As we’ve discussed at length in previous articles, high web traffic numbers are exciting, but what is their direct influence on sales? A Functional Marketing Plan (FMP) can only be effective if its effects are measurable, so this means evaluating how many visitors are actually converted into sales.
For our purposes, we want to quantify your site traffic using the following three categories:
Visitors: Any IP address that visits your website. This will include many customers actually interested in your product, but may also include “garbage” inquiries from users that have no interest in your product, or even programs such as spam bots.
Leads: These visitors have taken further action upon visiting your website. This could mean signing up for an email list, watching a video, or clicking a webinar link. Their behavior indicates curiosity about your company and your product.
Customer: The visitor has made a purchase, and will hopefully go on to give a testimonial or referral!
Clearly, the end goal is converting leads to customers, but many businesses are falling short in the visitor-to-lead conversion, and often don’t even know it. Regardless of the traffic numbers you’re pulling in, if this conversion isn’t happening, your SEO efforts will have little effect on your sales.
Start scoring your leads!
A strong FMP should include an avenue to both evaluate your visitor-to-lead conversion process, and identify prospects that are on their way to a purchase. Lead scoring — the process of assessing leads based on their actions on your site — accomplishes both. Lead scoring is used by 44% of marketers (according to Lattice Engines), and if used effectively, it can save a great deal of time and money by focusing your marketing efforts.
A lead scoring program assigns numerical values to each engagement. For example, 5 points for visiting a pricing page, or 10 for downloading a free eBook, or 30 for calling your sales team. The total score tells you where the lead is on their purchasing journey, and how close they are to becoming a sale.
In addition to identifying hot leads for your sales team, lead scoring and conversion tracking can help laser-focus your marketing efforts. By keeping separate scores for visitors that come in via Google searches, email links, or social media referrals, you can paint a clearer picture of your marketing dollars at work. For example, if visitors from Google tend to visit the homepage, but then leave without much engagement, you’re bringing in the wrong kind of traffic. This may necessitate a pivot in SEO keyword focus, or a change in advertising tactics. On the other hand, if you post a blog on social media, and visitors who click through tend to leave a comment and sign up for your email list, then it’s safe to say that outlet is bringing in more qualified visitors.
Is it time for a change?
If the majority of your visitors aren’t engaging at all, your marketing efforts need a serious overhaul. The ubiquity of these analytics tools are a large motivator behind marketers giving up pure SEO approaches in favor of more functional alternatives. An SEO plan rests on the number of clicks garnered from Google searches, but those numbers tell an incomplete story. “Qualified” visitors should be an objective, not quantity of visitors.
A major lack of correlation between visitor counts and sales numbers could mean it’s time for a change in your marketing plan. Iffel International runs clinics on creating and executing Functional Marketing Plans. This process often involves using analytics tools to audit existing SEO programs, evaluate online advertising, and focusing keyword selection.
Implementing a tracking program will provide a clear picture of the journey your customers take when they visit your site, and help you better guide them toward a sale. Even on a shoestring budget, these tools make sense: the ROI is easily quantifiable, and they can eliminate inefficiencies in your marketing program. Work smarter, not harder, and start making sure the right people are visiting your site!
Turn Your Website Into A Sales Engine.