<< by on June 25th, 2013
You can’t always “seal the deal” online to make a sale. The reasons are numerous: Your end transaction might be in a brick and mortar store purchase, your product might be too big to purchase online with a credit card, or you might have an enterprise level product that isn’t going to be easily sold in a hurry.
The problem is, even though your final sales occur offline, you still need the website to bring in your leads that eventually become sales. You need to understand what activities on your website are the most correlated with your offline sales. The most effective way to discover this is to survey your customers about the website activities they did along the way in their journey to purchasing your product. You can even take that line of questioning another degree to find out what site activities were most correlated to the site activities most correlated with sales.
These actions are known as Key Performance Indicators, or “KPIs”. Not all KPIs are equal. Some are more closely related to a final purchase than others. Some are simply just to build awareness about a product or services feature. Some allow customers to easily research a product or service, and some facilitate the actual purchase.
Over the years, we’ve utilized the following KPIs for our customers:
- Quote Requests
- Store Locators
- Incentive or Coupon Views
- Product Configuator Builds
- Newsletter Signups
- Payment Estimators
- Spec Views
- Brochure Downloads
- Local Inventory Searches
- Product Gallery Views
- Video Views
The thing about optimizing to KPIs is that you can optimize for all of them at the same time. Your measure of success is KPI Per Click, so its awesome to get people executing multiple KPIs in a single session. People that execute multiple KPIs are your most likely customers and people that execute multiple “lower funnel KPIs” like Quote Requests, Inventory Searches or Store Locator Searches are typically ready to buy now.
In paid search, you bid the most on keywords with high KPI Per Click Conversion Rates and bid lower for the keywords that have low KPI Per Click. You also need to consider the weight of the KPIs being generated by your keywords. If you have a keyword that generates high Product Gallery Views per click (and not much else) and Product Gallery Views have the lowest correlation of all of your KPIs to actual purchases, you shouldn’t bid aggressively on those words. Those words are good at generating awareness and they are your top of funnel keywords, so they should be last in line to get your high bids and big budgets.
Keywords that generate Quote Requests, Inventory Searches and Store Locator Searches are your most valuable keywords. This is especially the case when those kind of KPIs happen on mobile devices. If you have local retail outlets or stores, it’s a virtual guarantee that if someone is searching for store locations or local inventory on their phone they will likely be walking through your door to buy within a couple of hours.
The great thing about having multiple conversion actions is that they give you a lot of data to work with in evaluating the success or failure of your marketing efforts and keywords. If you utilize multiple KPI types and you don’t generate a single KPI from those efforts, it speaks volumes about going in the wrong direction with your tactics. But if your tactics generate your lowest funnel KPIs, it speaks volumes about your potential to make sales.