The number one priority for B2B web sites is lead generation. I’m convinced that B2B marketers are overemphasizing search engine optimization and pay per click tactics at the expense of ROI measurement.
I find that most B2B marketers (except those in large companies) are focused on search engines and generating more web traffic – based on the belief; that more traffic equals, more inquiries, equals more leads and more sales. This may true for B2C/B2B marketers with a transactional sale however, if you’re a B2B marketer, with a complex sale, this is just part of your battle.
If you are serious about tracking your website’s return on marketing investment, it is imperative, that you go beyond the data collected in your web sites log files. Basic metrics such as; number of clicks, unique visitors, number of opt in e-mails gathered, and number of inquiries (forms) filled out are simply not enough.
Search marketing is important but not at the expense of ROI measurement. The top mandate from CEOs to marketing is to provide measurable ROI metrics. The bottom line is that marketers must prove their return on marketing investment (ROMI).
Mal Watlington, Contributing Writer for webpronews, wrote an article, “Getting the “R” in ROI from Web Generated Leads.” He writes, "In the B2B world, customer behavior and the length of the buying cycle make the connection between on-the-web activity and the decision to purchase much more difficult to trace."
I realize that tracking ROI may seem like a daunting task but it can be done. I’ll show you how to track your website ROI…
Starting to track your web sites returned on investment
In a complex B2B sale, most of the selling actually occurs off-line. The sales process is a long series of micro conversions resulting from ongoing dialog – a conversation. The key is to tie both off-line and on-line activities together.
I view lead generation as an ongoing conversation that’s both multimodal and iterative. To do this, you must begin with a holistic approach to lead generation and manage all of your touchpoints in your your CRM.
Common metrics for website ROI tracking:
# Of lead from inquiries
# Of visits to contact us pages (Visitor to inquiry conversion ratio?)
# Of white paper requests
# Of news letter registrations
# Of opt-in email addresses
# Of webinars registrations & # of attendees
# Of immediate sales ready leads
# Of inbound phone calls (click to call or chat)
Basic lead generation metrics:
# Of inquiries (Weakest)
# Of qualified leads (Weak)
# Of leads in sales process (Okay)
# Of opportunities in sales funnel (Better)
# Of closed deals (Best)
A few more analytics to consider if you use pay per click (PPC):
- Are you able to track which keywords are clicked on most frequently?
- Do you know which keywords produce the best inquiries?
- Which search engines and sites produce best inquiries? The most revenue and are the most profitable?
- Could you be paying for keywords that completely waste your sales team’s valuable selling time? If so, do you know which ones?
- How much did your web site contribute your overall revenue? Can you prove it?
When you began thinking holistically, about your lead generation, you’ll find many of these questions will come naturally. Put your focus on tracking metrics and microconversions that go beyond the lead (both on-line and off-line). You’ll have no problem proving your worth to your CEO because you’ve documented return on marketing investment (ROMI) at every step.