Legacy marketing professionals have focused for decades on the law of volume. The more attention you attract, the more sales you get. While in theory this might sound right, the truth of the matter is legacy marketing professionals have been spending high volumes of marketing budget hoping they will see a return in the form of sales and customers generated.
Herein enter the concept of data-driven marketing. While there’s no guarantee that data-driven marketing will lead to the conclusion that you should spend less than you have before, what it does offer is an approach to marketing that focuses on quality over quantity when it comes to lead generation, and in turn higher volume sales.
Making the shift to data-driven marketing can be a big change for any organization. Once you commit to data-driven marketing, it's easy to get lost in the weeds amidst the mountain of data you quickly realize is available to you.
For many, there are far too many metrics to measure them all right out of the gate and use them to inform marketing decisions. To start with you need to find and focus on the key metrics that will make the biggest impact on your business – the quick wins – and expand data measurement beyond that.
Where to begin? Here are the top 3 key metrics you should start with if data-driven marketing is new to you and you are looking for ways to increase the number of leads generated directly from your website.
1. Website Traffic Quality
Sounds simple enough. And tools like Google Analytics make it easy for you to compare traffic trends. But analyzing website traffic is so much more than just comparing the sheer volume of website visitors you have in any given time period. It requires measuring the quality of the website traffic you generate.
Here’s a real-life example. In November of 2018 Elite partnered with a company located in Manhattan, New York that was struggling to generate qualified leads. While traffic to the website looked great at first glance (50,000 plus website sessions for the prior 12 months), bounce rate was 96.92% and average time spent on the website was 8 seconds per visitor. Yikes!
After an extensive focus on website conversion optimization, 1 year later the company traffic had dramatically decreased to 10,000 sessions, but the average amount of time spent on the website was 2 minutes per visitor - a significant improvement in website visitor quality. In addition, visitors now visit 3-4 website pages per visit as opposed to 1 page per visit.
2. Top Performing Traffic Sources
Knowing which marketing channels are driving the highest amount of traffic, in addition to which marketing channels lead to the most conversion of new contacts can inform marketing spend and marketing channel focus.
Various sources of traffic to pay particular attention to are:
Visitors who have found your website through search engines by entering in questions or research topics. Organic traffic can provide insight as to the success or shortcomings of your search engine optimization and content marketing strategies.
2. Paid Search Engine:
Visitors who click on a paid banner or search ads likely will generate a higher volume of leads, but not necessarily higher quality. The best paid strategies use keywords that align with and have proven fruitful from your organic strategies. Tools like Search Console in Google Analytics can provide insight as to common search queries used to attract website visitors to your website.
Referral traffic drives visitors to your site by clicking on a URL that leads to your site from another website. You may have been quoted in an article or have been a sponsor of an event for this link to exist.
Direct traffic reaches your site by directly typing in your URL (often times the URL for your home page). High volumes of direct traffic can be either external (loyal customers or close referral partners), but it can also be internal traffic that hasn’t been IP excluded in the system you are measuring direct traffic in (like Google Analytics or a marketing automation platform like HubSpot).
Social traffic is driven by, you guessed it, social media channels. Visitors may have accessed your website through a social media post linking to an article or the URL in your company description.
Monitoring the performance of traffic sources can help you dial up or dial down your budget in particular areas such as digital advertising or content marketing based on which sources generate the highest quality leads.
3. Top Exit Pages
Analyzing the way visitors move through your sight can help inform decisions like where to place call-to-action buttons or forms, but paying particular attention to the top exit pages can help you identify where you may need to re-visit page layout or even the content on a particular website page. Are you missing key call-to-actions that help the website visitor navigate to the next logical place on your website in their buyer journey? Is your website copy overly complicated or lacking visual elements to keep them reading? Are you asking for too much too quickly when a visitor reaches a particular page? Identifying the top exit pages gives you a starting point for identifying areas of improvement on your site.
Learn more about generating high quality leads by downloading or Lead Generation Playbook.