New visitors & their activity on your website

Acquiring new visitors is equally valuable as the activity that results in conversion

Summary: I don’t care if you’re a small business, mid size or beyond…no one is exempt from analytics. I want you to embrace tracking and analytics or you’ll be leaving big money on the table.

A Quick Glance of one customer touching your brand.. across 4 channels can be deceiving: look at your marketing in individual sessions. The results are dim.

    • Paid search didn’t convert

    • RSS didn’t convert

    • Email didn’t convert

    • Blog didn’t convert

    • Direct load converted.

The basics of Web 2.0 marketing include RSS, email, and paid search for a financial services client.

1. A visitor, Bryan, comes to the site via a paid search advertisement. Bryan browses through several pages, registers for RSS and an email newsletter, and then leaves.

2. Bryan regularly reads your RSS feed, and returns based on some new “how-to” information on refinancing. He reads the article, browses your mortgage loan pages, and leaves.

3. You then send Bryan an email promoting the current low mortgage rates. Bryan returns to your site, reads more about the current rates, starts an application, and leaves.

4. Bryan reads a blog entry about refinancing on a financial site: “The time is now and rates have never been lower.” He sees your ad on the page, clicks through to view your current rates, starts the application a second time and leaves.

5. Bryan then direct loads your site and completes an application for a mortgage loan.

Summary: Session Data: Conversion rate 20%. A full 80% of your sessions did not result in conversion, and there is no apparent value. The conclusion you would draw is to eliminate investment.

However, if you look at this scenario from a visitor-based perspective:

• Paid search, RSS, email, a blog ad and direct load all contributed to a single conversion, so you had a conversion rate of 100%.

• 100% of your visitors converted to customers.

If you only look at session-based data, you will undervalue all your marketing activities, or assign inappropriately high value to the last activity that results in conversion. Marketing happens over time, and marketing activities that acquire new visitors, or move the visitor along in the sales cycle, are equally valuable as the activity that results in conversion.

Bryan’s activities were vital components in driving Bryan to complete an application. Without your paid keyword, Bryan may never have found your site. Without your RSS feed, he might never have understood the value of refinancing. Without the email, you would not have prompted him to look at rates. And if you had not advertised on the blog, Bryan may not have come back to your site.

By tracking the right metrics, you will understand the value of Web 2.0 content and interactions to your business—not just in a single session, but over the lifetime of your relationship with an individual.

Action step: Start attaining a complete picture of an individual’s online visitor behavior.

And, don’t judge a movie by it’s book. The movie is all the touch points your measuring across the sales cycle a visitor can experience….the book is a symbol of any resistance you have today to embracing customer-centric data.

If you’re crawling with analytics, WALK. If you’re walking, RUN more measurement and provide your visitors with a truly personal experience that optimizes their business goals.

Does this article leave you thinking…which analytic tool would be best for me to start using? What’s working for you now?

Google Analytics hasn’t been as forthcoming as they used to be.

Are your customers converting? Are you watching them from two or more channels?

We asked these questions two of our clients - Hi-Spec Ceiling Repairs and Unique Balustrading if they use Google Analytics on a daily basis.

Both parties replied the same - no. And this is why every marketing agency should bother their clients with the same question. If they used it, they would find out what the users of their websites actually do and looking for.