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Part 4 & 5: Harnessing the Power of Internet Marketing

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 6/27/10 8:30 PM

Step 4 & 5: Internet Marketing Measurement, Testing & Optimizing

"No one ever won a race looking sideways." ~Chris Brogan

An internet marketer's work is never done.

Admitably, steps 1,2 & 3 are a fair amount of work and due diligence. But as I tell my kids, doing things the right way is rarely ever easy. But when you reach steps 4 & 5 and start seeing those results, it makes it all worth while.

The purpose behind Steps 4 & 5 is to build on your successes (not someone else's failures- ie: 'best practices'). So many people are looking for a standard to go by to prove their successes without ever considering where that 'standard' came from. Make your own goal post, and then surpass it. In Step 1 you set your baseline, now set a new one. Wash, rinse and repeat.

Internet Marketing Analytics Tips

Even Google Analytics now allows you to automate some of your reporting tasks. So here are a few tips to do this part of your job in 5 minutes. (you can still tell your boss you labored all afternoon, just make sure they don't see this post or you at the beach!)

  • Create your reports according to your department hierarchy. Determine who needs what information and how often then schedule the reports to run automatically to those people in Google Analytics. 
Google Analytics report scheduling
  • Create alerts for certain actions- good and bad. This is a new feature (in beta) with Google Analytics. Taking what you have planned out in Step 2, set your alerts when you need to be notified to investigate.

Google Analytics Alerts

Don't Assume- Test!

Science is a wonderful thing, I sometimes envy really smart people- not just because they are smart, but they are also patient. Plan your optimization tests as carefully as you have planned everything else.

Optimization Testing Tips

  • Set your testing method. Plan your tests just as carefully as you have planned everything else in your process. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
  • Don't use someone else's best practices as your rules. If this process has taught you nothing else, it should make you realize that your business goals and customers are not going to be the same as someone else's.
  • Make sure you are testing the right thing. Start with the obvious things first, then get more granular.
  • Wash, rinse, repeat. Just because you tested something 3 months ago does not mean you are done with it. Things change, so expect to re-test to anticipate that change.
  • Go for the why, not just the what. You tested A and B, and found B works better. Ok, why? Until you can answer the why, you aren't done yet.

Making the Data Actionable

Because you already know what your web site’s objectives are, you already know what decisions you need to make on the data presented during measurement, and optimization testing. Much more than the ‘oh, how interesting’ metrics that are drowning marketers and decision makers today, you know exactly what to look for in your visitor's behavior to take action for improvements.

Now, look at your plan and decide what you need to tweak. Then again (you guessed it!)  wash. rinse. repeat.

Topics: web analytics, internet marketing optimization