7 KPIs Your Company NEEDS To Be Tracking

Are you aware of what makes your marketing campaigns successful or unsuccessful? Do you have the power of KPI in your marketing toolbelt? This knowledge is imperative and crucial to running a business. You need to know what is and what isn’t working in your marketing efforts. This data is known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and they are essential to reaching your goals. Living in the social media age makes it so easy to measure analytics to chart your successes and failures. If you don’t already track KPIs, then it’s time to get started.

Measuring your company’s KPIs will not only allow you to understand your company better but to help you improve your success.

“If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it” -Chuck McMahon

Here are 7 KPIs your company needs to track:

  • Website Traffic to Website Lead

The people that visit your website are prospects to become paying customers. Understanding your website traffic allows you to discover what type of people are drawn to your site and how many of them return to it to make a purchase. Improving these conversion rates is a common goal for businesses. Tracking the ratio between website traffic and conversion rates (that then become leads) helps you understand who’s interested in your company and how you can hook them to your brand.

Website Traffic Analytics can include:

-Number of Sessions

-Number of Users

-Number of Page Views

-Average Session Duration

-Bounce Rate

The funnel from website traffic to customers is listed below.

Visitors - Leads - MQLs (Marketing Qualified Lead= more engaged) - SQLs (Sales Qualified Lead= worthy of a sales call follow-up) - Quotes - Customers

  • Blog Post Visits

Do your customers like the blog content you create? Researching which of your articles received a higher click-through rate and even what time of day they usually visit your blog is extremely helpful. Curating your content towards what your visitors want will drive more people to your site and invite them to return more often.

Blog posts are a huge traffic driver, which is why almost every online business has a blog page on their site. Don’t forget to remind your audience when your newest blog is live, either through an email newsletter or social media. If you don’t post about it, most people won’t know it’s there.

Keep up with writing your blog. Many companies fail to maintain consistent blog writing and lose traffic because of it.

  • Sales Growth and Leads

Be sure to chart your sales revenue. It will take time to compile, but the results will be well worth it. Recognizing what marketing tactics caused dips or rising in the amount of money made will help you understand what worked and what didn’t.

No company wants to pay for something that isn’t earning them money. Charting revenue allows a company to recognize where they should and shouldn’t put their funds.

  • Cost of Customer Acquisition (COCA)

Cost of customer acquisition is when a company has convinced a prospective customer to officially make a purchase. To calculate the cost of obtaining customers through marketing tactics, divide the total marketing investment (the amount of money you spent on sales) by the number of customers acquired. The numbers don’t lie. They’ll tell you how your marketing campaign really went.

  • Customer Lifetime Value

To maintain customer value and extend their connection with your company, reach out to your current customers. Keeping up communication with these customers will increase their satisfaction, help you discover new leads, and retain your customers even longer. After all, the biggest goal for a business should be converting average buyers into lifetime customers.

To calculate the lifetime value of a customer, multiply the average sale per customer by the average number of times a customer buys per year and by the average retention time in months or years for a general customer.

  • Landing Page Conversion Rates

No matter how attractive your landing page, if it isn’t increasing conversion rates, it isn’t working. Make sure that the content and design you’ve crafted for your landing page is driving more than simply traffic, but customer purchases as well. Be sure to monitor your landing page’s conversion rate as often as possible. If a campaign doesn’t seem to be doing as well, update the page with either more persuasive copy, clearer, and more navigable design, or with positive customer testimonials.

  • Social Media Traffic:

Tracking the metrics from your social media can prove just how much (or how little) traffic it’s bringing your business. Social media is a free tool that all companies should utilize and maintain. No matter the social media accounts you use, don’t forget to chart the leads, customers, and percentage of traffic to see how it’s improving your sales.

Mobile is now one of the most popular ways that people visit sites on the internet. Be sure that if a customer clicks to a landing page from your social media, that your website is optimized for mobile and still easy to navigate.

Want to learn more about COCA and Social Media? Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog! We’ll get into the nitty-gritty on how to utilize these.

Market With YOUR Origin Story

How do you make your company stand out? Is there a secret formula for finding success and triumphing over the competition? Truth is, there really is a way to market yourself without using up all your dough and resources (so you don't need to seek out a magic genie to grant your wish for a profitable brand). The process is so simple and sadly, not enough small businesses take advantage of it. The secret is this: Tell your company's story.

No one has the same unique story as you. Utilize that! Think like a skilled movie producer. What attracts us to a film is not how many (or how few) awards it's gotten, but it's the plot that draws us in.

A great example comes from superheroes. Every superhero has an origin story. Would you be as drawn to Spiderman if you had never heard how he got his powers? Would he seem very relatable if we never learned about Gwen Stacy or Uncle Ben? No. You wouldn't feel as interested in what happens because he seems too distant from your own life. It's important to bridge that gap between the brand and their audience.

Now let's transfer that to your business.

Let's say you own a dog food company called "KibbleBits". You're starting a marketing campaign and planning on using TV ads, along with social media, to increase customer awareness.

Which of these ads stands out more to you? "Buy my dog food, KibbleBits! It has real, fresh ingredients for your beloved pet." OR  "I've grown up with pets my whole life, and when I saw that my collie, Scooter, was hardly eating his food. I decided to make a change in his diet. Then my company KibbleBits was born."

Which ad do you think a customer would connect with more? The second one! It shows a person behind the product and a reason for what they do. It creates a human connection between businessman and customer.

Use your social media to connect with your customers. If you do own a dog food company, share videos of cute dogs running around, discuss trending topics like the Olympics (maybe add that dog-sledding should be included this year), and of course share pictures of your dog and how you came up with the idea for your business.

Whatever your business is, it has a story. Tell people how your company came to be. Your brand's story is unique to you and no one else can claim it as their own. Show your customers what you're all about and why they should listen to what you have to say. Give them a story to latch onto.

Extra, Extra...Social, Tech, Creative, Insight, Success FYI!.... Click for links that stick.

We at Avant8 value your time. In this light we’ve scoured the net for 3 of the best Articles & Lists & Links you may have missed this week. Staying updated & in the know is essential to success. Don’t be left behind.

We do the searching while you do the enjoying. Get caught up with us!

A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Insights


10 Laws of Social Media Marketing


3 Critical Metrics in Measuring Community Engagement


Virgin Airlines Goes Back To The Future

October 21st 2015.

The iconic date that Marty McFly travels forward through time to, in the second installment of the legendary Back To The Future Trilogy. For years fans have been fascinated by the 1989 version of modern day life and now we get the opportunity to compare the 80’s interpretation with the facts of 2015. But how does it measure up? We have drones, communicate by video conference and definitely have too many films in movie franchises (no Jaws 19 but we’re get close with The Fast & The Furious). However, we’re still deprived of hover boards, flying cars and self lacing sneakers. Actually, we’re close getting pretty close on the self lacing sneaks – keep up the good work Nike!

Tragically, 2015 is not how it was presented to us by Doc Brown and the gang (unless you’re a Cubs fan), but we do get the chance to celebrate that greatest of days, October 21st, which is a perfect excuse to re-watch movies that the world will not doubt love until 3015.

As a marketing agency, we had all kinds of creative ideas as to how to celebrate the occasion (check out our bottle of Pepsi perfect here), but we decided to stick with what we know best and put together a campaign. We chose to feature Virgin Airlines because they embody many things that we respect – constantly pushing boundaries, providing a new outlook on an otherwise stale industry, outstanding customer service and almost unrivaled success that came from humble beginnings. Virgin, we salute you!

To the man that made Virgin Airlines happen, Sir Richard Branson, we love your hustle, your self belief and your work ethic, so we figured we’d save you some time and take care of your next campaign for you. Take Wednesday off and get some BTTF going on Necker Island…

Enjoy. We certainly enjoyed putting it together.


Top 3 Things Companies Do Wrong Using Google Adwords

Here at Avant8 we have seen the gamut of Google Adwords accounts that spend anywhere to a couple dollars a day to hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. Marketing on Google Adwords can be very fruitful for many companies, and there is a reason why 96% of Google’s revenue in 2014 of $60 billion came from advertising, because marketing in Adwords generally works. But Google’s system within Adwords is complex and very robust. There are many ways to make your ads as targeted and effective as possible, but there are also many ways to spend a lot of money with little return. Which is why we think it is important to talk about the most common mistakes that companies are making with their Adwords account.

#1 Keyword strategy within Ad Groups is too broad

Google wants advertisers to spend as much money as possible, which is why when using Google’s keyword planner it will “recommend” pretty much any keyword under the internet sun.  When setting up an Ad Group, Google says to use between 10 and 20 keywords. This strategy is ridiculous and destined for failure. You will spend a lot of money with little returns on your advertising spend (ROAS). What we recommend is using single keyword ad groups, aka SKAG’s. By getting as granular as possible with your keyword strategy you then create ads for each ad group that are hyper-relative to your keywords, which in turn will increase your click through rate, and therefore increasing your ad relevancy and expected click through rate, which increases your quality score, which ultimately decreases your cost per click and increase your ROAS. So get out there and start using SKAG’s today!

#2 Negative keyword strategy is non-existent

Negative keywords are an important tool to prevent your ads being served and clicked on by people who are not actually interested in your product or service. By looking through the search terms list that Google provides, you can find out exactly what was Google’d when your ad was shown. This shows you which search terms are relevant to you and which ones are not. Say for instance you are selling hot dogs. After letting your account build up some data you go through the search terms and notice that some of your clicks are coming from consumers who are searching for “veggie hot dogs,” but you don’t sell veggie hot dogs and actually despise all things vegetable. Now you can create “veggie” as a negative keyword so that your ads will not show up and ultimately be clicked on by someone who is looking for “veggie hot dogs.” This will save you money and allocate more of your advertising budget towards the search results that matter.

#3 Conversion Tracking

We cannot stress the importance of setting up your conversion tracking. Many companies will looks at metrics like clicks, impressions, click through rate, and average cost per click. Don’t get us wrong, these are important metrics, but they do not tell us the whole story, and making decisions without the whole story is fatal. Until your conversion tracking is properly set up for each ad, it is futile making adjustments within an account. You could have an ad that generates the majority of your clicks but what if those people who are clicking on your ad actually are looking for something else? Now you think that ad is your biggest revenue driver so you double down and allocate more of your budget to it hoping to see an increase in sales but nothing happens and you just wasted all that money on an ad that doesn’t actually perform. This is why determining what a conversion is for your account, whether it is a form submission, phone call, website purchase, etc., is essential to making your ad dollars work for you.


Your Business Strategy: Firm Focus Or Piece Of Paper?


How is your business strategy being implemented?

Do your employees understand your firm’s current goals? Is it viewed and updated often or is it tucked away at the bottom of your desk drawer? A business strategy is at the root of what your business is and where it is going, without it you may just end up going through the motions and wake up one day to find you are far behind where you want to be. Here are some key points about building a business strategy that will help ensure growth:

  • "Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare.”- Japanese Proverb

Anyone who has managed people on any level can relate to that quote. The most important part of a strategy is actually having one. This goes beyond just having a list of goals. What are you doing to accomplish your goals? Are there specific plans of attack next to them? Is there a timeline? It’s not enough to have goals, you need specific plans to accomplish them. More over your strategy needs to be treated like it is important or else it won’t be. This means having it properly formatted and well put together, viewing it often, and keeping it in a safe place.

  • “The result of bad communication is a disconnection between strategy and execution.” - Chuck Martin, former Vice President IBM

Your business strategy won’t mean a thing if you are the only one who knows about. Almost every employee should have an idea of where the business is going and how it intends to get there. Now this doesn’t mean you should share all your trade secrets, but it does mean creating internal messaging. Maintaining a consistent internal message within your organization keeps your whole team moving in the same direction: it provides purpose, focus and coordination. Without these employees won’t feel like they are “a part” of something and will go off in different directions. Cohesiveness goes a long way towards growing your business.

  • “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”- Winston Churchill

When performance is measured performance improves. No matter how clever your strategy is for your current environment it can become useless if you are not paying attention. Even very well established corporations can suffer under the growing pains of changes in the market place (the internet is a great example of this). Update and refine your strategy, adjust your messaging, and you will be successful and stay successful.

By following this advice you can take your business strategy, make it a shared vision amongst your employees, keep track of it and make your goals become a reality. A business strategy, properly utilized, is the focus your employees will draw from and the plan you will use to keep driving forward.

Surviving the Google Algorithm Change: What Are Your Options?

Google's recent change in it's search algorithm reflects the truth that more and more people are using their mobile devices to find information.

More smartphones than computers have been sold every year since 2011, and Google wants to connect those smartphones to responsive websites (sites that change depending on the screen it's viewed). With the recent changes not only will websites that are responsive rank higher, but mobile friendly or "lightweight" sites will increase in rank as well. With Americans keeping a mobile device within arms reach 80% of the time, it is important that your business adapt to these new changes to be more visible than your competition.

Here are 5 options to convert your website:

 1) Switch to WordPress - Easy to use with a ready made plugin to convert sites to responsive, WordPress powers over 17% of the web. If you have small or simple site that uses any of the following CMSs (http://codex.wordpress.org/Importing_Content) then converting to WordPress should be easy and cheap.

 2) Separate website - It is possible to make a separate site exclusively for mobile users, and while the initial cost will be low the long term cost and not being future friendly is a large deterrent.

 3) Specialist - If your website is large conversion may not be possible in house. Several companies offer services to convert your website (many will convert it to WordPress), the cost will vary depending on the size and complexity of your site.

 4) Create a new site- The most expensive option, creating a new site from scratch this will insure your site is future friendly and sleek.

 5) Plugins and conversion tools - Other CMSs have plugins or conversion tools similar to WordPress (JQuery has one for example), check to see if your current CMS does. Your modern responsive site may be virtually free.

Having a responsive website is more important than ever with the Google algorithm changes, with 75% of mobile users leaving a site immediately if it isn't mobile friendly, you can't afford to have a low ranking as well.

The Next Google Algorithm Update: Bad News For Non-Mobile Sites!

It finally happened.

After much speculation, Google is rolling out an algorithm update that will flatten the rankings of sites that aren’t responsive on mobile devices. Google appreciates it’s users and that shows in their decision to give less precedence to websites that haven’t made their site friendly for mobile.

Fun Fact: 80% of Americans keep a mobile device within arms reach at all times, a statistic that has fundamentally changed how we search the Internet. Gone are the days of stunted search terms, sparingly typed into a browser window. Now people are using voice capabilities on their cell phones, taking search queries from one or two words to full, grammatically correct sentences and questions. Prioritizing sites that cater mobile device and cell phone users is a logical next step.

Despite how frustrating Google algorithm updates can be for businesses and web masters, they do mean that every day consumers are getting consistently refined, and thus qualified, answers to their queries. Not having a responsive or mobile friendly website tell Google that you don’t care about user experience, and thus, don’t deserve prime ranking positions.

One plus side for those that may be feeling some panic at this news, is that Google reported ‘no change’ on searches from non-mobile devices. So if you currently rank well on a desktop computer, you should continue to do so.

Not sure if your website is mobile friendly or not? Check out Webmaster tools, where Google has created a system to let you know if you’re compliant or not.


Sites are either friendly or not. There is no middle-ground, so be sure to take the time to plug in your url if you aren’t sure. Adapting to a changing market can be the difference between thriving and having to close up shop, so if you get revenue, brand recognition or leads from your website, making it responsive is should be high on your priority list.

Not sure how to go about it? Find out on our blog How SEO can inspire marketing strategy or give us a call….