I’ve saved the best and most important metric for the last post this week. Lead conversions or requests for information coming from your website (from organic search placement) are typically the top metric that top level executives watch to determine if their website is successful. Website design is important but what really drives lead conversions is the content, communicated transparency, and culture of the business.
What you say, how you say it, and the depth of experience in your field that you show on your website works to communicate that you care about your potential customers and effectively explains how you can help them. By communicating your business culture in your content, you differentiate yourself from others in your industry and create a position of authority that search engines typically will reward with organic placement.
It’s great to have a pretty website, but if that website does not make your phone ring and you don’t get regular information requests from your contact form, it is key to take a very close look at your website content.
- It may be that you simply do not have enough content to make an impact on your potential customers.
- Your content may be too technical or too simplistic to resonate with your audience.
- There may be no call to action to encourage a reader to take further action.
- You may communicate too many specifics that really should be detailed later in a contract and not in the initial interaction.
- Your message may not be clear as to what you offer and can do.
- Features and benefits may not be clearly detailed setting your product or service apart from similar offerings.
Periodic review should additionally be done on your website content. What was great and resonated with your audience five years ago may need updating to reflect new services, interests, and trends. There is simply no reason why your website should not be working hard for you. If your’s is not, it may be time to check with us for a website review.
In my series on website metrics, today I want to talk about website activity. The tool I like to use to measure website activity is Google Analytics. By installing a small snippet of code on your website you can track visitor traffic. Although you will only be able to see aggregate information, the data can be used to revise your website to generate strong returns.
I will typically monitor where traffic comes from (paid versus organic), the keywords used in search engine search queries that drive traffic to a website, the location including country and state for traffic, and even popular pages. In the new version of Google Analytics you can even monitor visitor traffic in real time on your website. I particularly like the page funnel views that show navigation paths from and to popular pages.
I feel that by analyzing your website traffic you can identify whether your website is working as a lead generation engine for you. By carefully monitoring your bounce rate, page traffic, and keywords and then revising your website to cater to your desired visitor you can improve your reader’s online experience plus drive sales.
If you are not using Google Analytics and believe it or not there are still some websites out there with no analytics tracking installed, it is time to quickly implement the code. Accounts and tracking are free.
ROI also known as ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) is just one important metric to monitor to make sure your AdWords advertising plan is working for you. The formula for ROAS is shown below:
((Sales less AdWords Spend) divided by AdWords Spend) times 100
This yields a percentage that is an important figure to keep in mind when you evaluate if a Google AdWords budget is working properly to yield a return for your business.
If your ROAS is above 1% you are creating more sales than your expense to advertise. Here’s and example. A typical sale generates $4,800 of income. You spent $400 on AdWords to generate the sale, your ROAS is 11%. If your typical sale generates $4,800 of income but you spent $1,400 on AdWords to generate the sale your ROAS is 2.42%.
The subjective part comes when you try to analyze what is a satisfactory number for your ROAS figure. This varies for each business. For most businesses you really should be at a number higher than 1%.
For businesses selling products online, the ROAS is fairly straight forward, but how about when you sell a service or are looking to add a new patient to your practice. In this case, a review of Cost Per Acquisition may be more valuable tempered with a review of ROAS as well. The key is to generate more sales than it costs to advertise to get them. This takes much more analysis than just running reports in Google AdWords,;you really need to measure your AdWords ad spend against reports on your company’s overall profitability to determine if AdWords is really working for you.
Wow, it took me days to figure this out and I don’t consider myself a Facebook newbie at all. On business pages the new tabs are not tabs at all, here’s the lowdown. Underneath your cover photo are several text links that are spread out across the width of the page. Everyone gets a maximum of five links but you can change the order of some of the links. By clicking the down button on the very last image above the last link you can open an additional field that will show more apps and tab options.
Although Facebook calls these links tabs, they certainly are not. Remember when Facebook business pages first came out and you had real tabs at the top of your page? That was not so long ago and I liked the real tabs much better than this nearly hidden set up. In fact, if you don’t have your own business page and just had a personal profile, you would never ever even think to open the list up or dig around to uncover these hidden pages.
When you do happen to click one of these five text links under the cover photo, you are taken to a mini website backend that is now a part of every business page. This hidden section is navigated by a drop down menu on the top left just to the left of the page’s name. Man, talk about hidden! All your apps and pages are stored in this drop down. This is the new place where your welcome page, promotion, notes, events, and the new like page now reside. See how long it takes you to find them when you migrate your own business page to the new timeline!
Based on what I see and how long it took me to figure this out, I would consider that these hidden pages will get very little if any real traffic. You can however link to many of these hidden pages if you create a Facebook advertising ad. It will be very interesting to see if big brands start to develop these hidden pages and how they will be using them. For now the new business page layout and Facebook page changes have simply caused serious grumbling and complaining in my industry.
I will reserve judgment on my end how I like these new changes, until I see if I get more or less interaction from fans. I like the visual appeal of the new timeline, but think that many of the changes will force business owners to move into Twitter and Google+ and abandon Facebook in the long run. Sorry Facebook, but I just don’t think that any business in reality is going to sit down and fill up the timeline from business inception to now and that fans will even care to read about that company history in the long run.
Along with the new changes that Facebook announced to the timeline for business pages on February 29th, was an announcement that advertising options would change as well allowing more pages to use advertising options that had only been open to really big advertisers. So far I have only seen a few changes in my advertising control panel.
For most business page owners, you will see the same advertising options that I see for my own business page, and this is due to fan base size. I see the option to do Facebook pay per click advertising or sponsored story advertising. The additional new option that I see in my account is that I can actually select a specific update to promote as an ad. The new created ad then allows others to like my ad or to share the ad. Liking the ad will show the ad and information on all their Facebook friends profiles as will sharing the ad. This is an important new viral way to get your message out.
I have not yet seen advertising on my personal wall or timeline, but Facebook tells us that it IS coming. At this time it appears that you can still do regular pay per click advertising and use an external URL for the landing page which is good news. New options now also allow you to select a specific tab in your Facebook business profile such as your resume, links page, notes tab, etc. as the landing page for your ad as well.
Facebook advertising is still a good value at this point, but my feeling is that you may get more value by actually advertising in the Google Display network than from Facebook at this point.
I have migrated my two Facebook business pages early to the timeline this past weekend and wanted to share some of my tips that I have figured out while I was using the new look. Remember as you read this blog post, all business pages will all be forced into the new timeline layout as of the end of March 2012.
Here’s what I have learned:
- Don’t try to create a complex graphic or use a screen shot of our website banner. Use one large high definition image that tries to convey visually who and what you are. In my case we are located near Washington DC and so I am using a image I took recently of the Capital building. I did try my website banner and I did try a composite image, both looked too busy.
- Clicking the star at the top right of an update will stretch either the image or text update across your whole page. Facebook will leave the bigger post up for 7 days. You can do this in several places on your page to break up your layout. Actually what I did was to design my layout look by using images and text to give a pleasing break to the typical two columns. This means that the new timeline is a much more visual statement than the old wall. Make sure to only load high definition images as when Facebook expands the image if you highlight it, low resolution images will look bad.
- When you are logged in as a business page entity you cannot post to anyone fan or otherwise walls as a business entity. In fact when you are logged in as a business, you cannot even see a fans wall, you will only be able to see the timeline. That means that all interaction is back on your own timeline. Business pages in fact don’t have a wall anymore, just the timeline.
As a result, our services for Facebook have been changed. We may add additional services later, but for now we have streamlined our offerings to cover what we feel will work for business during this change. My personal feeling is that the action for Facebook for businesses will now be in the advertising arena. For many business owners the cost to keep a Facebook business page updated with photos, video, favorite posts, and other apps will simply be too costly and time consuming.