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  • Joshua Harmening

If it isn't Measured it isn't Marketing




Some people think that simply running an advertisement or promotional message is the same as marketing. As a marketing professional, I believe doing this is only one hemisphere of the marketing globe. What separates the marketing hobbyist from a true professional marketer is significant but straightforward: Measurement.


More specifically, by measurement, I’m referring to the practice of interpreting and analyzing objectively measured metrics to create actionable insights. This is the calling card of the modern-day marketer, especially when we get into individual promotional strategies like pay-per-click digital advertising or search engine optimization. As a business owner, if you work with a marketing agency that does not offer you clear, actionable recommendations based on analytics and other metrics such as ROI, they are not being as helpful as you need.


Let’s focus on a specific example of a marketing metric and how it can be used to enhance your campaign’s impact:


Looking at the Bounce Rate


Let’s talk about bounce rate as it relates to search engine optimization and website traffic. Bounce rate is the percentage or ratio of website visitors who leave without interacting with your site in any way. Essentially, they click on your site, the homepage comes up, and they don’t interact with anything else on the site. From this, you can assume the visitors don’t like what they see or did not find what they were really looking for. For these reasons, they bounce.


Now, what does this mean? The user has arrived at your site, usually through a search engine or external link, in search of a product, service, or information. After quickly scanning the page and taking in everything from text to color scheme and web layout, they have decided that they aren't interested in your business. Search engines, especially Google, use this behavior as important feedback. They observe visitors bouncing off your site and will lower you in the rankings accordingly to help visitors with similar queries reach a better solution.


So, the intelligent marketer will begin to test changes to their site while simultaneously tracking bounce rate to see what changes to the website make a positive impact. For example, you might start by adding a video to the top of the fold section of the website homepage with a call-to-action pop-up that appears once the video is done playing. If this helps reduce the bounce rate, you now have a data-driven solution to your customer retention problem.


It’s essential to keep in mind that this process works best when you work meticulously. The same way scientists control and manipulate specific variables in isolation to get their results, you should be making strategic alterations. If you make many multiple, simultaneous changes to the website, how will you know what change affected the bounce rate? It’s a time-intensive process, but the results are more than worth the investment.


If your current focus is just on releasing promotional content (which is understandable due to the hectic nature of owning a business), I would humbly recommend that you outsource your marketing analytics efforts. This will provide you with valuable insights that you can use to immediately improve the result of your marketing material.


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