One click conversions are rare, as much as those ecommerce giants might make you believe with the sheer volume of ad budget that they have. And I did recently buy something off of an ad within about a couple of hours of seeing it. But it is pretty rare that people will see your brand for the first time and buy right away. There's some niches where this might happen. But especially where trust is needed, this is so unlikely. Instead, we have this 11 Step funnel for sales and marketing where people will generally need a minimum of a few interactions to go through each step, if not hundreds of interactions, depending on the price of your product, how much competition you have, and so on. This means you might have to do a little work to improve the experience. And with that work comes analysis. So what can you even analyse outside of sales? Well, turns out there's a lot, so let's break it down. Welcome to the Digital Hive Podcast where we talk all things digital marketing for small businesses, subscribe to the show on YouTube or your chosen audio podcast app to get weekly insights into your next marketing move. I've gone through these 11 steps in much more detail in episode three, and taken you through a fake strategy in episode four. So I'd recommend you catch up on those episodes first, if you haven't already.
Watch or listen to the episode
Our first stage is discovery. And a lot of tracking here is eyeball related. However, it's especially first time eyeball related although sometimes we can't differentiate between previous people and new people completely. You can understand your search discovery better by using paid tools like SERanking, to track keywords and how you rank on them. Remember, all SEO is relative to what others are doing and sometimes the easiest things to rank on are the most specific searches. These softwares will often tell you a range of how often these terms might be searched to help you prioritise your work. You can look at organic search acquisition and Google Analytics and the search engine specifically in Fathom Analytics. You can also check your analytics platform for what pages they land on from search to see what is both searched for most and what most often leads people to you. Through this information, you can spot gaps by noticing what doesn't lead people to your website that you might want them to, and which pages aren't being landed on. Social media discovery can be tracked through reach or impressions depending on the platform. And if the platform can tell you your reach outside of subscribers or followers, that's even better, since it has to be the first time to count as discovery interaction. Ads are pretty easy to track since the ability to have analytics is half the point of digital advertising. You'll want to pay the most attention to impressions or reach but also to cost per impression and cost per click for budgeting and performance assessments. Since you have the option to exclude people who have been to your website from seeing the ads, you can particularly look to those ads to fill this gap.
Interest alone is harder to report on itself, but the percentage of conversion from discovery to engagement is what tells you what's working, generally in a more overall way when you can't tell how interested people are. However, some options like YouTube videos will allow you to see if people are watching the content all the way through, which is a key indicator of interest.
Engagement is one of the few steps that's really easy to track because that's the point, they're taking action. However, you'll still want to keep an eye on percentages, partly so you can reflect on this step comparing the engagement to the reach. This helps to understand the relevance of the prior steps, because high reach but low engagement can mean the discovery is by the wrong people. This engagement could look like email signups Likes, Comments shares, whatever is relevant for the platform they can engage on, all of which is quantifiable
Familiarity is a feeling, and so it can be harder to put a number on it. But there are indicators so you can track those. The consistency with which they open your emails. or reply to them, DM you, react to content and so on can give you a guide. In the engagement step they became noticeable and while platforms don't generally make it easy to track individuals, if you have a smaller audience, you might be able to notice the familiarity, because you are also becoming familiar with them as a person too. An analysis of an individual person's journey can give you an insight into the bigger picture and how you might be able to provide a better experience.
The consideration step is most easily tracked when information they'd review when considering is online. Since you can track views of sales pages or other portfolio pages or any other page that provides information on your product, service, course, or other type of offer. They're not deciding or buying yet though so it's important to track browsers versus purchases to see how long it takes people from seeing it to buying it.
Timing can be a hard one to track. If it's your timing they're waiting on, you can have a waitlist or some other way for people to sign up to get notified and that means you know how many people are on that list. You can't confirm that they'll definitely buy but it certainly tells you that they are considering it and are waiting on you when they sign up. If it's their timing you're waiting on maybe because of budget or needing to not be so busy to fit in undertaking your offer, you can track how long people are waiting on your email list before buying. What you can't track is why they're waiting.
Decision is a step where you need to really look at the data and what it might be telling you, but it's just data. The actual experience is much more nuanced than the analytics can tell you. This is sometimes where a sales manager takes over, and they have a relationship with a potential buye and so they learn a lot more. But in many businesses like ecommerce, you don't quite have that luxury. If you are opening and closing a door to the offer, like maybe a course that's only available for a certain amount of time, and people are on a waitlist, you can track what percentage of people sign up in the time the option to buy is available. This does mostly reflect back onto the other steps and how they are performing, but you can track it to give you some ideas of how you could improve things in the future. This is one of the steps that you might like to run a survey for. If people are presented an offer and don't choose to buy, you can ask them to complete a few questions to give you a better idea on what's happening. This isn't going to be a good fit for all businesses, but it's something to consider.
Purchase is the step you're most used to tracking but you can get a little more nitty gritty than a simple quantity or dollar amount. You can also track Add to Cart versus purchase. Is there a delay in signing the contract or completing the onboarding form. While people might end up buying always, is there a bit of a delay that might be telling you there is a little room for improvement in the process.
You can evaluate your delivery step based on questions you receive since that usually represents information you should have already provided or need to make clearer. I also include feedback in the step and the best way to get it is a post service or delivery survey. You might also get this information from reviews or testimonials too.
Loyalty can be represented by repurchase or by monthly recurring revenue if the offer is a subscription. If your offer is one and done, this doesn't really exist for you, unless you're just planning to expand later.
You can track how well your advocacy is working when people mention they were referred by someone or through tech with an affiliate process. This is mostly qualitative data, but there are ways to quantify if you want to. Remember though, when you ask people how they found you, they often will only tell you what they remember, which is often great for something like referrals, but not always accurate for every digital interaction they have like Google search or social media. That experience is just not something they're taking conscious note of along the way.
When you're looking at this data, it can help to look at everything holistically. If you only look at discovery and reach, but don't pay attention to the latest steps, you could be showing up in front of the wrong people, and ultimately, that doesn't help your bottom line, which is the whole point of marketing. Equally, you don't want to skip out on platforms that get people to your email list when that email list is what then converts them. Once you collate all of this information, you can then look at percentages between each step when possible, and maybe even work backwards to look at what is working and what isn't and what can be done to make improvements.
Sometimes you're in a phase of business of needing X number of sales to meet your revenue goal, or to pay a bill and in those times, you'll need to look at things differently to prioritise your time. This can be done by focusing on creating a better connection or reaching out to people in the stages between familiarity and purchase. The more time you have before that deadline as such, you can start to work on the earlier experience. But ultimately, time is often a major factor in those steps, especially familiarity. These analytics will help you to decide where to put your time, where the biggest opportunities are, where the consistent places are, and how you can best hedge your bets across a few different things. When you're more in a mindset or genuine need of simply keeping things moving, but you're ultimately all good for the next three to six months, then you can spend more time on crafting the experience. While this ultimately helps the whole process, it can be slower, and an iterative process where the bigger payoff.
I've created a workbook to help you through this analysis for your business. The worksheets help you to break down what you need to track and how you can best choose what to look for, as well as a spreadsheet you can copy to get you started. This wraps up this series on the marketing and sales funnel. I hope these three episodes help you to spot gaps in the experience that you can now fill to grow your business. My flagship course The Marketing Apiary covers much of the rest of this picture, so you can implement these changes without the overwhelm and endless googling.
Subscribe to the show