There are a few important questions to answer before you start your next marketing campaign. You need to define what success means for your brand in terms of these efforts. What is the goal — acquiring more customers? Boosting brand awareness? Once you define these objectives, you will be able to better track your efforts.

Google Analytics is an important feature small businesses can utilize for free to track their online marketing efforts. The platform allows you to track pageviews, unique visitors to your website, monitor repeat traffic and more. By understanding these numbers, you can have an inside look at who your target audience is for your marketing campaigns.

Milena Regos, a principal at Out&About Marketing, said creating goals on Google Analytics is another way to track marketing success. A goal on Google Analytics represents a completed activity — a conversion — that will help with the success rate of your business.

“A goal would be — let’s say somebody contacts a studio or signs up for a class, then they will be able to track how many people converted from each marketing channel,” said Regos. “Looking at how many people they were able to capture from each channel and also the conversion rates can benefit your studio immensely.”

Simply using Google Analytics isn’t enough, however. Studios should be evaluating their numbers frequently to understand where their marketing expenses are going and if revenue goals are being reached by them.

Kerry Maiorca, the founder of Bloom Yoga Studio in Chicago, said they use Google Analytics to measure the success of many of their marketing strategies. A monthly meeting is held to go over these figures and determine success or failures, and where to go from there.

“We review our analytics on a monthly basis to note any significant changes,” said Maiorca. “Overall, we’ve found that there aren’t too many surprises, and that consistency over the long-term is our best marketing strategy. By far, word-of-mouth is the best way to attract committed clients.”

It is easy to become impatient as a small-business owner, watching money for marketing come out of your account without quickly seeing it being put back in. Regos suggested evaluating the style of marketing before deciding to cut the cord on the efforts. Some channels may take longer to yield results than others.

“Let’s say a yoga studio wants to increase brand awareness in a neighborhood; something like that will take time,” said Regos. “You will have to decide how many people you want to reach on a weekly, daily and monthly basis. If it’s a social media manager, they would want to look at things daily or weekly. A marketing director would want to look at things once a month. Then a business owner just needs to know whatever they are investing in marketing is working. The different type of data and reports are applicable in each case.”

Knowing your customer base — the type of people coming into your studio — is equally important. Numbers say a lot, but so does talking to your students. Conversations should be held to see what brought them to your studio, and how they talk about it to their friends.

“We’ve experimented a lot over the years and have found that fancy marketing strategies don’t tend to work as well in a business that is so personal and relationship-based,” said Maiorca. “For our clients to be committed to Bloom long-term, the studio needs to be convenient to their schedule and location, it needs to be the approach they’re seeking, and they need to feel at home in our community. Having been open for 12 years now, we don’t cast such a wide net in our marketing efforts. We focus on more local events and outreach, and do our best to ensure our current clients are happy and excited about what they do. A happy client is a yoga studio’s best marketing strategy.”