What the hell works online? Why can’t anybody tell me?

Too often your online strategy may be wrong and you’ll only find out when the budget and your time, is spent. In a world where we should be able to measure digital activity instantly it seems that nothing is instant when you want it. It takes too long to log into all the different online services you use and dig out the data to understand where your online efforts stand. Can you even be sure what data you should be monitoring and what your realistic and achievable goals should be?

Leading online business managers know that to make the most of any business channel you have to be clear on:

– Why you are using it
– What you expect in return
– The specific metric needed to deliver the goals
– Most importantly know what each activity is actually delivering to the business

A business must identify how online is benefitting the business and how to monitor that online performance, as well as establishing the correct metrics and targets to support the overall business goals

 

Google Adwords, are they performing?

Prior to coming to us an Ireland SEO client was investing €30,000 annually in Google Adwords. Click-throughs were being monitored but no metrics had been set by the client to evaluate if the Adwords were delivering a return based on the business’s goals. Elucidate’s first step was to set metrics for Adwords including a metric goal for the cost per click-through (CTR) in an effort to try and reduce the cost of visitor acquisition. Our second step was to set a metric for the numbers that converted into online sales where a visitor had originated from a Google Adword.

Immediately the business could see by monitoring the metrics that

a) The CTR was going up instead of down and that

b) The number of conversions was far too low based on the cost of advertising. The problem was NOT Google Adwords but the management of the Adword campaigns. By putting in place a metric to monitor the Adword campaigns and a target to aim for, the business began to notice quickly the poor performance. This gave them a much needed prompt to take action and not let it slide. They reacted by completely overhauling their Adword campaigns which resulted in a large hike in online conversions by redirecting the Adwords budget to more successful keywords and campaigns. This was combined with introducing a series of specific landing pages for the Adwords which more directly encouraged conversions.

 

How to measure performance?

If a runner doesn’t know how fast he or she is running how can the runner know if their performance is getting better or worse? Businesses or organisations need goals to know how they are performing and how to become better and more efficient.

Goal setting is essential online. Online has the potential to have a massive impact on a business’s success but it can also result in massive wastage of resources if returns are not monitored carefully and action taken if and when an online activity isn’t working.

So you don’t mind losing up to €50,000 a year?

Continuing to invest time and resources in an online activity that is not delivering returns can, in a small business, cost on average €8,000 a year on manpower alone. For larger business we estimate that it can be as much as five times that amount – €40,000!

This does not include the lost opportunity cost when more effective tactics aren’t given the attention needed to get the most out of them. Elucidate calculated that for one organisation alone the opportunity cost financially of NOT identifying and capitalising on LinkedIn as its most valuable source of referrals as almost €50,000 in just 12 months.

For another business we calculated the opportunity cost of not monitoring and addressing the abandonment rate of their online bookings meant the business was losing a staggering 80% of all potential online orders and revenues of approximately €250,000 a year.

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