One of the most enduring characters in popular culture is Sherlock Holmes. Between the original books, 1930s movies, the recent blockbusters, the hit TV show, and thousands of other references, everyone is probably at least passingly familiar with the great English detective.

What makes Holmes so fascinating to us (and valuable to Scotland Yard) is his ability to quickly scan a crime scene, see beyond the obvious and, through his famous deductive reasoning, discover the truth of what really occurred.

Wouldn't it be great to have your own Sherlock Holmes at your disposal, ready to be called upon at a moment's notice to help you solve your own mysteries regarding the performance of your search advertising?

Actually, there is.

Only instead of a genius in a checked cap with a curved pipe, analytics applications help you dig deeper into Web visitor behaviors to gain a better understanding of whether your paid search/digital marketing efforts are bringing the right prospects to your site.

The Analytics Solution

To understand the contribution analytics applications can make, first distinguish between the information you get from Google AdWords and what analytics packages add to the mix.

Google AdWords does a great job of quantifying the basic performance of your digital marketing program. You can see performance indicators such as conversion rates, opens, clicks, impressions, etc., all of which are valuable metrics. They show you how effective your digital marketing efforts are in driving traffic to your website or landing pages.

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image of Mark Smith

Mark Smith is a co-founder of digital marketing agency KeywordFirst. He has worked in digital marketing since its inception and helped lead the first search engine marketing team at W.W. Grainger.

LinkedIn: Mark Smith