E-MarketingStrategy: 4 Tips and Tools for Tracking Your Web-Marketing Effectiveness
In the immortal words of Jim Morrison, "This is the end." This is the final installment of my six-part series of Book Business columns detailing the steps required to build a strong Web-marketing foundation. I'm going to end the series with four tips that will help you complete your Web-marketing puzzle: tracking your efforts.
One of the obvious advantages of Web marketing over the traditional kind (print, TV, radio, etc.) is that nearly everything anyone does online is trackable and measurable. Each post on Facebook, each tweet fired off at the end of the day, every newsletter sent, and even every inch scrolled down a Web page can be parsed, segmented and measured. Now, of course, this drives privacy advocates nuts—the price of secluded, off-the-grid cabins hidden deep in the woods has risen fast enough to keep pace with Facebook's share price. But, to marketers like you and me, this environment of constant surveillance makes it very easy to know whether the effort you're putting forth is indeed worth it.
The following four tips and tools will help you make informed decisions about whether Facebook is earning you more money than Twitter, or whether videos perform better than podcasts. Your Web-marketing strategies will (and should) evolve over time. But they shouldn't evolve without a strategy. The information you collect will help you craft that strategic path forward.
Google Analytics (Google.com/Analytics) will tell you more than you ever thought you'd want to know about your own website's traffic. If you are not currently tracking your site with Google Analytics, call your IT department and ask them to install it now. We'll wait here …
The first and largest piece of the tracking puzzle is making sure you know exactly what is going on with your own website. As I've said in earlier articles, your website is the hub of your Web-marketing strategy. All of your campaigns, social media profiles, newsletters and tweets should point people to it. Your website is the only place online over which you can exercise complete control of the user experience. It is your conversion point.