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Monitoring ROI in Strategic Digital Marketing

Before we dive into step four, let’s review the Four-Step Process once again.

They are:

  1. Web marketing strategy
  2. Website design and development
  3. Traffic generation
  4. Conversion tracking and return on investment (ROI)
In this post, we will discuss the importance of tracking digital marketing ROI. Most small companies are notorious for not tracking the ROI behind sales and marketing functions. They tend to wing it and rely too much on anecdotal information when reviewing sales efforts. Web marketing is data driven and removes the blind guesses that often result from the lack of quantifiable sales data and reporting. The first step in determining ROI is establishing the necessary tracking analytics and processes.

Track Web Marketing ROI with Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools

All that you have learned in this blog can become irrelevant very quickly if there is not a process for tracking results for each strategy and tactic. Thankfully, there are two great Google tools to help you track the Four-Step Process: Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools are central to step four. These are incredibly useful, free web site statistical tools provided by Google to make tracking ROI easy.
The challenge becomes establishing the infrastructure and company culture for reviewing web data and tracking results on a regular basis. The best method for dealing with this challenge is to hold regular strategic digital marketing meetings with your team. From these meetings will come action items followed by modifications to your strategic digital marketing strategy to improve ROI and reach your targets. Your digital marketing goals set the bar for the meeting agenda and quantify your success levels.

How to Set Web Marketing Goals

Google Analytics reports on hundreds of web statistics and variations. It can seem overwhelming at first. Yet, understanding which stats are most important and how to interpret those stats are the first steps in setting strategic digital marketing goals. Let’s start with an overview of the most important web stats to track and a review of how to set goals in each key area.
Here are the key stats to watch:

Website Visitors

This can be measured by total visits, unique visits, new visitors and repeat visits. Your site should target about 75 percent of total visits from new visitors. Critical mass for websites is usually reached when traffic volumes approach a minimum of 1,500 to 2,000 visits per month. This is the most important web stat to follow closely, and it’s a key business indicator for your company. Review website visits weekly, if possible.

Pages per Visit and Time on Site

This is an indication of interest and website engagement. Target as goals four to five pages per visit and three minutes on the site. This will drive a healthy conversion rate.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate is a measurement of visitors leaving immediately, or bouncing off your website, versus going deeper into the site and visiting more than one page. A bounce rate of 25 percent means that 25 percent of your website visitors leave after visiting only one page. Target a bounce rate below 40 percent for lead generation websites and 30 percent or below for e-commerce sites.

Traffic Sources

There are three basic sources of website traffic:
  1. Search engine traffic (organic and paid)
  2. Links from other websites
  3. Direct traffic
Set a goal of 50 percent of your traffic coming from organic search engine results and 25 percent or more coming from links from other websites. Direct traffic is good, but does not usually represent business growth from new site visitors. Most direct traffic comes from people that already know your company.

Online Conversions

Online conversions are inquiries or sales generated from your website. Target 1 to 2 percent conversion rates for lead generation efforts and 2 to 5 percent conversion rates for e-commerce websites.

Sales Conversion and Average Order Amount

How good is your sales team at closing sales? What percentage of sales leads does the team convert into sales? What is your average order amount for closed sales? These two numbers are important parts of the ROI equation and will drive your return from digital marketing investments.
There are many more stats and data points in Google Analytics; however, these are the most important. Benchmarks and targets should be set in each area and reviewed in your monthly digital marketing meetings.

Schedule Digital Marketing Meetings

Regularly scheduled digital marketing meetings provide the fuel and accountability to drive strategic digital marketing ROI. At a minimum, schedule a monthly meeting to review website data and action plans. These meetings force the team to review data and develop action items that drive attention to the strategic digital marketing efforts and measuring ROI. The team should focus on reaching website goals as seen in Google Analytics data. It is the day-in and day-out work on improving these stats that drives sales growth.
Here is a typical agenda for an effective strategic digital marketing meeting:
  • Web stats review and analysis
  • Review of goals and forecasted ROI
  • Competitive website review
  • Usability and conversion analysis
  • Design and development updates
  • Traffic generation SEO and social media
  • Content marketing
  • Monthly action items
The simple act of setting a meeting and reviewing this data will help drive digital marketing ROI and also train you and the team to be more effective marketers.

Action Items

  • Establish a Google Analytic and Webmaster Tools account for tracking data on your website.
  • Set goals for your Google Analytics stats and calculate ROI from those goals.
  • Schedule monthly digital marketing meetings to review this data.
  • Assign action items to team members and review outcomes in the monthly meetings. Update and review all action items during the meetings.
  • Determine your sales team’s closing ratios and your average order amount.

Thomas Young

Thomas Young is the CEO and Founder of Intuitive Websites. He is a consultant, award winning Vistage speaker and author of “Winning the Website War” and “Sales and Marketing Alignment.” Tom has helped thousands of companies succeed online and has over 25 years digital marketing experience.