These days, websites are all about activities: conversions, metrics and KPIs

These days, websites are all about activities: conversions, metrics and KPIs

It is no longer about bringing as many people to the website as possible and keeping them as long as we can. It is about acquiring high quality traffic that we can engage with and turn into clients in a long-term perspective. This way we can avoid overspending on our marketing budget.

An image of a CONVERSION sign in colour

 

  • Websites are no longer focused just on traffic but about engagement, leads and clients, since 60-80% of decision makers perform research on-line before even meeting with your sales people
  • Marketing Directors have become strategic players inside organisations
  • Digital transformation helps companies measure elusive ROI of digital activities

Not long ago I ran a workshop for a corporate client with a vast network of brick-and-mortar shops with a bit of online presence.

Their managers were stuck on using old school methods because they “worked just great” - a steady revenue flow from their sales team scattered throughout the country. And no reality check on how things would look in a year or two. And so, no pressure to polish up their digital activities, to take on next year’s battles, not last year’s.

We ran through some examples to show how thousands of visitors to their website every day “got away”- came and went without adding any new leads, no conversations, no promise of further engagement - not even a discernible ROPO effect (Read Online, Purchase Offline).

This obvious lost opportunities woke them up -  they decided to refocus and move forward with a new portfolio of websites designed to correct for these missed opportunities.

Websites are no longer about information

Websites are no longer just pricing and product sheets, static information providers. The new breed are built as communication platforms, with the ability to generate and maintain more ongoing contacts and online channels through tools that save us time and solve problems we didn’t even know we had.

Money spent on websites was always treated as a necessary evil, a cost of just keeping the lights on, one’s on-line business card with no further purpose. Some orgs plumped the amount of website traffic they got as a sign of success, parading stats and pretty brand images to the board, while still stuck in the “awareness” part of the marketing cycle.

And as long as revenues were propped up by unrelated activities (stores, tenders, cold-calling…), no one minded. “Digital” meant an online billboard.

But even for traditional business, websites and the digital portfolio of content platforms are no longer to be ignored for a simple reason - 60-80% of decision makers perform research on-line before meeting your sales people.

Roles of websites

Before
INFORMATION
Now
CONVERSION

Information - as a source of information websites were one-stop shops for a brand. 

  • Business on-line presence

  • Providing information about the company and its offer

  • Building basic brand awareness online

     

Conversion - with turning visitors into clients, the website became an online marketing hub with the most valuable conversion happening on it. 

  • Customer journey - playing active role in customer’s research online as a market expert
  • User engagement - inviting clients to interact with a brand
  • Generating leads - turning visitors into potential clients to provide sales team with leads
  • Sales support - we want our sales people to visits clients who have already read about us online
  • Central part of digital activities - a hub to other content platforms that are close and natural to our audience

Websites aren’t "standalone" anymore

“Omnichannel marketing” means keeping multiple balls in the air, taking a synchronized, choreographed approach to Sales & Marketing. Here we reach our audience through *their* chosen channels & activities. And yes, by “audience” we mean they need to be entertained to some extent. Eyeballs (and eardrums) are valuable commodities these days, and we have to work hard to attract them.

Content platforms are a unifying hub that helps us coordinate and fine-tune our activities - to pull in traffic to our websites, mailing lists, video & podcasts, and e-shops, plus serve them once they’re there - playing the role of sidewalk hawker and master of ceremonies. With our new communications hub, the User Conversation (and delivery on its results) is all-important, not the time and place.

But still, we’d prefer these conversations and ultimately sales to occur where we’re strongest, where we have the most persuasive resources and analytical insights into how that conversation’s going (plus help us work on what went wrong).

Typically it’s a website where we as marketers have the most complete presence and control to impact potential clients - our “charm offensive”, our dialogues, our best first impression. It doesn’t really matter whether we publish more content on Linkedin or Medium than on our website - it’s where we finalize the discussion and close the deal.

In the past our main tool was a website to blindly offer up pages. Today we have many places to publish our content and engage clients in different ways:

Website

  • Main corporate website
  • Product pages
  • Blogs
  • Wiki
  • Landing pages
  • Content materials: ebooks, reports, white-papers, video

Social media

  • Linkedin
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo

Medium

  • Articles

Metrics

Digital transformation raises the importance of Marketing departments in organisations. They are no longer teams designing and printing leaflets, a kind of cost-draining area of business, as they used to be perceived in the past by many boards of directors.

Today Marketing departments with the knowledge and expertise in the area of digital field are strategic partners inside organisations.

Marketing Directors and Chief Marketing Officers manage digital projects inside companies, while it used to be the role of IT Directors. IT plays a supportive role to marketing to help them deliver results that are expected from them.

Talking about results - measuring effectiveness has changed a lot during the last few years.

It is no longer about bringing as many people to the website as possible and keeping them as long as we can. It is about acquiring high quality traffic that we can engage with and turn into clients in a long-term perspective. This way we can avoid overspending on our marketing budget.

Measuring efficiency

Before
TRAFFIC - activities on site
Now
CONVERSIONS - engagement, leads, clients

Using Google Analytics or any other web analytics platforms to provide basic statistics regarding traffic on websites.

  • Visits

  • Impressions

  • Bounce rates

  • Pages per visit

  • Visit duration / Time on site

  • New vs returning visitors

  • Source of visits

  • Top pages viewed

Connecting various analytics tools with internal systems to track conversions to money spent and assess quality of incoming traffic.

  • Traffic quality

  • Conversion types

    • Subscriptions to newsletters

    • Forms filled

    • Offer requests

    • Content downloaded (ebooks, white papers, reports)

    • Videos watched (including duration)

    • Purchase

  • Conversion rate

  • Cost per conversion

     

Conversion on your website occurs when a visitor completes a desired action. So if you drive 1 000 visitors from your email campaign to your website and 50 people download an ebook you promoted then you have a 5% conversion rate.

E-mail campaign cost $100
Visitors to the site 1000
Ebooks downloaded (conversions) 50
Conversion rate (conversions/visitors) 5%
Cost per conversion (campaign costs/conversions) $2

KPIs & ROI

With powerful websites as hubs of digital marketing activities, more and more strategic KPIs of organisations cascade down to marketing departments (increasing sales, improving brand awareness, sharing content & engaging clients). As sales & revenue targets have the highest priorities for business, digital is here to support these goals through activities that have direct or indirect effect on them.

The best players on the market had figured a way to maximise synergy of both Sales and Marketing departments working shoulder to shoulder to achieve revenue goals. It is a must in the digital transformation age.

We can have KPIs, like:

  • Provide sales team with 100 leads a month for Product A

  • Drive 20% of quality traffic of decision makers from organisations with 1000+ employees

  • Engage 12% of undecided clients through content marketing (lead nurturing)

  • Provide clients that purchased Product A with information regarding Product B

  • Increase newsletter database to 20 000 subscribers

  • Send 100 000 emails a month with Click Through Rate to our websites on at least 5% level

And with advanced web analytics tools you can calculate Return on Investment (ROI) - you just need to have a close cooperation with your sales team to make sure they provide you with feedback regarding which activities impacted closed deals. You compare it with your campaigns’ spending and can track efficiency of your activities.

So let’s say you run a social media campaign that brought traffic to your website that resulted in 100 leads to your business and 14 ended up with a purchase. Company made a $3000 profit in a short-term and $12 000 in a long-term perspective and you spent $10 000 on the campaign. Then your ROI is 120%. As we are aware digital marketing focuses on a long-term ROI and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) as marketing activities are expensive in the short term.

5 checkpoints for your website

Here is a to do list for your organisation:

  1. What websites metrics and conversions do you currently measure and what you should start taking into consideration?

  2. Are your analytics tools good enough to measure what you need?

  3. What types of user engagement on your website fit your business - forms, content, newsletter?

  4. What are KPIs for your business that you can assign to your website?

  5. What change, from the above list, can you implement in the next 5 days?

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Paul Montwill

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Digital Strategy Director

Tell me about your digital challenges and I will propose solutions, schedules and cost estimates.