by: Thomas Young
We have reviewed the importance of monitoring web stats and their impact on sales revenues and ROI. Setting realistic benchmarks and targets to help accurately measure results is critical to online marketing success. The best web stat of all is an online conversion in the form of a lead for your sales team or an online order.
Using the information in the previous blog posts, you should have an idea of the number of conversions you can expect from your website, given the amount of traffic visiting the site. This is where a conversion strategy can make a big difference in your strategic digital marketing results. Start the process of setting your goals and benchmarks by clearly defining your conversion strategy using the following steps:
- Set up Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools.
- Establish a conversion strategy in your strategic digital marketing plan defining how online conversions happen and what will motivate a website visitor to convert.
- Make a list of all the various types of online conversions within this strategic approach. (More on this subject in coming chapters).
- Include effective calls to action and conversion points in the strategy.
- Schedule strategic digital marketing meetings to develop action plans based on website data and reports.
After these foundational items are in place, you can begin thinking about setting targets for your strategic digital marketing goals and benchmarks as reviewing in Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools or the Google Search Console.
Web Marketing Targets
Here are the most important digital marketing targets and benchmarks to establish and monitor. The targets will vary based on the size of your company and current digital marketing strategy.
- Unique Visitors – Target a minimum of 1,500 unique visitors per month with growth of about 20 percent per year. Website data becomes more useful as you increase website visits. A target of 2,000 or more website visitors per month is ideal.
- Page Views per Visitor – The number of pages viewed per visit should be at least four to five on average. This is a measurement of engagement with the site’s content and sites with fewer page views per visitor have fewer conversions.
- Time on Website – This is also a measurement of the visitor’s engagement with the website and should average at least three minutes.
- Bounce Rate – The bounce rate is a very important benchmark that should be below 40 percent for content-based lead generation websites and below 30 percent for e-commerce websites. The bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors that “bounce” off the website quickly and only visit one page, usually the home page.
- Traffic Sources – Traffic sources comprise three key areas. The first is search engine traffic, which should be over 50 percent of your site’s total visits. The second is direct traffic or visitors that know your website domain name and go directly to your site. The third is web traffic from other websites that link to your site.
- Blog Postings – Content should be posted to your blog on a weekly basis and the blog should be one of the top ten most visited sections on the site.
- Social Media Postings – Blog postings and other social media content should be posted weekly and visits to social media sites should also be tracked, along with interactions from social media to your website.
- Lead Conversion Rate – Target a conversion rate of 1 to 3 percent of total visits becoming sales leads for a lead generation, content-based website.
- Online Sales Conversion Rate – Target a conversion rate of 3 to 5 percent for e-commerce websites selling products online.
- Shopping Cart Abandonment – Set a target of less than 50 percent for e-commerce shopping cart abandonment rates. This means less than half of the people that complete a shopping cart should drop out of the process before they purchase.
- Average Order Amount – This applies to e-commerce websites and should be over $100 per order if possible. This stat should also be tracked for lead generation sites, as it will impact ROI calculations.
Extend Digital Targets into the Sales Process
These targets should be reviewed and compared with your sales team’s benchmarks. All of these targets work together to measure sales and marketing effectiveness and to drive sales revenues. A key conversion point for the sales team is the ratio of web leads that turn into customers. Another key factor in this conversion rate is the length of time customers stay with the company. Both of those benchmarks are related to your strategic digital marketing efforts and the quality of your leads. The quality of your website visitor is a result of your website marketing strategy.
Use the key points in this chapter to set clear strategic digital marketing goals and specific targets from your digital marketing stats. It will be a challenge to grow sales through your Internet marketing efforts if you are not clear on strategic digital marketing goals. These goals also become discussion points in your strategic digital marketing meetings and guideposts in reviewing your website stats.
- Set up Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools.
- Set targets for each key web stat mentioned in this chapter.
- Prepare a written report for the entire sales and marketing team including these benchmarks.
- Review goals at the beginning of your monthly strategic digital marketing meetings.
- Set action plans that relate to improvements for each strategic digital marketing goal.
- Set online growth targets and goal improvements for each month and year.