When it comes to maintaining your firm’s marketing strategy, there’s a certain amount of guess work involved. But, a great marketing strategy requires measurable goals. We need hard numbers to make informed decisions. So, the question is how do we arrive at these numbers?
At least 85 percent of Americans report doing research online before purchasing a product or service. The good news is that advisors are finally jumping aboard the Internet train. Still, many advisors wonder whether their online efforts are paying off.
Even if you’re job title doesn’t have the word “marketing” in it, you should track your website’s metrics, which will allow you to make evidence-based decisions. These metrics will allow you to work smarter — not harder — to improve your firm’s marketing efforts.
To take the guess work out of determining the effectiveness of your online presence, we’ve put together a cheat sheet of three of the most important metrics to track. These metrics can be collected using a free Google Analytics account. Some web providers have analytics tools built right into their platforms. Find out whether your website has this capability and put it to work for you:
1. Organic search traffic. Organic search results appear because of their relevance to the search terms. These are in contrast to paid-for (advertising) results, such as pay-per-click results. How much organic traffic should your website generate? That depends. If your site is less than a year old, it may receive as few as 100 views per month. Established sites can expect more than 1,000 hits each month from organic traffic.
Why you should care: Organic search traffic is, arguably, the most important source of web traffic. Organic search traffic is important because it means that users are searching for you with intent. A rise in this number indicates that your website contains information searchers find relevant.
How to use it: If you really want to get serious about increasing your organic traffic, start by improving your SEO. Once your site begins to rank higher on search engines, you’ll drive more traffic to your site.
2. Traffic origin. Do you know where your web visitors come from? Each visitor arrives at your website as a result of typing in your web address, clicking on a search engine result (organic or paid) or being directed to your site by another webpage (such as social media sites, Google Maps, blogs or industry sites).
Why you should care: Identifying what types of content are interesting to your web audience is essential. Wouldn’t it be easier to decide what content to put on your website (or blog or social-media page) if you knew how visitors had found you? Discovering the source of your web traffic will help you evaluate areas where you’re succeeding and areas where your site could improve.
How to use it: If your social-media followers and friends are engaged with the content you’re sharing, try elaborating those messages and creating a blog article on a related topic. See if your blog readers are as enthusiastic about the content as your social-media fans are. Most of the content you share online is transferrable to other digital channels, a fact you can use to your advantage.
3. Call to action click-through rate. Calls to action are the little buttons that encourage web visitors to do something, such as “book an appointment” or “sign up for a free evaluation.” Usually CTAs lead to a form visitors fill out in order to receive the offer. Analyze your CTAs in terms of how many times they’re clicked on and how often a form is completed.
Why you should care: The more click-throughs your CTAs receive, the more your offerings are in line with your web audience. Even if you don’t get any click-throughs on your CTAs, this is still great feedback because it shows you what to fix.
How to use it: If you want web visitors to book a meeting but it’s not happening as frequently as you would like, try offering something that requires less commitment such as “download a white paper.” This is a great way to share your knowledge and convince web visitors of your expertise.
Web marketing is important to your success. Take some time to analyze your metrics and see what you can learn.
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- 3 major advantages of getting the word out digitally
- Have you checked your traffic?
- Is your website generating the organic leads you need?
Maggie Crowley is a marketing coordinator at Advisor Websites. A graduate of Georgia Southern University, she develops inbound marketing strategies and manages the company’s online presence. For more information, go to advisorwebsites.com.