Avoid the Marketing Black Hole

Chris Sams, January 30, 2012

Virtually every website possess the ability to track its own success, yet so few actually use the tools available.  Many of the clients and potential clients I speak to every day do not have conversion tracking or even goals set up in their site analytics.  It can be such a hurdle to overcome as it is not seen as a priority or is seen as being too difficult.  But fundamentally, it is the key to optimization and reducing costs online.  When I meet a new potential client I always ask them two question.  What is your business (meaning what are you offering to the world), and tell me what success means for you online.  It’s often surprising to hear that many people have never really been asked that question or thought about it that much.  They have simply invested time and money to getting a website up, because they know they need to do it.  Their was really never a thought of, I need to bring 50 court cases a year in via the website, or I have to sell 500 units of this product to break even.  Now that they are knee deep (or deeper) into this big investment they often go looking for a company like us, to help make it work.

So in asking they question, “what does success for mean for you online,” I am really asking what can I track and report back to you on to show you our efforts are working.  In limited cases, there may not really be a way to track success, and often times these can be  dead end streets for both us and  the clients.  An example might be simply brand building, or getting a message out about an event for which you cannot buy tickets online.  But in just about all other cases you can track very accurately each and every “conversion” and/or “success” online.  Here is a break down of some of the methods to consider when you are considering Local SEO or other forms of internet marketing:

  • Goals – A goal is basically a target page or location on a site you want a visitor to hit.  You can track a “Submit form success page” or a “order confirmation page” though you cannot track the dollar amount.  Goals can be set up easily in the Google analytics interface.  Their are four items you can track: URL destination, time on site, pages for each visit, or an event (tracked in a script action).
  • Conversions (Ecommerce) – Similar to a goal, but ads the ability to track additional data points such as revenue, items purchased, item ID, etc.
  • Phone Tracking – Through this method you can track phone calls made to designated numbers, and even record the conversation.

Before you through any money into the marketing black hole online, consider what traffic that Local SEO will bring to your site and what you want them to do when they get their.  Chances are that you will be able to track them closely, and begin to get an edge online.

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