The Numbers Game
I remember starting my business and being almost immediately inundated with numbers. Click thru rates on my ad campaigns, conversion rates on my landing pages, traffic numbers in Analytics – it was, to put it mildly, overwhelming.
Worse, I had no idea which numbers were important and which weren’t. I knew which were the most fun to check, so those became the ones I watched, but I slowly learn that “fun” doesn’t mean “effective”.
So for anyone starting their business or trying to get a handle on the reams of data sitting in front of you every morning, here are three numbers by which you can realistically measure success.
*image owned by Goce Mitevski*
Time on site is one of three key on-site metrics, the other two being total pages viewed and bounce rate. So consider all three of them rolled into one here. If your time on site is high, the other numbers are likely very good as well.
So why does this matter?
Because the longer someone spends on your site, the more likely they were to have found the answer to their problems. The more likely they were to have found an answer, the better your site looks compared to other sites that maybe did not solve their problem.
Search engine optimization should involve a focus on these metrics, as should your sales funnel.
How often do people opt-in to your email list, webinars, or blog subscription form? This includes anything that puts them on a list or into a followup funnel. So feel free to roll in numbers like Facebook Likes, Twitter Followers, and Plus Ones.
The bottom line is that if someone likes you and your content, decides to continue following both, and then returns in the future, you are doing something right. That kind of engagement will eventually lead to sales.
Return on Investment
Forget how much you actually make in the short term. Focus on the percentage of return you get from time and money invested.
This is a big mistake a lot of newbies make. They will spend an hour or two a week and $100 a month, and then be upset when they only make $150 in that first month. Realistically, that’s a slightly positive ROI.
On the flip side, someone who spends $1,000 on advertising and then makes $700 in the first month may be very excited, but only until they realize in a few weeks that they are paying for more than they are getting.
Track these numbers carefully and always act on what provides you with the best ROI for your business.
While conversions are nice, and seeing all those Likes on Facebook still gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, the numbers don’t mean a thing if they don’t convert to solid engagement across my site and email list and a positive return on investment.
*image owned by Alessandro Rei*
Focus on these three numbers and everything else you do will enhance them, resulting in a more successful business.