For many people outside of marketing, Google Analytics can quickly become overwhelming. This is particularly true for the owners of small manufacturing firms. Without the time and resources to properly understand and use the vast amount of data in Analytics, many small manufacturers simply look at top-line traffic as evidence their website is “working.”
The reality, however, is more nuanced. It’s not so much that small manufacturers don’t understand how to analyze the data available, but that they often don’t know what to measure — especially if they’re not involved in selling parts or services online.
With an e-commerce website, it’s fairly easy to see if the marketing program is working or not: you simply look at daily or weekly sales.
For manufacturers, with their small, information-only websites, “pageviews” and other similar data points mean nothing when the end-all-be-all metric they care about is inquiries.
To help solve this problem, my company has worked over the last year to develop meaningful KPIs (key performance indicators) for our small manufacturing clients. While SEO is usually the primary focus of an online marketing strategy, we also work to integrate other tactics (whether it’s an e-newsletter, a print ad campaign or a trade show), and then show how these tactics result in inquiries over time.
What follows is the process we use to set up and measure the KPIs for an SEO marketing program — but any small business can use this process for any marketing tactic or channel.
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