Don't Work for Free. Track Conversions.

Rick Burnes
Rick Burnes



mowing Imagine this: Your teenage son comes home from school one day with a big smile on his face, and announces he's accepted a summer job mowing lawns.

Needless to say, you're impressed. The summer hasn't even started and he's got something all lined up. What initiative! What great parenting! You've done well.

So you ask the logical next question: How much is he going to get paid?

At this point, your son starts squirming, his face turns red and he admits that he forgot to ask.


How could he possibly agree to a job without knowing how much he's going to get paid? How could he not know this?! Where did you go wrong? Kids!

Spare the indignity. Adults -- particularly adults in online marketing -- do this all the time. They do endless hours of SEO , blogging and social media work, driving people to their website -- then fail to find out how many of those website visitors actually convert to customers. Just like your teenage son, they work without knowing how much they're getting paid.

The worst part of the story? The information they're missing isn't hard to get. You just have to track the right things. Specifically, you should think of your business website as a funnel like the one in the image below.


sales funnel


Here's what you should be measuring in this funnel:

Website Visitors -- Website visitors are at the top of the funnel. These are the people you've attracted to your site via channels like your blog, social media and search engine optimization.

Leads -- Leads are the website visitors who express interest in your product by submitting information on a landing page . Maybe they fill out a form in order to download a white paper. Maybe they requested an demo. Whatever it is, these people are potential customers, and you have more information about them than you have about your website visitors.

Customers -- These are the folks who pay you. If you're not already tracking them, you're in trouble.

Conversion Rates -- This is the percentage of website visitors that converts to leads and the percentage of leads that converts to customers. This is important to know because you need to understand where in the funnel you can improve. Are you better at converting leads to customers? Or visitors to leads? The answer to that question will help you determine where to focus you energy and how to drive more sales.

Channel-Level Funnel -- This means tracking everything above (the funnel) for each channel. How many website visitors, leads and customers do you get from organic search traffic? How about from your blog? And what are the conversion rates for each? The answers to these questions will help you determine which channels to focus you marketing reasources on.

What do you think? Are you tracking this funnel? If not, what's stopping you?

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