Inside Sales Best Practices: Don’t Mistake Click-Throughs for Real Results

Click-through rate is one of the most important pay-per-click Web marketing metrics. But be careful not to correlate click-through rates with actual success.

For example, which is better? Getting 1,000 visitors to your Web site, and converting 50, or getting 300 people to your Web site, and converting 30?

The answer is that it depends on how much it cost to get those 1,000 visitors and 50 conversions vs. the 300 and 30, and the total sales each scenario produced.

And in our experience, getting 300 carefully targeted, ready-to-buy, high-value site visitors seems to be the better choice.

In other words, it’s not always about getting visitors to your Web site, it’s about getting the right visitors. During one three- or four-month period a couple of years ago, we were pulling our best SEO and PPC click-through numbers we’ve ever had. An influx in marketing budget dollars gave our department a new lease on life, so to speak, yet in spite of the impressive click-through numbers, sales were stagnant.

The problem was we were optimizing just for click-throughs, trying to get as many people to our Web site as we could—regardless of buying potential, decision-making capacity, or interest in our product category. Higher click-through numbers based on increased Web marketing dollars wasn’t ultimately producing more sales.

So we changed out strategy. More highly targeted keywords, less periphery. Reevaluation of our PPC campaign organization and strategies. Our click-through numbers dropped, but our sales actually increased significantly. Why? Because we started “sifting the wheat from chaff,” so to speak, by getting the most-likely-to-buy prospects.

Now obviously this strategy may not work for every organization. Every product and service will have a different formula for successful Web marketing. Nor am I saying that marketing should never push new boundaries, or that you shouldn’t take (calculated) risks with your marketing strategy.

The real lesson is that not all click-throughs are created equal, and all of us should be marketing to the “click-through-ers” with the highest value first and foremost. It was an important reminder for us that the bottom line of marketing isn’t click-throughs, lead conversions, “brand awareness,” or public relations.

It’s sales.

Author: Ken Krogue |
Summary of Ken Krogue’s Forbes articles

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