Measuring the “true” return on investment (ROI) of any marketing efforts is tricky at best. This is especially true when it comes to your online marketing.

Why is it Difficult to Track Your ROI?

Unfortunately, it is almost always impossible to accurately attribute each sale to a specific effort. This is because of how many more interactions a customer has with a company these days. The customer’s path to a sale could almost be summarized by Ian Malcolm’s Chaos Theory.

A customer may have seen a flyer, Facebook ad, and Google ad before calling you on the phone. They may have heard about you from another satisfied customer before visiting you in the store. Or, they may have received an e-mail newsletter and clicked directly on “Buy Now.”

The kicker of it is, you aren’t always able to follow their complete purchase path. Some online visitors have security protocols in place that don’t allow you to track their activity. Some online visitors use multiple devices, making them appear to be multiple people. And, some folks just don’t use the Internet at all.

Where online analytics succeed is giving you glimpses of the actions that triggered a sale, lead, or conversion. What phone number did they call? What link did they click? Which ad resonated the most and triggered the most engagement. It may not be the whole picture, but it is enough information to let you adjust your strategy in small, regular ways.

Why is Tracking Your Analytics Still Important?

Just because you can’t achieve 100 percent accuracy doesn’t mean tracking your analytics is a waste of time. In fact, it’s significantly important. Tracking and evaluating the right metrics, gives you a better picture of what marketing efforts are working and what aren’t. This picture allows you to make educated decisions about how you invest your money.

Track the right analytics to get an accurate picture of what online marketing efforts are successful.Click to Tweet

Successful companies do not rely on whether a committee likes the color or call-to-action. They start with an educated guess based on their prior experience, and then watch and learn from what their customers do. With their analytics, they change text, placement, colors, and images - making changes, watching how they perform, and making more changes.

To this day, there is still not a silver bullet. Instead, if you make small, regular changes that make small improvements, over time you will see dramatic shift in the right direction. Don’t worry about being the next Instagram with an out of the blue, overnight success story. It rarely happens. Do good work and make steady progress.

Begin by Defining a Specific Goal

Saying you want to see more sales and an increase in revenue is nice. Who doesn’t? But, those goals are too broad. Yes, you want to track your sales and revenue. Yes, you want to see them increase. But when it comes to measuring the success of your marketing efforts, you want to get specific.

This might mean:

On Your Website
* Reduce your Bounce Rate to 50%

  • Grow your email newsletter list by 500 subscribers

  • Increase your Unique Visitors by 20%

On Facebook * Gain 1,000 new followers

  • Maintain a 10% click rate on all posts

  • Get 10 new shares on all posts

On Instagram * Get 10 comments per post

  • Get 300 likes per post

  • Get 500 fans to use your hashtag

On Twitter * Increase your link clicks by 20%

  • Grow your follower count by 1000

  • Get 500 new people to download your free e-book

Make you online marketing goals as specific as possible to maximize your success.Click to Tweet

Track Your Goal

Choose one or more of the above goals and start tracking. Tools, like Google Analytics, allow you to see how many people are visiting your website, what pages they are landing on, and how long they are staying there.

Be sure to tag your links with UTM parameters. UTM parameters help you better understand which ad was clicked, from what campaign, and from what source.

Additionally, tools like CallRail let you track phone numbers called from specific ads. Keen.io is another great tool. It lets you create your own systems of tracking.

Facebook and Twitter also provide a comprehensive toolbox of analytic tracking. Instagram is just beginning to dabble in-app analytics. However, currently the best Instagram analytics software is IconSquare.

Consider a Unique Marketing Campaign

The most accurate way to track the success rate of a marketing campaign is with a unique offering. Assigning a specific offer to a specific ad allows you to see just how many sales (or completions) the ad generates.

You might do so by including:

  • An ad specific promo code

  • An ad specific price

  • Connect the ad to its own landing page

Use a unique marketing campaign for the most accurate success rates.Click to Tweet

What Next?

Not sure what goals to set or how to implement the right tracking software? Our team can help.

Let’s chat.