If You Don’t Measure It, You Can’t Improve It
“If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
This phrase is so simple, but yet, it’s so true. If you can’t measure something, and know the results, you can’t possibly get better at it. If you don’t keep score when playing racquetball, you won’t really know how much you’re improving. Sure, you’ll notice some indicators such as longer lasting volleys or hitting shots that you weren’t able to hit before. But, without measuring how well you’re doing (by keeping score), you’re making improving at the game more difficult for yourself.
When it comes to your business, the same concept is true. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve, manage or grow it.
A few questions to ask yourself as it relates to your business:
- Do you know how many new website visitors you received in the last 30 days?
- Do you know where those visitors came from or how they found your site?
- Do you know how many phone calls you received from people searching on the web?
If you don’t have qualitative, definitive answers to those questions, then, that’s something we’d recommend you address soon. If you are not measuring each of these metrics, then you can’t possibly manage or figure out how to improve them.
Knowing how many people visit your site is essential. Without this information, you have no idea whether anyone is reading what you’re putting out there. Unless someone happened to tell you that they had been on your site, you’d never know. Google Analytics is the standard when it comes to website data and analytics. If your website doesn’t have Google Analytics installed on it, you really are missing out on learning a lot about not only who comes to your site, but also how they got there and what they do while they are on your site. Just a few of the things you can learn once you have Google Analytics on your site are:
- Your most popular landing pages – A landing page is the first page that someone sees when they arrive at your site. Often times, that may be your home page. However, if your other pages are properly optimized for certain keywords, then those may appear as landing pages given what someone searched for on Google.
- Average time on site – When you have Google Analytics on your site, viewers are tracked as they go from page to page until they leave by either going to another site in the same tab or by closing the tab/window. By knowing which pages have a low average time on site, you can look at those pages and determine why people aren’t sticking around.
- Referrals/Referring Site – In web speak, a referral is what it’s called when someone gets to a website via clicking a link on a second website. You can learn which sites are sending viewers your way and which ones are not.
Using UTM Tracking Code
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t always sort your web traffic data correctly. Often times, a good-sized portion of the organic visits you get from mobile devices ends up in the direct traffic bucket.
However, there’s an easy fix for this problem. When you enter your website URL in your Google Business Profile (fka Google My Business), just add a snippet of code to the end of your URL. This is called UTM Tracking. UTM tracking adds parameters to the URL that force Google Analytics to report the traffic with those parameters. What you’re doing is forcing Google Analytics to report the traffic as organic.
Typically, you’d want to use Google’s campaign URL builder to add UTM parameters to a URL. However, we will make it easy for you and show you exactly what to do. Just add this snippet of code to the end of your website’s URL in your Google Business Profile dashboard:
NOTE: If your business has multiple locations, you’ll need to replace the word “listing” with an identifier so that you’ll know from which location your traffic is coming.
Those two parameters tell Google to count the medium of the visit as organic search traffic and the source as your GMB listing. As an example, for our company, you’ll see this in GMB:
NOTE: Make sure to use “organic” with a lower-case o for your medium. If you use a capital “o”, then it will break that traffic out as a separate medium. Google Analytics is case-specific when it comes to this.
Are phone calls important to your business? Do you want potential customers calling your business? If the answer to either of those questions is “yes”, then you should be measuring how many phone calls you’re getting from web search. This is done by a process known as Call Tracking.
Many different types of businesses get most of their conversions from phone calls. These businesses include:
- Home services
- Dentists/Dental offices
- Cosmetic surgery clinics
- Real estate agents/brokers/offices
- Heating/AC Repair
Call tracking works by using a batch of different phone numbers that dynamically appear on a business’s website and automatically forward to the business’s main phone number. This allows the business to track which channel the call came from – organic search, PPC, Google Business Profile, and even offline advertisements such as radio and TV. Call tracking allows businesses to connect leads and conversions back to a specific campaign. Without call tracking, phone leads are difficult to attribute to a source.
In today’s technologically connected world, just asking someone “How did you hear about us?” isn’t enough. Also, that doesn’t provide completely reliable information as people may be confused which website they were on or which advertisement, billboard or commercial they saw/heard. By being able to quantify information about incoming calls, businesses can see which campaigns are bringing them more calls and more leads and which campaigns may need to be revised.
There are many useful tools to measure your marketing results such as Google Analytics and call tracking. If you’re not measuring important data for your business, you should be and we are here to help!
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about measuring your website’s data and sign up for our newsletter and blog updates to get more great tips!