I have had a few talks recently with clients and prospects about how to know what is even working with SEO and Google Ads or PPC. I have even sat with prospects recently that spent thousands of dollars a month with a company and didn’t even know what they were doing for them. They provided very generic reports that just listed what they were doing with no metrics as to what that may be producing. That happens far too often in the small business world as business owners struggle to find the right marketing tactic while still working to be the best at their core business.
Measuring Key Performance Indicators
Measuring the right KPI’s, or Key Performance Indicators, is an important part of the process with digital marketing, and really any marketing. Measuring the right things is not so far out of your budget range. Setting it up early so you can compare over time will be extremely valuable in helping you make decisions over time that better spend your hard-earned marketing dollars. An expert like myself can come in and talk it over with you and start measuring some of these important performance indicators that seem so obvious, but maybe you didn’t realize were possible. Many prospects I work with don’t realize these measurements can be easy and within budget to set up.
Going Beyond Plain Analytics
It goes beyond just having Google analytics. Step one is having control and access of your Google Analytics. If the company you are working with won’t show you your analytics, then something is wrong. You should be able to go in and look at traffic any time you want. Analytics does a great job measuring all of the traffic coming to your site and where it is coming from. But there is more to it than that and there is more to performance than just traffic. You need to make sure you have the right traffic. A blog post that “goes viral” may get you thousands of visitors, but if you are a local business owner, that traffic may not actually become a customer, patient, or client. It may be helpful in other ways and build online visibility and reputation, but it certainly should not be the only metric you are looking at.
Below are some important things to consider measuring as a small business and can be implemented into y0ur monthly analytics and data dashboards at relatively low costs.
Click to Call
If y0ur business if primarily looking to drive phone calls and you have that click to call button on your site, you should set it up as a goal and measure what traffic is leading to people clicking that button. Google Tag Manager can allow you to track this and see what traffic is working and what traffic isn’t. This can be set up for one fairly affordable cost one time and wouldn’t necessarily be needed again unless you change your website.
Call tracking companies like CallRail and others can measure calls by type of traffic from the other end, but presenting different phone numbers to the user depending on how they arrive on the page. These services are typically ongoing costs, but can sometimes record calls and give granular details that a business owner may find worth the extra expense.
Do you have a thank you page after people submit your form to set up an appointment or get more information? You can fairly easily set up as a goal anytime a visitor makes it to this page that they likely wouldn’t reach without filling out your form. If you want to get more specific, you can have different thank you pages for different forms.
Form Activity and Submission Rates
If you want to get even more specific with the form process, Google Tag Manager can step in again for a fairly low-cost one-time fee that will allow you to measure things going forward. You can not only measure when someone clicks the submit button (helpful if you don’t have a separate thank you page), but can even track through the process. Did they click the Appointment button but then never submit the filled form? You can find out how many people you are losing through the form process and possibly make adjustments to make the form easier to fill out.
Sales, of course
If you sell anything directly online, then you want to measure which visitors led to that sale. Many small businesses I work with don’t do this, but if you do, it should be day 1 that you set it up to measure which traffic is leading to sales, so you can invest more in that traffic.
Google My Business
These days Google is intercepting more and more of your traffic at the Google My Business page. You have a little less control of this, but there is data withing GMB that you can access through Google Data Studio to see call volume in one month vs. the prior year, etc. This is valuable information as more local businesses see more of their activity take place here. You definitely want to capture that info.
If you need help with this, please reach out. Knowing what is working is a critical part of your small business success. It is easier than you think.