No matter what kind of sales you are in, constant, never-ending improvement is the name of the game. Without it, you are going to fall behind. The speed of change we face every day requires it.
However, improvement is difficult if you do not purposefully measure the key metrics. Just look at any Olympic athlete or professional sports player. They don’t just show up at the gym, do some exercises and hope they get better at their craft. Instead, they dig deep and take their training to the next level.
Instead, they keep meticulous records of all the important stuff. They are counting their calories, their reps, their speed, their form, and even the number of hours they sleep.
So, they can find problem areas, address them, and focus on real, effective, impactful improvements.
In 2019, there are some funnel metrics that you need to start tracking. Doing so will provide you with the secret weapon you need to gain an edge with your funnels in 2019.
Website Visitors – The Top of the Funnel
When it comes to funnels, a lot of people like to focus exclusively on the “good parts” where you get the sale. But you must remember the basics – sales is a multi-step process. Most of your sales are going to begin at the top of your funnel.
This involves a lot of different elements. But one of the main things is having a solid link building strategy in place. One of the main ways people will enter your funnel is through searching on Google and link building is one of the best ways to make sure they can find you when they do.
Why is tracking the metrics on the top of the funnel so important? Because if you have a solid understanding of what content on your website is attracting the most visits, views, or users, you will have a clear picture of where you ought to focus your attention when it comes to optimization.
If you are going to invest time, money, and resources into awesome content to attract people into your funnel, it might as well be the kind of content they want. Measuring your top of funnel traffic will tell you exactly what your customers like.
Look for engagement trends and watch out for general topics that attract a lot of visitors and engagement.
Conversion Rates – Getting Over the First Hurdle
So, now you have got people on your site, viewing your content. The first hurdle you must overcome is getting them to engage with your content truly. In other words, you need them to convert.
Usually, this looks like getting them to complete a form, opt-in, or otherwise begin the journey into your funnel.
If you take the overall, total number of people who visit your website and divide it by the number of people who take action mentioned above, you have the “conversion rate” for your website.
Your conversion rates are an extremely important thing to be measuring. Most people will want average with which to compare their performance. However, that “average” number is extremely hard to come by.
Depending on your industry, the size of your business, and many other factors, conversion rates vary widely. However, for discussion sake, one to three percent is a safe guess.
In other words, for every 100 visitors, an average website will see 1-3 of those visitors convert.
Form Filling – Fully Fixing the Friction
There are tons of things that can negatively affect your conversion rates. Sometimes, it can feel a bit like trying to find the bad bulb in a dead string of Christmas light – you must start at one end and test, test, test all along the way until you find the problem.
One easy thing to check is what kind of landing page submission rate you are getting. When people come to a dedicated landing page, do they bounce after a second or two?
Do they fill in a couple of boxes and then take off once they reach a certain point?
On the internet, friction is your enemy. With easy, one-click shopping and instant streaming becoming the norm, any hiccup or delay is unacceptable and can quickly kill your shot at converting a prospect.
Measure the engagement that you are getting on landing page submission forms and fix any friction that you can see. Remember, just because it may seem easy and intuitive to you, doesn’t mean that your customers agree.
The Source of Conversions
Another very important metric that you need to be paying attention to is where people who convert are coming from when they enter your funnel.
Say for example you are getting a ton of people into the funnel from social media. However, none of them are converting. But on the other hand, you have a handful of people coming in from your email marketing that is converting like crazy.
Which one do you need to focus your time on?
The answer here is obvious. However, it is only obvious if you are tracking where people are coming from when they enter your funnel and then measuring how many are going all the way through the funnel.
Traffic can come from all kinds of sources, including:
- Paid (paid search or paid social)
No matter where it comes from, the key is tracking all the way through so that you know what sources are your top converters.
The Call to Action – Effective or a Waste of Time?
Arguably one of the most important parts of your sales funnel, a good, effective call to action (CTA) can be worth its weight in bitcoin. However, calls to action that convert do not just grow on trees.
The best calls to action are born out of extensive testing, tracking, trial and error, and some more testing. Therefore, if you do not measure the effectiveness of your CTAs, then you are missing one of the most important metrics available.
A/B split tests are the best way to measure your funnels CTA. Put two different CTAs head to head, see which one converts more, pick the winner, and then do it again. CTAs that are tested with an A/B split test is more effective than those that are not tested in that way.
The ability to track this essential metric is often built right into funnel software. The key here is – use it!
As internet service providers (ISPs) get faster and faster, websites are going to have to learn to keep up or get used to being left behind. Too long of load time can vastly increase your website’s bounce rate which is something you do not want.
As people are being drawn through your funnel, test, and measure to see what kind of load time they have to deal with along the way, then take steps to get it down to the lowest amount possible.
Some people have found that a fast page load can result in a 16.5% conversion rate increase. That is not a percentage to be sneezed at.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure that the photos on your site are the proper size. Keep things around 1000 pixels and 100 dpi or lower. This will boost load time, give your prospects an awesome experience, and decrease your bounce rates.
Unique Traffic vs. Returning Traffic
We all know the content on our websites needs to be good. But beyond just having good content, we need to make sure that we effectively communicate to visitors that our website is THE source for what they need.
Doing so will result in them coming back again and again.
Some people have postulated that you have to have eight touches before you turn a visitor into a customer. Whether this is true or not, the fact remains that you have a higher chance of getting people into your funnel if they are a returning visitor instead of a newbie being introduced to you for the first time.
When you know who a first timer is and who is a returning guest, you can begin tracking what makes a guest return. Then you can do more of that.
Mobile vs. Tablet vs. Desktop
Over 50% of online traffic is coming from mobile devices. And that number is only expected to continue to rise.
The problem with a lot of websites is that they are designed on a desktop and then actually used primarily on mobile devices. Understanding the experience that your users are having is vital if you are hoping for a conversion.
If you are not tracking what kind of device your users are on, you need to start. Knowledge is power, and in this case, it will give you the power to make sure their visit to your website is easy and frustration free.
The Bottom Line
If you are not a numbers person, measuring things may seem like a boring waste of time. However, as we talked about at the start – you cannot improve what you do not track.
If you want to go crazy, you can track just about anything and everything throughout your funnel. If there is a number involved, there is probably a way to track it. However, the things we have talked about today are some of the key metrics that you need to be tracking.
The key is not doing everything but doing a few things well. If you can master tracking a few of these key metrics, you will see a big change in your ability to increase conversion rates.