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The Click of Death

A click does not make a sale. People can click until the cows come home, but that doesn’t mean they’ve taken a lick of action on your link.

Why? There are just too many devices to properly gauge effectiveness. Nielsen reports that, on average, Americans own four devices and spend 60 hours every week connecting across those gadgets.

The problem with click-based measurement is that it cannot accurately capture cross-device conversion paths.

What does this mean? Well, let’s say you own a Smartphone, a tablet, and a laptop. And let’s imagine you find something you like online. Perhaps you see it first on your phone, then move to your tablet for a closer look. When you get home, you open the link on your laptop.

Click-based measurement will register that three people clicked on your link. Multiply that by all the folks who clicked on the link on more than one electronic device? Those are some pretty big numbers. Pretty cool, huh? The problem? In our example, it was just you, using three different devices.

Perhaps more importantly, click-based metrics don’t show if you took any action. Like that first line above: A click does not a sale make. So then things get really muddy. Your old method may be showing thousands or even millions of clicks, but only a dozen conversions or sales. That just doesn’t add up.

So what’s the solution? You need to measure people’s behavior, not their click rate. You need to ask yourself, “Did I reach the right audience?” And, among other metrics, you need to be able to determine how people arrived at your site, how long they stayed, and what action(s) they took.

Fortunately, there are some very good tools for analyzing engagement. Hootsuite is an affordable way to measure your brand’s reach. I’ve been using it for years and think it’s great for organizing and sorting conversations. Conversion Lift allows you to track the efficacy of Facebook Ads. I’m also a big fan of Radian6 and used it at a large corporation for very effective social listening. Unmetric, Chartbeat, and other platforms are also useful tools. You need to find the one — or the combination — that gives you the best insights into your customer’s behavior.

Clicks were the bee’s knees when we all owned just one big expensive computer. But those days are long gone. It’s time to say sayonara to click-based measurement and begin exploring new ways to track your marketing and advertising campaigns.

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