A common concern (or more accurately, misconception) amongst business owners is that Internet marketing is an unquantifiable or even abstract enterprise. Although any SEO would vehemently disagree and offer up a plethora of resources which serve to disprove such claims; there are still doubters.
So, how exactly does one measure the ROI of search engine optimization, social media marketing, public relations or any other aspect of online marketing? It all comes back to where SEO began – Google.
Before Google Analytics was first unveiled in 2005, there were only a handful of third-party traffic and conversion statistics reporting tools available on the Web. While some of these proved to be fairly effective, none have quite lived up to Google’s proprietary service. In fact, Google Analytics remains the most widely-used application of its kind to this day.
An SEO’s Best Friend: The Google Analytics Dashboard
Not only does Analytics provide advanced functionality for experts, but it delivers viable real-time data that business owners can understand and use to get more from their site and improve their bottom line. By tracking traffic sources, gathering visitor data and learning which pages on your site are receiving the most views, you’re able to not only improve conversion rates, but easily re-strategize your entire online marketing plan with relative ease, as well.
The Winds of Change
Traditional marketing and advertising initiatives are still effective for many businesses; however, determining the cost-benefit of these efforts is still a difficult process. Today, even some of the world’s largest and most recognized companies have turned to the Internet to increase their sales and utilize Analytics to boost their lead generation and conversion optimization efforts.
As more brands begin to hop on the digital marketing bandwagon, traffic and conversion reporting has become an even more valuable asset. With Google firmly maintaining its position at the forefront of the analytics game, the search engine that started it all is bringing it all back home by offering one of the single most useful tools for businesses.
Thanks to resources such as Google Analytics, much of the skepticism surrounding Search Engine Optimization is beginning to dwindle. With statistics reporting and tracking tools providing solid facts and definitive data to back the claims of marketers, one thing is evident – a strong online marketing plan is a necessity for virtually every business.
Sometimes in business we have a vision; yet, in our quest to capture, to attain the image, we wrestle with the reality of the situation. It happens. Otherwise, every business that ever started would flourish. That’s a beautiful vision, pile-driven by the reality of business.
How can you better gauge whether your vision is coming to fruition? Admittedly, I’m not a numbers person. I don’t like TI-80…anythings, and statistics was not one of my favorite classes in college. However, I do respect and understand the importance of data. The data is the wake-up call, allowing you to see how well reality superimposes itself on original vision.
Many business owners don’t want to get their hands dirty with computers. I understand. I had to catch-up myself in my college years. I didn’t grow up with computers like the youth of today. They’ll be in good shape regarding online business. At present, many of you are a bit intimidated. Additionally, if you can pay for someone to check analytics for you, then you don’t have to be bothered, right?
Sure, you can find marketing companies to track and make decisions based on your analytics; but, I really suggest the notion of stepping out of your comfort zone a bit; I know; it’s not an appealing notion; but, think about it.
I read a good post by a peer earlier today on the topic of putting in more time, going all the way when it comes to your passion and profession. I really celebrate that.
Take a look at this Google support page. Look at all the questions you should be asking regarding your site analytics and marketing campaign. Wouldn’t you rather have a better understanding of analytics so you can answer those questions yourself? Marketers know marketing, but who knows your business better than you? If it’s not you, then maybe that person should steer the ship.
It’s time to stop being hands-off regarding your online marketing campaign. Is your business your passion? Have you decided to offer your business online? Then you need to engage just as always.
It’s your business. Start thinking analytically (yes, I choose the topic of ‘analytics’ to make you start thinking more practically, more analytically about your online efforts. I enjoy punning.) Don’t leave things ‘up to the experts.’ Be an expert regarding your business in all its facets offline and online.
With outsourcing comes deep responsibility. The advantage of having others do something so you can focus on your business is understood; but, that by no means should give you license to take a hands-off approach to your business. Get involved and stay involved. It’s your vision quest; do your part in making it a reality.