Are you tracking your clicks? If you're a small business owner with both a limited budget and a desire to promote your product or service, it may be time to start. The more you know about the success of each individual marketing effort you undertake, the more reliably you can make decisions on the most successful ways to get the word out about your brand.
In today's digital environment, every advertisement you place – online or otherwise – should have a distinct call to action. Rather than simply focusing on getting your brand name in front of your target audience, aim to guide them toward an action that gets them one step closer to becoming a customer.
If you can analyze the clicks for each individual link you post, you can evaluate the success of your calls to action. More specifically, here are six ways in which click tracking can help your small business.
1) Measure Your Marketing Success
Most importantly, tracking your links means better understanding what your audience does after they see your content. By taking advantage of the concept, your small business will gain a better understanding (and appreciation) for all of its marketing efforts.
Any URL you include in your ad can be turned into a tracking URL. In other words, you can use link tracking to evaluate the success of your emails, social media posts, banner ads and more. Rather than relying on external analytics or "vanity" metrics like reach, you can gauge how many members of your audience were interested enough in your content to actually click on it. (For more on analytics, see Web Analytics: Terms You Need To Know.)
2) Understand Your Audience
Using the right platforms, tracking your clicks also enables you to analyze your audience. URL management platforms like Taveo report on not just the total number of clicks for each URL, but also the browser used along with each clicker's language settings and geolocation.
Based on this information, you can make various conclusions about the members of your audience most likely to click on your advertising materials. You may find, for example, that certain geographic areas dominate, which means it makes more sense to prioritize them in future marketing efforts. Similarly, browser preferences will help you understand whether your audience tends to come from mobile or desktop devices, along with a number of other insights.
3) Compare Individual Content To Each Other
At its best, digital marketing is a constant experiment. Rather than simply posting, sending or advertising content in the hopes that it works, you should continuously seek out the most successful content and prioritize it more heavily in the future. Through tracking your clicks, you can both expedite and streamline that process. (To learn more about digital marketing, see 3 Tips for Developing an IT Marketing Strategy.)
The key to success: A/B testing. Advanced click tracking services can help you set rules that send users to different destinations based on their settings dynamically, and in real time. The same URL, for example, can send Apple users to your iPhone accessories while Windows users get access to other devices.
You can use this feature to pit various URLs against each other, and test which of them outperforms the other. Over time, you can use the feature to maximize your success by focusing on the URLs that have consistently outperformed their counterparts.
4) Verify Ad Provider Numbers
Advertising online requires trust. You set your budget, and design your ads, then wait to be charged for numbers that your ad provider sends back to you. But who knows whether these numbers are actually correct?
Ad fraud remains a serious issue online, and it comes in various shapes. Your ad provider may or may not be directly involved in artificially inflating numbers and draining your budget – the results will be the same. And even when nobody is at fault, simple algorithm errors (as Facebook demonstrated throughout last year) can have the same effect.
What do you do? You do your own verification. Instead of blindly trusting your ad provider, you can use link tracking to make sure that the clicks you pay for actually landed on your website in real life. At the very least, it will be insurance against otherwise unverifiable third-party metrics.
5) Account for Ad Blockers
We don't trust advertisements anymore. Our increasing cynicism toward being marketed to is perhaps no more evident than in online and mobile ad blockers, which 32 percent of U.S. internet users will take advantage of this year.
For your business, this trend could be a serious issue. If your audience doesn't want to hear from you, how do you sort through the clutter? And how can you keep your metrics clean?
6) Track Your Conversions
Let's face it: true marketing success does not end at a click. If your users never end up converting to leads or customers, but simply jump off your site never to return, even thousands of clicks won't lead to much business growth.
That's why a link tracking tool that can also track your conversions is crucial. Depending on your business model, these conversions may be online purchases, form sign ups, webinar registrations, or other types of action on your website.
Set up your conversions within the software, and you can attribute each conversion to the link from which it originally came. The result is a better understanding of which marketing efforts not only led to web visits, but also app downloads, lead generation or customer conversions.
In short, your small business can draw significant benefits from using a link-tracking service. Thanks to its numerous benefits, it can help you better understand both your audience and your marketing efforts. Over time, you can turn brand awareness into clicks, and clicks into conversions – reliably and consistently growing your business.