Archive for Web Strategy

Key Website and Campaign Stats to Measure Against

With all the reports and information available to you today it often gets confusing as to how to properly measure or understand if you are performing well or not. In this blog we provide a list of key website and email campaign stats that you can use as a benchmark to measure the success of your website or campaigns you conduct.

Conversion Rate ( 1.8% )

The average website conversion rate which is the number of conversion objectives (ie what you want your visitor to do when they get to your site) divided into the number of visitors to your site is 1.8%. If you are performing better than this then it may pay to adopt some traffic generation tactics to drive more visitors to your site as all things being equal should result in generating more sales opportunities. If less than 1.8% it may pay to review and adopt some conversion optimisation techniques. Normally some trial and error approaches based on sound analysis and customer feedback or survey’s.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides a great dashboard of useful stats and although the results do depend on your site objectives and layout here is a guide for the average corporate/business website :

  • A bounce rate below 20% is good. This is the number of visitors that come to your site and run away quickly without visiting any other pages. Once you start getting over 20% you may need to look at conversion optimization techniques to get it back under control.
  • An average of 3-5 pages views is a good benchmark. Obviously the more the better with below 3 indicating more work and analysis required.
  • You really want your visitors to be spending at least 3 minutes of their time on your site on average. Generally speaking the longer the better.

Google Adwords

Google Adwords provides a good level of reporting for any campaigns that you run with them. Listed below are some typical stats to benchmark against :

  • A click through rate (CTR) of between 2-3% is acceptable. Anything over 3% is good and anything under 2% obviously needs some attention.
  • The average cost per click (CPC) does vary depending on how competitive the keyword is but as a guide it typically is between $1 and $2. Anything below is good but does depend on the other measures. ie if you are paying $5 a keyword but are getting a clikc through rate than then converts into a sales opportunity it may very well be worth the investment.

Email Campaigns

These stats have been taken from latest Australian Email Marketing Metrics Report: Jan-Jun 2009 and relate to email marketing campaigns conducted in Australia. As they are averages you would be wanting to ensure that you are doing better or taking note of the results.

  • The average open rate for 1000plus emails being sent is 24%. For between 5-499 emails it is 35%. Generally speaking the open rate is higher for smaller email lists.
  • The unique click through rate is just under 5% for 1000 plus lists and as high as 9% for 5-499 emails sent. This is normally the action you want them to take from opening your email.
  • The unique click through rate as a % of unique open emails is 20% for 1000 plus emails being sent. So of the % that open your email 20% then click through.
  • The average bounce rate is 7.2%. Emails that come back to you for whatever reason.
  • Sunday is the best day of the whole week for people to open your emails followed by Monday, Thurs, Tues and Wed. Friday is the worse day so typically don’t send email campaigns out on a Friday.
  • 52% of all receipents open an email within 8 hours of delivery. 75% within 24 hours and 5.1% after 17 days. So the message there is to keep your campaign current for at least 20 days to be sure.

Hope that helps in some way and if you want to share any stats you have that you are not quite sure what they mean please comment below.

Enjoy the rest of your week



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What to focus on next – Traffic or Conversions ?

In this insight we provide an overview for helping you to decide what area of your sales focused website you should focus on nextTraffic or Conversions ?

The good news is that from a big picture perspective you really only have 2 choices :

  1. Traffic generation campaigns (eg. PPC and SEO) or
  2. Conversion optimisation techniques to help improve your conversion rates

(Whilst you could also elect to do a combination of both, for the purpose of this insight we will keep it simple).

To define which of these two areas you should focus on first you have to understand and apply the traffic x conversion = profits formula to your website.

Traffic being the number ofvisitors you need to attract to your site and conversions being whatever action you want those visitors to take once they get there.

Pre Requisites

  1. Access to your website stats or Google Analytics. If you haven’t set up your Google Analytics or are not sure how to find these stats then that’s your next step – set it up or ask your hosting provider or current developer to assist.
  2. You have determined your conversion objectives . Ie what action you want your visitor to take once they get to your site. Some typical examples are :
    1. Make a phone enquiry
    2. Complete a form
    3. Place an order
    4. Subscribe to your mailing list or blog
    5. Capture feedback or email addresses

Determine your “Gap” or Benchmark

You cant decide what area to focus on next without having a picture of how your are currently performing against what you actually want to achieve. You cant know how much effort or work will be involved until you can determine the “gap” between where you are now and where you want to be.

Apply the formula to your business

The stats will provide useful information around the level of  traffic/visitors, where they have come from and what they do when they get to your site. Knowing and then tracking yourconversion objectives then allows you to define the formula as it relates to your business. More importantly it allows you to determine your conversion rates. The end result is you have been able to take a big picture view and based on some industry benchmarks or your own business objectives you are now in a much better position to determine what area to focus on next.

Conversion rate example

Let’s take a moment to provide a quick guide on how todetermine your conversion rate. For this exercise we are going to keep things simple and have phone enquiries as your main conversion objective. Let’s assume youare generating 300 visitors to your site a month and you know that each month you are currently generating 3 phone enquiries.

Your currentconversion rate = 1% (ie 300 visitors / 3 enquiries & expressed as a %)

Do this now for your business and determine your current conversion rate.

Traffic or Conversions ?

The average website conversion rate is 1.8% (for this insight we shall also use that as your business benchmark) so once you have determined what your rate is how does it compare against this benchmark. The answer to that then provides you with the following options :

  • If your current website conversion rate is below 1.8% then in the short term it might be best to focus on conversion optimization techniques. Driving traffic costs money, time and resources so do ensure you are happy with your conversion rate before investing heavily in traffic campaigns.
  • If your conversion rate is above 1.8% then in the short term it might be best to focus on traffic generation tactics. By turning up the level of traffic and maintaining your conversion rate you will automatically get more conversion actions ie phone enquiries.

Obviously, it can get a lot more involved but we hope the above has been able to provide you with a big picture guide and a great place to start. For a more detailed analysis and discussion please feel free to give us a call or visit our site for more tips and tools.

All the very best

Richard Ferguson

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Do you suffer from Brochure Site Syndrome ?

Brochure Site Syndrome (BSS) is a set of signs and symptoms that indicate you have been unable to successfully transition to a sales focused website with the outcome that it is hurting your business and costing you time and money.

The brochure or business card site is sooooo yesterday and in today’s competitive environment if you have the opportunity to build or upgrade your site then you need to be aware of BSS so you can jump straight to developing a sales focused website.

Not only does BSS cost you time and money but it can hurt your brand and send the wrong message about your business. A business that suffers from BSS will create doubt in your prospects mind, create unnecessary objections and lengthen your sales process.

How to recognise if you have BSS :

  • You still consider your website to be an annoying expense (as opposed to an ongoing investment).
  • You haven’t updated your website in the last 3 months.
  • You keep apologising to prospects, clients and networks about the state ofyour site.
  • You still think that having something on your site is better than not having one at all.
  • You still believe in the “build it and they will come” philosophy.
  • You don’t have a blog.
  • You wish the whole social media thing would go away so you don’t have to worry about any of it.
  • You don’t understand why people no longer choose to trust or believe what you write about your business and products.
  • You don’t want to have to spend money or time or allocate resources to attend to your site.
  • The web doesn’t apply to your business. You don’t want to attract “those” sort of people as clients.
  • Once upon a time someone told you your website was good so you don’t see any need to change anything.
  • You feel it’s all a conspiracy to get you to spend more time and money on marketing.
  • You want instant results and don’t understand why you would have to allocate an ongoing monthly investment into your website.
  • You are still thinking you can develop a sales focused website for a small one of expense.

If you have any of the above symptoms then consult your web adviser immediately.

Have an amazing day

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Top 5 Reasons to Update your Website NOW rather than later

  1. It is costing you sales opportunities. Almost all potential prospects will check your website out prior to doing with business with you. A poorly built and maintained site would be costing you sales opportunities and what’s worst is that you probably don’t even know they are going to your competitor.
  2. It is lengthening your sales process. Following on from point 1 if it doesn’t cost you the sale it will lengthen the sales process as you will create doubt in their mind that then needs to be overcome. That means handling unnecessary objections.
  3. It is damaging your credibility with existing customers and reducing opportunities for repeat business. A well maintained and functional site continues to build relationships past the initial sale through various forms of on-going and relevant communication. Repeat business is a key driver for any successful business.
  4. It is making your business look tired and small. If you are not attending to your site on a regular basis, its like never changing the presentation in your shop front window. Eventually dust gathers on your products and services and visitors stay away. People like to do business with dynamic businesses that are always looking to add value for them in some way.
  5. It is time to get a return on your investment in your website. You have probably already invested several thousand dollars in your website but have not set things up to determine how or if it is working for you. Time to review that and set up the necessary objectives and systems so you can see a ROI.

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The impact of the recession on the web and what Smart Businesses can do about it

Rather than just talk about how the recession is impacting the web this article also provides some points as to what Smart Businesses can do about it.

1. Traffic on the web will continue to increase. As people become more discretionary and price conscious they will research more and will use the web to do so. Smart Businesses will understand this and will continue to invest in their online presence to benefit from it.

2. Selling on the web will become more soft sell or relationship driven. As a result of the downturn people will not be pressured or pushed into buying. Refer point 1. Smart businesses will adapt by :
• Providing more free offers, trial offers, e-books, white papers and more relationship building activities. Publishing more and giving away more free and relevant stuff.
• Holding webinars as attendance at offsite conferences will fall and people will use the web more to ensure they are up to speed with relevant industry knowledge and skills. To protect themselves in case of job loss or retrenchment.
• Updating or building their sites to “Talk” to their customers and “guide” them over any questions or objections they have ensuring they build trust and credibility along the way.

3. There will be a continued increase in social networking on the web and people will use these networks to ask around, seek references and/or recommendations before they buy. Smart businesses will recognize this and ensure they have a social media strategy in place to benefit from it.

4. Marketing spend on websites will be impacted but should hold its own well. Compared to other mediums the web is more measurable and you can determine a ROI. In fact this downturn may turn into a catalyst for more businesses to use the web as their other sources of leads dry up, traffic on the web increases and you can actually measure your ROI. Specialist online marketing agencies will be impacted as businesses will utilise their own internal staff to conduct more campaigns such as SEO and PPC. Smart businesses will continue to invest in their online presence because they can
• Determine a ROI quickly,
• Use it as a opportunity to enter new markets
• Take advantage of the times to grab market share from less nimble competitors.
• Negotiate great advertising rates as marketing agencies fight for a smaller share.

5. Web design & development costs will come down as businesses will spend less on creative innovations and more on applications that enable them to bring control of their websites inhouse. You will see more applications that will provide greater functionality at a lesser cost. Free applications will grow and become better as well. Smart businesses will update or develop their sites so they have the ability to make changes and control it without having to engage Web developers as much.

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“Take a Walk in Your Visitors Shoes” and Win More Sales Opportunities Online.

The best place to start to creat more sales opportunities online is to “Take a Walk in your Visitors Shoes”. Take the time to answer the following 12 questions so you can then update your content to reflect them. If you write your content with the visitor in mind it will quickly improve your conversion results. A conversion being whatever action you want your visitor to take as a result of visiting your site.
Here are the 12 questions :

Question 1 : If a visitor comes to your website via a search engine (eg Google) – What do you think would be some of the search phrases they would use ?

Question 2 : What do you think they would be feeling when they are typing in these search phrases ? eg confused, curious, desperate, vulnerable, overwhelmed etc

Question 3 : What do you think they are looking for by initiating the search ?

Question 4 : What do you think they are NOT looking for by initiating the search ? eg. ads trying to sell them something straight away, boring landing pages that only talk about themselves etc

Question 5 : If a visitor comes to your site via other means such as word of mouth or as a result of some other marketing – What do you think they are feeling when they arrive ? eg. let’s check these guys out, are they credible, can they really help me etc

Question 6 : In all cases, what challenges do you think they are wanting to solve by initiating the search or coming to your site ?

Question 7 : Taking all the above into account, how do you want your visitor to feel when they arrive on your site ?

Question 8 : What would you like the visitor to see ?

Question 9 : What would you like your visitor to be able to do ?

Question 10 : What are your overall objectives for your visitor ?

Question 11 : What do you want to know about your visitor ?

Question 12 : What features/functionality do you need to acheive all of the above on your site ?

If you are having trouble with any of the above questions or need help in interpreting the answers then leave a comment and we will try to put it into perspective for you.

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