Capturing Data with a Wide Net

The first step to being able to measure everything is to cast a wide net. This step involves several layers of action on your part, including excellent branding offline and online, comprehensive search engine optimization (SEO) and social media optimization (SMO) tactics, great web design that includes clear calls to action, a lean, focused business plan, and clear, measurable goals.

Becoming familiar with tools like keywords and with how people use the web and, more specifically, your website, will be invaluable to the process. Keeping up with changes in search engine tactics will help as well — Google has changed how it ranks sites in search results a number of times this year alone. Because search engines are constantly trying to improve results for people using them, you need to know the best practices of each one. If staying current on so many best practices sounds a bit daunting, start with the best-known ones like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, and then expand from there.

warning_bomb.eps One thing to avoid while casting your wide net is using technology just for the sake of using it because it’s new and cool. (For an example, see the nearby sidebar.

tip.eps Do your due diligence before launching a campaign. Know who and where your audience is, how to measure your results, ...

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