Web business has been dominated by a direct marketing approach. The rise of social media in recent years has reintroduced a brand marketing approach.

brand image via shutterstock

One problem, however, is that web systems and services are tooled for direct marketing, not branding.

Embarking on a branding initiative?

Here are some things you might want to track to see if you’re helping you (or if you are helping someone that isn’t you).

  • Branded visits: Make a custom segment for this in your analytics package. Count all the people who type in your web address, do a search for your business name or the names of people who are closely associated with the business (like you, I hope!). Use this to see if your efforts are increasing “name recognition” after all. Real estate in many climates is seasonal so compare year-over-year as well as month-to-month.
  • Return visits: A friend and someone who’s marketing skills I greatly admire recently said he’d much rather have a Facebook friend than a website visit. He’s right. But he was comparing apples to oranges. A return visit (or a site subscriber if you’re lucky enough to have one of those) is much more like a social media “friend” than first time visit. People coming back to your site gives you a sense of whether you’re able to stay in people’s minds or not.
  • Advocates: The number of people who are actively promoting the things you’re doing across any channel. There are simple ways for getting a ballpark on this and there are complex ways to get more exact. Resist the temptation to shift into a “lead generation” mode as you may kill your advocates.


A few quick tips: look beyond prepackaged reports, segment by geography, make your own spreadsheets, measure.

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