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If you want to get more leads and sales from your website, stop treating it like a brochure and start treating it like a sales rep. Brochures are a waste of money. With brochures, your marketing team (or YOU) spends weeks trying to come up with the “look” and “messaging” and more often than not that box of brochures ends up sitting in the corner of office supply closet collecting dust. At best you distribute a few and they receive an occasional glance before being tossed into the circular file. Sales reps, on the other hand, produce results. They have quotas and are accountable for generating “X” in revenue per month. And this is exactly how you want to think of your website.
Your website is not a brochure; it’s a virtual sales rep.
Identify your conversions
If you’re going to treat your website like a sales rep, you need to identify your website’s goals and you need tools and systems to quantify your site’s performance. Sales reps do best when they have specific goals; high-performing websites are no different. What do you want prospects to do when visit your site? Brainstorm your goals – from most important to least.
Examples of conversions or goals include:
- Website generated phone inquiries (phone lead)
- Complete a web form (web lead)
- “Live Chatting” via the website (web lead)
- Register for an event (webinar, workshop, etc. – event lead)
- Subscribe to your email newsletter
- Become a fan of your Facebook page
- Download a white paper or case study
Savvy companies define primary conversions and micro-conversions. A primary conversion is typically a contact (phone or web lead). A micro-conversion is something more valuable than someone that simply visits your site and leaves without doing anything, but not as valuable as a traditional lead. The longer your sales cycle or the larger the item/service you sell, the more micro-conversions you want to define (typically).
If you’re a plumber, it may not make much sense to assign a micro-conversion for when someone downloads a case study about how you unclogged a toilet. On the other hand, if you sell $120,000 kitchens, can you really expect someone to contact you on their first visit to your website? With a purchase of that size, it stands to reason that they might explore a couple sites before reaching out to one or a few companies. And if they are going to shop around and do a significant amount of research before calling you (or a competitor), doesn’t it make sense to entice them with an offer that allows you to get some of their contact info early in the buying process? Sure it does!
Determine your baseline
Once you’ve identified your goals and the website “conversions” you want to track, you need to put some tools in place to track and quantify your performance. Google Analytics is a great place to start (note: If you need help setting up Google Analytics on your website, filtering out your internal traffic, setting up and testing goals, etc., we can help). It’s impossible to maximize your website’s potential as a sales rep without tracking tools in place and an established baseline to show you exactly how your site performs today.
At a minimum, you need to know how many visitors reach your site, which sites sent them to you, the keywords they used to find you, the pages on your site they viewed and what percentage of visitors converted (took one of the actions you defined as a conversion or goal).
Using Google Analytics to calculate your website’s value
Google Analytics is a very powerful website tracking tool. When customized, it can track and quantify nearly any action taken on your website – from phone calls received to web forms submitted or even videos played! Google Analytics also allows you to assign a monetary value to anything you define as a goal or conversion.
Sure, but there’s one problem – you have to define the value of each goal or conversion. Many businesses go through the process of setting up Google Analytics and other tracking tools, but then fail to define a value for each goal. Typically this happens because, at times, it’s difficult to come up with an accurate value for various goals and conversions. Defining the value of a goal can be especially difficult for a new business and/or those new to analytics and tracking.
What’s it worth when a visitor submits a web contact form?
This is a tough question to answer if you haven’t decided what a new customer is worth and/or you don’t know your lead-to-sale conversion rate for web forms. Nevertheless, you can’t maximize your website’s performance without assigning monetary values to each goal or conversion on your website.
In the beginning, you can start with estimates. What’s a customer worth? What’s your lead-to-sale conversion rate – 5%, 25%, 50%? If you can come up with these two numbers – even rough estimates, you’ll be able to define the value of a phone lead from your website or a web contact form submission.
If you’ve had tracking in place for a while, you’ll start to see a visit-to-lead conversion rate emerging. You can use this combined with the value of a lead to come up with a value per visitor. Having this number is critical when considering marketing strategies like pay per click, SEO, social media or email campaigns.
This is a snapshot of how you want things to look:
Website goals and quotas
With Google Analytics in place, goal (conversion) tracking set-up and monetary values assigned to each goal conversion, you’re ready to set some goals for your website – a quota so to speak!
Sales reps – even high performing ones – do better with goals and a quota in place. Your website is no different. If you’re spending money to drive traffic to your website, you need to see – in quantifiable terms – the return you’re getting on your investment. Look at the screenshot above. $4,000 worth of marketing was spent during the three months seen in the screenshot.
Based on the website’s goal conversion rate (5.24%) and the value defined for each goal (there were 5 established goals), the website produced $4,820 – 120% ROI. Not too shabby. Imagine if we could use data from Google Analytics to increase the website’s goal conversion rate from 5.2% to 7.5%! Alternatively, we could examine each marketing strategy individually, eliminate the poor performers and increase our investment in the strong performers. Or we could do both!
Test, track, tweak, repeat
Accurate measurement and tracking is the foundation of every high-performing marketing organization. Tools like Google Analytics are critical. When set up properly, they can show you exactly how you’re doing today, help you quantify visitor activity and allow you to make more intelligent decisions moving forward. New insights transform your website from a brochure to a virtual sales rep – one that works for you 24×7, never gets sick and never asks for a vacation!
To learn more about using marketing analytics tools to quantify your website’s value and get more leads, check out our marketing case studies.
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
View more blogs by Ben Landers