7 Free & Easy Tools For Measuring Online Marketing Effectiveness

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With online marketing quickly becoming an integral part of overall marketing strategy for most companies, it can become difficult to monitor and measure every one of your online marketing efforts. Nowadays, businesses not only have dedicated websites, they also manage a multitude of other online accounts to enhance their web presence. From social media networks to blogs, these accounts can build up and it can become challenging to monitor every click, like, retweet and share. Since different online resources provide different insights about your online marketing efforts, it is important to use the right tools to analyze valuable data.

Even if you don’t have a marketing analytics team to assist in your online marketing efforts, you can still use the following seven popular tools. Not only are these tools available for free, they are easy to use and make measuring your online marketing activity more streamlined.

1. Google Analytics
Probably the most comprehensive and most widely used tool for measuring online marketing efforts,
Google Analytics provides a plethora of measurements for websites in several areas such as content, social, mobile, conversion and advertising. Google Analytics provides reports on customizable dashboards so that you can get summaries of data important to you.

For starters, here are 6 essential metrics to focus on:

  • Top Referring Sites/Traffic type
    By understanding where your audience is coming from, you can best allocate the right resources to these marketing efforts to drive more traffic to your site or blog.
  • Time on site
    The time a visitor spends on your site can be an indication of the level of interest or involvement that a visitor has with your site. It is also a good indicator of the success of any promotional campaigns that brings visitors to your site.
  • Bounce Rates
    Bounce rate is the percentage of people who visit your site and leave without visiting a second page. A high bounce rate generally indicates that the contents on your landing page are not relevant to your audience. You can find out more about how to lower your bounce rates here.
  • Site Content Popularity
    This reports the top contents on your site that can drive page views, and is important to know because it will help you understand what your audience is looking for when coming to your site. You can see which areas are of interest to them will and take out content that can crowd your page and distract visitors.
  • Percent of new visits
    This shows the percentage of new visits to you site by unique visitors (people who have never been to the site before). This metric is a good indicator of your marketing efforts. For example, having a percentage of number of new visits can show that new acquisition efforts are successful in driving people to your site. However, depending on your goal, having a high percentage of new visits can also show that your site’s content is not engaging enough to visitors for make them return to your site.
  • Top Key Phrases from Search Engines
    This shows the keywords people use to arrive at your site through search engines such as Google. This data is important because it gives you the top search terms that drive traffic to your site. If you are getting a lot of visits for certain phrases then you can see if you are effectively getting your target audience to visit your site.

Overall, Google Analytics will give you insight from multiple channels and its recent addition of mobile analytics for measuring mobile traffic and mobile app performance opens the door to receive more valuable data. If this isn’t enough, Google Analytics also offers a premium service for even more custom variables and exclusive features such as attribution modeling on your marketing campaigns, a dedicated account manager, and around-the-clock technical support.

2. Facebook Insights
Similar to Google Analytics, Facebook Insights gives metrics to Facebook Page owners about their page content. Facebook Insights provides useful statistics and insights in two areas: user demographics and how those users are interacting with your Facebook page.

Metrics on users shows statistics such as demographics, page views, total likes, new likes/unlikes (attrition), likes sources, daily active users, page views and unique page views. How users are interacting with your page is reported through feedback on your daily posts and page activity such as post likes and comments, mentions, discussions, reviews and wall posts.

Facebook Insights offers metrics in a simplified format on their dashboard version of the tool so that users can gauge the general engagement activity with their audience. For a more complex breakdown of the metrics, users can download a spreadsheet version of the data, as well as access the Graph API or FQL Tables for further analysis. In addition, you can integrate the data with other custom analytics system and as well as link your own website or blog with Facebook Insights for domains.

This tool is the best for monitoring Facebook, because well, it’s by Facebook! Not only does it have direct access to a large amount of analytical data, it still has the potential to launch large improvements for the future.

3. Klout
Klout is a tool to measure your company’s influence across multiple social networks. According to Klout, the influence you or your company has is the “ability to drive action”. It derives your Klout score, which ranges from 1 to 100, based on data from the size of your network, the content you provide, and how people interact with those contents.

Klout currently measures activity on Twitter, Facebook, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Google+ and takes in to account actions such as:

  • Retweets and Mentions (Twitter)
  • Comments, Wall-Posts, Likes (Facebook)
  • Comments, Reshares, +1 (Google+)
  • Comments, Likes (LinkedIn)
  • Tips – ToDo’s and Tips – Done (FourSquare)

For the future, Klout is working on adding more networks such Facebook Pages, Youtube, Instagram, Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress, Last.fm and Flickr for a more accurate analysis of your social network influence.

This tool also allows you to compare yourself to other “influencers” in your network so you can see discussion topics where you may want to be in the future. This insight is important because what good are marketing measurements without some strategic analysis to check out the competition?

4. HootSuite
While HootSuite is widely known as a social media management tool, it is also a very handy tool for analyzing your social media performance. Under its management dashboard, HootSuite offers profile summary on your Twitter account by tracking important information such as follower growth, mentions, Twitter Sentiment as well as keyword comparisons.You can also run a click summary for HootSuite’s Ow.ly URLs to see the your most popular links, the number of clicks by region, and the top referrers.

Should you want even more versatility beyond the free features described above, under Hootsuite’s low cost Pro Plan, you can integrate other tools such as Facebook Insights and Google Analytics to make HootSuite an even more powerful measurement tool. The Facebook Insights feature monitors and measures daily likes, posts, comments, and page activity, and gives you information on your fans based on demographics, region, language and post source. With Google Analytics, you can see site traffic data such as your top content and traffic sources. In addition, you can see your Twitter to web conversions as well as overlay social clicks and website visits from Google.

For business owners, these reports are important because they allow you to assess and determine the ROI in your social media investments. In the long run, they can also show how your social media presence really can drive traffic to your various sites.

Currently, the tool is integrated with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ Pages, with additional applications for YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, and others.

5. Social Bro
Social Bro is a comprehensive marketing tool for both Twitter management and analytics. Currently available in both PC and Mac desktop format as well as a Google Chrome Extension, the application is easy to use and intuitive for new users.

Under its management offerings, you can get detailed information about your Twitter followers. You can find information by toggling through filters such as time zones, languages, age, and influence so that you can discover who makes up your community. This feature is handy when you want to reach out to specific types of followers. Social Bro lets you see who your new followers are and who isn’t following you, and allows you to clean up your account by detecting spambots and inactive users so that you can easily unfollow them. For offline management, you can also back up your followers list so that you can keep your community in a local database.

A great part of Social Bro’s analytics is that it offers real time data about your users. This is useful if you want to reach those who are online at the moment for quick replies. Other solutions include hashtag monitoring and competitor analysis so that you can get insights on your competitors’ followers, friends, community, and influence. One of its most recognized features is the “Best time to Tweet”. This solution gives you analysis of when your followers are online and when they reply and retweet by the day and hour.

Last but not least, Social Bro gives you a visualization of statistics so that you can easily explore them to uncover trends within your Twitter community.

6. Wildfire Monitor
Another resource for social media analytics is Wildfire Social Media Monitor, a tool for automatic tracking of your and your competitors’ Twitter and Facebook growth. Wildfire Monitor lets you monitor your social media to see how your account is growing based on followers and friends and allows you to see how you might compare to your competition and others in the same industry. What is great is that you can also sign up for email alerts for a weekly summary of your performance relative to your competitors. Over time, the tool can be useful to see how different social media campaigns are working and which work best for driving audience engagement.

7. FeedBurner
Lastly, if you have blogs or podcasts, FeedBurner (owned by Google) allows blog owners and podcasters to share and track their feeds to see how many subscribers they have and the programs they use for their RSS feeds.

Two features of FeedBurner are TotalStats, which tracks readers who read your feeds instead of actually coming to your site, and MyBrand, which lets you to track your feeds without using the feeburner.com domain.

There are a lot more tools out there to measure online marketing effectiveness, but how do you know which one works best for your site? To determine this, the first thing you should ask is: what is my online marketing goal? Whether it is to increase site traffic or to build brand loyalty, you need to define the purpose of your online marketing campaigns. Making this clear will help you determine which tool or tools are best fit to measure and enhance your online marketing efforts.

Which tools do you like to use for your business?
We’ve shared a few our favorite tools for measuring online marketing, but there are tons of applications and tools out there. Which are your favorites? Let CREATE Legal know on Twitter and Facebook!

CREATE Legal does not receive compensation in reviewing any companies, products, or services. Reviews do not constitute endorsement by CREATE Legal.

About the Author: Anh Vu
Say hello to latest member of the CREATE Legal team! Anh is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley where she majored in Media Studies. With several internships in marketing and communications, she is ready to jump in to the real world. From working in sports entertainment to working with entrepreneurs and minority-owned businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area, her multi-industry experience has helped her develop a keen sense of understanding and passion for community development. She also has a knack for scouring the Internet in search of anything music and photography-related to share with others. Excited to join CREATE Legal, Anh hopes to share her experiences in social media management and marketing while gaining more exposure into creative industries!



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