We know that not every business owner is a numbers person. A lot of the time, they may know the trends that got them to a certain point but as far as cold hard numbers go to back that up, it’s usually guess work.
The flip side of that is the folks who like to like to over analyze every last number to death and in the end not really making any progress. Analytic packages can spew a lot of numbers and it can be a little overwhelming to process them all. While no two businesses are exactly the same, they can often find themselves sharing many of the same problems with an uncertainty of how to improve the situation.
That’s why today we’re going to identify 3 (or 4) key metrics that will help improve your decision making process.
Website traffic is tied directly to brand awareness. Whether your business is brand spanking new or a third generation moonshining enterprise that’s been rolling out contraband across state lines since the silent era, you’re always looking to increase brand awareness.
Most people however, take general traffic much too seriously. They think that if traffic is up 10% it’s been a good month, without even knowing anything about those visitors. The metric usually ends there.
Take a look at where your main traffic sources are coming from and more specifically, to your home page. Traffic that goes directly to your home page is branded traffic. These people already know your business and are visiting directly. So how are people finding you? Is it social media? Search Engines? Traditional marketing? These avenues will tell you where you should be putting your marketing efforts.
It’s also important however not to ignore traffic to other pages of your website. Any web analytics package worth the time of day should be able to tell you how any page is performing – through what channels and over time, whether that’s week-to-week or month-to-month. As you generate more content with long-tailed keywords for your website, you should begin to see an upswing in your search engine rankings. You’ll also be able to measure the effectiveness of your social media efforts.
You can have more traffic than a Hong Kong freeway at gridlock, but at some point you need to push those visitors down the sales funnel toward becoming leads. Growing your lead database is critical to the inbound process.
Blog traffic and social media performance are good indicators of future lead growth. An increase can be a precursor to new leads whereas stagnant traffic should be a red flag that your blog needs a little TLC, or that new discussions should be started via social media or other avenues to promote that content.
As blog traffic picks up you can begin to see how people are reaching your landing pages and what kind of conversion numbers you’re getting on offers. You’ll also be able to identify what kinds of topics people are looking for that they can latch on to and become legitimate business leads.
Truckloads of leads are great, but what we’re really interested in are qualified leads – meaning those that are legitimately interesting in becoming a future customer. So what qualifies a lead? that needs to be determined by your calls-to-action, whether it’s downloading a piece of content, signing up for a webinar or demo, etc. From there you can measure click through rates on those CTAs to see who is legitimately interested in moving through to the next phase of the sales process.
Find out which CTAs are performing better than others and which ones are acquiring the most conversions. You can find out the conversion rate of a call-to-action by getting the percentage of views based on a form submission. You’ll be able to see what content is driving the most qualified leads and eventually which ones have become customers.
#4 Bonus Metric: Lead-to-Customer Conversions
The final part of the sales process is closing the sale. The only reason we’re listing this as a 4th bonus metric and not one of the main 3 is because sometimes the closing portion of the process is up to your sales team, or in other words, a human being. It’s not always done strictly through the website like our title suggests. It can be, but not always. But that doesn’t mean you can’t track this final step online. By knowing what channels have attracted, converted and closed sales, you’ll be able to tell what content, calls-to-action and offers are working, and where to beef up.
If you feel that your business is unequipped to identify the metrics we’ve outlined today, Point Click Media can certainly help you find the right tools to get you tracking and moving.
Hey, even if you’re reporting to the higher ups, these tips can save a lot of time in the strategy meetings. More so, we’ve got an additional set of tips that could come in handy: