Too often we hear from small business owners: “all we need is an informational website.” Really? It’s like saying to your sales team, “you guys just sit here and look beautiful” - and that’s no exaggeration.
On the other hand you’ll never hear anything like that from an ecommerce client. They focus on performance and talk traffic, funnels and exit rates - why? Because they know that it’s all directly relevant to their online success. At the end of the day, even if you aren’t an ecommerce site, your website is selling something, so why not to focus on online performance marketing and rake in all the benefits?
Everything is expressed in numbers – and numbers don't lie. Once you have your KPI's identified it's not a rocket science to track the progress – and it's a lot of fun when things go your way.
KPI-based online performance marketing
Setting specific website goals is the first step identifying key performance indicators (KPIs). Based on the type of the website key metrics can be very different. Typical goals to track include: purchases, subscribers, leads or just increased time on the website. Once goals are set, it's time to identify the KPIs.
Traffic KPI's - Targeted keywords, customer retention (new vs. returning), and referral or paid traffic. Figure out your strongest traffic sources and start improving from there. Content marketing should play a big role in your traffic strategy, as it has great long-term value for visitors and search engines. Informative blogs, podcasts and newsletters also help with customer retention.
Conversion KPI's - Conversion goals, bounce rates, exit pages, time on the site and others. Across many industries, the average conversion rate is in a range of 2 percent to 5 percent. The numbers are pretty low so it makes the optimization even more important. That's where design, content and structure come into play. There is no such thing as "best" or "final" when it comes to conversion rate optimization - only the "best so far." Ideally, companies should be running A/B testing on a regular basis, especially when getting higher numbers of traffic.
Analytics - The beauty of performance marketing is that it never leaves you in the dark. Everything is expressed in numbers – and numbers don't lie. Once you have your KPI's identified it's not a rocket science to track the progress – and it's a lot of fun when things go your way.
Failed to convert them first time? Try remarketing
This is a form of online advertising that's effective in capturing leads that bounced off your website initially. Google AdWords and Facebook ads are biggest players in remarketing and probably are the most effective.Benefits of remarketing:
- Lower pay-per-click costs.
- Higher conversion rates compared to PPC conversions due to better targeting and no competition.
- Higher number of impressions, hence better for brand awareness development.
Selling services online - yes you can!
We recently implemented an ecommerce component to an item that before was strictly phone order, and no one (almost) in the industry was doing that. We knew of a number of reasons why it probably wouldn’t work, but we thought, “hey, we did it before - let’s try it again and see what happens.” Guess what? We got the first online sale just two days after the feature was launched. Step-by-step process was adjusted to exactly what the salesperson goes through and we closed the deal on the spot. Isn’t that awesome?
"Attract, convert and repeat" is the name of the game, and it's worth your time to play it like ecommerce websites do. With all that being said - the most important thing is that you continue to provide the best value to your own customers, as there is no better KPI that leads to success and a better bottom line.