The internet provides a perfect platform for producing marketing that actually works. Traditional marketing platforms such as newspaper or magazine ads is a hit and miss affair in that it is difficult to tell what works and what doesn’t.
Newspaper and magazine publications start off by selling you on their print run and circulation figures which include how many people are expected to read every issue. This is an estimation most likely weighed in the magazine’s favor. Then, once you run your ad, it’s very difficult to measure how good your response is as you’re not sure if new customers are coming from the ad or other sources.
On the internet, everything is measurable. You can track where your visitors are coming from, what they are doing on your website and whether they are converting into sales or leads. You can also track where your conversions originate from. All this measurement means that you can very quickly identify which part of the sales process is not working and change it.
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What do you measure?
You measure every step of the process. I’ll give you an example using paid advertising on Google.
Impressions – The first measurement is exactly how many people are presented with your ad. This is not readers as not everyone will read the ad on the screen. Google will tell you exactly how many times it has displayed your advert on the search engine results page. The number of impressions you get is not under your control.
This is the readership or the total number of people you can reach using your specific keywords. More people are not searching with those keywords and the only way to increase this is to identify more keywords to target.
Clicks – How many people have actually clicked on your ad and come through to your site. These are people expressing interest in your ad and you now have an opportunity to sell to them.
This is people who are initially responding to your ad. They are not customers yet as no action has been taken. Remember that you don’t only have to track purchases, you can track any action you want a visitor to take. Your click rate can be improved by changing your advert. Consider if you’re using the right words. Are you enticing them enough or are you giving enough information. Any change to your advert wording will have an impact on your number of clicks.
Keywords – If you are advertising using more than one keyword or phrase, you can see the impressions and clicks you are getting for each keyword.
Figure out which keywords are converting best for you and which ones just aren’t working.
Advertisements – If you are using more than one advertisement, you can see the impressions and clicks you are getting for each advert.
Some advertisements work better than others. Figure out what is making your audience click and what isn’t.
Conversions – To keep the example simple, I’m going to assume that once the visitor is on your site, you simply want them to subscribe to a newsletter. Every time someone subscribes, you have a conversion. A conversion could also mean a purchase or requesting a quote. It’s anything you want the visitor to do. If he/she actually performs the action, that is a successful sale or conversion.
How many people, after clicking, actually performed the action you expected? This is your conversion rate. Conversion is often a result of the sales copy and your ability to sell the user on why he/she should perform the action you request.
Sales copy – If you run more than one destination page or sales copy page for your adverts, you can measure the conversion rate of each page.
Your conversion is also tied to your ad copy. For example, if your ad speaks of a free report but on your sales page, you expect money for the report, you might get many clicks but your conversions are going to be poor to non-existent as your message is not consistent.
When making changes to improve your conversion rate, it is important that you only make one change at a time. Pick one place and make one change, then measure the results. If you make more than one change, you will not know which change had the desired affect, if at all.
The internet makes it easier to run a successful marketing campaign because you can track what is happening every step of the way. This takes some effort and commitment to a process but you will see improved results over time.
Once you have your desired results, don’t stop measuring and testing as there are always opportunities to improve. Continue to change one thing and test. If you see improvement, keep the change, otherwise revert back and change something else.