When any type of digital strategy is developed and implemented, its success is always monitored closely. From the moment the ball first gets rolling to months down the line, it’s vastly important that to ensure you’re getting the most from your investment, the strategy is a continued success.
But in the world of digital, where there are numerous variables and measurable aspects, how do you do just this? How do you determine if a strategy’s a success or not? Is there one key element you need to be considering or various?
The reality is there are numerous different things you need to look at – in fact, there are dozens, if not hundreds that you could consider – but there are a handful most look at at least initially, with visitor traffic being arguably the most notable.
If the number of people who visit your website increases, it’s generally a good indication that your strategy is working. Sure, the number of visitors alone may not mean anything spectacular (anyone can pay for traffic and increase their visitor numbers from a few dozen to a few thousand overnight), but if you can link the start of a gradual, organic increase to the start of your strategy, it can openly showcase that it’s working.
Organic search engine positioning
Your positioning in the search engines can be thought of in a similar way, as alone it may not mean anything in particular – most people can get to the first page of Google for some phrase. However, it’s the phrases you’re ranking for that’s important – and whether you’re ranking for them organically or not.
If you’re selling laptops in Cardiff, for example, ranking for “high quality black laptops in Cardiff city centre” may not be that difficult as the competition for that exact phrase may be difficult. You may get the occasional visitor from being on page one, sure, but it’s unlikely to be the same level as traffic from “laptops in Cardiff” – a more competitive phrase and one that’s therefore more difficult to achieve and maintain a first page ranking for.
And remember, this isn’t positioning via Pay Per Click advertising, but the natural, organic results.
However, no matter how high you’re ranking in the search engines and how many visitors you’re getting to your website, if people aren’t turning into customers, you have to question what the return on your investment will be.
As such, it’s strongly recommended to utilise the likes of Google Analytics’s conversion tracking tool to see which visitors completed which goals – and where possible, what the value of each visitor is (based on product costings, for example).
It is worthwhile noting that a conversion doesn’t have to be price-based – if you’re looking for e-mail sign ups, for instance, then an increased subscriber list is just as good of a way to judge whether your strategy is a success or not.
Just a handful of aspects you may want to take into consideration when you’re attempting to gauge the success of your digital strategy, it’s important to understand that not only is every strategy different, but every client’s requirements are. As such, before a strategy even begins you need to ensure you’re 100% confident that the agency you’re working with truly understands what it is you’re trying to achieve.