Making conversions on your website is a fundamental concept that is often overlooked. All the tweeting, friending, blogging, and pinning can only get you so far - at some point you need to measure the ROI of your web presence, and to do that you need to think about conversions.
That can be a tough question, and the answer mostly depends on your business model. In some cases, the answer is easier to arrive at. For e-commerce websites, when someone buys a widget online, that is a conversion.
What about websites where you can't actually buy anything? A brochure website, for example, generally doesn't have any e-commerce capabilities - but measuring conversions and ROI is still important.
If you don't sell anything online, then you need to decide what you consider a "successful web visit". What is the best case scenario for a person who comes to your website? On SyracuseDesign.com, we do not sell anything directly, but we do track a few things that we consider successful web visits.
All of these things are tracked automatically, and we regularly check our real-time reporting tools to make sure we can identify new trends as they happen.
You know what it costs to operate your website, but how much revenue do you generate with your website? What is the value of a Facebook "like"? Do retweets add to your bottom-line?
These are tough questions to answer, and unfortunately, there are no straightforward answers. It's tough to link ultimate buying decisions with the combination of factors that caused a consumer to choose your product over competing products. Add in the instability and ever-changing, on-demand nature of the internet, and you've got a nightmare on your hands.
What we know about our website is the average revenue a person who submits the contact form is worth. Of all the people who've done that, we know what they've spent. We know that people who share our content on social media are higher in frequency, but lower in revenue. This is expected: a simple share or like is a lot less time consuming than filling out the contact form with genuine interest. We also know which social media outlets proved higher quality visitors: visitors who spend more time on the site, view more pages, come back more often, and ultimately fill out the contact form. In the end, we know which of our efforts result in the highest yielding conversions: contact form submissions.
We don't try to nail down the exact ROI of our website. We keep an eye on all relevant trends so we know how to best engage our visitors, knowing that visitor engagement will result in quality conversions.
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