When it comes to monitoring your online business, the list of so-called “critical metrics” is constantly expanding. Things like social media engagement, keyword ranking, email open rates, conversion rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and more all compete for your attention.
All of this data can be overwhelming.
The question is: what metrics really matter?
In the world of ecommerce – whether you sell products or services – the hands-down, undisputed, heavy-weight-champion metric … is your sales funnel.
Why? Because at the end of the day, nothing but sales pay the bills.
So, to enable you to monitor your entire sales funnel, here are four sources of data and exactly what you should do with them:
- Your Traffic
- Your Leads
- Your Sales
- Your Competition
Let’s start with the widest point of your sales funnel: your traffic.
What is the temperature of your traffic: warm or cold?
Frost-bitten traffic or sizzling traffic is a major consideration you should take into account as you embark upon your ecommerce model. First, warm traffic is when the public saw your marketing messages and now have a favorable opinion of you because of it. Cold traffic consists of spending a lot of time and money to generate traffic.
Now, there are all kinds of web traffic, including:
- Organic: searchers type in keywords and phrases related to your company, product or website.
- Paid: visitors arrive at your website because of paid advertising.
- Referral: an Internet surfer comes across your website from a link at another webpage.
- Direct: people access your website by typing in your URL or clicking on a bookmark.
The key question is: what is your traffic actually doing for your website right now? Is it making any positive contribution? Are you stuck in cruise control?
Enhanced ecommerce tracking will help a business understand the onsite behavior of visitors and will help identify the measures that should be taken to get the action you desire from these visitors.
By starting with your traffic, you’ll be able to identify where your visitors are coming from and what sources are the most profitable.
The success of any ecommerce business is dependent on how effective it is at converting visitors into customers.
By monitoring your sales funnel, you can quantify the number of leads at each stage of the sales process and, based on your strategic direction, predict how many of these leads can be converted into actual customers.
Google Analytics remains the most popular dashboard to monitor your conversions.
This is done by creating “Goals” for every page a conversion is possible. Your home page and landing pages are great places to start.
Your “Goal” can be just about anything, from a sign-up to a play button to a form submission to a download. Just select one specific goal for each of your critical pages to measure exactly how many of your visitors actually become leads.
Increasing the number of conversions is a challenge that all sites faces. This can be achieved by performing A/B testing, writing clear and concise language, and, most importantly, creating trust a simple-to-use website.
The real power of creating Google Goals is the ability to not only see what’s working – your best performing pages – but what isn’t. Where are your visitors leaving your funnel and where do you need to improve?
Keep in mind that while revenue data, sales data, and transaction volumes are important, there is still a lot of information that can be derived from real data that can help you see the much bigger picture. Monitoring and tracking of your sales themselves provides this information and can give you detailed reports about your ecommerce operations every step of the way.
Most notably, you’ll be able to see how often your product or service is added to a shopping cart, how frequently it is converted, and which type of users abandon the transaction midway.
Identifying the pages that are hindering your sales as well as the pages that sell well are both key. This way, you know what elements you need to change to optimize your site’s performance as well as help you figure out or alter your marketing strategies for products that are not doing so well.
Moreover, this is also a good way of determining which products should be on your homepage.
Conversion Rate Experts, for example, wrote a case study explaining how they made $1 million for Moz in just one year with a single landing page and a handful of emails.
The landing page was designed specifically to track and promote sales:
- Long-form copy to tell a story.
- A curiosity-driven headline.
- Clear explanations of what user would receive at each conversion point.
- Highlighted what customers cared about.
- Incorporated video into its strategy.
- Made comparisons with other companies.
Your traffic, your leads, and your sales are all about you.
But, keeping track of what your competition is doing is also an invaluable way to gain insight into their websites and analyze critical data. This can include their traffic rankings, daily visitors, and search engine and keyword rankings.
Monitoring your competition not only keeps you up-to-date with the market but will also enable you to compare your website with that of your competitors so that you can capitalize on their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses.
It is understandable that with so many operations to manage, it can sometimes become overwhelming for businesses to find the time to monitor and analyze their competition. This is why there are several organizations that offer comprehensive services that can help immensely.
For example, Cyfe offers a wide spectrum of effective and useful features to help enhance your competitive analysis and marketing strategies:
- Monitoring of individual departments and multiple websites
- Real-time monitoring reports and historical data
- Custom data sources and widgets
It’s simple: you can monitor your own brand as well as your competitors and other online rivals all in one easy-to-use dashboard.
Fusing Your Sales Funnel with Real Data
The reality is … competition is tough.
In order to succeed, it is important to not only be aware of your strengths but to have the knowledge about the areas where you need to improve.
So, the four data sources to keep in mind are your traffic, your leads, your sales, and your competition. With these data sources, you’ll be able to monitor your entire ecommerce model effectively.
Monitoring and analyzing real data is the only to dramatically improve your market position and increase your sales. So get started today.