Don't waste your time: Find out if your Web marketing is workingArticle added by Maggie Crowley on April 21, 2014
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When it comes to maintaining your firm’s marketing strategy, it seems like there’s a lot of guess work involved. We know that a great advisor marketing strategy is built on a foundation of measurable goals. We also know that hard numbers provide the best evidence and help us make informed decisions. So, the question is: How do we identify these numbers and what does it all mean?
At least 85 percent of Americans report doing a little research online before purchasing a product or service. The good news is that advisors are finally jumping aboard the Web strategy train. But many advisors are still asking how to determine whether their efforts are actually paying off.
Even if you’re job title doesn’t have the word "marketing" in it, it’s easy enough to track these metrics, which allow your firm to make evidence-based decisions. These metrics 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 online presence, we’ve put together a cheat sheet of three of the most important metrics every firm needs to track to determine your online success. These metrics can be collected using a free Google Analytics account. Some Web providers have analytics tools built right into the platform — find out if your website has this capability and put it to work!
1. Organic search traffic
What: Organic search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of the relevance to the search term, as opposed to advertised (paid) results. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an example of non-organic searches.
How much organic traffic should your website generate? It depends. If your site is fairly new (live for a year or less) it may receive as little as 100 views a month. Established advisors with a properly maintained site can expect over 1,000 hits from organic traffic each month.
Why you should care: Organic search traffic is, arguably, the most important source of traffic to a website. 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 relevant information to searchers. Web users who are searching for you online are more likely to be interested in your firm’s offerings, thus more likely to convert into potential clients.
How to use it: If you really want to get serious about increasing your organic search traffic, start with improving your site's SEO. Once your advisor site begins ranking higher on search engine results, you’ll naturally access traffic that wasn’t there before.
2. Traffic origin
What: 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 were referred to your site from another webpage that linked to your website (like social media, Google Maps, blogs or other industry sites).
Why you should care: Identifying what types of content are interesting to your Web audience is a big deal because it reveals a good bit information about your visitors. Wouldn’t it be easier to decide what content to put on your website (and blog and social media outlets) if you knew how visitors ended up on your website? Delineating where your Web traffic originates helps evaluate areas where you’re succeeding, in addition to the places where your site can use some improvement.
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 were. Most of the content you share online is transferable to other digital channels; use this to your advantage!
3. Call-to-action click through rate
What: Calls to action (CTA) are the little buttons that encourage Web visitors to do something, like “Book a Meeting” or sign up for a “Free Evaluation.” Usually, CTAs lead to a landing page with a form that people fill out in order to receive the offer (and you receive a new lead). Analyze your calls to action in terms of how many times they’re clicked (click through rate) and how often a form is completed.
Why you should care: The more click throughs your calls to action 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 and it’s not happening as frequently as you would like, try offering something that requires less commitment like, “download a white paper.” This example is actually a great way to share your knowledge and convince Web visitors of your expertise, further instilling trust and establishing your identity as a thought leader in the financial planning community.
This high-level overview of vital marketing metrics will help if you’re looking to advance your marketing game.
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