A Strategy for Successful Leadership of the Website Team

Does your website team try to dazzle you with reams of reports and statistics weekly, so much so that you cannot tell if the website is actually improving in performance? Should you care? If you demand they structure their reports every week as I describe below, the result will be a focused team and an ever-improving website.

Does your website team try to dazzle you with reams of reports and statistics weekly, so much so that you cannot tell if the website is actually improving in performance? Should you care? If you look at SQLs by source, there is a good chance that the website is the best source of SQLs. So, yes, you should care. If you demand they structure their reports every week as I describe below, the result will be a focused team and an ever-improving website.

First, establish and educate on the actual goals of the website. Let’s exclude eCommerce websites because they represent an entirely different set of goals, actions and reports. The goals of your website might include the following:

  • Generate high quality net new leads for the business
  • Provide ongoing education for leads and customers already in the funnel
  • Reinforce brand attributes and brand loyalty
  • Increase brand awareness and advance all thought leadership initiatives

Pretty simple right? So, do you measure your website based on these goals? Yeah, that’s not that simple. The website must do several things to meet these goals.

  1. Attract new visitors and have a plan for how to gain returning visitors
  2. Get more of the visitors to read more than one page (move bouncers to browsers)
  3. Get more of the visitors to engage with the downloadable content (move browsers to downloaders)
  4. Get more of the visitors to fill in a form (move downloaders to converters)

Here are the 5 reporting slides I suggest you ask to see either weekly or monthly that will summarize your website performance as it relates to the goals you set for it.

1. Organic Attract

Measure and report on the trend for weekly visitors and especially new visitors. Give the team a target goal each quarter for new visitors per month. To tune up the website to hit this goal they will have to:

  1. Clean up the website errors that cause poor ranking with the search engines
  2. Identify which keywords should be targeted, and improve the visibility of keywords which are bringing the best browsers, downloaders and converters
  3. Add content which addresses the topics and answers the questions being queried on the search engines, and optimize those blog pages and other web content
  4. Add AMP capability for all pages – i.e. make it more mobile friendly (Google indexes mobile first now)
  5. Move to SSL for all pages and sub-domains
  6. Gain authority with quality backlinks to good performing content from websites with high authority
  7. Reduce page load times to less than 3 seconds by compressing images, reducing scripts, etc.
  8. Identify which channels are driving the best potential new MQLs and SQLs, and focus more resources there

Your weekly one slide “Attract” report should highlight the visitor trend week over week, the hottest entrance pages for attracting new visitors and specify which actions from the list above are planned for this week. The report should also highlight how many of the returning visitors are from existing customers.

2. Bounce to Browse

So you have a great blog that brings in 50% of the traffic, but do they just read that one page and then bounce (exit the website) or are you drawing them deeper into your website? Your team should report weekly on the average duration and page views trend for visitors and what they are doing to improve the numbers.

  1. Add CTAs (calls to action) to all the top performing entrance pages immediately
  2. Consider adding tools like Uberflip or PathFactory
  3. Leverage tools like Crazy Egg to see where visitors are clicking and scrolling and how they are interacting

The one slide report should specify what actions they are taking this week to increase visit duration and the number of pages viewed.

3. Browsers to Downloaders

One of your goals is to provide education to people in the funnel, so you cannot expect to put all content behind gates (forms). A large percentage of your website content will need to be ungated (freemium vs. premium content). Each week your team should report on what percentage of visitors downloaded content and which content was best at driving engagement. What actions are they taking to improve the numbers?

  1. Where is the content placed? Is it in CTAs on all the appropriate pages?
  2. Which content is hot, and can you link to it from more places?

4. Conversions

How good is the website at capturing new leads and getting existing leads and customers to engage with premium content? Each week the one slide report should highlight all the form fills by asset or form type, highlight how many were new leads and share form completion rates by form/asset. The actions pursued each week include:

  1. Fine tune form questions and leverage progressive profiling
  2. Place links to premium content in more hot locations on the website
  3. Add more premium content to the website
  4. Retire older premium content or move to freemium status

The team should have a weekly goal for number of new leads they want to hit.

5. Paid search and paid media summary

Paid campaigns do attraction and conversion all in one, so it is appropriate we report on it separately from the items above. But one slide is all a CMO needs, not reams of Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and other paid media reports. The one slide should include what campaigns you are running by offer and channel, new leads produced, how much you are spending and the ultimate cost per new lead. It would also be good to report on lead quality (cost per MQL and SQL). The actions for the team weekly include:

  1. What new tests or campaigns they are going to try
  2. What campaigns have run their course or need modification
  3. What budget shifts will happen to improve portfolio results

Do you have a similar website performance five slide or less weekly report? If so, please share.

Next time, learn how the inbound group fits in with the demand generation team in a revenue marketing organization.

How to Identify the Most Profitable Google AdWords Keywords

You probably already know that identifying profitable keywords is one of the most important steps in creating a successful Google AdWords campaign. When you actually start trying to think of keywords, though, you might feel overwhelmed.

The 5 Steps to Profit with Google AdWordsYou probably already know that identifying profitable keywords is one of the most important steps in creating a successful Google AdWords campaign. When you actually start trying to think of keywords, though, you might feel overwhelmed.

For example, you might sell Android phones. How many different two- or three-word phrases can you think of to describe your phones? Should you focus on different brands, specific models, or features? Does the word “Android” need to appear in every keyword phrase?

To answer these questions about your specific product or service, you need to understand what shoppers are searching for. Here are five ways to identify the most profitable Google AdWords keywords.

1. Think Like a Buyer
Online shoppers can be loosely divided into three groups, or three separate points in the shopping cycle.

Browsers are looking for general information. They are just setting out on their buying journey, or might even be doing research for a non-purchasing reason such as a school paper. It is nearly impossible to figure out their motivations for a particular search. You can identify browsers by their very general one- or two-word searches, such as “Android phones.”

Shoppers are interested in making a purchase at some point, but not yet. They are researching different products, comparing features and prices, and reading reviews. They tend to make their searches a little more specific, such as “Samsung Galaxy phones,” often with a word such as “features” or “reviews” appended.

Buyers are ready to make an imminent purchase. They have committed to a particular product or service, but they want to get the best deal. Their searches tend to be highly specific, such as “Samsung Galaxy S6 price” or “buy Samsung Galaxy S6.” When they find the item they want at the right price, they will complete the transaction.

To give your campaign the best chance for success, it is best to focus on the buyers. They are the easiest to convert into sales, giving you the most bang for your advertising bucks.

If you are unsure exactly what keyword phrases your buyers might choose, step back and pretend you are in the market for your specific product or service. How would you find it online? What words and phrases would you use when you are ready to buy?

2. Perform Customer Surveys
One of the best ways to figure out how to reach new buyers is to talk to those who have already bought. Send out an email survey or call your most recent purchasers. Find out how those customers reached your website. Ask them to try to recall the specific keywords they used, as well as the general keywords they tend to use in similar searches. You will likely pick up a few new ideas, even if your customers do not have perfect memories of how they found you.

3. Poll Your Staff
Assuming you have a well-trained staff, your employees can be a valuable source of keyword information. They are intimately familiar with your product or service, but have the benefit of being one step removed. If the item is “your baby,” it can be tough to step outside of your own deep knowledge and view it as an outsider might. Ask your staff how they would search for the product or service in question. Family and friends can also provide suggestions, especially if they have a reasonably good understanding of what you sell.

4. Scope Out Your Competitors
Make a list of your biggest competitors and spend some time poking around their websites. Every seller has his or her own unique approach, and you might discover some phrases or expressions that you had not yet thought about. Be careful not to steal anything trademarked or copyrighted, but general ideas and search terms are fair game.

5. Use Keyword Tools
Google’s free Keyword Planner is a tremendous resource. Simply input keyword phrases that you are considering, and Google will suggest a long list of similar keyword phrases, along with their average monthly search volumes and associated AdWords costs.

To dig even deeper, why not take a look at what is working and not working for your competitors? SpyFu is a particularly useful tool that lets you view AdWords keywords, ad variations, and landing pages that a chosen competitor has used in the past. This gives you a good idea of what works and what does not, and helps you decide which keyword phrases are worth your investment.

When trying to find the most profitable AdWords keywords, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  Following these five tips helps you narrow your focus and decide where to begin, and then your own testing and tracking will show you what changes you need to make.

Want more AdWords tips?  I created a simple checklist that walks you through specific actions you can take to get cheaper clicks and convert more clicks into leads and customers. Click here to get my Google AdWords Checklist