I have been trying to figure out a way to explain the importance of baseline data and while watching the World Series, I came to the conclusion that Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants succeed because of baseline data.
Baseline data provided the edge that Tim Lincecum needed to pitch a gem, and secure a Championship. In baseball, baseline data is called a scouting report and after facing the high powered Texas Rangers once and ‘collecting data’ of three other games, it allow Lincecum to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the Giants batters and where he needed to throw the ball to give him the highest probability for success.
The same premise of collecting baseline data before beginning a new marketing initiative will help provide a comparison point to help assess whether the project is having the expected and desired impact.
The following are areas to look for an increase or decrease compared to Baseline Data will can help determine the success of a new SEO or PPC venture.
Search Engine Optimization
- Non Brand Related Organic Traffic
- Page Rank of Targeted Keywords
- Inbound Links
- Bounce Rate
- Organic Traffic Conversion Rate
- Lead Generation
Pay Per Click
- Landing Page Conversion Rates
- Cost Per Conversion
- Cost Per Click
- Click Through Rates
- Return on Ad Spend
Two caveats to point out:
- The World Series wasn’t won in a day.
- A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Thus, the more baseline data you have the better; however, 30 – 90 days is typical and make sure you communicate with your marketing professionals about when you will start seeing your desired results. Lastly, ask for a progress report highlighting some or all of the key areas noted above this will help you make smarter internet marketing decisions.