Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is such a big buzzword. At least twice a month I am approached about doing SEO for an existing or potential client. As we begin to delve into their goals though, it often turns out that what they really want is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
And it turns out that CRO isn’t much of a buzzword even though it is a critical piece of digital marketing. If you want to get more leads through your website, you first have to know if you are getting leads from your website.
If you know how many leads you are getting from your website, we can then look at the number of visitors to your site and, with simple math, calculate your conversion rate:
If you have 100 visitors to your site and get 1 lead, your conversion rate is:
1 (lead) ÷ 100 (visitors) = 0.01 then multiply by 100 for the percentage = 1% (conversion rate)
Sound low? It is. Conversion rates vary widely but if you have a higher than 1% conversion rate, you are doing fantastic.
Now that we have a conversion rate established, we can go about the process of optimizing the conversion rate. There are many things you can test or try. Sometimes it is simply a matter of changing colors on a button or call to action (yes, that might be all it takes). Other things that you can do include:
Removing unnecessary steps (fewer clicks often increases conversion rates)
Creating better / stronger calls to action (CTAs)
Use design to clarify what the next step is
Remove unnecessary CTAs – if they make it to a form page, remove opportunities to click away
Don’t ask for unnecessary information – growing your email list? You don’t need a physical address.
Add urgency to the CTA – “Offer good through Saturday!”
Don’t your CTA lower on the page or even on a different page
Use testimonials – others “tooting your horn” will work better than you doing it yourself
Make sure your page loads quickly – if it is slow to load, people leave
If you have the staff resources to manage it, add a chatbot to your site so you can interact in real time
All of these, and a whole lot more, are ways to increase your conversion rate, increase customer satisfaction and grow your business.
You need to set goals for digital marketing early in the process – not after you have created campaigns or begun implementing tactics. You should consider what you are trying to accomplish – what is the desired outcome of your digital marketing. Of course, for most folks, that is either more business or more leads.
What are the Benefits to Set Goals for Digital Marketing?
Setting goals is a great way to keep track of your progress towards reaching your business objectives. It helps you stay focused on your overall strategy by giving you something tangible to work towards. You can also use it as an opportunity to evaluate where you stand against your competitors. If you’re not sure if you’re meeting your goals, then setting new ones will help you figure out where you need to improve.
Setting goals allows you to see your progress over time which makes it easier to measure your success. This gives you more confidence in your results and increases your chances of achieving them.
It’s important that you don’t set too many goals at once because this could be overwhelming. The best approach is to break down your big goal into smaller, manageable tasks. For example, if you want to increase sales, start with one small task like increasing your social media following or email list size. Once you’ve completed these smaller tasks, move onto another one.
You’ll also find that setting goals will motivate you to achieve them. When you have a clear objective in mind, it becomes much easier to focus on the things that matter most.
Setting SMART Goals
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. These five elements make up a good goal so let’s look at each one in turn:
Specific – Your goal should be specific enough to give you direction but broad enough to allow room for growth.
Measurable – Make sure your goal has a metric attached to it so you know whether or not you’re making progress.
Attainable – Don’t set yourself unattainable goals. Think about what would happen if you didn’t meet your goal. Would you feel disappointed? Or maybe even angry?
Relevant – Be realistic about your goal. Is it really relevant to your business?
Time bound – Make sure your goal isn’t open ended. Give yourself a deadline to hit your target.
If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for your goals, here are some examples of common digital marketing goals:
Increase website traffic (e.g. Facebook likes)
Increase brand awareness (e.g. Google rankings)
Increase conversion rate (e.g. signups)
Improve customer service (e.g. feedback scores)
Increase sales revenue (e.g. number of products sold)
Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of setting goals, let’s take a closer look at how to go about doing it.
Step 1: Define Your Goal
The first step in setting goals is to decide exactly what you want to achieve. Start by thinking about your business objectives and then ask yourself the following questions:
Is my goal attainable?
What do I want to achieve?
How will I know when I’ve achieved it?
What does my ideal future state look like?
Once you’ve answered all three questions, write down your answers. Now you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Write Down Your Goals
After deciding on your goal, write it down. If you don’t already have a list of goals, start now! Here are some tips to ensure you make the most of this process:
Start small. It’s tempting to think big, but starting off with smaller goals will help you build momentum.
Break them down into milestones. For example, instead of saying “I’ll increase my social media presence”, say “I’ll post more content on Twitter“.
Add deadlines. Setting deadlines helps you stay focused and motivated.
Once you have your goals and milestones written down and assigned deadlines to them, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Step 3: Identify Key Performance Indicators
Key performance indicators or KPIs are measurable metrics which show whether your goals are being met. The best way to identify KPIs is to use data analytics tools. These allow you to measure success against specific criteria. Some of the most commonly used KPIs include:
Website Traffic – How many people visit your site per month? What pages get the highest traffic?
Social Media Engagement – Are users engaging with your posts? Do they share your content?
Customer Feedback – How satisfied are customers with your product or service? How much positive and negative feedback do they leave?
Leads / Sales Conversions – How many leads did you generate last week? How many of these went on to become customers?
As you can see, there are lots of different ways to measure success. You may choose to focus on one metric, such as lead generation, or combine several together. Whatever method you choose, be consistent. Once you set out to track key performance indicators, stick to it. Don’t change your strategy mid-stream if you find that one metric isn’t working as well as you thought it would.
Step 4: Measure Progress
You should always keep an eye on your progress towards achieving your goals. This means measuring your success regularly. To do this, you need to assign a percentage value to each KPI.
For example, if you want to increase your website traffic by 10%, you could simply multiply the number of visitors you had last month by 0.1. So if you had 100 visits last month, you’d expect to receive 110 visits this month.
If you’re not sure how to proceed, here are some examples:
Increase Website Traffic by 20%: Multiply the number of visitors you received last month by 1.2. So if you had 1000 visitors last month, you’d receive 1200 in the following month.
Increase Social Media Engagement by 50%: Multiply the total number of likes, comments etc you posted last month by 1.5. So if you had 3000 likes last month, you’d have 5000 in the following month. Remember to take into account any changes in activity over time.
Improve Lead Generation Rate by 25%: Multiply the amount of leads generated last month by 1.25. So if you had 500 leads last month, you’d generate 750 in the following month. Again, remember to take into account any fluctuations in activity over time. If you’re looking to improve your conversion rate, you should use a tool like Google Analytics to monitor your conversions.
Step 5: Adjust Your Strategy
Once you’ve measured your progress, you’ll know what needs to change as you set goals for digital marketing. For instance, if you found that only 1% of your leads converted, then you’d know that you need to work harder at generating more leads.
So now you know exactly where you stand, you can decide whether you need to make adjustments to your marketing plan. Maybe you need to spend less money on advertising or invest more time in social media promotion. Whatever the case, once you’ve decided which areas you need to adjust, you can start implementing them.
Digital Marketing is the process of promoting products and services digitally through online channels. It includes email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, influencer marketing, display advertising, web development, mobile applications, and much more. The ultimate goal of digital marketing is to promote your product or service in some online fashion. To do this well, you need to set goals for digital marketing.
Sometime in the first or second week of November, many business people slowly begin to checkout. It’s time for Thanksgiving and then Christmas and then New Years. It’s not time to close new deals or even to push to the finish on existing deals or projects.
But that is really just an excellent way to waste 1/10th of the year.
If it seems like your prospects or projects are beginning to taper off, here are five ways you can bolster your year and finish strong
Review your website. Things change over the course of a year. Are the offerings / services / products displayed all still accurate? Anything new to add? What about personnel?
Review your calls to action. Whether it is for your website or your social media presence or your online ads, are the calls to action generating action? If not, determine if you need more activity or better calls to action (or both).
Check your traffic. If you have an established conversion rate (XX number of visitors generates X number of leads), is your traffic volume headed in the right direction? If you don’t know or don’t have a conversion rate, then you probably need to revisit #2 above. You should be able to measure visitors on your website, interactions on social media and how your brand and keyword phrases perform in search.
Refresh your digital marketing goals. Social media, for example, can be a powerful tool for connecting with prospects but you need to have a clear plan. And remember, social media marketing is not a popularity contest. It isn’t the number of fans or followers but the quality of the connections and the way you interact.
Hire a digital marketing firm to help you out. Sounds like a self-serving step but pause and consider. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing in your business? If managing your website and your digital marketing is not high on the list, then why not turn to the pros who do enjoy it and are good at it?
Whether you are struggling to hold the line, growing like crazy or somewhere in-between, staying engaged all the way to the end of the year will yield benefits both for 2021 and to launch 2022 off to a strong start.
The core of digital marketing is your website. It is your website where you have the most control. You can publish content about what you do, what you offer, any special events or sales you have, interact with customers and pretty much whatever else you need it to do.
Other web sites might opt not to share your content or run your ads. Social media sites might change how their advertising works or what you can and cannot post. But you have control over your website.
So that is the starting place. But as you begin to build out a digital marketing campaign, the obvious first step is to set goals for your campaign. And those goals should be clearly defined and measurable.
The following are not goals for a digital marketing campaign:
I want to make my site look better.
It should have more pictures
I want to get more likes*
We will have more followers on Facebook*
I want a lower “bounce rate”*
I want to drive more traffic to my website.*
Can we make the pictures bigger?
We have a new logo
I want to be ranked number 1*
But the ones with asterisks could be turned into defined, measurable goals. What does make a good goal? It needs to be clearly defined so you can actually measure it. Here is an example of a clearly defined, measurable goal:
“We will get three qualified leads each month through our social media marketing campaign.”
Now we have a goal that we can measure and we can begin to lay out HOW we will reach the goal. For social media, you must provide VALUE to the reader / viewer. You want to capture their attention and move them towards a Call to Action. You often seen tantalizing headlines online like “This Simple Trick Will Close the Deal Every Time”. While they are often bordering on the ridiculous, they keep doing them because they work. We’re not suggesting you go the ridiculous route but you can learn from these to make your headlines, images and content highly enticing and clickable.
The following are good goals for a digital marketing campaign:
We will get 10 more likes each week for our corporate presence on LinkedIn which will give us a wider audience each week and from which we will convert three of these into customers each month.
We will have 25 more followers on our Facebook account each month and increase click throughs to our website by 10 each month (this should be teased out a bit further even – . . . to our website by 10 and increase ecommerce sales by three customers)
People aren’t really going experiencing our site. We will lower the bounce rate and increase engagement so that we get more subscribers to our newsletter.
We have a conversion rate of .1% (we get a new customer for every 1000 visitors to our website) so we want to increase our traffic to 10,000 visitors a week so we get 10 new customers each week. We will accomplish this by being ranked in the top 10 for our five best key phrases.
As you can see from all of the good goals, we want to ultimately send visitors to your website and it is from there we need to convert them – whether conversion is making a sale, getting a form filled out, getting another newsletter subscriber or whatever your conversion point is.
So with your website being the center, your first step in digital marketing should be to make sure your site is optimized for conversion and that you are measuring the rate of conversion. With that baseline established, you can then set goals for any other campaigns you create and understand the value they are bringing.
Do you need help setting up your digital marketing? Give EduCyber a call at 303-268-2245 – ask for Brian.
Pretty much everyone has heard of cookies. They are those (nasty?) things that track you on the internet, right? It’s just a part of internet marketing, yes?
Well kind of. But they are also those nifty things that once you’ve logged in to a site mean that you don’t have to keep logging in. They are the cool things that mean you are less likely to see ads completely unrelated to who you are and what you like to buy.
A cookie is a small file that can help a website remember who you are – great for online shopping when you put something in your cart and then leave. When you come back, your stuff is still right there in your cart. It can also be used to track you across other web sites or even across all the sites you visit.
Privacy Concern or Just Internet Marketing?
And that is where the trouble lies. Privacy is becoming an ever-increasing concern for folks as they surf the web – it isn’t anyone else’s business what sites I visit.
Now browser developers (like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla, Safari, Brave, etc.) are ending their support for 3rd party cookies to help protect consumer privacy.
What does this mean exactly? No one is sure just yet. As tracking 3rd party cookies goes away, you can be pretty sure advertisers will find new ways to target their market appropriately. And Google certainly won’t lose out as they will still be able to track searches on their search engine and track users who use the ubiquitous Google Analytics tracking for websites.
Does this mean that your privacy is better protected? Not necessarily. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in targeting and delivering ads simply moves the protections to a different level. But this is a step intended to protect consumers.
How it will all play out is yet to be determined but if you are not sure if your site will be affected, contact us.
There are lots of things you can do for your business right now. But the single best thing you can do right now is laugh.
Yes, I mean it.
I was kind of freaking out when this all started. Business – new leads and new projects ground to a halt.
Or so I thought.
But the entrepreneurial spirit of America is alive and well.
Over the Easter weekend, I spent a lot of time with family. We laughed. A lot. And Monday morning I started fresh. I posted a blog about working from my basement and steps to keep engaged. And it worked. Folks reached out and, just from that blog, I began to get leads. And I would not have written that blog had I not spent time laughing.
And there is much to laugh about – not at others although I have seen some pretty funny stuff like the woman in the UK that took her device with her to the bathroom not realizing everyone in the meeting could see her – especially if you step outside of yourself and the crisis for just a minute and look in.
A couple of days ago I was on a zoom call and had set a background (I have a black curtain behind me). I happened to be wearing a black t-shirt with “I am Groot” in white lettering. This is kind of fuzzy but here is a screen capture of it:
I don’t know – what do you think? I think it looks kind of funny.
But whether you think that is funny or not, laugh a little. Then pick up the phone or hop on a screen share and talk to someone. Talk to a customer, a vendor, a colleague. You will be surprised to see how the conversation turns out after you have laughed.
Oh and as states and counties begin to open up, keep laughing. This is good advice for post COVID-19 just as it is for during. You will find you enjoy people more and they will find they enjoy you as well.
On a cold and snowy spring morning, while you are likely stuck in your “home office”, what can you do to advance your business? What can you do to grow when the whole world seems to have ground to a halt?
Pick up the phone. Call customers. Ask them if there is anything they
need. When they say no, probe a bit. Just because they don’t need help with what you do or offer, let them know of your network. See if they have a need you might be able to help them meet through someone else.
Revisit your prospect list. Take some time with each person or company on the list. Think about what they do. Think about what they might need during this shutdown. Reach out to them, by phone whenever possible and appropriate, but by email or even snail mail where not, and offer something useful. Tips. Links to resources. Something that you can share that will add value.
Host an online gathering. Select several contacts whether it be customers, vendors, colleagues, partners or prospects. Set a time and host a gathering whether it be to address a specific topic or simply to share with each other about how you are coping and what is happening locally.
There is a lot happening. Every level of government seems to be rolling out programs, grants and loans to assist businesses large and small. Keep up with the current status – the grant and loan programs at the federal level are literally changing on a daily basis right now – and be prepared to share with your network.
And for you personally?
Breathe. My mother is in a memory care unit in another state. They are on lockdown, meaning my brothers can no longer visit her physically. When I call her now, she is usually breathless and has a high level of anxiety. Some of the time I can help her with the same advice I give to you. Breathe. Take a deep breath. All the way in. A bit more. Now exhale. Don’t stop. All the way out. Now do it again. I’ll wait. Now try it once more.
So you are unexpectedly forced into downtime. Can’t go to the office. Can’t go to the restaurant. Can’t go to the theater. Set aside the frustration for a moment. What can you do?
Remember way back when you were too busy to take the time to work on your site (last week)?
Now you have the time for you and your staff to revisit your website. You might be surprised. Earlier today we met with a businessman who had recently changed to a whole new website with a new URL. As we went through his site and his listings, we discovered that many of his social media and external sites linked to the previous site or to the previous email.
What things should you look for?
Is your logo and tag line current and up-to-date across all media?
Is your name consistent on every page and on all your social media?
Check your physical address. One thing search engines need is the same address where even “Ave.” and “Ave” can be seen differently. Make sure your address is absolutely identical. If you belong to any trade associations or chambers, check them as well.
Look at your site on a phone. Does it look right on every page? Does the mobile responsive part work as expected?
Review your color scheme. Does your site follow the scheme properly? Are all the colors matching your approved standards?
Are your forms all working? Is there a next step after a form is filled out?
Is the contact information accurate and up-to-date?
Check for bad reviews on social – Facebook, Yelp, Google, etc.
Are there any pages or content on your site that no longer applies to what you do?
Are all of the images appearing properly? Do you need any new or different photos?
Have you added any new services or products that are not yet on the site?
Are your blog and social media profiles current and accurate?
Over the course of the last several years, we have had many customers come to us asking for Search Engine Optimization. We do SEO (and we do it well) so we are happy to accommodate.
But as a part of our marketing assistance, we seek to understand the goals of the SEO program. On a few occasions the customer’s goal has not been to get a higher ranking with the search engines. Those conversations go something like this:
Customer: I would like you to do SEO for my site. EduCyber: Sure thing, let’s take a look at your numbers. First, what is your conversion rate for your web site? C: ??? E: How many leads are you generating from your site on a daily, weekly, monthly or even quarterly basis? C: I’m not. E: So if we get you ranked in the top ten for all of your keywords and you are still at a conversion rate of zero, will you be happy? C: Of course not! E: So let’s look at what you want to accomplish. C: I want the phone to ring! E: Ah, we can help with that.
And in many cases what we do is first tweak or in some cases redo the site to clarify and simply the Call To Action (CTA). Once we’ve done that we can establish a conversion rate. Once the conversion rate is established, then we can look at whether SEO, Pay Per Click, Social Media or some combination of those is the appropriate solution in order to get more business.
Are you wondering if you might be practicing misguided marketing? Some of the comments we hear from folks include:
We tried social media, it didn’t work.
I don’t get any feedback from my SEO firm.
I get all kinds of reports from them but I don’t understand any of them.
We’re paying a lot of money but not getting any tangible results.
I’m told we rank high but the phone isn’t ringing
I’m paying for clicks and I see the reports but no one is contacting us.
Every web site, and every page should have a next step. Why does your business have a website? What is the purpose? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself as you look at the pages on your site.
Sure it should look nice. Yes, it would be great to be optimized for search. But if you aren’t giving your visitors a next step, what do you think their next step will be? That’s right, they’re going to leave.
Many of the next steps are obvious. But some may not be. I click to a page called “Our Team” and see the profiles of key people in the organization. What is the next step I want visitors to take? Time to think about what steps you want people to do.
Call us. Well that was easy. But make it into a button. And put the code into the button so that when I visit the site on my phone and touch the button, it pulls up my dialer and all I have to do is push “call” to be talking to you.
Email us. This is pretty simple too. Make a button with your email address. When someone clicks it, it should open a new email message to you in their email program.
Request a call. If you have people requesting a call, make sure you set the expectation. Will you call right away? Next day? Don’t go longer than that. Within a few hours or next business day is ok. But in any case, set the expectation and then hold yourself to it.
Download <our whitepaper>. But we don’t advocate for calling it a whitepaper. A lawn service or landscaping company might have “Download 10 tips to protect your yard during a bomb cyclone”
View our services <or products>. Since every page should have a call to action, a simple next step like this is great on an About Us page or page that shows the staff.
See what our customers have to say (video or written testimonials). This next step is good to help close the deal if the visitor is on your services or product page. They think it might be a good fit but they’d like to hear from people you’ve actually worked with.
Learn how we have solved problems similar to yours (case studies). Story telling is a compelling sales method and a good next step from a variety of pages on your site. Move people to the page where you show you’ve actually helped real people solve real problems.
Sign up for our newsletter. While email newsletters are kind of a pain – lots of folks sign up and then don’t read them – they are still a powerful sales and marketing tool. And once someone does sign up, even if they aren’t ready to buy, you now have a self-selected lead. That is as good as gold.
View Details about our team. This is a particularly good next step if you are a service organization. Show your services and then the next step is to see who will be carrying out the service.
Learn more about our process. Whether you are selling products and need to outline the process of completing and shipping the order, or selling services and want to help visitors feel more comfortable with the timeline and the next steps, having a next step be “View our Process” or something similar is very effective.
Take a look at your site. You probably have some good content on there already but if you go back and add some solid next steps, your site will be ready to help your business grow.
And while most of these are obvious, if you have an ecommerce site, here are 10 calls to action you should check your site against: