Ask any Marketing 101 student and they will tell you that conversion is the key performance indicator (KPI), but ask a handful of Marketing Managers what they consider a “conversion” and the answers are as diverse as the industries and services they manage.
Conversion does not necessarily equal a sale, but it does indicate that the prospect took an action that brings them farther down the sales funnel. Conversions come in all shapes and sizes, for instance a download, a follow, a like, a form submission, a comment, a subscriber, an applicant, a review or an open.
Now while those all fall into the “conversion” category some of those do a better job of measuring success than others and a lot of the time the closer the action is to the end of the sales funnel the more valuable the metric. If the main goal of the website is to drive users to fill out a “Request a Quote” form than the number of people that submit the form is a much more relevant success metric than the number of times the "Services FAQ PDF" was downloaded.
Here are a few steps to optimize your conversion rate:
- Define a clear objective for each marketing channel and campaign
You’d be amazed by the number of marketing initiatives that hit the streets without a clear objective. Take the time to review the purpose and objective for the use of a specific channel. For example if you are using your website as a marketing tool, what is the main objective of the website? TIP: Keep in mind while the overall goal may be to secure a new client or make a sale, if you do not have an e-commerce website than you will need to identify another type of conversion that drives the user farther down the funnel within the website and then you will have to track the sale conversion elsewhere. In short, you cannot hold the website accountable for closing the sale, because it is incapable of doing so.
- Identify the conversion that will be used as a success metric
If your most recent email campaign was sent out with a call-to-action driving the recipient to click through to view the current sale on your website, then using the open-rate of the email as a conversion won’t give you the data you need to determine the campaign's success. TIP: Just because a metric is not conversion-related does not make it irrelevant, it just makes it a secondary metric. Just like knowing how many people read the newspaper is important, knowing the number of people that received it is imperative to understanding the readership.
- Determine how you can efficiently and effectively track this conversion
Discuss with your team what tools and resources are needed to monitor this conversion. For instance, if you led visitors to a form within your website that also listed your phone number then you would need to ensure you not only have Google Analytics tracking set up on the website for the form submission, but you also have call tracking software in place to capture all of the phone calls generated with this campaign. There are several tools available today to help track your conversions and there are just as many free tutorials that will help a new user learn how to best use these tools. Google Analytics is a common, free tool that allows you to track user behaviors within your website.
- Set up the tools to track
If the purpose of your Facebook ad campaign is to drive users to a campaign specific landing page, you may encourage users to click on the ad and drive them back to a landing page on your website that outlines the campaign details. By placing a conversion pixel on your website and then adding it to a Facebook ad, you'll know exactly which ads led to your conversions.Which leads us to my favorite part…
- Review and optimize
The analytics are only as good as the insights that come from them and the optimizations made based on those insights. Determine the review schedule for the marketing channel or campaign and stick to it. With each meeting report on the monthly benchmark metrics and discuss what trends or changes you are seeing along with questions and insights about what optimizations can be made to the initiatives to return a higher conversion rate.
What metrics will you be tracking to determine success?
(Contact Us with any questions or follow-up on Online Conversions)