Using Goals and Micro-Conversions in Analytics to Match Your Customer Funnel

Often, when webmasters and business owners try to identify the ultimate purpose of their website, they think of one thing: Sales. Increasing revenue is often the number one purpose for any given website, no matter what the business. While different types of businesses have different ways to increase revenue, it’s pretty typical that most business owners and marketing managers are primarily concerned about the site’s impact on their bottom line before anything else.   The mechanics that influence the bottom line can vary dramatically: Webmasters may be relying on product sales and eCommerce transactions. Lead generation sites may gather new customers primarily from contact forms that arm their sales team with the information needed to follow up. Content writers and blogs may focus on engagement metrics so they can monetize their site to advertisers. Whatever the case, there are measureable milestones that can act as great performance indicators for sites of all types.   However, as the digital world continues to become more complex, with more and more channels used to market your business, and more steps that lead customers from discovery to conversion, it’s important to measure all goals on your site and ensure they align with your customer’s journey. Below, we look at three different types of websites and the macro-conversions and micro-conversions often associated with each of these types of sites.

Setting Up Goals for eCommerce Sites

E-Commerce websites have a pretty straightforward purpose, and it should come as no surprise that the primary macro-conversion should be a sale. But what steps go into identifying the micro-conversions that might come with your eCommerce site?   CrazyEgg recommends first identifying the macro-conversions for your site, and then simply brainstorming other activities that can act as milestones to signal that a user might be close to purchasing or further engaging with your content. These can include the following:  
  • Signing up for a newsletter
  • Adding a product to a user’s cart or favorites
  • Reading or writing reviews
  • Watching a video about the product
  • Sharing the product on social media
  Once you’ve identified the tools in your marketing arsenal that can serve as micro-conversions, the next step is learning how to measure them. Depending on the tracking that you’re using, this can include destination URLs set up within Analytics, or events to be tracked using either Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager.   The training video above walks over how to set up goals and events for eCommerce sites. For Tag Manager, the video below walks over the details of integrating tags in Tag Manager with your data layer to synchronize goals with Google Analytics.   Ensure that you track the micro-conversions on your site, and nurture the channels and marketing efforts that are leading users to these small conversions prior to a purchase. For instance, if you find that users are adding an item to their cart yet not converting, this can alert you to complications within the purchasing funnel that may be preventing a sale. First, take a look at your purchasing funnel and monitor any exit pages for drop-offs. While you make fixes to simplify the purchasing process, nurture the channels and marketing messages that are driving users to the product. Some guiding questions can include:  
  • Have any social media campaigns explicitly focused on this product?
  • Where are people adding the product? Is this a featured product from your homepage, or are users actively seeking out the product through your navigation?
  • Are you driving users to land on this particular product page using AdWords, the Display Network, or organic search?
  Double-down on these marketing efforts to ensure that you continue to drive a steady stream of leads to the site. In doing so, you’re helping customers to discover your site, build trust, and can ultimately retarget the user until a purchase is made.

Lead Generation

With a lead generation site, businesses are often selling a service rather than an individual commodity. As a result, the end goal is simply having a user submit a contact form indicating that they’re interested in a particular service. Sites like this often need to require on multiple channels in order to acquire conversions, and simple steps can often signal interest and trust in the brand while also signalling purchasing intent.   ConversionXL points out that these are divided into two different types of conversions. Citing a report from NN/g, there are two distinct types of micro-conversions that become especially relevant for lead generation sites:  
  • Process Milestones – These actions lead directly to a macro-conversion. In this case, this could include viewing the pricing menu or even a secondary contact form on the site designed to request more information.
  • Secondary Actions – These actions don’t necessarily translate to a particular conversion funnel, but signal interest and trust in the brand or the product. This could include visiting a certain number of pages, comments on a blog post, or sharing a page using social media. Other actions also include downloading an ebook or whitepaper–something to supplement your conversion funnel by requesting a newsletter subscription to access the gated content. Those who fill out the form are indicating trust, brand affinity, and a willingness to read more of your content.
  It’s critically important to look at these secondary actions as a paramount part of your marketing efforts. Since the financial decision may take place without a physical meeting or phone conversation, secondary actions often serve to build trust in the brand, augmenting the sales pitch by illustrating your site’s ability to act as an authority and a resource for these brands. Again, it’s crucial to find ways to nurture these channels and identify how to reach more users that trust the brand and can amplify your content’s reach. This can happen across a number of different channels: From email marketing to content marketing and social media, brands can develop ways to build trust for their site and nurture the potential to groom leads out of these very preliminary signs of interest.

Blog Conversions

If the site is purely content driven, typically your macro-conversions would be unique visitors. This would give you a platform on which to build out your advertising pricing so that advertisers can get a sense of the amount of impressions and ads your site may serve. However, there are some significant micro-conversions that, in this case, could be lumped in with process milestones in order to better understand your visitor and nurture further visits. These could include the following:  
  • Sharing a certain piece on social media
  • Commenting on a blog post indicating engagement with the content
  • Visits to at least three pages or more
  • Time on site goals
  Time-on-site goals and pages visited goals are part of the default settings for custom goals within Analytics. Setting these up can be an easy way to open your eyes to additional marketing opportunities and ensure that you’re seeing a growing audience. Additionally, by measuring the micro-conversions on your blog, you can better measure the marketing channels that had the greatest impact–both for converting visitors and those who seemed to simply register interest and trust in the topics that you’re covering. What are some of the micro-conversions that you find to be important? Let us know in the comments below! For more information on how to better measure and understand your traffic, user behavior, and conversions, sign up for our newsletter!  [grwebform url=”https://app.getresponse.com/view_webform_v2.js?u=BHiDX&webforms_id=5634702″ css=”on” center=”on” center_margin=”200″/]

Schema Markup Every Business NEEDS to Have on Their Website and HOW to Actually Get It on There

This is a step-by-step guide on how to get the essential Schema markup on your website. I am operating under the assumption that you already are aware of what Schema is and just want to know how you actually get it on your site. If you would like a refresher on what structured data is and the benefits it can provide to your site, you can check out our Schema Markup Refresher and How Schema.org Markup Can Help You Succeed in the Age of Universal Search.

Which Schema Do I Need?

If you have ever tried looking through the Schema.org website, you were probably overwhelmed with how many options there are. If you are just getting your feet wet with structured data, I suggest sticking with schema.org/LocalBusiness and Schema.org/PostalAddress as it is applicable to every business.

How Do I Write the Code?

If you go to schema.org/LocalBusiness and scroll to the bottom you will see a list of examples. You can copy the Microdata from one of those if you see it more fitting to your business than my example, otherwise you can just copy the code below into Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool and replace it with your businesses info. Then click Validate to make sure the code is clean and showing the correct information. Be very careful editing the information since one character out of place can throw the entire code off. Here is an example of local business and postal address schema for Brighthaus. Replace the bolded items with your information. <div style=”display: none”> <div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/LocalBusiness”> <span itemprop=”name”>Brighthaus</span> <div itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”> <span itemprop=”streetAddress”>1047 University Ave</span> <span itemprop=”addressLocality”>San Diego</span>, <span itemprop=”addressRegion”>CA</span> <span itemprop=”postalCode”>92103</span> </div> <span itemprop=”telephone”>1-800-605-8913</span> <a itemprop=”url” href=”http://brighthausold2.com.207-244-69-7.creativehaus.com”>brighthausold2.com.207-244-69-7.creativehaus.com</a> </div> </div> You will see my script has an additional line of code at the beginning, which is to make sure the code is hidden and not actually shown on the homepage. Once you have your code, move on to the next step.  

Ok, So Where Do I Put This?

Before you go pasting the code, you should either download the Moz Bar or a Chrome Developer Tool add-on called SchemaDump. It’s not a bad idea to have both because they will show you what Schema is on a given page. I’ve had instances where it shows in SchemaDump and not in the Moz bar, so it is always good to have both. These instructions are for WordPress users, but you can follow the same steps with other CMS’s, however, I have had issues with it not working on some platforms, like WIX.
  1. Navigate to the editor of your homepage and click the “text” option and paste the code at the bottom.
 
  1. Click on preview
  2. Right click on the homepage and click Inspect
  3. If you downloaded SchemaDump you will see it listed as one of your developer tools. If the code was implemented correctly, you will see your information listed under Schematic Data.
   
  1. If you have the Moz bar, you can find it under “Markup”, as shown in the screenshot.
  6. You can then click on “Structured Data Testing Tool” to see which code Google is reading. You will see in the screenshot that Google is reading “Organization, LocalBusiness, and WebSite” on this page. 7. If all looks good, just click publish! Congratulations, you have successfully added structured data to your website and Google will reward you for your hard work. You can essentially replicate this exact same formula now with more advanced markups from Schema.org.
Brighthaus
1047 University Ave San Diego, CA92103
1-800-605-8913 brighthausold2.com.207-244-69-7.creativehaus.com You will see my code has an additional line of code at the beginning, which is to make sure the code is hidden and not actually show up on your homepage. INSERT STRUCTURED DATA TESTING TOOL SCREENSHOT Once you have your code, move on to the next step. Ok, So Where Do I Put This? Before you go pasting the code, you should either download the Moz Bar or a Chrome Developer Tool add-on called SchemaDump. It’s not a bad idea to have both because they will show you what Schema is on a page. I’ve had instances where it shows in Schema Dump and not in the Moz bar, so it is always good to have both. These instructions are for WordPress users, but you can follow the same steps with other CMS’s, however, I have had issues with it not working on some platforms, like WIX. 1. Navigate to the editor of your homepage and click the “text” option and paste the code at the bottom. INSERT SCREENSHOT OF WORDPRESS TEXT 2. Click on preview 3. Right click on the homepage and click Inspect 4. If you downloaded SchemaDump you will see it listed as one of your developer tools INSERT SCREENSHOT OF SCHEMA DUMP 5. If you have the Moz bar, you can find it under “Markup”, as shown in the screenshot. You can then click on “Structured Data Testing Tool” to see which code it is reading. You will in the screenshot that Google is seeing “Organization, LocalBusiness, and WebSite” on this page. INSERT SCREENSHOT OF MOZ BAR 6. If all looks good, just click publish! Congratulations, you have successfully added structured data to your website and Google will reward you for your hard work. You can essentially replicate this exact same formula now with more advanced markups from Schema.org.

Local SEO: Three Things Small Businesses Should Know

According to 2014 Google study, approximately 50% of mobile users are more likely to visit your store after conducting a local search. As a small business owner, jumping into the local SEO game may seem daunting or even down right confusing. Don’t worry, here are a few things to consider when getting started. It Starts With You. Is Your NAP Information Correct? The most important factors of Local SEO start with your business.  Is the information on your website optimized? Are your business name, address, and phone number – also known as NAP – consistent across your website and profiles? Have you ever moved locations or used tracking phone numbers? All these factors are important in local rankings on a search engine results page (SERP). On and offsite signals, when consistent, point Google in the direction of your business.  The correct information ultimately shows consistency, which translates into a trustworthy business. So what are your options? There are various methods and directories, which supply information to smaller aggregate sites. By submitting to these larger directories or local directories such as Info Group or Super Pages you have half of a winning game plan for correcting your NAP. The same could be said for a new business or new location. By supplying these directories with the correct information, your business will have consistency and be ahead of the curve. The Importance of Competitive Analysis Another important factor to winning the local SEO game is the competitive analysis. Who are your local competitors? Where do you beat them, or how do they beat you? How is your product positioned? What are your unique selling points (USP) or value propositions? The first step of a thorough analysis is to find who your competitors in your local area are. Compile a list of keywords based on your services. Examine the 7 pack and see what businesses are listed. Examine their NAP and landing pages to see how their sites are optimized. This examination will play a crucial role in strategy for building valuable backlinks from authoritative sites. The factors above will also help you build a picture of authoritative backlinks, which your competitor may have already. Some of the tools you can use to analyze these backlinks are Majestic Site Explorer or Moz’s Open Site Explorer. These links have become more crucial since last year’s Google Pigeon update, so acquiring some of your competitor links will translate into better rankings on the SERP. How Social Media Impacts Local SEO The third part of a winning local SEO strategy is to focus on your social profiles and reviews. While most view social media as a means of interacting with your target audience, it’s actually much more than that. With Facebook and Google+ allowing you to add your business via a category, this actually makes the networks an authoritative directory, which Google references. One of the biggest advantages to social media is social sharing. This means that a piece of content or post on your account has been shared, which opens up new linking opportunities. So the idea is to create engaging content, which encourages training. You may want to consider a giveaway or sweepstake, such as Woo Box, which drives traffic and engagement by creating customizable campaigns for your business.   These are just a few tips that will certainly improve your Local SEO. By following these tips, you can develop a strategy to establish an authoritative presence on the SERPs. By keeping the correct NAP information, analyzing your competitors and using user engaging social media strategies, you will build consistency and trust with Google, which will directly affect your local rankings.