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This is the third in a 3 part series on how you can make your website a lot smarter, and work a lot harder.
Three Critical Success Factors
I can’t give you the dissertation on smarter websites, but I can share these the three critical components of smart websites:
- The Prospect to Product Connection
- Metrics that Matter
We’ve covered CSF 1 last week, here are 2 and 3.
CSF 2: Metrics that Matter
There are primary metrics, secondary metrics and tertiary metrics. The primary metrics are the ones that leverage increased interest, engagement and conversion. They are:
Unique visitors, and we can narrow this down even finer, unique visitors from targeted accounts.
Action. The clearest way of measuring engagement is when the visitor takes action, or responds to one of our offers – get information, ask a question, download a white paper. We’re not looking for just any action here, but the ones that correspond to key junctures in the consideration journey.
Conversion. Are we converting visitors to leads, and leads into sales.
CSF 3: Agility
Let’s talk about the difference between goals and strategies. The goal of the smarter website is to increase attraction, engagement and conversion, and that doesn’t change. Strategy, however, has to change. It has to get smarter as we get smarter through experience. Which leads to agility, or the ability to listen, understand and respond.
I know it sounds like work, but think of this as an insurance policy and not a gym membership.
Agility requires us to:
- Give up the “campaign” or project orientation. We’re not done learning just yet. I know the tendency is to say, thank goodness the website update is done – I don’t have to worry about it for the next 2 years. However, agility, if it truly is a competitive advantage, takes what we’ve learned and puts it into immediate practice.
- Refresh key prospect insights regularly. Opportunities are regular win / loss analyses, and yearly net promoter score (NPS) surveys (with a qualitative component).
- Pay attention to the right things – the metrics that matter. Industry benchmarks are interesting, but your own baselines are what really matters. Movement in the primary metrics is evidenced in the secondary and tertiary metrics. Therein lie the clues to improving performance.
- Take action. If you learn something, do something.
As an added bonus, a recently published study by eMarketer (7/19/16) finds that companies that commit to agile marketing, embracing significantly shorter development and execution cycles, see workflows and outcomes improve. Marketing management also cites agility as critical for responding to disruptions in the marketplace.
What’s In It For Me?
In our experience, companies that have re-oriented their website have seen a 10% – 20% improvement in the website’s contribution to bottom line results – engagement, leads, and sales – within the first 6 months. Improvement from there is all in your hands, and in your commitment to agility.
This is a lot more than bright colors and a mobile-friendly orientation. This is about solid returns on your investment. It is a journey that starts with a line in the sand and a change for the smarter.
The Next Step
Actually, there are two next steps:
- Get a better grip on the prospect-centricity of your website by taking our website self-assessment. Looking with Your Prospect’s Eyes
- Give us a call and let’s kick this around.
*I’d like to acknowledge the help and assistance of Wayne Cerullo, Phil Shelp and Andrew Schulkind in developing this post.
This series is adapted from a post originally appearing on the MENG blog.