More businesses are racing to develop new web and social media programs. However, in their hurry, many are forgetting one important step: the need to measure their online success.
Without adequate tracking, it is nearly impossible to determine what programs should be cut, continued, or optimized. A recent article in the San Diego Union Tribune discusses this issue and provides a few ways to ensure such programs are well evaluated for online success.
Given the amount of activity that takes place online, it may seem a daunting task to track all activity and movement, but with the right tools it can be easy. One of the best measurement tools for small and mid-sized businesses is Google Analytics. This easy-to-use software can help monitor website activity and track social media progress. Google Analytics can also be combined with other tools such as Facebook Insights, Radian 6, and Klout.
Once the right tracking tools are in place, it is important to determine what and who to track. It’s never a question of tracking data for the sake of tracking data. Instead, it’s important to track what is most relevant to the stated goals: keywords, lead generation, visitor references, etc. After tracking is established, it’s time to focus on actionable data. For example, what is the impact of a blog? Is there opportunity to partner with the highest referring traffic sources? Focusing on actionable data can help structure further plans. Last, it’s wise to keep in mind the KPI. KPIs help measure success against campaign objectives. These indicators can include goal conversions, campaign effectiveness, visitors, page views, etc.
Tracking and measuring progress is key to online success. As the article states, “If you were an airplane pilot, would you dare fly without all the instruments in the control panel of your cockpit?”