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Marketing can be difficult to evaluate when you are trying to determine if it is effective in reaching its goals. Sometimes, we have too many analytics to measure results, and sometimes it seems we don’t have enough. The following guide from Forbes.com helps you know know what is useful — and what you can skip — when evaluating your marketing campaign’s performance.

Five-point checklist for analyzing marketing performance

Not sure if you’re effective in trying to reach your audience? That’s quite common. As marketers, we’re bombarded with metrics, engagement tools and new ways to collect and interpret data. But how do we know which metrics are worth being measured? What will actually help us improve website performance?

In this article, I’m sharing the five-point checklist that my team and I use in our organization to do the health check of our client’s online presence. Here’s everything we look at while analyzing a company’s website performance and marketing performance in general.

1. Traffic

Traffic should be the number one check you want to perform. What does it look like on your site? Can you recognize any seasonal patterns? What channels are driving the most amount of traffic for your business and how much of it is coming from an organic search, paid media or a social referral? Find answers to each of those questions so you can filter down and see what are all the primary channels for you.

Looking at the traffic gives you a good indication of the health of your online presence. It also helps you see if any channel is superior to the rest. Once you have this information, you can look further down into those channels that are driving the most amount of conversions and maximize the effectiveness of your efforts.

2. Conversion Rate

When you figure out which channels are driving traffic, the next step would be to look at your conversion rate. It’s important to determine which channels contributed the most amount of conversion. However, there’s no arbitrary number when it comes to where you should be in terms of traffic to achieve your desired conversion rate. Your goal is to figure out how much traffic you should drive to your site to increase the conversion rate that you have today.

Namely, if you know the number of deals you need to have in the pipeline to reach your revenue goal, then you can work backward to determine how many sales-ready leads you have to get. So it’s not a question of whether or not you should be getting a thousand visits to your site, but rather what number of leads and deals you need in your pipeline in relation to your coverage so you can meet your conversion goals.

3. Post-Conversion Strategy

A very small percentage of the people who are qualified to do business are in the market to buy. So there’s another important metric here, which is your post-conversion strategy. It should be focused on the people who are converted. What happens after the person has converted? How do you capitalize on that? In this stage, you should look at whether you have processes and systems in place that will allow you to stay top-of-mind with those prospective customers.

Your big goal is to increase the percentage of qualified leads who are converting. At the same time, you need to remember about the leads who have converted already even if they’re not sales-ready today. Figure out how you can continue to nurture them over time so they remember your brand and return or decide to engage with your sales team sometime in the future.

4. User Experience 

If you are struggling with conversions, it makes sense to pinpoint what exactly is not working. Often, the overall user experience is not optimal so you have to analyze your website from the usability perspective. Why are people bouncing off your site? Are you clear in guiding them through the buying process? Is your site optimized for mobile? Can they find the forms to fill out?

One of the high-level metrics will be bounce rate. If it’s high, that is an indication that you may not be providing the optimal experience for your customer. Another thing to look at is the user journey. You can use third-party tools to track user behavior on your website and see what areas can be improved in terms of performance.

That said, things are not black and white when it comes to user experience. A certain amount of subjectivity is always there, so look at the numbers, but search for the meaning behind those numbers. Use your intuition to figure out what’s best for your audience.

5. Content

We touched upon traffic, conversions, post-conversion strategy and user experience, but all of that is fueled with content. You have to ultimately analyze how you are doing in this aspect. Is your content of good quality? What forms of content are you able to create to get people’s attention? How well are you doing on the content production side? Maybe the frequency of posting is not there yet? And what about the promotion? Are you doing enough to attract your target buyer persona, and can they even find your content? Finding answers to those questions will help you find some areas for improvement.

All in all, it’s vital to look at the right things in marketing. Consider these five points when measuring the impact of your website. You can optimize each of those different metrics as soon as you have the data in place.

Samuel Thimothy is vice president at OneIMS.com, an inbound marketing agency, and co-founder of Clickx.io, a digital marketing intelligence platform. A version of this article can be found on Forbes.com.

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