Have you measured it?

November 10th, 2010 by Search Influence University

It’s an honest question. Tons of people have. There’s nothing wrong with it. It let’s you know what you’re up against. Here at Search Influence, we do it all the time. In fact, we measure it so much that it’s almost become ritualized. So I’ll ask again, have you measured your return on investment for all those dollars you’re spending on marketing?

Many business owners are under the impression that the more money they throw at a marketing strategy, the more money they’ll get back in return. It’s a logical strategy, but if you’re not measuring your ROI, how do you know is if it’s truly working? Luckily, there are plenty of tools out there that help you measure it.

The first step anyone should take is setting up a Google Analytics account. Analytics is a free web-based service that tracks visitor behavior on your site.  It’s an amazing tool that helps track your various marketing efforts.  It lets you know which keywords are used to reach your site and where your visits are coming from. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg. It can also tell you your Cost Per Lead if you have a Pay Per Click campaign, and also let’s you know your site’s conversion rate, which is your number of  leads divided by the number of visits to your site. This is critical information to know. Traffic is great and all, but if those visitors aren’t doing anything once they get there, it’s kind of pointless. Conversion rate distinguishes between which businesses are showers and which are growers.

The next step is to install call tracking. What this does is allow you to assign a unique phone number to all of your advertising efforts. You can have separate numbers for your ads in print, radio, television, or on the ‘Net. Not only does it allow you to distinguish which of your campaigns these calls are coming from, but it tells you when they called, where they’re calling from, the duration of the call, and whether or not it results in a sale. It also records information on calls that you miss.  This is invaluable information when measuring your ROI.

Lastly, if your site offers a service or call to action, install a form system. Don’t be shy and hide it on your “Contact Us” page, either. You want it in people’s faces, so put one on every page you can. It’s so much more beneficial than having people email you directly, which only gives you a snapshot of what you can know. With a form, you not only get the same information as you would through email, but you can see how they found your site, through what search engine (if any), and by using what keyword (again, if any).

There it is, the Holy Trinity of measuring your website advertising numbers and gains, or W.A.N.G. if you will. Now you’ve got no excuse. Pull out those proverbial rulers and start measuring!