Whether you call it Web metrics or Web analytics, it’s all about how to measure whether what you are doing is working. Some people do this for a living, but for many of us, it’s a daunting prospect.  Marketers who have grown up in traditional advertising have never had the ability to measure their results in terms of sales, so how do you do that now?

Oh sure, e-Commerce makes that easy, but does your business depend on e-Commerce. Most businesses sell offline, and even those that have shopping carts often sell more through other channels.

To really focus on how well you are doing in online marketing, you need to track a few numbers:

  • Impressions. No matter what metrics geeks call it (ad impressions, page views, e-mail opens, and many other names), what you really want to know, for any particular marketing message, is “How many people saw it?”
  • Selections. Again, the mechanics are unimportant. What you need to know is how many people who saw your message took action on it. Did they click on the e-mail link? Did they give you a Facebook like? How many people took the next step from your marketing message to show interest and engagement?
  • Conversions. How many people eventually followed through with whatever you were trying to get them to do? If you can track your message all the way through to a sale, great, but even if you can’t, you can track something. How many people filled out your e-mail contact form, downloaded your white paper, printed your coupon, searched for a local store, or any of dozens of other Web conversions.

Once you’ve started to track those numbers, you can begin to identify which marketing messages are working and which aren’t. You might even want to do some A/B or multivariate testing to prove it. So, if you never thought that you could track your marketing success, well, you actually can.

To explore these ideas, and others in the subject of Web metrics, check out some of Mike’s posts on the Biznology blog on analytics.