So with millions of people creating websites, how do you know if yours is performing? I was talking to someone the other day who was doing a lot of great things with their online marketing. They had a active blog, great use of social media so are they doing great? Yes and no.
Three things every website needs:
Basically when I asked the person what their monthly traffic rank was, they shrugged and said I do not know. Then I asked why not? Again no idea.
If you do not know how to do this, go to Google Analytics and set up a free account. Every single website should have some sort of analytics package to measure your success. I like to do a month to month comparison to see how things are progressing. See image below to see January 2013 compared to February 2013. This shows if things are up or down.
So once you are getting more and more traffic, the next step is lead generation. Typically when I talk about lead gen with most people, they do not get it or do not know how to set this up themselves.
The only reason we have a website in the first place is to get more business right? You bet! Then your site must perform in this area. All the traffic in the world is useless if you have no way to convert a visitor into a sales lead or a sales conversation. So how do you do this? Well the best way to do things is to have a landing page where you offer a free giveaway. This is typically an eBook, Whitepaper, Tip Sheet or something that has perceived value to your website visitors. This page should focus only on the offer and be very minimalist in nature. The other must have is a web form in order to visitors to request info and get the free download. See this image below for a landing page example by SLC Bookkeeping.
So how to you make one of these landing pages? There are multiple software tools that allow this to happen. In wordpress you can get plugins like Formidable Forms, Gravity Forms or more advanced tools like Premise or Hubspot (can be used with any platform or used by itself for full analytics, lead gen and marketing automation).
Ok so you're now starting to get leads, what's the next step? Well you need to track and measure what is going on for a few months to get accurate data. The next step is to ask what is working and what isn't? Are you hitting your sales goals? Very few people do this part, but without an idea of what you are shooting for how will you know if you are being successful or not?
Who cares about "likes", "followers", "RTs", "Subscribers", "traffic" and the like if you are not getting any business from all your efforts. This is why we created the inbound marketing roi calculator. This is a tool to help you understand your numbers and the goals you should be shooting for. So how does this work?
Well your goal should be new business and so you will need to set a monthly sales goal. Let's say an additional $5000 per month is the new sales goal you want to hit. Great, but what is an average sale size? Let's say $1000 to keep it easy numbers. So this would mean in order to hit you $5K per month you need 5 new accounts at $1K per. Next you have to understand you sales conversion process. How many leads does it take to get one new account? We often start with 20% to be safe if people do not know (again over time the real numbers will come from your data, but let's start with something). So if you have a sales conversion rate of 20% that would mean you need 25 leads a month in order to hit your goal. Now how does this all tie into the website? I'm glad you asked. The next step is figuring out what you website visitor to lead conversion rate is. A decent inbound marketer can hit 1% to 2% visitor to lead conversion. So if you need 25 leads, you are going to need 2500 visitors to your site if you can get a 1% conversion rate.
So are you hitting the web traffic of 2500? If not you need to work on getting more traffic. Is your website getting 1% conversion rate? If not try different offers and optimize the landing pages and call to actions until you get above 1%. Are you generating enough leads (25), but they just arn't converting? Then you need to work on qualifying prospects better. This means usually making better offers to attract the right audience. There are things to improve all through this process, but put something in writing and make it a goal to shoot for. Then test against it each month.
Keep in mind this is a starting point and will change over time as you improve your progress with all this stuff. The goal is to break out each area and try to improve things so you can get better and better success each month. This is a lot of work and so you might need to hire a professional to help. When we work with clients they see regular monthly improvements in some or all of these areas depending on what they hired us for. So try this on your own first and if it is too much time, learning, cost or just tough to improve on your own… then talk to an inbound marketing specialist who understand sales. This will be your best bet. I hope these ideas help you hit your goals. Good luck!