Whenever we start an engagement with a new client at FutureNow, we begin our journey together with a kickoff call to get a better understanding of the client’s business, customers and the general climate of their industry. We also start by taking a look at their analytics account to gain initial insights into their traffic volume, conversion rate, goals, the marketing efforts they are investing in, etc.
In most cases when we ask the client what their goals are for their project, they respond with “increase sales” or “increase leads,” depending on their business model. When we ask how they measure success; what their key performance indicators are and how they are calculated, they usually respond with the same answer. Some may say they have secondary goals of increasing newsletter signups or getting prospects to download a whitepaper. When we then ask them “Why? Do you know the value of a newsletter signup or a whitepaper download?” we can hear crickets on the other end of the line.
I’m not trying to throw our clients under the bus here. After all, they are the ones taking the initiative to invest in increasing their conversion rates and performance online. In fact, they are usually better versed than the majority of people in website optimization and they still don’t have a clear idea of what they should be tracking. What I’m trying to demonstrate is that there is still a wide spread lack of knowledge on what drives sales and leads, how and what to track, and why you should track one thing over another, and how it all affects the bottom line!
Let’s first get a temperature on what you’re already doing. There may be a variety of things you consider as important goals to track on your site. Let’s touch on a few here to get you started:
1. Do you have a newsletter? Do you allow visitors to subscribe to your newsletter on your site?
2. Do you have any downloadable resources that you would consider to be educational or of interest to the visitor? Do you offer content that helps prospects gain confidence in your brand and give them reason to come back to your site?
3. Perhaps you have certain pages that prospects view on your site that you feel are a demonstration of high interest because they are a valuable step in your buying process?
4. Maybe you feel strongly that for your company and your industry, that if someone views more than 3 pages in a single visit, that they are more likely to convert?
Once you’ve identified some key secondary goals, you need to get tracking in place to determine how valuable these are to you today. Do your newsletters actually contribute to sales or leads? Once you have them tracked, you can actually calculate the value of your newsletters. The same goes with any of the things mentioned above. You can create the appropriate tracking for any of these secondary goals. You need to know what the value is of your current goals if you are going to figure out the success of optimizing them.
We’re not just going to help you increase newsletter sign-ups because you think it’s a good idea. There may be much bigger fish to fry! Now, if we track newsletter signups and they demonstrate incredible value, then we absolutely will help you increase newsletter sign-ups! The whole idea is to let the data tell you where to focus and prioritize.
Conversion Rate Optimization isn’t just about looking for some broken data points and using best practice recommendations for improvement. At FutureNow, we help you learn more about how your customers are moving forward in their buying process, and we help you improve the experience for your visitors from the very first interaction to final conversion on your site. If you are looking to start improving your online performance, start by tracking all of your goals and assigning them a dollar value. You can always contact us if you need any help.