Whether your doing Adwords campaign, email blast, or online media partnership, you need to know if the time and money you have spent will give the results that you are expecting. The type of results may vary, depending on your objectives. Some want to get direct conversions to their online stores, others are happy to get a spike in their websites traffic and brand recognition.
Whatever your target is, you need to make sure that you have prepared most of the aspects so you can measure or benchmark the campaign performance. Here are a few tips I can share in order to do so:
Prepare your analytics code
In this case and most of my posts, I am going to refer to Google Analytics since it is the most popular analytics tool and free. I am not going to explain the steps as I am sure most of you already know how, but make sure you have set the following settings correctly:
- time zone
- e-commerce and currency
- default page
Those settings are to make sure you will get the most accurate data when Google is collecting your visitors’ information.
Set your analytics goals
Within your Analytics panel, set your goals and test to make sure they work and trackable. If you run and online store, make sure the analytics code is working so you can track the transactions accurately. Most modern shopping cart systems have modules that are optimized to integrate nicely with Google Analytics.
If possible, create custom links for your campaign
You can track the source of traffic in most cases within needing any additional preparations, but you will have more advantages if you can set unique links used within your campaign. In case the system you use does not support auto-URL generation for this purpose, you can always use Google Analytics’s URL Builder Tool to generate them manually.
Getting the results
Once you are done with the preparations, then you are good to go with your campaign. Schedule the most effective time, get it started, then sit down and wait. I would suggest to wait at least 24 hours after the campaign has ended before checking on the results, unless you do not need the most accurate data yet.
So what are the things that we need to look at?
Increase in traffic
Your campaign would be considered a total failure if you do not get any extra number of visits during your campaign period. If you run it with a web marketing partner, you may want to compare the traffic they promised to drive with the actual one you are getting. Let’s say they claimed to reach 100,000 users, then you should expect at least to get additional 5,000 new visitors (5% click-through rate) from their network.
Checking the number of visits is not enough though. The following dimensions are also important to measure if you have reached to the right market:
- Pages/Visit – indicates the level of interest to your company/brand/website
- Average Time on Site – shows the level of interest to your specific product/page
- Bounce Rate – lower means a good thing
Number of transactions and revenue
If you run an online store, this is most likely the most important–if not the only–thing that counts and you would expect to get as high of numbers as possible here. A successful e-commerce campaign means you gain more in revenue than what you spent, although it is not always the case. More interesting details can quickly be drawn from these values:
- Conversion Rate – high conversion rate means you are hitting the right market
- Average Transaction Value – are you getting higher or lower average transaction compared to your regular traffic?
- Average Number of Products per Transaction – good to know if your products can encourage sale between each other
For those of you who offer a special coupon code for the campaign, that can be the easiest and more “real time” method to measure the results. Just look from your shopping cart system for orders that use XXXX code, those are conversion from your campaign.
Check the results from other goals/targets
Getting direct web sales are not the only score you can use, you might not even have an online store to begin with. So what else to check, what are the valuable items can be extracted? Well here are few, just to give you an idea:
- Newsletter sign up – consider visitors who sign up to your newletter as your “warm prospect”; they are definitely interested with what you are selling, but maybe the timing is just not right
- Social media sharing – this actually can generate more traffic if your visitors decide to share the link to whatever social platform they like, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc
- Contact you – if you are offering a service instead of product, then getting contacted denotes a successful conversion; even if you are selling a product, a potential customer inquiry is a very positive thing
There are still many things to talk about based on this topic and have probably been covered by many blogs and books. I am just writing the short and practical version for small-medium business. I think I am going to update this post often, should I get many interests from you.