Hiring an inbound marketing agency to help you boost your company’s fortunes is the right move — but only if that marketing agency can show you exactly what its strategies are accomplishing. Your marketing partner needs to track specific types of data, generate regular reports interpreting that data, and recommend responses that will improve your results. Here are four critical items that merit regular tracking and reporting.
1. Web Traffic and Conversions
Your website can’t earn a single sale for your business unless it attracts visitors and then converts those visitors into leads. You need to know how many visitors your site receives in a given period of time, how many pages they they’re viewing, and how much time they spend there (session duration). This data, rough as it may seem, will at least show you whether your current tactics are making things better or worse.
Failures are as important to track as successes, which is why your agency should be tracking your website’s bounce rate. If visitors are dropping off of your site without taking any of the actions you need them to take, you need to know why. A higher bounce rate on a particular page, for instance, might indicate that the page could use stronger or more relevant content — or even that you’re sending visitors to the wrong page altogether.
If your inbound marketing is only as successful as its ability to encourage sales, then your inbound marketing agency needs to be tracking and reporting on your website’s conversion rates. It’s important to note that there are many different types of conversions, large and small. For instance, CTA (call to action) conversions require your visitors to subscribe to a service, fill out a form, or contact your company, while “micro-conversions” might be as modest as a clicked ad or internal link.
Still, any action that keeps your audience inside your sales funnel merits measuring. If specific points show weaknesses, you can spot-fix the content or design to yield better conversion rates. It’s up to your inbound marketing agency to detect those points through careful analysis of performance metrics.
3. Channel Performance
A healthy online marketing strategy usually involves the use of multiple incoming traffic channels, including referrals from other sites, content marketing pieces (such as blog articles), email promotions, advertisements, and click-throughs from social media channels. You need to be able to see how much traffic each of these sources is directing to your website, and in what ratios to each other, so you can know which ones need more refining — or which ones deserve your full attention as cash cows.
Social media performance isn’t just about about clicks, however. You also need data on how many shares, follows, likes, retweets, and other kinds of user interaction and circulation you’re getting. If you’re not seeing much excitement in these channels, then you probably need to feed them with stronger, more entertaining content, or you may need to ask for more direct participation via audience feedback, contests, special offers and so on.
4. Keyword Rankings
It’s not sufficient to know the monthly search volume of the keywords you’ve invested in; you also need to know exactly how well those keywords are performing for your website. Data on what percentage of traffic each keyword produces can be especially helpful, because it gives you insights into whether your organic content is working properly.
If your keyword rankings have plummeted dramatically, your inbound marketing agency needs to let you know immediately so you can take corrective action. You might need to shift your strategy to focus on different keywords, or you may discover that a recent site redesign or rewrite has confused the major search engines.
The Importance of Customized Reports
The depth and quality of your data tracking and reporting can make all the difference in helping you build and maintain a truly lucrative online presence. If you’d like to make sure your business gets the kind of care it deserves, request a quote from us today!