Everyone wants a website that works better and makes more money. And as a digital marketer, this comes in the form of optimization. Performing A/B tests, building links, changing ad copy to reduce your CPA (Cost per Acquisition).
Proper optimization starts with tracking and interpreting data. So you have to gather the data, and then figure out how something should be tested. In this article, I will walk through our basic lead conversion funnel at Protect America — something I share with every new hire that enters my department. I feel its important from content writer to lead developer, they know how their job is affecting the company. It is meant to be a high level look at tracking things on your website to provide meaningful change to your content and design. For a design should not only look beautiful but illicit a desire action or outcome.
The Lead Funnel
Building a lead conversion funnel is really about tracking the flow of visitors as they turn into customers. You can track anything from a small campaign to the entire company’s lead conversion funnel. Ours are usually broken out by campaign and rolled up into larger funnels for wider views. A basic lead funnel can be adjusted and customized by the type of campaign or sales channel. Each step of the funnel should be significant and has potential drop-off of customers. The idea is to bring in as much relevant data to make decisions off of. In my example, I am going to use a PPC campaign as it has the complete funnel.
Ok Let’s build the funnel:
This isn’t necessarily about the customer, but tracking spend for campaign or website is a must for being able to determine the final CPA. It also allows you to determine Cost per click and cost per lead which could be helpful in deciding the success of your campaign.
How to optimize spend:
Adjusting spend will affect anything underneath it. The less spend, the less impressions, less clicks, visitors, etc. But this is important to know because as you calculate CPA you can turn up spend in good CPA campaigns and turn down spend in bad CPA campaigns.
In a PPC campaign you will usually have impressions — how many people see your ad. If your impressions are low, this means your campaign is either too narrow (not enough traffic) or you aren’t bidding enough (not showing up on the page).
How to optimize impressions:
Optimization here will come in the form of adjusting CPC of your ads. If you are bidding on a CPM (Cost per thousand impressions) basis, this number might be more important because you are focused on how many clicks you get for your impressions (Click-thru Rate). Adjusting your bids or expanding your keyword list will change the number of impressions you receive.
This is how many people click on your ad. A lot of people will equate this as visitors but they are different. A click doesn’t always make it to your site. Tracking them independently will give you warnings of click fraud and simply bad campaigns. If you divide your Spend by your Clicks you now have Cost Per Click — the metric you are bidding against in online ad auctions.
Optimize for clicks:
You can optimize by adjusting bids. Adjusting your bids based on a desired CPA means you can keep lowering or optimizing various pieces of a funnel until the campaign is profitable.
This is how many people make it to your site. You can track the drop-off by dividing Visitors by Clicks (Visitors/Clicks). Again, this Click to Visitor rate can help you find fraud or bad tracking. Essentially, if your Click to Visitor rate is 50%, that means only 50% of the clicks you are paying for end up making it to your site.
Optimize for visitors:
You can optimize for visitors for non-paid campaigns by increasing your rankings or building content — show up higher in Google, get more visitors. For paid campaigns, use negative keywords to try and raise your Click to Visitor rate.
Protect America is a lead generation website, meaning that visitors will end up being called by a sales representative. This occurs by someone requesting a quote or giving us a call directly. So for us we track the next step as a lead. In an e-commerce situation, this might be where someone adds a product to a cart. Again, this can be customized to the steps in your funnel. Tracking this will help provide information on how your website is actually converting (leads/visitors).
Optimize for leads:
You can optimize for site conversion here by doing A/B tests on the content — the higher the site conversion, the more effective the design.
Sale or Acquisition:
Yes! You made a sale! What started out as someone randomly viewing an ad has clicked it, gone through your website, called in, and bought something. Your campaign worked or did it? Tracking sales is the ultimate goal of the lead conversion funnel. We can now take the amount of money spent and divide it by the number of sales to get your Cost per Acquisition. Depending on your revenue from that sale, let’s you decide if the campaign is a success.
What if its not a success?
First, you are the one deciding success of a campaign. You are making the rules and know how a campaign builds into your greater marketing budget / vision. Again, use the lead funnels in all aspects of the business to see how each level (campaign, channel, company, etc.) are doing. Sometimes you overspend in one campaign to be successful overall. But after that? Optimize. Optimize. Optimize.
Every campaign can be adjusted and be vetted against each other. Have two campaigns that are similar but for some reason your site conversion is weak on one? Get some A/B tests on the content going. Not getting enough impressions? Adjust spend or your keywords.
A lead conversion funnel is meant to help you make decisions on where to focus your attention — because everyone wants a website that works better and makes more money.