As with any marketing campaign it is important to know what results you are getting online, where they come from and where you should be focussing your efforts. Testing and tracking not only shows you what methods are working but can also enable you to make changes to campaigns and web pages to ensure that they get the best results.
There are many tracking programs available but what should they be telling you and what do you need to concern yourself with? The first thing is obviously how many people are seeing your web pages but you should also look at where these people come from (both geographically as well as referring sites), what the bounce rate is (how many people view one page and then leave without viewing others) and how many of those people actually go on to take the action you want them to take.
Bounce rate refers to the number of people who only view one page of your website compared to the total number of people visiting your website. This is important because it could indicate that people are not finding what they expect or want on your website or that it is not interesting enough to hold their attention and keep them there.
If you notice a high bounce rate on your website then ask yourself why this is? Do you need to change the content on your web page to make it more interesting for the visitor? Should you add more web pages? Is the page well designed and can visitors easily see how to navigate the site? Try to aim for a low bounce rate.
Where your visitors are directed to your website from - whether from organic search engine listings, PPC campaigns, articles, etc. will help you determine which marketing campaigns need to be improved, if any should be completely dropped and where you should focus your efforts.
The referral statistics on your testing and tracking programs will help you to see which websites are bringing in the most traffic to your website, which keywords are directing the most traffic from organic search engine listings, and how many are direct visits (this could be due to offline marketing, email marketing or people who know your website address and enter it directly into their browser). Ideally you should also have ways and means of testing and tracking these direct statistics as well to give you a clearer picture.
Split testing refers to running two ads or pages concurrently with one minor difference between the two and marketing both equally and then seeing which page or ad brings in the best results. You can then see whether the minor difference is worth keeping or whether you should try something else. As you keep on doing split testing and tracking the results you will gradually be able to improve your web pages and ads to get the best possible results.
Testing and tracking is an essential part of any internet marketing campaign as it shows you how your different ads and pages are doing, where you should be focussing your attention and what needs to be improved in order to get the results you want.