Don’t keep score — with respect to business, relationships, wealth, or just how many tacos or burritos you can swallow in one sitting?
Keeping score only makes you miserable. It pushes you to chase invisible ghosts. You’ll only exhaust yourself one day and have nothing much to show for whatever it is that you were trying to keep score with.
Take travel for instance: you might have heard about how people make it a mission to all of 195 countries in the world with as often as just a few minutes in a country. It might sound impressive at first but you need to dig deeper.
Travel isn’t just about keeping score — it’s more about exploring the vast diaspora of cultures, languages, food, places, habits, and social constructs that make so many different places unique (and some countries like The United States, India, and China are even more complex).
People who travel 195 countries (in 2,5,7 years flat) barely ever being able to appreciate the vast, almost impossible wealth that each country with its people, food, and culture can really give you).
Why am I talking about travel, countries, and people who keep score with travel (# of countries) collecting visas like Pokemon cards, you ask?
That’s something marketers and entrepreneurs do as well. The underbelly of business has a lot to do with keeping score, tally, to measure up, to keep track of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and so much more.
It’s just the nature of the beast. Because your digital marketing — and hence your business — makes itself vulnerable to “keeping score”, here’s why you don’t keep score and you can do instead:
It’s assumed that basics are sorted
You might have already gone ahead and have the right foundations in place (hopefully). If you haven’t, here’s a rundown of options.
- Pick the right Hosting Solutions. Your options? WPEngine, FlyWheel (also owned by WPEngine), Cloudways (gives you at least 5 other avenues for hosting such as an ability to choose from Digital Ocean, The Google Cloud Platform, AWS, and more), 10Web (on Google Cloud Platform but gives you 22+ premium plugins, a WordPress website builder built on top of Elementor, and more).
- Put your unwavering focus on the complete digital marketing engine (all channels). So, it’s not just SEO or social media. Start with blogging on a schedule, do content marketing the right way, distribute your content on social media regularly (Hint: use Linkiro to make social work for you), grow your email list, and also consider paid advertising (with emphasis on lead generation and marketing automation). Need help? Get this Content Marketing Tool kit from SEMRush
- Use landing pages for lead generation (even e-commerce sites should be doing that). The best options are Unbounce, LeadPages, Instapage, Webflow and Simvoly (the last two also help you develop websites built on HTML/CSS).
- Choose whatever email marketing tool you want — say, MailChimp, Drip, ConvertKit, or whatever. Grow your email list (partially with the organic traffic visiting your site and partially with orchestrated effort with marketing (including Paid advertising).
Digital marketing doesn’t end here. You’ll also need to ensure that you are tracking your marketing efforts the right way. Learn to use UTM (Urchin Tracking Mode) to measure and tracking everything.
Here’s a handy Google Urchin Tracking Mode (Google UTM) builder
Conversion Benchmarks, KPI, Metrics? Just Compete with yourself
One look at this exhaustive landing pages Conversions Report will tell you where the averages stand, what the percentage of conversions should be, and more.
After you run campaigns for a while, you’ll know how your landing pages perform. Most people just stop there.
Don’t go deep diving into industry averages, conversion benchmarks, and other numbers so much that you forget to put in the work for your own landing page optimization.
If you want a quick way to see just how well your landing pages are stacked up and optimized for conversions, all you have to do is to use this Landing Page Analyzer by Unbounce.
To perform better, you’d have to test one landing page against the other.
Or one web page against the other (if you were testing web pages, as against landing pages). Leading landing page tools such as Unbounce, LeadPages, Instapage, Simvoly, Instapage, and several others allow you to do A/B testing for your landing pages.
WordPress website builders such as Divi also provide you with ways to test every single page on your website. In other cases, you can also use Optimizely or Visual Website Optimizer to test pages for conversions.
Track, Measure, Analyze. Know your numbers.
Knowing your numbers (tracking, measuring, and analyzing) is one thing. What you compare this data with and what you do with it is what matters in the end.
You have Google Analytics that gives you a wealth of information about your website — visits, time spent on pages, location of visitors, and where you manage to acquire users from.
You have statistics and numbers on everything — from the number of page visits, bounce rate, page speed, etc., to landing page conversions. Tools like SEMrush can give you even more insight on each page of your website, traffic analytics, backlink profile, your social media KPI, and just about everything you ought to know about how your SEO is working.
SuperMetrics allows you to connect all this data from various sources to simple, everyday tools such as Google Sheets or Excel, prepare reports (for yourself, your team, or for your clients) for ease of understanding, and more.
As for analytics and numbers, there’s nothing stopping you really. What matters is what you do with this data, how you understand this data, and how you use this data.
The only recommendation for you is to collect, understand, and use this data to improve.
Do better tomorrow than you did this month or the previous month.
Whatever you do, just don’t bother keeping score by comparing yourself with your competition. A bird’s eye view of the average numbers (for everything) will certainly help but don’t get obsessed with “beating your competition” or “kicking your competition’s ass goodbye”.
Don’t keep score with your marketing efforts. Doing so is the digital marketing version of “keeping up with the joneses”.