Are you wondering how to improve your online marketing plan? Whether you're a newcomer to the world of digital marketing analytics and conversion optimization or a seasoned veteran who's simply looking to keep up with the ever-changing marketing landscape, one of the early steps on your road to an improved marketing campaign is a thorough analysis.
But before you jump in, start with these 10 most important things to look for.
1. Unique Visitors
Your unique visitor count is one of the most common indicators of your website's overall health and the effectiveness of your marketing plan. It indicates the number of unique IP addresses that have visited your website during a predefined period.
It's important to remember that someone who visits your website multiple times from the same IP address is only counted as a single unique visitor. However, unique visitor counts are great for setting achievable goals and measuring the overall effectiveness of your marketing plan at regular intervals.
2. Bounce Rate
A given page's bounce rate describes how likely visitors are to "stick" around and check out more content on your website. Technically, it's the ratio defined by the number of visitors who hit the back button and navigate away from your webpage over the total number of visitors to your page.
Although your ideal bounce rate depends on multiple factors, including your product type, sales process, and competitive environment, a lower rate is better.
The inverse of the bounce rate describes how successful a given page is at engaging visiting prospects - and encouraging them to explore other areas of your site.Links, headlines, graphics, written content, and overall website usefulness all reduce bounce rate and boost the marketing effectiveness of your site.
3. Returning Visitors
This is an important metric that describes how many of your site's total visitors are repeat visitors. Sites that attract more repeat visitors tend to do better on key marketing metrics, such as conversion and sales ratios.
Knowing which visitors are new and which are repeats is also critical to targeting your marketing efforts more effectively. Repeat visitors are more likely to be quality leads, in advanced stages of the buying process, or current customers.
4. Traffic Sources and Types
This metric determines the origination point for each visitor to your website. Common origination points include various social media accounts, organic search rankings, inbound links from other websites, and more.
This information helps with targeted marketing and lead-generation efforts, such as customized or domain-specific landing pages and special offers for social or partner deals.
5. Time on Site
Time on site measures the average length of time a particular visitor spends on your website or a particular webpage. It's a great indicator of your website's overall "engagement factor" and general usefulness.
From a marketing standpoint, higher times on site metrics are generally better. Low time on site often indicates that you're not effectively attracting and retaining visitors.
6. Keyword Performance
Although it's increasingly difficult to directly measure the performance of specific keywords, it's quite possible to evaluate the performance of paid and PPC keywords.
There are also indirect ways to evaluate organic performance, particularly in conjunction with inbound links.
7. Top-Performing Pages
With a list of your website's top-performing pages in hand, you'll have ready-made models as you design, build, and create content for future pages or redesigned existing pages.
Basically, your top-performing pages answer the all-important question:
"When it comes to my website, what works and what needs to be changed?"
8. Overall Navigation
Although it's not really a single-point metric, your website needs a sensible navigation system that seamlessly leads visitors from one page to the next and encourages them to enter your sales pipeline at various points.
The clearest indication that your site's navigation is working well is simply improved performance on the metrics listed above.
9. Website Visitor Flow
Website visitor flow is also a non-traditional metric, but it's nevertheless critical to your understanding of your marketing plan's overall effectiveness.
Depending on the visitor's identity and position on the buyer's journey, your visitor flow - the progression taken by the visitor during his or her session on your site - helps you determine whether you're driving traffic to the sales-oriented bits of your website.
10. Cost per Lead
This metric describes the total amount you spend on marketing per legitimate lead generated.
It's a critical measure of your marketing effectiveness- second only to total cost per sale.
Learn How to Improve Your Online Marketing Plan with an Online Marketing Analysis
These metrics aren't the only things you should look for when analyzing and evaluating your online marketing plan.
Whether this is the first time you've considered deploying a comprehensive marketing strategy or one of many times you've taken steps to recalibrate your digital marketing efforts, it's critical to conduct a thorough analysis of the facts, strengths, and weaknesses of your plan.
The components of a market demand analysis typically include:
Assessing overall website objectives and their relationship with your business goals
An assessment of your target market
Analysis of online market demand for your company's products and services
An assessment of traditional marketing initiatives and a determination of how they can fit into your online marketing plan
An unsparing and comprehensive evaluation of current or discontinued Internet marketing initiatives
A comprehensive analysis of your current website
A comprehensive look at your sales process
Full analysis and goal-setting related to your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
The metrics described in this article are often grouped under Key Performance Indicators.
However, marketing analyses are both highly involved and critically important to your company's success.
If you need any help with your online marketing analysis or broader-based market demand analysis, start with a free one-on-one Online Marketing Assessment with me. We will meet for 30-minutes and will have an honest discussion on how you can improve your marketing efforts online, including some of the metrics above.
The point of this meeting is to help you gain greater insight into how you can grow your company’s revenue and simultaneously meet all your other key business goals and objectives.
Trust me, there will not be any sales pitches thrown your way. Only the most helpful advice and intelligent insights to get you to where you want to be. That's all.
Ready to talk business and marketing with me?
Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in Sept 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and freshness.