5 Tips for Accurately Measuring the Performance of Your Digital Strategy

When you’ve launched a digital strategy, you’ll want to make sure it’s working. And if it’s not working, you’ll want to know why. But for many marketing managers or business owners, it can sometimes be difficult to understand just how to do this accurately and fairly.

Here are our five tips for accurately measuring the performance of your digital strategy.


Set up call-tracking and conversion tracking

The majority of platforms now have effective conversion tracking tools to allow you to understand whether certain campaigns, posts or newsletters actually drove any sales or not

Google Analytics has an easy to set up ‘Goals’ feature which means you can see where conversions happened and when - right on your dashboard. Facebook has a conversion pixel that you can add to your site and then if you look in your Ads Manager, you can see if any posts or ads drove sales. It’s worth looking into the specific platforms you use and whether they offer their own conversion tracking system. Google Analytics is pretty comprehensive and usually will be enough to accurately report on conversions but it’s beneficial to have more than one source.

Goals

Similarly, we always recommend that you set up call-tracking using a tool such as WhatConverts. This switches the number on your website with a new, exclusive number which will only be used on your site and marketing. Then, if somebody rings this new number you know that they only found it on your website and if it was a new sale, can thus be attributed to the activity on your site.

Of course, both of these have limitations. The new call-tracked number could be passed on verbally to somebody and users can accidentally trigger Google Analytics goals more than once with a simple ‘page refresh’. Whilst you can never guarantee that these reports will be 100% accurate, it can still be beneficial, especially when you compare these with sales reports.


Compare digital reports with your sales reports

You will most likely have a spreadsheet or dashboard with your day-to-day sales, complete with the date and time of the sale, customer information etc. If you don’t have something like this, it is best practice to have something to hand where you can easily find certain orders and bring up certain information for reporting and analysis purposes.

You should always compare these with your digital reports, especially your conversion reports, so that you have an added level of accuracy and reliability.

This is especially useful when you have inconsistencies in your Google Analytics reports, where somebody may have accidentally triggered three conversions instead of one by simply returning to the checkout page or refreshing. By comparing these figures, you will be able to see that you only had one sale that day and so by taking a look at the ‘reverse goal path’ feature, you can accurately conclude that two of those reported conversions were false.

For example, in the screenshot below, we can see that Goal #3 went straight to the thank you page without visiting any pages previously, suggesting this is a false conversion.


Reverse Goal Flow


Invest in a 'single customer view' system and avoid placing blame

The easy thing to do, when metrics aren’t performing as well as you’d like, is to place immediate blame on a platform, person or team.

For instance, when your email newsletter reports no immediate sales, it is an easy conclusion to say that this particular marketing activity isn’t working and to stop using this strategy. However, what about the users who visited the website, signed up to your email list, read a newsletter but then five days later, visited the website to buy a product from you? The newsletter was useful for keeping your brand front of mind and was instrumental in driving that sale.

With a single customer view system like LeadIn or SharpSpring, you can get a bird’s eye view of each customer’s journey and see what pages and platforms they visited, how often they visited, how long it took to purchase etc. and more accurately identify which platforms are being used by your customers.


Produce a regular report and collaboratively identify improvements

There are many businesses who create weekly or monthly marketing reports and there are many who simply discuss each month how the marketing is doing without any physical tracking document to monitor progress.

MeetingThe key to a better digital strategy is by doing both. Create a monthly report and set up a regular meeting to discuss it. How can you make improvements if you can’t see how the activity is performing compared to last year? How can you make improvements if you can’t discuss and share ideas with the whole team?

Now and again, it can also be useful to bring in other departments who may have creative ideas - such as the sales team, the web team or even purchasing and HR teams.


Understand that digital changes

This last point is something overlooked by many marketing and sales teams. Digital changes very quickly and so you can never truly have an accurate comparison. But as long as you understand this, you will be able to have more clarity on your successes and failures.

For example, when you are monitoring search rankings for your website, do you mention the significant algorithm changes in your reports when comparing stats year-on-year?

Measuring TwitterAlong with reporting and monitoring, keeping up with trends is one of the biggest challenges for marketing teams and business owners and can be a huge barrier for those looking to invest in a digital strategy. But by reading industry news, keeping track of what thought leaders are saying and generally being proactive at staying up to date, you can bring more insight to your reports and can then produce a more accurate picture of how your marketing is doing.


Need any further help?

We know that monitoring results can be difficult for digital - there are a lot of numbers and figures, a lot of platforms and put simply, a lot of data. It’s about knowing which data to use, how to use it and how to report on it that’s the key.

If you have any further questions on how you can measure results for your own business, give us a shout on Facebook or Twitter and we’ll be more than happy to give you some insight.

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