Blog: Catherine Juon

Catherine Juon likes exclamation points. It's an enthusiasm thing. Which makes sense when you consider the success she's seen as Pure Visibilty's Co-Founder & Catalyst. Catherine will be blogging this week about Internet marketing, what it's like to helm a woman-owned tech company, and talking to other women business leaders about their experiences.

Catherine Juon - Post No. 2: Measuring the Yield of Your Online Marketing Efforts

Now that we've talked about the driving force of an online sales engine - a good, solid website - we can talk about how you're going to measure the output of that engine. There are two things I really love about online marketing, and being able to prove what's working is one of those things. (I'll save my second love for the close of this article.)

To prove what's working, we've first got to benchmark where things are at now...  And to that, we've got to be able to measure what's happening now. And to do that, we need to understand what's important to measure in the first place...  Which means a huge part of our job is "simply" ensuring that your online sales engine is well-instrumented for the right things.

All this talk about measuring things may not sound too sexy at first blush, but you can trust me on this one - if you're an entrepreneur, being able to watch sales or other leading indicators count up is exciting! If you'd like to be able to do the same for your site, here are a few general rules of thumb to get you started:

  • If you don't have it already, get Google Analytics installed. It's free, it gets more powerful every day, and even if you don't know what to do with the data right now, at least you're collecting it to have it "in the bag" when you’re ready.
  • If you care about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the so called "free" listings that represent most of the results on a search page, you’ll also need to install Google Webmaster Tools and Yahoo! Site Explorer. Both tools provide direct feedback to you about ways improve your positioning - without having to hire a consultant.

I do feel compelled to say that “free" is one of the biggest misnomers ever. If there's a search phrase worth owning, you're going to have to work for it, and on top of that, you're going to have to deserve it. If you're a large corporation in a highly competitive market it will take both effort and time. Consequently, you need to know that you’re working to own words that will eventually show you the money (we call that process a linguistic analysis or word market assessment). Remember that farming analogy from the last article? This is where the practice of planting, cultivating, and nurturing comes in. The more competitive a phrase is, the more dedication, faith, creativity and elbow grease that will be required to own that phrase.

  • If you’ve got an offline sales process (which most of our customers do), you’ll need a system for tracking basic information about the people who contact you. If you don’t already have a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, get one now. Even enterprise systems such as now offer a free option, so there’s just not a barrier to entry like there used to be.
  • If your offline sales process typically includes in-bound phone calls, you also need to measure calls. These days, you can order a toll-free number for practically nothing, and the more numbers you are willing to pay for, the more granular your tracking can be. It’s possible to get to the level of dynamically substituting different phone numbers to track each market channel (“free” listings, vs. AdWords, etc.), or you could even give every visitor to your site a unique, trackable phone number. At the very least, you need one number that gets placed on your website and ONLY on your website, so that you know when that phone rings, it’s a lead that is a direct result of your online sales efforts.
  • Last but not least, make sure your web site includes a contact form. Not just an email address, but a countable contact form that captures information and preferably automatically submits it to a CRM system such as like we talked about earlier.

While this isn’t a comprehensive list of everything you could possibly measure, it serves  as a handy quick-start guide that illustrates the depth and breadth of measurement tools the are readily accessible today. It’s an exciting time to be in internet marketing!

I love the measurability of internet marketing – of being able to prove that things work. I also love how internet marketing enables us to fulfill our core mission at Pure Visibility - to "Improve the quality of life and abundance in Michigan and the Great Lakes." There is no better way to create abundance right here in our backyard than to help entrepreneurs, corporations and non-profits learn to leverage the internet to reach a broader audience, and to get more out of the audience that they already have. I couldn't possibly have a more rewarding job! Thanks, Concentrate, for helping spread the word to local businesses about how to leverage the internet for growth!