Why Your Marketing KPIs Should Include Website Engagement Data
July 19, 2017
By Aaron Riddle
Your website is a 24/7 sales machine. When set up and optimized efficiently, it can tell your story and value to your prospects and customers alike when you finally check out of the office.
Our marketing KPIs that we hold near and dear and are charged with obtaining are updated weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly to measure our progress and make sure we aren’t steering off the path.
With our KPIs as our path to success and our website as the machine that feeds that path, how come we don’t prioritize website engagement data into these KPIs?
Below, we are going to run through some typical scenarios that with website engagement data, can help you determine and add value to new and existing marketing KPIs:
Scenario #1: I Need More Traffic!
For many new organizations—or those with a low digital footprint—one of the earliest problems is getting more traffic back to their website. Don’t worry, you are not alone in this initiative! HubSpot noted in their 2017 State of Inbound report that 61 percent of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.
While looking at your visits month over month, understanding seasonality, and looking at your visits by page is a great first pass, we’d also take a look at the following areas of your website for a better understanding of your traffic woes:
- Visits by Source: One of the easiest ways to identify traffic issues is to look at your traffic by sources (e.g., direct, referral, social, PPC, organic, etc.). By understanding the sources your traffic is coming through—and better yet, which ones are converting more effectively—you can identify further investment into one of these channels to improve your traffic numbers for both quality and quantity.
- Desktop vs. Mobile Traffic: Another indicator to examine for your traffic woes is the distinction between your mobile and desktop traffic numbers. More Google searches are now taking place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan, with that number expected to rise over the next few years. While in some industries we are still seeing 80/20 in terms of desktop to mobile traffic per month, we have organizations in which the scale is now 60/40 mobile to desktop, telling us that we need to re-evaluate not only our website UI/UX a bit, but also how our traffic is entering into our website and where we should place our time and budget priorities.
Scenario #2: I Need More Leads!
Out of our three scenarios that we’ll be walking through, this is one that we hear more often than not from prospects and customers. “I need more leads by the end of the year” or “I need X leads by this part of the year to show ROI” are a couple of the specific scenarios we see coming through. With a little elbow grease and a bit of knowhow, this is something that can be solved for organizations with a solid understanding of their messaging, value propositions, and a firm plan of attack. When it’s time to get started, though, where will you begin?
While looking at your overall leads month over month is a great start, we’d be immediately looking at the following items:
- Visit-to-Lead Rate (VtL): One of the easiest signs to determine your lead funnel is to look at your VtL rate. This signifies the total number of contacts or leads generated divided by the total number of visits generated in that same time period. The formula is below for future reference:
VtL = # of contacts or leads generated / # of visits
We love to see a 2-4 percent website-wide conversion rate, but that can take some time to reach, especially if you generate a lot of visits per month. To get started, calculate the formula with your current numbers and set the timeframe to last month. That is now your benchmark number to improve upon. If you have HubSpot, this is right at the top of your marketing dashboard between your visits and contact numbers.
- View-to-Click Rate (VtC): If you have a tool to measure your calls to action (CTAs), you can take a look at their performance to see if your CTAs are missing the mark on their messaging on specific pages throughout your website. To calculate VtC, you need to look at the number of clicks that were generated from your CTA and divide that by the number of views or impressions the CTA receives.
VtC = # of clicks generated on CTA / # of views on CTA
- Click-to-Submission Rate (CtS): Taking things a step further from your VtC rate, are visitors converting when they click your CTA? Is the action and messaging intended from the CTA matching the action and messaging of the page to which they have been directed? This is a great opportunity to improve your language, messaging, and placement of your CTAs if this rate is lower than your current landing page conversion rate.
CtS = # of submissions generated on landing page / # of clicks generated on CTA
- Behavior Flows: Google Analytics offers a wealth of data for your organization and one of its most valuable tools is the Behavior Flow option. From here, you can take a look at the engagement of visitors entering your website from specifics, find trends to the next step they take, and track the fallout rate of each step in the process to identify areas of improvement.
- Average Time on Page: An underestimated metric, taking a look at your average time on page is a great way to understand if the visitor is getting through the content on the page effectively and if there are tweaks that need to be made. Looking at this based on desktop vs. mobile will give you even more insights to consider in terms of conversion opportunities and fallout.
Scenario #3: I Need More Quality Leads!
Now that your volume of leads is on the rise, sales is having a difficult time sifting through these leads and has been spending time talking with leads that aren’t as qualified as others (a great problem to have)! What you need now is a way to qualify your leads effectively based on user actions.
Some of our favorite ways of doing so are:
- Lifecycle Stages: While this is more of a HubSpot term (others call it Lead Lifecycle, Customer Lifecycle, Prospect Lifecycle, etc.), these all encompass the same goal and that’s to properly identify where visitors are in the funnel and set up parameters based on information we know. By identifying leads that are in your database based on contact and company-based criteria (number of employees, persona, annual revenue, job title, etc.), we can qualify visitors as further down the funnel than others. We can also look at which offers they are downloading and put more prominence on them based on other offers (comparison guide vs. demo). Once you have solid criteria in place, we can look at prospects who have already gone through this process and identify trends (# of offers, # of pages) that can be used as the path you want future visitors to take.
- Lead Scoring: Taking it a step further from lifecycle stages, lead scoring can help you narrow down the leads you wish to follow up on based on actions throughout your website. By setting positive points for actions you’ve seen qualified leads follow or enter (visited pricing/demo page) or negative points (visited careers page, etc.) to visitors who aren’t your exact targets from a sales perspective, you can place these contacts in a priority list for your sales team, only sending them the most qualified of candidates at the right time.
When analyzing from lifecycle stages or through lead scoring, you’ll be able to identify gaps in your process that leads are hitting to help move them into a sales-ready state.
Some of our favorite metrics & solutions to look at include:
- Bounce rate = Poor (Above 75%)
- Solution: Point PPC campaigns to persona or product-based landing pages that hit these user pain points.
- Average time on page = Poor
- Solution: Explore more internal linking opportunities (especially if they are hitting and leaving your blogging content) and analyze heatmap and user recordings to see any trends or gaps in user behavior that may warrant new page content or UI/UX improvements to the page.
- Number of quality marketing-qualified leads and sales-qualified leads = Poor
- Solution: Take a look at your criteria for each stage and determine which parts are taking longer than others. This could help you identify form updates, SMART content, or PPC retargeting to re-engage and bring them back to the website. Also, do some outside research into where you see your ideal customers going. Perform customer interviews and find out where they visit on the web, what they read in their spare time, and where they find their information to discover opportunities of engagement for your organization.
With website engagement data in accordance with your marketing KPIs, you are able to create and develop sound goals and objectives for your organization. A little bit of extra time delving into your website engagement can go a long way to the long-term success of your digital presence.
Anyone else utilizing website engagement data into their marketing KPIs? Why or why not? Let us know by tweeting us at @smartbugmedia.
About the author
Aaron Riddle was formerly a Digital Project Manager at SmartBug Media. He has more than 9 years of marketing and project management experience helping organizations succeed in their digital marketing goals and objectives ranging from not for profits to large technology-based groups and businesses. Read more articles by Aaron Riddle.