Measure & Convert: Setting Funnel Objectives & Metrics

In our last post we introduced the funnel model.

Here’s the thing: The funnel is useless when you don’t know if it’s working. That’s why we measure.

For corporate websites, measurement involves more than just tracking pageviews or visitor sessions. Remember: Irrelevant traffic doesn’t count. Your job is to care about the visitors who can become customers.

How do you do this? You’ll identify specific objectives for each level of the funnel. Then you’ll stick metrics — hard numbers — against those objectives.

Let’s get started.

Top of Funnel: Inbound Traffic

The top of the funnel is all about attracting relevant traffic to your website. You do this by creating content catered to the type of visitors who can become customers.

For example: To attract potential customers, a business coach could publish content about team-building exercises, running meetings, managing expectations, and productivity tips. This content would be relevant to the type of visitors she wants: executives who need coaching/guidance. It’s a wide net because the same content could also be useful for people who won’t become customers.

The metrics for inbound traffic are ones you’re likely familiar with:

  • How many unique visitors are you getting?
  • What pages are they landing on?
  • Where are they coming from?

Action Item:

There are many WordPress analytics plugins that can track this for you. I suggest using ones for Google Analytics. There are also plugins for alternative services, like Clicky or KISSmetrics.

Middle of Funnel: Identifying Leads

It’s easy to obsess over bringing more traffic to your website. And there’s nothing wrong with traffic. But lots of traffic doesn’t mean lots of leads.

So, how do you turn visitors into leads? By having them take an action. By making them do something.

The easiest thing they can do, to identify themselves as a lead, is provide an email address in exchange for something useful.

You can then track the number of collected email addresses as an indicator of success.

For example: Let’s say an accounting firm wants more small business customers. To attract visitors they create a guide of best practices for managing small business finances. It’s a great piece of information that’s relevant to small businesses.

To receive the guide, visitors need to provide their email address. The guide is then emailed to them. The visitor receives their guide, and the accounting firm gets email address for a new lead – a measurable metric.

Action Item:

In WordPress, use form-building plugins like Formidable or Gravity Forms to gather email addresses. You’ll be able to track form performance by the number of submissions over time (e.g. month-to-month).

Bottom of Funnel: Nurturing Leads

Leads are great, but it usually takes more than a single interaction for a lead to be ready for the sales team. That’s where nurturing comes in – it’s the goal of educating your leads.

Educating (nurturing) helps position your company as a knowledgeable authority. It’ll also give your potential customer more confidence in doing business with you.

There are several ways to nurture leads. One way is by publishing useful & informational resources on your site. Another is by creating a membership site that requires registration. (We’ll cover this in another lesson.)

The metric you’re looking for here is return visits. Even better, return visits from people you’ve already identified as leads.

For example: The accounting firm we mentioned before could have a Guides section on their site. They could publish guides for handling payroll, or even guides for specific types of businesses.

Every time a lead submits their email address in exchange for a guide, the firm will know a little bit more about that lead. This insight will be helpful for their sales team, because it establishes context. Their sales reps will know what guides were relevant to the lead.

Action Item:

In WordPress, services like Google Analytics give you a high-level overview of returning visitors. More advanced services (e.g. Salesforce Pardot or KISSmetrics) will show you what content individual leads have been viewing.

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