There're 12 months until next Christmas. What successes will you be celebrating this time next year? That's entirely up to you! We're here to help make sure you get on track and stay there, but you have to be committed to setting yourself up for success and staying on course as you put out fires here and there in your normal routine.
If you aren't focused on a goal, you won't achieve it. You can't start or continue your inbound marketing efforts without a clear picture of what success looks like. One of the areas that needs to be covered in your 1st Marketing Meeting Agenda in 2015 is the set of goals you have established, what success is, and the metrics you'll be using along the way to ensure you are on the right track. The following are some basic Inbound metrics that every company should monitor every month.
Website traffic (e.g., the number of visitors to your site) is a fairly easy, broad metric that you should be keeping track of. It will tell you how your marketing efforts are doing at getting visitors to your website. Again, this is a broad metric but one that you don't want to see decline from month to month. If you are in a seasonable business, this may be unavoidable, but you can still monitor the percentage of decline versus the previous year or period.
Taking overall traffic a bit further, you should also look at sessions. According to Google Analytics, a session is the amount of time that a website visitor is actually engaging with your site. In other words, this will tell you the amount of time, on average, that a visitor actually reads, navigates and interacts with your site.
Bounce rate is a metric that measures the opposite of what sessions are. A bounce is when a visitor lands on your website and immediately leaves, usually by clicking the Back button in the browser. They don't actually engage with your site, so they have no session. We obviously want this number to be low. It will likely never be zero, but it should be low. If your bounce rate is high, you may need to address the quality of the traffic that's coming to your site, or the content they are being served when they arrive, especially via search.
When it comes to content, you need to evaluate 2 areas. One, Your website's content. Two, your blog's content. If we look at your website content, we want to know which pages are in your top 10-20 as a percentage of total page views. These are likely the most valuable pages to your visitors and can help you determine where you should focus your efforts on generating leads.
Clearly your blog will likely have more content overall than your website. If it doesn't you should probably get writing on your blog! By identifying which of your blog posts are the top performers, you can make better decisions on future content to produce and what content marketing efforts will be most effective.
Your business goals should be at the root of all of your marketing efforts. Your website conversions are a great way to get a sense of how you're site is doing at achieving your business goals. These conversions could be simple things like email opt ins, or more complex things like quote request submissions.
Knowing how your conversion rates from month to month will help you to improve your efforts and perform better.
Sources Of Traffic
By understanding where your website traffic comes from, you can improve on the sources that are under performing and continue to increase the performance of your top referrers. The areas you should be monitoring include:
- Organic (natural, unpaid search traffic)
- Social (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, YouTube, Instagram, Google+)
- Direct (people to enter your web address directly)
- Referral (when someone clicks a link from another site and lands on your site)
- Paid Ads (Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, etc...)