The analytics of local search are different than e-commerce; avg. time on site, pages/visit & bounce rate are largely measures of engagement and e-commerce. Yet, us local searcherati try to fit these square pegs into our round holes. Why? Because these are the tools Google Analytics made available to us.
Let’s face it, we never considered these metrics prior to the GA installation, and then after we hooked up GA, we had to do searches on Google just to find out what these terms meant. And now we use these terms as if they are truly meaningful. Well no more! It’s time to add a 12th internet marketing skill…
From now on we are going to use only the metrics that we can tie directly to revenue and profitably. I know that’s boring when compared with exciting things like “engagement”, believe me I know, I love it when you talk that way. However, times being what they are we must consider the more practical aspect of dollars actually going into our pocket.
Here are the Ratios and Metrics I’m going to watch from now on.
Clicks to Phone Calls Ratio. This measures your sites ability to get people who are interested in your service to call for an appointment or request a free estimate or some thing like that. Whatever the equivalent is in your company you know.
For service businesses, your website’s main job, perhaps its only job is to generate phone calls. Yet, I bet very few people are actually measuring this right now. This will helps us measure the effectiveness of our most basic internet marketing skills, keyword analysis, copywriting and website design.
% Calls Booked- This measures your ability to convert phone calls into appointments or estimates.
As a former Yellow Page rep I can remember telling clients over and over again, “All we can do is make your phone ring.” But now as part of the service we provide, we listen to our clients web calls and provide feedback.
This metric is far easier to take action on then avg time on site or the others to which we typically pay attention and the opportunity is tremendous, really. To fully comprehend the power of this metric, imagine raising booking % from 40% to 60 %. This is not a 20% increase… it is a full 50% increase in the amount of leads your generating and you didn’t need to spend anymore on advertising to generate it!
Closing % – this measures your company’s ability to turn leads into customers
Because of this metric’s proximity to actually collecting money it is already pretty well regarded by most; but I would venture there is still some room for improvement.
Avg Sale $ – What is the average sale?
Don’t leave home without this one and definitely don’t talk to any advertising people without knowing it.
Profit Margin%- the percent of each sale that goes into your pocket.
I think of this number as the dollars that make it into your pocket on your last saleâ€” expressed as a percentage.
Focusing on and improving these stats can help you stretch your advertising dollar and bring in more sales. Which is why we pay attention to analytics in the first place. Imagine logging into your analytics package and seeing the number of unique phone calls you generated expressed as a percentage of unique visitors. Next you see the % of these calls that were booked and finally how many turned into customers and how much was spent. I see this as being the default analytics package of the near future for local service businesses. The tools are actually available for this right now, it’s just a matter of putting them together.
*Here’s a little secret: If you get the numbers for your company for each of the 5 metrics above and multiply them, it will give you the single most important number in your entire internet marketing campaign… more on that next time.