how do i know if my marketing is working?

“How the heck do I know if what I’m doing to market my business is even working?!” – many, many people who come to me when they’re looking for help.

This is a super common question I hear all the time when people are trying to understand their analytics. And let’s face it, it can be intimidating opening up your Google Analytics dashboard for the first time.

Thankfully, there are three things you can look for when evaluating whether or not your marketing is working. And I’ve taken these three categories from my friend, Lanie Lammare, so if you want to go more in-depth, make sure to check out her blog.

https://youtu.be/wLbcjCHCRdU

the ABCs of evaluating your marketing

The three ABCs for marketing measurement are:

  • Awareness
  • Building relationships
  • Conversions

Let’s talk about each of these in a little more detail.

Awareness

“Who is learning about me? Who is finding out about my business who didn’t know about me before?”

If you’re trying to evaluate how well your social media marketing is working, you can go into Facebook Creator Studio or the “Insights” tab you can find in the mobile version of many platforms.

Reach

Typically, the awareness metrics are under the title of “Reach”. Reach is basically a way of saying how many people saw the content that you’re publishing on your platforms.

If the metrics listed under “Reach” are going up, then that means more people are seeing your work; Maybe you’re tapping into the algorithm or maybe you just created your first Reel, and Instagram is trying to reward you for that.

Impressions

Another metric that shows up under reach is Impressions. “Impressions” is not necessarily the number of people who are watching or viewing your content, it’s simply how many times it showed up in someone’s feed. My friend Drea is an expert in social media analytics, so make sure to check out her content (cuz she’s a social queen in my opinion).

New users

Once people get to your website, you can get some information from Google Analytics to see how many new people have found you. And this metric is called new users.

Every time somebody visits your website from a new device, Google puts on a tracking code. If that device hasn’t been used to visit your website in the last two years, then that person is considered a new user. So take a look at what percentage of your users are new versus returning.

You want to have a pretty good mix here of new vs. returning users; There’s not really a perfect ratio because it’s really just based on what your goals are. If you want to always be bringing in new clients, then you’re going to hope for more new users. If you want more people coming back to you and getting to know you a little bit deeper, then it’s okay to have a higher percentage of returning users.

You can also use Google analytics to segment out just the new users, and then take a look at where those people are coming from. This can be really helpful to know which ways you’re getting found the most: is it from posting on social? Writing guest posts? Going through search engines?

google analyics new user segment

And if some of your traffic is coming from search, this is a good time to use Google Search Console to figure out what those exact search terms are that people are finding you for and clicking through to your website.

Building relationships

The second metric that you want to consider (the “B” in our ABC framework) is building relationships.

When building relationships with your customers, we’re talking about building relationships with the people who are already somewhat familiar with you. Maybe they’re visiting your website for a second time, maybe they’re already following you on social media or they’re subscribed to your YouTube channel, and they’re coming back repeatedly.

Engagement

The first metric you may want to consider for these folks is engagement. Engagement is a huge factor on social media – you want to know who’s actually liking, commenting, and saving your posts, in order to get those engagement scores up. The higher your engagement score, the more likely you are to show up to a larger audience for that piece of content!

Audience’s website behavior

And when we’re talking about the metrics for your website, how many people are returning to your website? And also, once they get there, how are they behaving? How many pages are they looking at on your website? And how long are they spending there?

Google Analytics is super helpful with this because you can go into the acquisition report to see where people are coming from – whether that’s from search, social, referral, or email.

And this is where you can find answers to your questions like, “How is their behavior different? Are people who are coming from email spending more time on my site than people coming from Facebook?”

average session duration on google analytics

You can also go into the behavior tab and take a look at how long they’re spending on a page depending on which page of your website they start and get an idea of which of your pages is retaining the most people. I have a free training on exactly how to segment out this audience where you can see how various landing pages and acquisition strategies perform differently.

Evaluate your email signups

Another factor to consider when it comes to building relationships is how many people are signing up for your email list. These are not necessarily customers yet – they’re subscribers. These are people who are saying, “Yes, I’m interested in what you’re talking about. Please send me more information, but I’m not quite ready to buy yet.”

The easiest way to know whether people have signed up for your email is to create a specific page that people go to after they’ve signed up for your email lists so that they’re redirected to that page. And then Google Analytics can tell you every page that they’ve visited before that.

You can do this through the “Behaviors” tab in Google Analytics, or, the easier solution is to set up a conversion goal or a conversion event.

This tells Google to pay extra special attention when people visit a certain page so that you can track what they did before they got there or how they behaved once they got on the site.

If people are coming back to your website more than once, if they’re engaging with your content, if they’re spending a lot of time on your website, if they’re signing up for your email list – then they’re clearly interested in what you’re doing and they want more from you. That’s what you want!

Conversions

The final level of evaluating your marketing is your conversions. This is the holy grail of what we want our websites to do.

If you’re running a service based business, the conversion that you’ll probably be tracking is contact form submissions. These are people who are saying, “Yes, give me more information about working with you. Let’s hop on a call, let’s book a consult.”

If you’re running an ecommerce business, this will be a sale. Somebody is putting in their credit card information and they’re buying something from you.

But, how do you track these conversions? The same way that you track email marketing- you set up a conversion goal. Setting up these conversion goals will help Google show you exactly what you did to get that customer.

Why is this information so helpful? Because it can help us make future decisions.

I’ve had clients who have said, “Wow, I’m getting a lot of traffic from Pinterest but they’re not signing up for my email list and they’re not spending a lot of time on my site. So maybe I’ll spend less time on Pinterest.”

And I have other clients in different industries who are saying, “Damn, Pinterest is taking off, I’m gonna double down on getting more traffic from there.”

Why spend time on something that’s not working for you?

The main gist of it: look at the numbers, figure out what you’re doing that makes sense for the time that you’re investing in it, and double down on what’s working.