I can not tell you how many times over the past few months I have had people tell me that advertising online just doesn’t work. As someone who very strongly believes otherwise, I usually follow with the same question: Did the company you are working with show you any sort of analytics? Sadly, the answer is almost always no.

Now, if you are not too familiar with how internet analytics work – it’s actually pretty amazing. There are ways to track literally everything that goes on – from website hits to time spent online to conversions to where their audience is at geographically (since there’s no sense in buying ads to be seen in click farms) and oh so much more. I am not going to geek out with you about this right now, but just know that anyone who is conducting business as a publisher, podcast, online radio station, newsletter, or whatever should have a ton of figures to show you regarding how many people actually view or use their service on a weekly, daily, or even hourly basis.

As the publisher of a very successful hyper-local blog in the Coachella Valley, I am more than happy to supply official Google Analytics of readership before working with a potential client and campaign results while working with a client – because, as a successful online business, I have nothing to hide.

Just like all businesses, there are some online companies that are successful and others that are not. It’s just easier to hide the fact that no one is visiting a website or listening to an online radio station because it’s a website and, without seeing some sort of official statistics, how would you know?

So be sure to ask for analytics before parting with those precious marketing dollars – and be leery of anyone who produces anything less than official numbers or, worse, nothing at all. Unfortunately, like any business, there are some shady people and scammers out there – so be sure to protect yourself by asking for as much information as possible.

Advertising your business online works if done right – and that starts with people actually seeing your message.