THE Definitive Guide to Tracking an Internet Business [Part 2]

The Importance of Tracking an Internet BusinessLast week I discussed the importance of tracking an Internet business.

Let’s recap what we covered:

  • The importance of tracking to the growth of an Internet business
  • Why you need to review your metrics every month
  • 5 tools I use for tracking
  • Four metrics you should track

Today’s post is a continuation of the last article.  Specifically we’ll review additional metrics you can track with an Internet business:

#5: Video Marketing Stats

YouTube provides excellent in-depth analysis of posted videos.  You can use their tools to discover how people find your content.  This information can be accessed by selecting the Insight button:

YouTube Insight Button

With Insight, you get a lot of hard data about video content.  It tells you things like:

  • Where people watch your videos (country of origin)
  • What keywords people use to find the content
  • The related videos that send traffic
  • What external pages are embedding your video

This information shows what actions produce video results.  My advice is to select a few videos that compete for your target keyword phrase.  Study them to see how you can duplicate their success.

How to Get Started: Play around with the Insight interface.  Find competing videos that send you traffic.  See if they have other videos that you can leverage.  Done correctly, you can literally piggyback on the success of other YouTube channels by creating similar content.

#6: Different Sources of Traffic

Traffic is the lifeblood of your Internet business.  Unfortunately, it’s too easy to get caught in the trap of trying to do too much.  The secret to traffic success is focus.  It’s better to concentrate on one or two techniques than to worry about dozens of different things.

So how do you know what’s working?  It’s simple.  Create a distinct tracking link for each source of traffic.  That way you know if a technique produces results or if it’s a waste of time.

How to Get Started: Use a program like Adminder to create a tracking link for each traffic source.  This tool monitors traffic and shows the conversion rates for a lead magnet.  Not all traffic is created equally.  This metric shows what actions generate email subscribers.

#7: Opt-In Sources

This technique piggybacks on what I just discussed.  It’s important to track where you get subscribers.  Here’s how you can break down this metric:

  • Subscribers from your blog
  • Subscribers from article marketing
  • Subscribers from YouTube channels
  • Subscribers from PPC advertising

It’s impossible to determine this metric without tracking each traffic source.  With Aweber you can tag each subscriber.  This is a small tracking id that identifies the source of traffic:

Aweber Ad Tracking Code

Tagging a subscriber is a great way to figure out which traffic source produces motivated subscribers.  These are the people who open your emails and click on links.    For instance, you can cross reference who opens an email with the ad tracking id.  Within a few seconds, you’ll identify the traffic sources that convert.

Here’s another reason why this metric is important.  It segments your list and directs people to different types of content you’ve created.

Let’s say you have a list of subscribers from a blog and subscribers from a YouTube channel.  You can let the blog readers know about a video you’ve just created.  Then you can send an email to all video subscribers about a new blog post.  This is a great way to build your brand without sending too many emails to an individual subscriber.

How to Get Started: This is a three-step process:

1)      Create a distinct squeeze page for each traffic source

2)      Insert an ad tracking code on each page

3)      Use Adminder to direct traffic to the individual squeeze pages

After this, you’ll have a list that’s full of “tagged” subscribers.  This makes it’s easy to segment a list and send them targeted content.

#8: Pay-Per-Click Traffic

Pay-per-click traffic is an exact science.  You need to track a lot of metrics with this technique:

  • What position an ad is listed
  • What keywords are being used
  • What is the click-thru ratio (CTR) for each ad
  • How much money is being spent
  • How much money is being earned
  • What keywords convert best

The secret to PPC success is to know what converts a searcher into a subscriber and what converts a subscriber into a buyer.  That’s why it’s important to use tracking with this traffic technique.

I don’t claim to an Adwords expert.  But I do know that some marketers use it as the foundation of their Internet business.  Without fail, the successful ones are tracking fanatics.

How to Get Started: My advice is to understand every metric on the Google Adwords program.  They offer a number of built-in tools that track every aspect of a PPC campaign.  Tag each subscriber (see #7) in Aweber and you’ll know which ads produce income.

Also, I recommend trimming the fat from your PPC campaigns.  Get rid of the keywords that don’t convert.  Eliminate the ads that have low CTR.  And stop bidding on the phrases that fail to convert subscribers into buyers.

#9:  Entry Keywords

Google Analytics is one of the best tracking tools I’ve ever encountered.  I could easily dedicate a series of posts to everything it can do.  For now, let’s focus on one aspect – The Entry Keyword feature.

This tool tells you which keyword phrases generate traffic to a particular page.  This helps you customize content to what people want.  My advice is to re-optimize each page that gets a significant level of traffic.

Your goal is to move this page up the search engine listings and get it to rank well for a high-traffic keyword:

Google Analytics Keywords

How to Get Started: Look at the top 10 to 20 pages in Google Analytics.  Identify the pages that get a high level of traffic.  Then click on the individual article.  You’ll see it lists the keyword phrases that generate traffic.

Simply rewrite this article using these keywords.  Then create a few backlinks to this page, using this keyword in the the anchor tag.  This is an excellent way to get more traffic with the same amount of content.

#10:  Blog Comments

Why should you track blog comments?  This metric identifies the content that gets the best response from readers.  You can use this information to identify patterns.  All you have to do write content that gets a high response rate and you’ll build up blog readership.

The number of blog comments really isn’t an indicator of success.  It’s just another metric that tracks the growth of your site.  My advice is to monitor the number of blog comments.  But don’t become obsessed over this number.

How to Get Started: A few weeks back, I talked about creating an Excel tab for a publishing schedule.  This includes information like:  Post title, date published, URL and notes.

What I suggest is to add a new column – The number of comments.  (You can also add another one that tracks the number of Re-Tweets.)

Over a few months, you’ll detect a pattern with blog content.   Are the comments going up or going down?  Obviously your goal is to increase this number and get a higher level of readership.

But Wait…There’s More!

There is a lot more you can track with an Internet business.  But that will have to wait till next week.

You now have ten different metrics that should be monitored.  My advice is to pick the actions that grow your Internet business and track them.  Use the tools I’ve listed and discover how to track your way to success.

Take Action. Get Results.

16 thoughts on “THE Definitive Guide to Tracking an Internet Business [Part 2]”

  1. Really intense training bro 🙂 It is all overwhelming to me, to be honest; but it seems that it is really really important to pay attention to the stats and watch them closely.

    I know how it pays off. Without monitoring the stats we won’t be able to tell what strategy works, what strategy sucks and so on. This is highly useful especially when we are trying something out new.

    But honestly, constant monitoring is a must. This post needs a bookmark coz I can’t digest it all now 🙂


    • Jane,

      Sounds good! It is fine to re-read it when you are ready to implement it. I am a big fan of “on-time learning”

      I know it is throwing a lot at you. You obviously get the point for why it is important and can have a huge effect.

      It is a lot of extra little work, but I really do think it is the difference (long term) between so-so success and real success.

      Thanks for the comment,

      Have a wonderful Memorial day.


  2. Hi Steve,

    This is excellent my friend. I love what you had to say about the entry keywords. This is a great way to optimize the articles for specific keywords. By the way, it would excellent and beneficial if you can go into more details on google analytics. I think we all can learn something new from you. 😉 Thanks for sharing steve, great post!

    • Dia,

      I think I just might go deeper into analytics and analyzing data! 🙂

      YOur site could do pretty well from using these tactics i would think. each article are tied around a specific idea. I am not sure if you keyword optimize them at all, but I would bet you could get a lot from better performing ones if you do spend time one on the ones that naturally do a bit better on analytics.

  3. Steve, a great follow up to your previous post. As I am just beginning to see search engine traffic to my new blog, I’ll keep a close eye on which keywords the pages rank for, and do as you suggest. Like the commenter above, I’d love to see some more posts about Google analytics, I keep looking at it convinced it’s telling me stuff, only I’m not sure what …

    Thanks again, for your useful, informative content.

    • I definitely think I will delve a little bit more into analytics. Most of us don’t have the time to link and try to boost every single article.

      -at least I know I don’t-

      And using Anlytics can really show you what google sees and let you know what to do more of. It is all a matter of triage. WOrk on the things that matter. Not the things that don’t.

      That and patience are two big keys to success.

  4. Hi Steve

    Informative post. I used to take tracking as something that helps me to know how I am doing, for a certain Internet activity. But Today I realize that it can be used extensively to improve total profits of the business.
    I read the part one also today and liked the video too.

    All the best

    Fran A

  5. Thanks for more useful information to add to my “to do” list Steve. I will be getting my techie friend to help me with this one.

    As far as comments go, I find this an interesting one. On some of my lavender posts I may get less comments than on my blogging/networking posts, but they often are my targeted traffic and potential customers.

    Also getting emails with queries about my products measn more to me than someone just visiting and commenting for some link juice 😉 Just my 2 cents.

    Patricia Perth Australia

  6. Hi Steve, these are great tips to know which traffic source is giving you success ($$$ 🙂 ). I bookmarked this post to use it later, thanks for sharing.

  7. Steve, these extra tips are great! Since your last article on using a spreadsheet to manage your site, I have been working on implementing just that. Since it is quite an undertaking to fill out, introducing my son’s new summer job!

    He loves computers and is quite familiar with spreadsheets even though he is only 12, so he is now my paid assistant. You can’t beat it at just a few bucks an hour, and it helps him learn new skills as well!

    He might be for hire after he finishes (if I ever run out of things for him to do) mine!

    • Lol,

      Get your son working on those spreadsheets early! That is one of those tips that keep giving. It will be useful throughout his life… and well as helping you in the here-and-now 🙂

      You can’t ask for more than that 🙂

      If he does go “for hire” you might have a lot of customers if his prices are reasonable.

  8. Hello, everyone, I am David and I am relatively new to the internet and new to blogging. I find that bloggers are some of the most helpful and informative people anywhere. Blogs are where I get most of my information. Thank You for this post. I probably am in need of a mentor or a coach.

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