Who’s the Boss of your Business Conversions?


I’m about 80% done with a large guide about small business conversions. This is the time of my writing process where I fill any gaps with additional research or current studies. Something I saw today on Search Engine Journal simply can’t wait for my guide to be done.

Recently (yesterday?) Slingshot SEO released a white paper entitled, “Valuing Conversions Through Multi-Touch Attribution.” For those of you intimidated by those terms let me break it down for you:

A conversion is when someone does something you want them to do on your site. This could be making a purchase, signing up for a white paper, subscribing to your email list, and much more. The point is that you have convinced someone from your content marketing or site or whatever to do something they wouldn’t otherwise do.

What this paper goes over is the valuation process of tracking those conversions. Because without assigning value, you really have no idea how effective each piece of your marketing really is.

For example, let’s say you spend $2,500 a month on PPC and another $2,800 on content marketing and $1,500 on graphics/web design. That’s a lot of dough, racking up to $6,800 a month or $81,600 a year.

Now, what if through proper valuation (the process of assigning value to each step of your marketing process) you found that the guides or blogs written by your content marketing firm are happening 100% of the time during a conversion cycle but PPC is only happening 20% of the time? You could save yourself a lot of dough.

The first step is to understand the conversion cycle. I like to call it the conversion cycle because it sounds so much more optimistic than the sales cycle, but it’s the same thing. It is the moves your visitor makes from initial visit all the way through to the sale.

For example, a person might search for the term “morning coffee” and see an ad for Folgers. Once they click on that ad, they have been added to the conversion cycle. PPC has done their job, the person clicked through and now the relay goes to content marketing and site design. They spend a good few minutes on the site (kudos to your design team) and they have read a few blogs (kudos to content marketing) before they leave.

A couple days later through a social feed they see someone mention a coupon or a great cup of Folgers coffee. They click through and again spend some time on the site. This time they sign up for an email newsletter.

During the email newsletter campaign they receive a coupon to purchase Folgers at their local grocery store. They send the coupon to their Kroger (or other local grocery store) card digitally and when they go shopping they pick up their morning coffee.

Which of the steps do you think had the most value? Would it be fair to give the value of the purchase completely to PPC? What about the last step – the email marketing campaign? Without assigning proper value, there is no way for you to have a clear grasp of what is actually working.

That’s the point behind multi-touch attribution. In order for you to make intelligent decisions about the progress and budget of your marketing you have to assign appropriate values to each step of the process. If you do, then you can look back and see things like how often content marketing played a role as opposed to PPC when the end result was a sale.

 

Here are some other hints:

–        If content marketing is gaining you a ton of quality traffic (high time on site, low bounce rate, etc), but no conversions the chances are the focus of your campaign is wrong. More likely than not the content is targeting your peers instead of your consumers. You always want to play nice in your industry, but your content should target the people that will pay you at some point.

–        If your PPC brings in a bunch of traffic that bounces out or never converts then maybe your site design needs some help.

–        If Organic Search is bringing you hits but bounces quickly then you aren’t delivering on your promises. Edit your meta description and make sure you are optimizing for the appropriate terms within your content.

–        If Email marketing isn’t bringing people back to your site then focus on CTAs and stronger copywriting.

 

Of course, you can’t make any of these above tweaks without knowing what is happening in your marketing. The first step is to lay out your plan and assign value so you can make the moves necessary to harness the most business conversions possible.

For practical help on how to assign value check out the study I mentioned earlier from Slingshot SEO. This study is helpful in a lot of ways.

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Amie Marse is the founder of Content Equals Money. She lives in Lexington, KY with her two dogs: Billie and Lily. She has been writing content for her web based clients since 2005. She launched Content Equals Money in Oct of 2010, home of conversion focused content writing services. She loves to chat about small business development and how to make content equal money!

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Comments

  1. I like the ideas you stated in this post. It is but necessary to know how every aspect of your website is functioning, this is to help you identify the weak points and to correct them; it will ultimately translate to more earnings.
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