Back in the 1890s John Wanamaker,
notable U.S. retailer and founder of Philadelphia’s first department store
said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't
know which half.”
This old quote is why Kevin
Hourigan, president and CEO of Web design, development and Internet marketing
agency, Bayshore Solutions, is so passionate about Web marketing.
“When correctly implemented, you
can clearly measure and effectively manage your website’s profitability,” he
Smart Business spoke with Hourigan
about how to ensure your organization’s website is a revenue-generation asset
versus an advertising expense.
How can you tell if your
website is making you or costing you money?
Let’s look at the process:
marketing and advertising produce leads and prospects, of which a percentage
converts to sales, which eventually fuels profits. With website marketing
initiatives including SEO,
media, engagement, etc., the hard costs
associated with those activities are readily known. Therefore the straight-line
comparison of Web marketing costs to number of leads produced and sales dollars
as a result will yield this information, if you are tracking the data
correctly. The vital key is tracking, and unfortunately an alarming amount of
businesses are not tracking correctly, compromising their ability to understand
if their Web marketing is making them or costing them money.
How do you track correctly?
The tracking information that is
going to help you truly see your Web marketing performance picture does not end
where the majority of Web analytics and Internet marketing tracking tools leave
off. Unless all sales are processed on the firm’s website, correct tracking is
a much more complex process. Web traffic analytics and conversion to leads,
inquiries, requests for quotes, etc., can get you to the leads-generated
number, but you need to connect this number to the amount of sales that result.
Marketing that is on its A-game
delivers ‘cost-effective leads that quickly convert to sales.’ Therefore it is essential to track all your marketing activity, and
all of the associated metrics, through to the sale. Making this connection
enables you to make informed decisions on keeping the half that serves your
business and tossing the half that doesn’t.
How do you make this
Integrate your Web Analytics and
Web forms leads to your CRM system. This enables you to systematically follow
the lead-gen process, with its attached metrics and cost data, through to the
sale. Also, assign unique phone numbers to Web initiatives and all Web touch
points to gauge activity that begins via your website and inspires a direct
businesses, this is a very straight-line
exercise, because sales are transacted on the website. For B-to-B and B-to-C
firms whose websites are generating leads but not e-commerce sales, this can be
a little more complicated but well worth the effort.
How does tracking integration
help your website be a revenue versus an expense center?
Seeing clearly which keywords,
traffic sources, campaigns, pages, referring sites, etc., best deliver sales at
the most effective cost is an enlightening tool to guide your Web marketing
of leads metrics and analytics into your CRM will let you track the sources of
where your leads are coming from as well as the cost of those leads, the leads
that convert to a sale, the average revenue and the duration of time to close
the sale. When you can now track what lead sources convert to sales, you can measure
your most effective marketing tactics for
generating quality, cost-effective leads.
our own lead data and CRM integration at Bayshore Solutions we were able to
detect clear patterns in the keywords used by true prospects versus people
interested in employment opportunities or selling us something. We also
discovered a distinct quality of lead difference (‘real’ potential customers
versus unqualified prospects and even competitors) among different ad copy
versions and incentives to visit our site and complete a quote request form.
Web performance analytics offer a
plethora of metrics and it is very easy to get lost in them. Many of the
metrics available have value and give you insight into influencing, supporting
or measuring different statistics. The key is to know which ones are important
to the goal of your website being a profit center.
A harsh lesson learned and a great example of this was a
client who was seeing sales growth through integrated SEO, PPC and online
marketing tactics but was fixated on their website bounce rate. They insisted
on directing their efforts solely to decreasing the bounce rate. The net
result: over three months, they lost the momentum they had been building by
focusing on just the bounce rate and
were now seeing a decline in sales. Why? Too much effort was applied to one
part of their interactive marketing metrics and not enough to the indicators
that help marketers make the right decisions and lead to sales.
lead data and connecting it to the end outcome is a critical step in accurately
measuring results. From there, you will make strategic and tactical decisions
because they will generate qualified leads that convert into customers.
time and discipline to get your integration established, but it truly allows
you to make sure your Web marketing investment is yielding great lead generation results that
progress to really great revenue growth.
For a snapshot of Bayshore
Solutions Web marketing methodology, click to: www.BayshoreSolutions.com/method.
Kevin Hourigan is the president
and CEO of Bayshore Solutions. Reach him at (877) 535-4578 or www.BayshoreSolutions.com.