Day 1: Establish Success Metrics and KPIs

You wouldn’t drive from Los Angeles to South Orange County without a map, GPS, or keen sense of direction. Nor would you go play darts with your friends in the dark.

You don’t need a 100-page business plan to develop an actionable, growth-focused conversion optimization strategy.

Start with a map of your company’s conversion funnel. If you don’t have one already, you may need to sit down with your team to sketch one out in a conference room.

Source: Scott Brinker (Ion Interactive) via SearchEngineLand

Conversion models vary between business models and companies. There are a couple different ways to visualize this concept, so pick the one that makes the most sense to you. Here is another infographic that describes the conversion funnel in terms of on-site customer actions:


Know the Goals that Prioritize ROI

Online marketing produces a heck-of-a-lot of data. That’s an understatement. And if you’re not laser-focused on your goals, you’ll get buried under a data avalanche.

To be successful in your company’s conversion optimization, you need to ignore the noise. Think: shining light vs. eightfold path. You need to monitor success metrics that directly influence your company’s ROI. Here’s a breakdown of the categories where these success metrics fall:

  • EngagementThis concept relates to stickiness, which is how much and how often your customers are engaging with and returning to your website. Examples metrics in this category include unique visitors, pageviews, average visit duration, return visits, and bounce rate. If you’ve ever taken a journalism class, think: who, what, where, when, why, and how.

  • ViralityThink of this concept as a word-of-mouth effect. When people value your content, product, or services, they’re going to tell the world. Shares, tweets, and likes give your content a higher probability of residual exposure. In other words, they generate an echo effect in the form of free marketing.

  • Leads and ConversionsAs a marketer, one of your core goals to generate leads to your sales team. When assessing ROI, you need to measure both the number and quality of your leads by forecasting a dollar amount to how much each lead is worth to your company.

  • RevenueTying revenue to your marketing efforts is difficult, but it’s mission-critical for your company to do. In order to measure revenue, you need to know the number of deals closed and sales generated from your marketing efforts. (Hint: Segment revenue generated by marketing channel to gauge the efficacy of each individual program)

  • Lifetime Customer ValueYour company needs to maximize this number — more so than the value of transactions from direct response deals. Make sure that the lifetime customer value (i.e. the revenue generated from your user base over time) has significantly higher margins compared to your marketing spend.


Emily Anderson