One of the most important factors in an Internet marketing strategy (and when developing a successful website) is generating a significant amount of targeted traffic.  High conversion ratios often go overlooked by website owners, who tend to focus on generating large numbers of traffic and not necessarily conversions.  For instance, if your website generates 100 visitors a day and only receives a single purchase, you’ll have a conversion percentage of 1%.  If the same amount of people visit you on the web but 10 make purchases, that’s 10% conversion rate—and there’s a huge difference between the two. This concept of performance monitoring is basic, but has a huge impact on an online business’ bottom line. 

You can use website monitoring tools to:

  • Strategize and increase conversion rates
  • Streamline conversions
  • Improve overall usability and website navigation
  • Optimize paid search campaigns

Monitoring Performance for PPC Campaigns:

Monitoring PPC performance and regular PPC maintenance are a critical part of your advertising campaign.  Pay attention to your quality score and to keyword status metrics, CTR (click through rate), and minimum CPC bid.  A well-executed PPC campaign will have “active” keyword statuses, high CTRs, and a low minimum CPC bid.  If your AdWords campaign is lacking in the aforementioned components, you can always improve it through optimization.

Quality Score: This tool measures the relevance of an ad and sets the minimum CPC (cost per click) required for your ad to enter the auction.  If your ad has a high quality score, you’ll receive more clicks, bring your business to more customers, and show up in higher positions in the SERPS.  The higher the quality score, the lower the cost when a searcher clicks your ad.  The best way to keep a high quality and cost effective AdWords campaign running is to keep track of account metrics which appear in your account for each keyword, ad group, and campaign.

Monitoring Performance for SEO Campaigns:

For most companies, lead generation is dependent on SEO performance, as are sales.  SEO campaigns are designed to drive increasing numbers of targeted traffic to a website—no traffic means no sales or leads.  Basic keyword monitoring and regular adjustments are the way to competitively vie for search position and online territory.  Because search trends are constantly changing, you’ll need to monitor SEO performance regularly to ensure that the keywords you’ve added on site remain both up to date and the most profitable and relevant keywords available.  Monitoring SEO also ensures your website is gaining the visibility and reach you’re looking for.

Google Analytics is equivalent to looking under the hood of your website to see how it’s performing.  It’s a good way to examine and diagnose your site, see who’s visiting, and who’s making it to your conversion pages.  Set up site goals that are in accordance with your overall online strategy.  Make corrections to landing pages that are not performing well.

There’s a big difference between website hits and conversions.  Even if your website is receiving 500,000 hits weekly (an impressive number!), you may not be achieve the online sales you’re looking for.  Why?  Conversions represent the number of visitors who have completed a goal or on site action, i.e. they’ve made a purchase.  Conversions are key because they tell you how much value your website delivers.

Here are a few Analytics statistics to pay attention to:

Page Views / Time on Site: Reveals visitor behavior.  You’re able to see how many site pages are viewed and how much time a visitor spends on them.  You want visitors to stay onsite as long as possible (and visit as many pages as possible).  You can also see which pages are the most popular, and which were looked at and in what order.

Referring Sites: This tells you were your traffic is coming from.  Search engines, ads, other websites, blogs, and forums can send traffic your way.  A good way to track if visitors are coming from organic campaigns or paid links.    You can use the referring sites data to start focusing more effort on websites who regularly send you traffic and those who don’t.

Monitoring Your SMO Efforts:

Monitoring SMO efforts is trickier than PPC and SEO.  There are several different ways of tracking social media strategies, from the easy and basic stuff to more complicated methods.  There are many, many 3rd party tools that have been developed for social media monitoring, tracking, and reporting.  If you’re looking to use a 3rd party tool for your social media marketing in PA, we can recommend several of the best options, including Topsy, PostRank, SharedCount, and APIs.  Using Google analytics to track referrals also works.

We recommend benchmarking initial Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn stats each month and tracking posts, friends, followers, re-tweets, etc.

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