There is a quote most frequently attributed to Albert Einstein that says
“Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.”
While crediting Einstein with that saying is up for debate, its meaning is not. When you decide to measure your results, make certain that you’re measuring what matters.
How do you decide which results to measure?
That’s a great first question to ask, but not the best first question to ask. In order to answer the question about which results to measure, first you have to ask:
What results do you want to achieve?
In the case of marketing and advertising, people will frequently want more traffic to their website — but what they really want is to get more people to buy stuff from their website.
If you’re measuring traffic and not conversions, you might think you’re achieving great results by increasing your site by 100,000 monthly visits, but if none of those visits results in a purchase how much does counting that traffic actually matter? Campaigns like this almost always need fewer generic visits and waaay more qualified visits.
If one agency is promising me 100,000 visitors and another is promising 100 actual buyers, I’d choose the buyers every time.
Popular opinion is that getting more site visitors will naturally result in more sales, but that’s not true if they are the wrong visitors. If your company sells in-ground swimming pools to suburban homeowners and all the people visiting your site rent apartments downtown, does it really matter how many of them visit your site?
By better defining your challenge and what you really want to achieve, you will be better able to create a strategy that gets you there using the tactics you’ll need to use in order to achieve your goals.
When it comes to tracking success in any scenario, first you need to know the type of results you want to achieve — you have to decide where you what to go. Only then you can track results by monitoring the actions that need to take place in order to get you there.