Things You Should be Measuring
- Overall site conversion rate
- Conversion rate by channel
- Key pages’ conversion rate
Tips for Measuring Site Conversions
- Follow these people:
- Rand Fishkin: A great name can put a lot of pressure on your personality to live up to such a rad moniker. Fail, and you’re Wolf Blitzer. Succeed, and your Rand Fishkin. The Moz founder and all-around compelling personality keeps his Twitter feed stocked with some of the best insights you’ll find.
- Peep Laja: Next up on the Great Name team, is Peep Laja (pronounced Pep La-jah). Both his personal feed (linked in his name above) and his CXL Institute are amazing resources for powerful knowledge, links to solid research, and some really advanced stuff that will keep pushing your CRO education.
- Joanna Wiebe: Joanna is the boss of words. She makes them work and work hard. A conversion copywriter of the highest order, Joanna’s Twitter feed is as good as it gets when it comes to CRO knowledge.
- Contently: Ok, this isn’t really CRO-specifically, but creating better content will help you get the traffic that these CRO wizards and wizardesses (band name alert) will be teaching you how to convert into customers.
- Growth Hackers: This is another account that doesn’t self-identify as CRO specifically, but is a steady faucet of info that will bolster the brain of anyone trying to improve their conversion rates.
- Look for small incremental changes you can make and test. Small movements can lead to huge impacts.
- DO report this as a strategy that you’re deploying and speak to the effectiveness and efficiency of this.
- Measure everything! Keep track of where you started and what is happening as you make changes.
- Use Hotjar, CrazyEgg or Full Story to help you determine where to start with your CRO.
Lifecycle & Funnel Conversion Metrics
Now, we might start to sound a bit like your sales team here and that’s okay. Our partners on the other side of this business growth train can be really helpful.
HubSpot calls them Lifecycle stages. You may also refer to them as Funnel Stages, Journey Stages, etc. Whatever you call them - measure them.
Once you’ve turned strangers into a known-contact your job isn’t done and this is where the business-mind really kicks in. This is also where CROs and CEO will start to pay attention to what you have to say.
Your sales team should already have a convention on how they map the stages a lead goes through in their process. Get your hands on that and then build (or modify if you can) your stages to lead right into that. (Hint: we’re getting dangerously close to the holy grail of Closed-Loop Reporting!)
The more you know about what happens to your contacts after they convert the more valuable you and marketing becomes. Answer questions like:
- How qualified are the leads from Facebook last quarter?
- Are MQLs converting into revenue?
- What process takes the longest in the entire customer-acquisition process?
- How can marketing shorten (or should it) any of the earlier stages?
You simply can not answer those questions without tracking and measuring the conversion between those stages.
Things You Should be Measuring:
The math here is pretty straightforward: measure the percentage of conversion between each stage of your customers’ journey, including:
- Traffic to Contact % (=traffic/contacts*100)
- Contact to Lead % (=contacts/lead*100)
- Lead to MQL % (=lead/MQL*100)
- MQL to SQL % (=MQL/SQL*100)
- Repeat for each stage of your process
Also, include these percentages as well:
- Net New Vs. Returning Contacts
- Channel Specific Reporting (which is the best/worst?)
- Closed Won
- Closed Lost
Tips for Measuring Lifecycle Conversion:
- Use whatever tool makes the job easier for you
- Gather data from your sales team to complete the entire funnel report
- Report on this to your leadership, speak confidently and come with recommendations to correct if needed
Ad Performance Metrics
There is no shortage of data (and by data we mean numbers) to look at when monitoring and making movement on your paid search and display efforts. But having a lot of data to look at doesn’t mean you’re looking at the right stuff. With Google Ads sitting as the top platform in this space, let’s look at what you should be measuring versus what you likely ARE measuring.
All of this is based on the assumption that you are already tracking goals according to your paid search strategy. Whether the goal of your strategy is to increase the number of contacts, leads, online sales or something else.
Remember: If you are not tracking toward a measurable goal, then you are wasting your money and your time.
Now that we’ve got that part covered, let’s get into it.
Every element of your account should be working in support of the goal, that includes your search terms, text ads, landing or destination page. All of the data to determine if these are “working” or where you can and should be improving is available to you, it’s just a matter of changing your view.
Start by updating you’re view to include data from the past, so that you can impact the future. Columns should include:
- Quality Score: estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.
- Impression Share: the total number of impressions that an ad has received divided by the number of impressions possible for that same ad.
- Impression Share Lost (rank/budget): the percentage of time that an ad is not shown on the Search Network as a result of a low ad rank or lack of budget.
- Bounce Rate: single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page
Quality score counts for a host of reasons. The most important is the impact that it has on how much your cost per click, and ultimately impacting how much you will spend on paid search.
Basically, the higher your quality score, the lower your average cost per click for a specific keyword you are targeting.
So you’re probably wondering now that you can see your score, how should you go about improving it?
While there are a number of factors, it’s likely that you can see improvements by cleaning out your keywords, refining the actual text ads, tightening up your ad groups, and updating or testing landing page content.
It’s easy to want to fix as much as possible, but it’s smarter to focus on the keywords that have some historical conversion data and a quality score of 5 (out of 10) or less.
Cleaning Out Your Keywords
Find the Positives in the Negatives
Run through your search terms to see if there are terms that you are being found for that are NOT relevant to your business (do this by reviewing the Search Terms report). If you find those that don’t fit what you do, add them as a negative. This will keep you from racking up paid clicks, while avoiding quick bounces on your landing age.
Cast a Wide Net, But Not For Long
Find potential keywords by starting with broad match keywords, then scrutinize the search terms report to find the keywords that REALLY matter.
Start to add long tail, phrase and exact match versions to your campaign to focus in on the terms that visitors are resonating with, while lowering your spend on broad terms that can also catch some trash terms with the good ones.
Update Your Ad Text Based on Intent
Get into the head of the searcher. What are they asking for when they search? Do your ads say “pick me” as it relates to their query?
Once you know what they are searching for, make sure you have at least one ad per ad group running (but optimum is 3). Try testing a Dynamic Ad headline, if you’re feeling adventuresome.
Strong offer = Strong CTR (which impacts quality score)
Add action words to your ads. Consider using modifiers to help gain the click. Include words like:
- Free Sample/Trial/Offer/Download
- Discount /Promotional Code
Show Your Landing Pages a Little Love
Be sure that your landing pages live up to the offer being made, or you’ll end up with disappointed, one-time visitors. By improving the content and conversion opportunities on these pages, you reduce your bounce rates while potentially improving your quality score.
Provide information on landing pages that offer some comparison, support for claims that your offering is the best for what they’re searching for and why (back up your claims).
Try offering gated content that proves to be a valuable resource and aligns with the searcher’s intent in order to capture more leads, improve your CTR and quality score; ultimately lowering your cost per click and working your way toward a measurable goal.
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to steps that you can follow to improve your paid search efforts to put you on the path to saving or stretching your spend while pressing toward reaching more of your goals.
Yes, we know, you’re a marketer, not a salesperson. But, we don’t care and neither should you. The data and information your sales team has on the performance of your leads are some of the most important math that you’ll be doing.
When approaching the sales team for data, keep in mind you’re asking them for THEIR metrics of success. Lean in that you really want to know how well YOUR department is doing for them.
Now, is it possible that you might uncover that some of your impediments are coming from sales? Of course! But, you’re just as likely to see that your department or service have some areas of responsibility, too.
Things You Should be Measuring:
- Pipeline Growth (the other side of your lifecycle stage)
- Churn Rate: This not a strict sales metrics, but we included it here because it really impacts their goals. Churn rate: percentage of current customer lost in any given period. You need to add the church percentage ON TOP of net-new revenue goals.
- Close Rate: Of the leads “worked” in sales, how many closed into customers (read: revenue)? What is the percentage of marketing-provided leads that converted into customers?
- Lost Rate: How many worked leads never closed and why? Were they not a good fit? What can you learn from that information that should change what you’re doing in marketing?
- Time to Close: How long does it take from first-known time to closed customer? How long from going to sales to closed business? This tells you if you need to shorten the entire nurturing process to close faster OR... and here is where we’re going to go on a tangent... FOR YOU IN THE BACK... HERE is where you can show that you’re not a pretty-picture gal or guy, you can push back or provide support for the revenue goals set by your company. You can show if they are being too aggressive based on current business data OR you can provide your buy-in and whole hog. Pay attention! This matters! See more in the Business Metrics section.
Tips for Measuring Sales Metrics:
- Automate as much as possible. Connect your CMS to your CRM or use a tool like DataBox.
- Be nice to sales. Buy them lunch. They are a huge factor in YOUR success.
Be accurate before standing up, do your math, check your math, and get more data before telling the CFO that the goals are STUPID. At the same time, be willing to stand up and use your math to provide ACTUAL business insight. (Do you see how this is all coming together?)
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