The speed of the digital marketing world is overwhelming to the majority of clients. Even if they have been doing it for awhile, without constant educational updates, they still get lost in the vast amount of products, reporting, SEO and SEM techniques, website build factors, targeting options, and on and on. Since that is the case, it leaves all clients using digital in a place where they can be manipulated purely because they don’t have the knowledge to recognize it. We have so many new clients come to us with the same question: “how do we know this is actually working?”. The fact that you are asking, means that it isn’t, or at least not in the way you expected. Let me give you a simple roadmap on how to navigate this question.
Your Google Business Listing
First make sure you have claimed it and make a note of what email address was used. If you don’t keep track of that, years in the future you could end up in a situation where you need to make changes but have no idea how to access it. The process to solve this takes at least 9 days. 9 days with wrong information can really hurt your business. Next recognize that Google gives you lots of information about traffic in the insights tab of your listing.
If you click on this tab you get search queries used to find your listing, how many people went on to your website, asked for directions or called you through the listing. There’s even more information listed here for multiple time frames. Often agencies who offer cheaper packages will claim the majority or all of this traffic as the result of what they are doing. The truth is, unless you are using multiple phone numbers to track which ads are delivering the conversions, no agency can claim they caused these calls. Sure, any marketing will boost traffic, but sometimes the metrics they are providing month end are literally these same numbers. Don’t let them tell you all your traffic comes from their work. ROI comes from additional calls than what you would receive on average. In order to see real performance, analyze the month before and after you started working with a new agency.
Conversions in Google Analytics and Ads
When you look at your Google Analytics analytics.google.com, there’s a place for you to setup what is called goals or conversions. This can be anything even as simple as someone visiting your page. Obviously it’s good for an agency to show a lot of goal conversions so it appears that they are doing the right things. Make sure that what defines a “goal” is explained to you. Often the best metric for a goal is reaching a “thank you” page on your site because it means that someone completed a contact form. If your site doesn’t have one, it’s easy to create and your agency should easily be able to do so. Having a large number of Goal Completions should directly be reflected in ROI each month. If they aren’t, the goal isn’t the right one.
Google Ads and Keywords
This is the point where you might feel a little intimidated. Going into Google Ads can seem like climbing into a plane cockpit and trying to figure out what does what. The good thing is, Google now has a dashboard that will give you a lot of high level information about all areas of the account. You can easily see a total overview, which campaigns are working the best, what search keywords are being triggered most often, the most shown search and display ads, where your ads have ranked, devices seen on and a couple other sections of information. If some of the information in this panel seems bizarre it could be that the campaigns aren’t optimized well in that it’s not really targeting who is should be to get the best ROI for you.
Overall, just these few items will give you a good indication of if the marketing you are paying for is working or beginning to work. One of the biggest indicators that an agency is providing ROI is, actual ROI. If sales are greater the month after you start and web traffic increases you’re making more money. The bottom line is; highly targeted and well optimized digital marketing will always pay for itself unless the product or service is sub-par.