When you run a small business, it may feel impossible to stay on top of your Internet marketing efforts. Odds are, you have to spend a lot more time maintaining your day-to-day operations than you spend digging through endless reports and charts. Fortunately there are some easy ways to make sure you’re not throwing money away.
The root of all successful Internet marketing management is reporting. The best way to stay on top of your campaigns is to have regular scheduled reports sent directly to your e-mail address. Talk to your ad providers and make sure you get regular updates on the performance of your Internet marketing efforts. A well tuned report can tell you where you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
Whether you’re working directly with the ad provider (e.g. Google) or handling ads through a marketing agency, it’s an absolute must to track the success of your campaigns. Adding tracking code to your small business website is usually as easy as a simple copy and paste. Without that code, you’ll be completely in the dark on whether or not your clicks are turning into customers.
When it comes to Internet marketing, negatives are a good thing. If you manage an exercise equipment store that only deals in new products, you wouldn’t target advertising at people looking for used treadmills. Negatives are used to avoid that problem when you run online ads. Think about the kind of products you don’t sell and make sure to communicate that to your advertising agency or search engine partner. Keeping a solid set of negative keywords will prevent you from spending advertising dollars on people who aren’t interested in what you’re offering.
Many Internet marketing providers offer the ability to schedule your campaigns. Use your reporting to find out if visitors are turning into customers more often during certain times of the day or week. Schedule your ads to run more often during those times to maximize your return on investment.
Small businesses should have well maintained budgets, and your Internet marketing accounts should be no exception. When a topic starts trending on the Internet, your ads could inadvertently get swept up in the traffic spike. Make sure to set reasonable daily budgets for all your campaigns to avoid blowing your budget on unprofitable traffic.
In an ideal world, every dollar your small business spent on Internet marketing would bring in customers. That can’t always be the case, but you can take steps to make sure you make it as likely as possible.