The subject of metrics and measurement is not one of the sexiest topics a small business owner wants to consider. Numbers around visits, subscribers, time on site- and so on- can be somewhat confusing (at best) and dry and boring (at worst).
Yet, you must pay attention to the numbers in your business to know if your marketing is working.
If you have an online business, your website/blog statistics are one of your key performance indicators. Should you spend more money and time on your content development? Is your message reaching the right people? Are you becoming more well known online? Are your new opportunities likely to be profitable for you?
Influence, in itself, may or may not result in great profitability. Certainly, there are people whom you’re influenced by- great heroes- that you’ll never purchase from. If you have a business, though, you want people to buy from you.
So how can you use metrics to guide your business decisions?
That’s a larger topic than we have time for in this blog post, but there are three ways you can easily track your levels of influence, and note if they are resulting in greater profitability.
The first metric of influence is number of visitors.
Number of visitors is a measure of how many people have visited your site in a certain time frame. The higher this number, the greater your reach. While reach doesn’t directly translate to influence, it is a good first level indicator of whether your message is being received. It also offers you a way to see if your online presence is growing. The higher the number of visitors, combined with a strong time on site indicates that your influence is growing.
The second metric is time on site.
Time on site refers to how long a visitor stays on your site. Combined with pageviews, time on site is a way of gauging how interested a visitor is in your content. Generally, the longer someone stays on your site, and the more pages they visit while they are there, the greater their level of engagement with your content. Where there is high level of engagement, the seeds of influence have been sown. High time on site is inversely related to your site’s bounce rate. A high bounce rate is undesirable.
The third metric is number of returning visitors.
Number of returning visitors indicates how many times someone has returned to your site within a certain time frame. Again, a high number of return visitors means that your content is getting attention, and people are interested. Again, when people are interested, your influence is growing. When you have a high number of returning visitors, you want to be sure that you’re using effective calls to action and moving them into deeper- and more direct- relationship with you, such as by joining your email newsletter or attending a free class you are offering. When you have a high level of interest, you want to help cement this interest as completely as you can- and the best way to do that is to encourage people to take the next step in the relationship building process.
If you want an easy way to know if your online marketing is working, open up your website statistics program and take a look at these three metrics of influence. They’ll tell you a lot about what’s working- and what’s not.