“How do I know if my marketing is actually working?”

In today’s episode, I’m talking about some ways you can see what is or isn’t working for your business. And one of those things is conversion tracking. By taking a look at your conversion rate (don’t worry, I explain this in very simple terms so it’s easy to understand) for different activities you’re doing in your marketing, you can find out if what you’re doing is worth your time, or if you should try something different.

Despite what you might think, there’s no such thing as a good or bad conversion rate! And I’ll explain how this makes sense.

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Read the full transcript

Meg Casebolt 0:01
You’re listening to Social Slowdown a podcast for entrepreneurs and micro businesses looking for sustainable marketing strategies without being dependent on social media. Social media is a double edged sword. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected. But it also can feel like an addictive obligation. And it’s even more complex for businesses, your audience might be right there, but you’ve got to fight with algorithms to maybe be seen by them. So whether you want to abandon social media altogether, or you just want to take a month off, it’s possible to have a thriving business without being dependent on social media. This podcast is all about finding creative, sustainable ways to engage with your audience without needing to lip sync, send cold DMS, run ads or be available 24/7. Let’s get started.

Meg Casebolt 0:50
Hello, friends, I am here today for a solo episode to talk all about how to actually know if your marketing is working and things that you can do to put your finger on the pulse of what may or may not be working in your business. Because sometimes when I work through this process with my clients, it can be so enlightening and gratifying to know exactly how well everything is working and to be able to do an apples to apples comparison of what exactly you should be doing in your business and let the numbers guide you instead of some expert who says that they have all the answers. So the way that we are going to evaluate this for your business is not to compare you to get everyone else is not to make you feel bad about whatever your numbers are. But it’s to figure out what is working right now. And the way to do that and stick with me, I’m about to say something that might scare you, because it involves some calculations is to figure out your conversion rate for different activities that you’re doing in your marketing. Now, some people will run screaming as soon as I asked them to do this, but I will simplify this as much as possible. And let’s start with a definition. your conversion rate is simply this, the number of people who did the thing, divided by the number of people who saw the thing. That’s it, we don’t need to be any more complex than that the number of people who did the thing divided by the number of people who saw the thing, you can pretty much track anything in your business with a conversion rate. So if you wanted to know how many people who came to your website actually filled out your contact form, or how many people who opened your email bought your products, or when people came from different platforms, who stuck around the longest. So by figuring out what you want people to do, and then dividing it by the number of people who had the opportunity to do that. That’s all that we’re looking at here. So I have a short process to walk you through, it’s about two and a half or three steps, depending on how much you want to do this math yourself, versus how much you want Google Analytics to do the work for you. So let me walk you through this. This is true for whatever you want to be tracking, this can be sales, this can be the number of people signing up for your email list. This can be how people are engaging with your content. But the first step that you want to take is to just decide what you want people to do. Yes, it can be that simple. But sometimes we forget this part, we think that people know what we want them to do when they get to our websites, or when they look at our content. And we forget to really evaluate what is the thing that we want people to do. And that’s okay, if you’re not quite sure. A lot of the calls to action that I see from people, when it comes to the sales level of things, it would be Hey, come join my program, fill out my contact form, buy my product. For subscribers, it’s usually download this freebie, take this quiz, you don’t just join my email list. And then for engagement, some of those metrics that we could track would be how much time are they spending on the page? Or how many pages do they look at? Or are they leaving right away? Do you have a high bounce rate on a specific page or from a specific place? Or do you have a low bounce rate? So the first step is figure out what you want people to do. For the sake of this podcast, I’m going to talk mostly about getting people to join your email list. Because that’s a pretty straightforward ask for people. It’s not an exchange of money. It’s just an exchange of information. So it’s a lower barrier to entry than asking for a sale. A lot of people are willing to do this in the right circumstances. So that’s step one. Figure out what that first step is what you want people to do. And then the second step is pay attention to what happens when they do it. Sometimes I see people who have websites that will just have that automatic

Meg Casebolt 4:45
notification pop up and say, Hey, thank you for joining my email list and it’s just a form that pops up on the site, and it doesn’t change to anything else, and that’s fine. You can do that. But what I recommend doing instead is sending people to a specific page, when they do what you want them to do, this will make it really easy to reverse engineer how people are behaving based on who sees that page. So here’s an example of my website, when you go to it, love it for search, the call to action on most of the pages on the homepage, on the bottom of the blog post on the sidebar, what I’m constantly asking people to do is come and download my free SEO starter kit. And I have a specific page on my website that people go to after they sign up for the starter kit. And so I can go into my analytics, and I can look at how many people saw that page. And that gives me an idea of, you know, how many people actually join my email list. And so I’m recording this in November 2021. So I’m going to look at my number from October 2021. And 58 people visited that page. So I had 58 People join my email list by signing up for that freebie. Now, I can then once I know who visited that page, I can then start to segment them out and look at it. And I can see that 45% of people who saw that page, who signed up for that offer came through organic search that came through Seo 27% came from direct traffic. So that might be email that might be someone else talking about me and sharing a link 18% came through social media 9% came through referrals. So I have an idea of what is working of when people find me were the ones that are the most engaged, where are they coming from, I can also dig even deeper into that, to find out that of those of those people who signed up for my email list. Six came from YouTube and two came from Facebook and two came from a referral from an artist community that was talking about my work, right? You can do this for evergreen strategies, like just join my email list, which is what I was just talking about. I also ran a big campaign in October of 2021, was called se October. And I had 449 views of the signup page and 192 visited the thank you page. So that’s 43% of people who saw that page signed up for it. So again, anything that you’re doing on your website, you identify how many people are doing it and where did they come from, you know, this has a different number of people coming from different places because I was promoting this campaign. So half my traffic came from direct traffic and email as opposed to coming from search because search, they don’t know me. And then for that social traffic, you know, I was able to dig down on that too. And say, for my SEO October campaign 15 came from Facebook and 12 from Instagram and 10 from YouTube and one from LinkedIn. And I can get that information, which will then help me evaluate where I should be spending my time, where are the people who are signing up for what I am doing coming from, and what is the return on the investment of my time and my resources when it comes to who’s actually doing what I want them to do. So in addition to figuring out who’s signing up for my email, I can also see how people behave differently, I can see that, on average, people who come to my website from YouTube spend three minutes on the page, and about 14% of them sign up for my email. Whereas traffic from Pinterest spends 30 seconds on the page. So like 1/6 of the time, and I’ve gotten zero subscribers from Pinterest recently. So I’m not gonna spend a lot of time on Pinterest, I’m gonna spend time on YouTube because that’s where people are converting from. And knowing that is really it eases my mind about what I’m spending my time on. It helps me to clarify what I need to invest in. And for me, in my case, that’s YouTube, that might not be the same for you. Unless you know what’s working for you on your website. If someone else tells you what’s working for them, you could potentially throw away something that’s converting like mad for you. Because you’re chasing something that works for someone else’s audience for someone else’s business model, and potentially, you know, burning to the ground, something that is really doing well for you. So before you change strategies, go figure out what’s working. Now, if you don’t want to do this math, you don’t have to, you can actually figure out a way. And I’ll actually show you this, you don’t have to figure it out. You can tell Google Analytics, which pages or which events or which behaviors you want to pay attention to. And then it will do this math for you. And it will say 14% of your YouTube subscribers signed up for your email. And you don’t have to even look at these numerators and denominators and conversion rates and stuff, it will just calculate it and tell you so the way to do this is to set up a conversion event. You can do this using Google Analytics. I have YouTube videos about exactly how to do this, which I will link to in the show notes because you kind of need to see it. I could probably walk you through, you know, click on admin and go to the No, I’m not going to do that in a podcast. You’re not gonna follow it anyway, check out the YouTube videos. They’re short, they explain it all and you can see it on the screen. So if that’s something that you’re interested in doing it can really help with being able to do a month over month comparison or a platform by platform comparison, or maybe you want to send people to two different landing pages and figure out which of them is converting better. Again, this isn’t to try to make more work for you. It’s about trying to figure out what’s already working, and then improving on it.

Meg Casebolt 10:16
So if you’re wondering, okay, I set up all of this. Meg said that she gets a 14% from this and a 10%. From this, and why am I not getting a 10%? Here’s my caveat, there is no such thing as a good or bad conversion rate. Let me say that, again, because people ask me all the time. Well, what’s a good conversion rate, a good conversion rate is better than it was. We can talk about industry standards, because say one to 3% of people convert from this marketing activity, but you’re not average, your unique your extraordinary industry standards are not relevant to you. So stop comparing yourself against average, you’re better than that. Okay? You’re unique. So instead of saying, well, they told me, I should be getting 3%. Now, set a benchmark for how you’re performing, and then try to improve it, you are the benchmark, keep your eyes on your own paper, instead of worrying about what’s happening ever felt in the room, set your benchmark, make a change, measure the difference, this is just a test, and pivot test, pivot, right, figure out what’s working, and then do more of it. And while you’re figuring out what’s working, look at what isn’t resulting in the behaviors that you want to see and make a decision, if you want to do less of it. I mean, I see a decrease, I don’t see a bunch of traffic from my Instagram channel, because that’s not what Instagram is built for. I still am on Instagram, because I like it. The decisions that you are making about how this works for your business are based not just on these numbers, but also how you feel about what these numbers mean, don’t let the numbers make the decision for you use them as a data point that help you make an informed decision by looking at everything. And if somebody tells you to burn everything down that you’re doing, and try their marketing techniques, because they your marketing techniques work for everyone, and they don’t look at how yours are working, I want you to be really cautious about that. There’s a lot of people out there who will tell you that their solutions will work for you. But I assure you there is no one size fits all option out there. And this process will always be a work in progress. Even though it’s been you know, practicing and studying digital marketing for decades, are still iterating all the time because the trends change industries change your audience behaves differently than my audience, because we have different offers and different ways of running things. And there’s a really good chance that your business already has a lot of gold in the way that you do things and the way that you are setting things up. And chances are the intuitive decisions that you’re making might be better for you than what those experts are telling you is the right way to do things. And you might be able to make little changes in the ways that things are running in your business that could have a big impact. But in order to know if they are improving, you first have to put your finger on the pulse of how things are going now, because unless you have that benchmark, it’s going to be hard to know what is making a difference and what is getting better. So head on over to the show notes. For this episode, I will include some training specifically about how to look at these numbers in Google Analytics, and how to set up your conversion rates. And I’ll have all sorts of resources that are a bit more visible. But let me just finish this by reminding you there is no good, there is no bad, you are not standard, you are not average, stop comparing yourself. It’s okay to just look at what’s working and try to do better for yourself. I’ll be back next week with more ways that you can figure out what’s working in your marketing so you can do more of it. And I will see you then. Thank you so much for listening to the social slowdown podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe or come on over to social slowdown.com and sign up for our email list so you never miss an episode. We’d also love if you could write a review to help other small business owners find the show you can head over to social slowdown.com/review Or grab that link in our show notes for easy access. We’ll be back soon with more tips to help you market your business without being beholden to social media Talk to you then

Please forgive any typos as this transcript was automatically generated by otter.ai.

how do you know your marketing is working? conversion tracking