ is any meaningful action a user may take on your website that ideally qualifies them as a lead for your business, such as a phone call, sign-up form, purchase, pdf download, or similar. The unique goals of your business will determine what you should focus on to track as a conversion.
Whatever your campaign goals, setting up relevant conversion tracking helps the ad platforms’ algorithms and machine learning optimize campaign delivery to your specific goals, so you continue to get the best return for your money as that data accumulates. Failing to designate relevant conversions for your business leaves money on the table by limiting the ability of these platforms to understand and optimize towards your actual campaign goals. Your input as a marketer here is critical to match campaign delivery to the actions you most want to drive for your business.
Virtually all digital advertising platforms today offer ways to create account-specific conversions, including Google Ads, Meta (Facebook), LinkedIn, and others. Before setting up your conversions, ask yourself: what are the most meaningful website actions to track for your business? The most common conversions we see are often form fills, purchases, or phone calls, but each business is different, and it’s important to align your conversions with your campaign and business-specific goals. See the example below for just a few conversion options:
Organic Website Conversions
Even if you’re not currently using digital advertising, conversions are still important to track in Google Analytics and any other organic reporting tools you may use. By setting up relevant event and goal tracking in Google Analytics, you can get a better sense of whether or not your organic traffic is naturally converting, determine seasonal conversion fluctuations, extract insights that may inform website design changes, or direct your SEO efforts to increase relevant (higher-converting) website traffic.
In short, conversion set-up and optimization is a must if you ultimately want your website to passively drive more business your way—and who doesn’t want that?
Social Media Reporting
Social media is a very powerful and effective way to reach your target audience. But how do you determine what is working and what is not? Which types of content get the most engagement?
If you’ve increased your social media efforts, can you see evidence that your social media presence (reach, likes, comments, shares, etc.) increased as well? Are your social media post boosts or ads achieving your goals, or does something seem to be lacking?
Below are some screenshots of a social media report for one of our clients that spans March 2022 to April 2022.
The report shows us that this client had a really good month. Not only did they see a significant increase in Page followers, they also experienced a huge leap in total post reach and engagement. By combining social media and analytics reports, we can dig deeper to determine which content in particular sparks the most engagement and actual website traffic.
As with all types of in-platform reporting, social media reports should never be looked at alone; instead, they should be examined in conjunction with other reporting tools to obtain a bigger picture of marketing strategy success and areas that need improvement.
It is also essential to note that the overall goal of social media may be to grow business revenue; however, social media is an engagement platform. You will see ROI, but it is typically not linear. Remember, it takes 7-10 interactions with your brand before someone is comfortable making a purchase decision. Social media is part of the integrated marketing strategy that is designed to work together to grow your bottom line.
With that being said, you absolutely should set up your conversion tracking in each social media platform you use (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) to help determine the direct ROI of your efforts and establish your baseline expectations for each platform.
Another great way to track conversions (both online and offline) is through call tracking and recording. By using a unique phone number, you can easily determine which marketing initiatives are generating the most phone conversions. Best of all, this doesn’t require changing out your phone number on your website anywhere it’s currently displayed—with dynamic phone number insertion, these can be swapped in real-time without any change in user experience using just a snippet of code on your website.
For example, if you have a landing page that is used for your search advertising (pay-per-click) campaigns and that page is only accessible via these ads, you can use a call tracking phone number to distinguish these calls from all others. Through call tracking reports, you can determine the number of calls your pay-per-click ads are generating and extract deeper insights, such as: how many times were the calls sent to voicemail unanswered, how many calls were dropped, what locations and days of the week led to the most calls, and more.
Furthermore, if call recording is activated, you may find value in listening to the calls to determine the real value and quality of each lead.
Below is a sample call tracking report for one of our clients (keep in mind, these contain more depth of information in an interactive report).
In a nutshell, call tracking can give you a lot of information and help you better refine your marketing tactics to improve performance.
Creating a Baseline
Regardless of the marketing strategies you employ, you have to create a baseline so that it is easy to see progress. It’s equally important that the campaigns are designed with conversion tracking in place (when possible) so that you can quickly determine what’s working and what’s not.
Treat your online marketing like a volume knob. If a tactic is working, turn it up! If it’s not, then turn it down. Remember, the best thing about digital marketing and advertising is the ability to measure results. Make sure you are tracking the numbers!
Life Is Stressful. Digital Marketing Shouldn’t Be.
Overwhelmed by your marketing efforts? Wondering if you’re actually getting anything out of it, or if you’re just wasting time and money? We hear you.
If you’d like to talk about what it would be like to work with Uptick, we’re happy to have a no-pressure, no-stress conversation with you. Just give us a call at (205) 871-2446, email email@example.com, or fill out the form on our contact page. We look forward to chatting with you!
This article is the thirteenth chapter in our Digital Marketing Blueprint. Download the full guide here for free!