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Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009 at 9:30 am

A Clicks-to-Bricks Site Optimization Checklist

By Melissa Burdon
November 4th, 2009

checklistBecause I live in the optimization world, I sometimes assume that certain web site strategies are common sense and obvious. I sometimes forget that the only reason why they are common sense and obvious to me: Because I analyze and optimize web sites all day, every day. That’s a bit of an unfair advantage!

At FutureNow, we work with clients in a variety of industries and business models: e-commerce, lead generation and catalog. Lately, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some clients who are driving traffic from their web sites to physical store locations. These clients share some basic challenges, so I’ve decided to cover things you should be focusing on if you’re an online business trying to drive traffic to a physical location.

First, decide what action you want your visitors to take. We know that you want your visitors to come off your web site and visit your physical location, but what actions do you want them to take ON your web site that demonstrate their interest in coming to your physical location? These are what we call micro conversion points.  “Micro” because they are stepping stones on the way to some sort of purchase, which we call a macro conversion.

Here are some examples of actions a site might want the visitor to take to show their interest in moving forward. The following points should be tracked as micro conversion points, and you should optimize to increase these individual conversion rates.

  • A “locations” page where you feature your address and map with directions. If visitors get to this page, they are interested in where you are located, which shows strong motivation and intent.
  • Some sites feature a “Find the nearest location” tool.
  • Booking an appointment for a service or holding/reserving a product.
  • Contact us page, phone calls and emails are demonstrating that visitors are looking for answers to questions.

Tracking these micro conversion points is important, but it’s also important to follow through and track whether visitors who take these micro conversion actions are resulting in physical store purchases. Many companies track one or the other, but they seem to have a hard time tracking micro conversion rates on their web sites or they have a hard time connecting actions on a web site to actual sales in the physical store.

Here’s a list of questions you can ask yourself in order to get the right tracking in place to start seeing how your online efforts are resulting in ‘brick and mortar’ sales.

Tracking whether a store purchaser was originally a web site visitor:

Are you tracking all in-store purchases, asking each purchaser whether they went to your web site before they came to your physical store? This will help you find out general stats on how many visited your web site prior to purchasing.

Are you collecting email addresses and sending out surveys to in-store purchasers to find out how they came to your store?

  • For those who identify that they came to your web site before coming to your physical store, are you asking them if they already knew about your store and were just coming to your site to find the address/location or to call the store?
  • Are you asking them whether they were actually searching for something online, and found your web site as a solution to a problem (and didn’t yet know about your store) and they only found out that you had a physical store from your web site?

Tracking phone calls from listed phone numbers on your web site:

Is the phone number listed on your web site unique from other marketing efforts so that you can track it separately?

Is the phone number you list on various pages unique from the other pages on your site? In other words, if you feature a phone number on the about us page, is it a different number than the one on your contact us page? This would help you identify what pages visitors are making a decision to call from, and will also help you identify what types of things they are asking after visiting specific pages on your site.

Are you collecting enough information from the caller on the phone, so that you can match this up if the visitor turns into a sale in the physical store location?

Purely “clicks and mortar” E-commerce sites see the importance of optimization before the Holiday Season because it directly impacts their sales online. “Bricks and mortar” companies that use their web site to drive traffic to their physical store don’t see the direct impact as strongly, but this could be because they aren’t tracking  the impact effectively. If you’re in this situation, use some of the tips above to begin tracking and optimizing. You still have time to optimize for the holiday season and beyond!

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Comments (37)

  1. Great piece!

    Also like the bit about metrics and measurement of response behavior.

    in the end if one can localize presence on the web with useful local info, you can convert web interest into foot-traffic!


  2. Probably a Live Chat option in the website can help people get answers for first few queries/doubts that might prevent them from walking into the store. What say?

  3. I have different email address for different things just for this reason. I know that its not always accurate, but I can usually tell where someone came from just by what email address they send the email.

  4. Great article. Multi-channel tracking is really hard as you need an integrated solution for that from phone to website to other channels.

  5. found a great tool to track keywords that generate phone calls…click to call ratio’s. Each keyword has a unique phone number.

  6. your post is very useful.
    I would like exchange link with everybody.
    If you are interested, please comment here

  7. thanx that was Great article

  8. Nowadays optimization is a must!
    Thanks for the article, spot on indeed

  9. That’s a good effort you have put on the network through your blog. Multi-channel tracking is really hard as you need an integrated solution for that from phone to website to other channels. I appreciate your work.

  10. Hey Melissa.I read your “U2 Experience” article and commented there too. Then I thought that I would try to be as regular here as possible. Even these one do provide good piece of info. How about using Google Analytics to track the user activity on my page?

  11. If you want customers to visit your site they might need to have a teaser. One example could be discount coupons that are available only at the website. They could have unique number, so you know where they are coming from.

  12. Well, it all right. Actually different experts of site optimization do their own comments. But some things are very essential in this regard.
    If designer do their best in design of the site, content writer also do their best and then person responsible for marketing or optimization also struggle for his best then it is confirm no other thing is better regarding the optimization of the site.

  13. Those are some considerate points you have made. A lot of business are just now figuring out that you can drive business from the web to your local store. I have to say that Google Maps is a very good technique.

  14. Hey..
    thanx for sharing such a informative article..

  15. Great artickle.I will begin Optimize my site.

  16. Great post to optimize u can also use Google analytic it will be more helps to see the source of traffic and we can track easily

  17. I just started optimizing my site and I’m still searching some of the link building strategies.

  18. This is an great piece of work, website are no doubt becoming tools for converting web traffic into foot traffic. I really liked the bit about having different phone numbers.
    Although Google analytics is good but its always better to keep trying new things.

  19. Great tips. I would also recommend that a site owner be very keen on the ease of use aspect of the site. Nothing drives me more nuts then having difficulty navigating through a site.

  20. Driving real traffic(to physical location,local store) from virtual traffic (website) is possible if you are looking only from local point of view.Why waste time on optimizing these ‘locations’ page .There are not many online business which can survive from local customers alone.

  21. we all feel recession chills, that’s why we have to think of a good cost-effective way to survive…

  22. I will be taking this into consideration for my next e-commerce site.

  23. Gr8 man, I ll fallow this list to make my things easy…

  24. Tracking offline leads is one of the simplest pitfalls I come across. You wouldn’t believe the number of companies who just advertise their normal domain name (with no tracking appendage) and listed the same sales number as on their website!

  25. Great post . Another Idea that you can use is .. on your website you can give out a 5% or 10% discount code that each visitor can get and use when they visit the store .

    This way you give them a discount which means more sales and also you know which customer actually visited you thru the website .

  26. Good Insight Thank you very much. I’m going to put this too good use.

  27. Tracking phone calls from the site is a big one. I know of many e-commerce outfits that don’t even have a separate phone number from its brick-and-mortar store. And tracking is almost non-existent.

  28. [...] Source:A Clicks-to-Bricks Site Optimization Checklist Share and Enjoy: [...]

  29. Tracking phone calls from the site is a big one. I know of many e-commerce outfits

  30. Good Insight Thank you very much.

  31. All tips above are very useful and I have thought that they suitable for every season.

  32. Although there is some worthy comments and please do not believe I am an expert, as I am new to the buzz of optimization, however, I do suggest you recruit professionals to establish your business optimization charter. Your business plan that includes your marketing, sales, research and development, recruitment, finance must not waiver due to this little keyword called “optimization”.

    Yes our web businesses are for some the primary tool for sales and marketing, and the optimization is a significant priority so therefore employ the skills to support this aspect of your business. There are service consultants and SEO businesses that are measured based on the ability to optimize your on line business. Get with the link!!!

  33. All of your tips are helpful. Tracking different phone numbers is a great idea. I use different email addresses for different subjects but the phone number plan will provide more detailed data.

  34. All tips above are very useful and I have thought that they suitable for every season.

  35. Thank you for this very informative article. We aare always looking for better tracking systems – I’m surprised there isn’t a comprehensive small business platform that handles inbound phone, web etc. What tools do you use for this type of thing?

  36. All tips above are very useful and I have thought that they suitable for every season

  37. [...] A Clicks-to-Bricks Site Optimization Checklist [...]

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Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

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