Tracking and evaluating marketing performance is a necessity for any business investing time and money in marketing activity.
It is important to understand what works and what doesn’t and thanks to marketing tools such as Google Analytics, a free tool you can sign up for, you can track the results of your marketing activity.
Here’s our advice on four ways to track your marketing success using Google Analytics:
What to track: Organic Search Traffic
Why it matters: Tracking Organic Search Traffic allows you to see the number of visitors who found your website by clicking on links on a search engine results (excluding any purchased traffic such as pay per click ads). Check your Organic Search Traffic report to determine the top keywords visitors are using to find your website.
High volumes of Organic Search Engine Traffic usually indicates that you have good and relevant content.
These are the fundamental things you need to measure to see whether your marketing is having an impact. It’s important to understand how people are finding their way to your website so you can do more of what’s working. If you have a team working on your SEO, they will be able to help you tailor what your site offers to match what your potential customers want and are searching for.
What to track: Bounce Rate
Why it matters: The Bounce Rate is the percentage of people who arrive on your site and leave without visiting a second page. A high bounce rate is not necessarily bad if it’s in line with those all-important marketing objectives. Are you hoping to achieve a high quantity of visitors who just view a specific page and then move on, or are you aiming for more engagement? The bounce rate is subject to the type of site, page, user intent and many other factors. By tracking the bounce rate you can then assess and determine how you can draw more visitors to your pages or what you can do to prompt visitors to browse through ore pages
What to track: Dwell Time
Why it matters: Dwell time is the length of time that a visitor spends on a page before returning to the search engine results page. In theory, the longer the dwell time the better as it is a good indication that the visitor has consumed most of the content on a page before either returning to the search results or performing another action on the site. It can also be a more reliable indicator of a page’s quality and relevance than measuring the bounce rate.
As with all measurement, you need to have an idea how long you want people to stay on each page and then evaluate whether your website performance is meeting your objectives.
For example, if your product is fairly straightforward and easy to understand, your aim may be to get as many people to the site as possible to just view what you have to offer therefore dwell time is less important. However, if your site contains more in-depth content that you want people to read and digest, you’d be hoping to see longer times spent on each page to know your marketing is working how you intend it to.
What to track: New vs Returning
Why it matters: The New vs Returning report in Google Analytics shows you the amount of new and returning visitors that you get to your site each month. There are two reasons why this is important information to have.
Firstly, you can see if your marketing is appealing to new potential customers and whether the content on your site is rich enough to bring people back time after time. Again, your definition of success here will vary depending on your marketing objectives. If you want to reach the widest possible audience, then you’d hope to see high numbers of new visitors. If your services are a more ‘considered purchase’ and you want your customers to build a relationship with your website/brand over time, then you’d be looking for high numbers of returning visitors.
Secondly, this is worth tracking as it helps you understand how people who have been to your site before behave differently to those who are new to the site. You can track this by comparing the number of visits and average page views to determine how many people are returning and how much new traffic you are getting.
Fundamentally your website is a tool which will help you reach your target audience but if it’s not having the impact you need it to, tracking and evaluating performance will help you understand where you’re going wrong and how you can address it.