How to Measure the Impact of Content Replacement Tools

<p>Figuring out the goal of you online marketing efforts takes patience and some attention to detail in the beginning, but with some quick tutorials and thinking about what success looks like, you'll be able to answer the question "did this work" at the next marketing meeting.&nbsp;</p>

Unlike a kitchen remodel, the before and after pictures of content replacement can be difficult to measure. The plan sounds great: test, measure, optimize, repeat. The execution looks more like test, emergency committee meeting, strategic plan, measure, budget request, optimize, publication creative, copywriting, and … what was that last thing I was supposed to do? This article guides you through the steps to quickly and easily measure the impact of your content replacement efforts.

Content Replacement Tool Goals

Keep it simple. You’re not trying to understand the brand-lift that organic social shares have on your Canadian customer base. You’re trying to increase online form submissions, increase daily sales and put butts in seats for your next event. No longer complacent with the one-size-fits-nobody content your website is delivering, you have a clear objective for getting started.

Step One: Benchmark Existing Conversions

Again, simplicity is the key here. If you have an online form on your website, how many times a week does that form get completed? Seven? Seven hundred? Start with that benchmark. Looking to increase daily sales? Do you want people to watch a video on your website? How many views per-week does the video currently receive? Ask the communications director that runs the CRM how many daily or weekly requests for information come in on average.

Step Two: Create Conversions

If you have a Google Analytics account, this will help make life a little easier. Setting up conversions helps answer the question: does this matter.Google Analytics-->Admin-->View (create a new view if you don't have more than one). --> Goals --> Create New Goal.

Custom Analytics Dashboard

We’ve done the hard part for you. Use this link to view our template. When you log into you Analytics account, Google will simply add your data into our filters. Click the button below to set up your custom dashboard (ten seconds).

Content Replacement Dashboard

Note: You'll need a Google Analytics account for this to show your data. You’ll want to use the pencil in the top right for some of the widgets to personalize for your specific state (see below).

Custom URLs and Internal Tracking

We've quoted Peter Drucker before: that which gets measured gets done. Using UTM tracking, specifically in AdWords campaignsCampaign Source: identifies the source of the incoming link, in this case, content replacement tool GeoFliCampaign Medium: This identifies the medium or channel used to surface the link. In this example, website personalization is responsible for surfacing this link to the admission’s page.Campaign Name: Use UTM campaign to differentiate between your different targets. You may want to track what percentage of your East Coast visitors complete your goal and compare that with the percentage of West Coast visitors that complete your goal (form completion).Campaign Term: Used primarily in AdWords campaigns to identify the specific keyword driving traffic to the website. Don’t worry about this one for GeoFli campaigns unless you want to go even deeper in the data.Campaign Content: What section of the page did you place the link? Perhaps this GeoFlied link is surfaced twice on the same page. Adding a utm_content tag will help differentiate between which location the geotargeted website visitor clicked.

Event Tracking + Geo Goal Completion

Event tracking is the recommended method for tracking campaign results. Though it requires a bit more technical knowhow, reaching out to the individual with some access to the back-end of your website will be a big win.Here’s a sample email to your web-manager:Hi!I’m looking for some help with Google Analytics event tracking. We have a “visit today” button on our homepage and I’m testing our new content replacement tool. My goal is to figure out if we see a lift in conversions between the states we are targeting and the states we are not targeting. Can you help me with this or point me toward the person that can?- Thank you very much.

Pre-Post Analysis

One of the lesser known and most effective tools in Google Analytics is the “compare” button. The compare button makes it simple to see metrics like time-on-site, bounce rate and pages-per session (all metrics positively impacted by content replacement) compared with previous time-frames.It might also help to add an annotation to your Google Analytics overview so you remember exactly when you started with content replacement and personalization. This gives future marketing managers a note and acts as a reminder when the campaigns started.

Anecdotal Evidence

If your team has regional representatives, you could take the time to set up call tracking when you surface contact information based on visitor location, or you could test it for 30 days to see if you notice more calls. We recognize the “feeling” has been replaced by data in most of the marketing world. AB testing and cost-per-conversions make guessing a thing of the past, but we also recognize that time is a precious asset. Surfacing relevant content for the lowest hanging fruit like promoting regional events to regional specific audiences will realize immediate results that are felt in the office. Sure, you'll want to quantify it, but if you're looking to dip your feet into content replacement and website personalization without investing hundreds of hours, picking your top three customer segments and creating content for their eyes first will prove valuable before the event tracking and goal conversion reports are generated.

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