5 Ways To Ensure Your Website is Measurable After a Website Re-Design

5 Ways To Ensure Your Website is Measurable After a Website Re-Design

Two weeks ago, BrightFunnel launched a brand new website—and we did it in 4 weeks. For all of you marketers out there who have gone through a website relaunch, you know how challenging this project can be. You must think through messaging, branding, look and feel, product pages, customer stories, content, and more!

However, one item that sometimes takes the back burner is measurement—making sure that you put different levers in place so that all your website interactions can be measured. Bottom line—your website is the first impression of your brand and not only do you want to ensure that you send your visitors down the right path, but you also want to make sure that you know exactly where they go and what they do. And you can only determine these key insights through measurement.

However, one item that sometimes takes the back burner is measurement—making sure that you put different levers in place so that all your website interactions can be measured. Bottom line—your website is the first impression of your brand and not only do you want to ensure that you send your visitors down the right path, but you also want to make sure that you know exactly where they go and what they do. And you can only determine these key insights through measurement.As we designed our new website, here were our top 5 things we kept in mind to make sure our website was

As we designed our new website, here were our top 5 things we kept in mind to make sure our website was measureable.

1. Make Sure You Are Tracking the Data on Your Website

Before you can even measure anything on your website you need to make sure you are actually collecting the right type of data. There are many things you can track on your website, such as website traffic, referral sources, time-on-page, scrolling activity, bounce history, referring pages, and so on. In order to track these metrics you need to ensure that you have the right type of tracking in place.

For BrightFunnel, we use a couple of pieces of technology for tracking purposes. We use our own platform to track key metrics such as referring sources and anonymous touch analytics. Through our own web pixel we can see how people get to our website (whether through organic search, direct traffic, ads, etc) and we can also see web activity history before someone becomes known in our system. We also use Google Analytics to look at key metrics like time on page, bounce history, and overall website traffic. And finally, we use Marketo forms for direct conversions from our demo CTA and content assets.

2. Make Sure Your Core CTA’s Are Front and Center

The second key component when creating a website that converts is ensuring that your calls-to-actions (CTAs) are front and center where your website visitor can see them. Especially on your homepage, make sure that there is only one CTA above the fold and that the desired action is clear and concise. You might want to play around with color palate to make sure that your CTA catches your website visitor’s eye immediately.

For BrightFunnel, our most important CTA on the homepage is to “Request a Demo”. We want people to inquire with our sales team to see a demo of our software platform. Because this CTA is the most important, we placed it in the middle of our homepage hero image and used the color orange so it really pops.

B2B Web Redesign Tips: Homepage CTA

3. Make Sure There Are Enough Conversion Points

Aside from your demo CTA, what other conversion points do you have on your website? You want to make sure that people have other ways to give you their contact information. Think about it, most people who come to your website for the first time are just learning about your business, they might not want to fill out a form to request a demo. Instead, maybe they want to download a report or ebook, to learn more about your company or to help solve a problem they may be experiencing. For a B2B marketer, content is the best way to add additional conversion points to your site.

For BrightFunnel, our content resources section is a key place where leads convert. We have a variety of different types of content, from educational ebooks and videos to reports and case studies. By having a variety of different types of content that speak to different places in the buyer journey, we have something for everyone. Most of our assets are gated with a form that links to our marketing automation platform. We then collect a lead’s information to start marketing to her.

B2B Web Redesign Tips: Content Hub

B2B Web Redesign Tips: Content CTA

4. Build Out Your Product Pages And Make Them Clear

If you are a product company then you want to have website pages that describe what your product does. And getting people to land on these product pages are likely a critical goal for you and your company. In order for search engines to rank these pages and visitors to actually land on these pages, you need to make sure that your product pages are built out (no thin content!) and the navigation is clear.

There are many ways to organize your product page navigation. Some companies do this by different product features, while others organize their product pages based on persona. For BrightFunnel, we organized our product pages based on features that also map to key SEO terms for us.

The original version of the website had pretty thin content on the product pages that wasn’t structured in a clear way for website visitors. With our new navigation, the content is beefier, we have multiple page levels, and the features of our platform are clear and concise—the visitor doesn’t have to guess what each feature does and she can easily navigate from one feature to the next.

B2B Web Redesign Tips: Navigation

5. Make Sure to Optimize Your Website for SEO

Search Engine Optimization is critical for making your website visible to people who are searching about topics related to what you do. If you aren’t well-optimized for search you won’t get as much organic traffic—and this is important for the growth of your business! When you are designing any new website, SEO—both on-page and technical—should be top of mind.

When we redesigned our website, SEO was a key component from day one. We engaged an SEO firm, worked out priority keywords, and mapped each page back to a specific keyword—making sure that keyword was visible in the H1 on each page. We also worked with our web developer on technical fixes to make sure all redirects were in place, URL structures made sense, and all the metadata was present.

While there are many additional ways to make your website measureable, these are some key items that were top-of-mind for the BrightFunnel team during our website redesign, so we could ensure that we were thinking about measurement from day one.

And if you want to learn more about BrightFunnel’s website tracking, download our latest ebook, The Updated Buyers Journey: Why Web Tracking Matters.

Telling the Whole Story: Why You Should Track All 4 Steps of Your Buyer’s Journey

Telling the Whole Story: Why You Should Track All 4 Steps of Your Buyer’s Journey

To learn more about web tracking and the updated buyer’s journey, download our new ebook.

As B2B marketers, we can’t just look at the beginning or end of our customer journey in a vacuum—this doesn’t tell us the full story of that journey, or offer any real insights into how we can work to improve it.

When looking at the full lifecycle of a customer, there are four distinct and measurable steps to a digital buyer’s journey:

  1. The anonymous touch: The digital channel through which a lead finds you originally—before he becomes known to your organization (ie. AdWords, paid social, organic search, etc.).
  2. The first touch: Where your lead first becomes known to you by filling out a form for an offer such as an ebook download, webinar, and so on. This new lead has now entered your database.
  3. The middle touch(es): The identified touches between the first and last touch point, where a lead interacts with your content or other offers (ie. events, demo requests, etc.). There are often many middle touches.
  4. The last touch: The final place where a lead interacts with your brand before converting into an opportunity or closed deal.

Many marketers track just the first touch and last touch, because the anonymous touch and middle touches are more complicated to track. And some marketers don’t track any of these touches at all. However, the only way to truly measure marketing’s impact within a business is by tracking all four. Because you can’t understand the whole picture without looking at everything that led to the end result.

Problems with Tracking the Anonymous Touch


Before the advent of new tracking technology, the anonymous touch wasn’t measurable, so the journey began at the first touch—as soon as a lead made him or herself known on your website by filling out a form. But that often doesn’t track each and every activity that helped deliver pipeline and revenue. Where did a prospect discover your brand? What piece of content attracted him or her? These are questions that the first touch can’t always answer, but that an anonymous touch can. Think about it—as a buyer, how many Facebook ads, Google searches, blog posts, or web pages do you look at before you actually fill out a form on a company website? Most likely, you do a ton of initial research before you make yourself known. Because these touches are so difficult to track, the marketer is often blind to what is moving you through the funnel.

The story isn’t complete until every touch is captured. And, if you don’t have the whole story, you can’t prove—without a doubt—marketing’s impact on pipeline and revenue.

Download our latest ebook to learn more about how you can track the entire buyer’s journey, from anonymous to last touch.

Top Digital Trends for 2017: What We Learned at MarketingProfs’ Virtual Event

Top Digital Trends for 2017: What We Learned at MarketingProfs’ Virtual Event

Mike Corak’s session at MarketingProfs’ “Marketing Trends for 2017” virtual event centered around the big digital trends that he predicts will emerge or grow this year.

The team, here at BrightFunnel, enjoyed Mike’s session for many reasons—A) It helped our marketing team understand where we should direct our focus this year if we want to stay on-trend, and B) it confirmed something that we already knew: campaign optimization is the way of the future.

So, what does that mean for us marketers?

Before we dig in, here is a quick summary list of Corak’s top trends for digital marketing in 2017:

 

  1. Customer Experience is Still #1: Building stronger relationships by understanding and prioritizing users’ needs.
  2. Mobile Maturity: Investing in mobile-first experiences, mobile-friendly landing pages, and mobile-friendly media.
  3. Content Quality Over Quantity: Measuring content results and doing more of what’s performing well.
  4. What if Google isn’t #1?: Optimizing paid search and social strategies to ensure your content is being seen.
  5. Local Digital Marketing: Locally targeting media in all channels, and localizing emails and content.
  6. Staffing Scrappy: Hiring math majors, journalists, good communicators, empathizers, and people who pay attention to detail and work quickly.
  7. Future Planning: Experimenting and trying out new trends (such as customer digital assistants and immersive experiences) as they emerge.

While they’re all interesting predictions, a few of them really stood out to us: Corak’s focus on enhancing the customer experience, improving the quality of the content you produce, optimizing paid digital channels, and experimenting with emerging trends and technologies. All of these trends have this in common: if you can figure out how to better allocate your budget based on past results, you’ll see more success and earn more praise down the line.

Unfortunately, as B2B marketers in a data-driven culture, our activities are often questioned, our budgets often slashed, and our teams and technologies often insecure. Unlike other departments whose activities are easily quantified (such as sales, for instance), marketing’s activities are more difficult to track and measure in the context of the entire buyer’s journey. And if we can’t prove the ultimate ROI of the content, channels, and campaigns that we’re investing in, it leaves room at the executive decision table for doubt. Because of this, we have to optimize our efforts to enjoy the highest returns, and the best way to optimize is to measure what we’ve done before to see what has worked best—and then do more of that.

This is how we can apply this to the four trends we singled out above:

How do we enhance our customers’ experiences with our products and brands?

According to Corak, customer experience is the most important thing to think about as a marketer in the digital age. When thinking about how to optimize that experience, he suggests that you first capture your customer marketing data, then look at your analytics to see if you’re meeting their needs (and what you’re meeting their needs with), and, finally, apply what you learn to future efforts so that you can continuously improve upon your tactics.

 

How do we make sure that our content quality is improving, and that our audiences are engaging with the assets we publish?

It shouldn’t be a big surprise that content marketing is a huge priority for a lot of companies in 2017. In a Smart Insights survey, referenced by Corak during his presentation, 20.3% of marketers rated content marketing as their top digital marketing technique for 2017. But in order to break through the noise and develop better instead of just more content, Corak suggests auditing your existing assets and looking at how well they’ve performed. If you continue to measure your content’s performance, you’ll be able to ensure your quality is improving, and then do more of what has brought you the most success.

 

How do we make sure that we’re spending intelligently on digital ads and social campaigns?

Digital marketing efforts are some of the hardest to optimize because they are some of the hardest to measure in terms of revenue. But Corak says that it’s definitely worth the investment, as paid search and social channels are now just as important as SEO. To avoid overspending on channels that aren’t delivering pipeline and revenue for their businesses, marketers need to measure these organic and paid digital channels, and then make the appropriate allocation decisions based on what they see.

 

How do we make sure we see returns on the investments we make in flashy new technologies?

Emerging technologies can offer a chance for excellent ROI, but they can also run the risk of falling flat with prospects. Corak suggests that marketers save a little bit of their budget to try new things, and while we agree with him on this, we also suggest—as with all marketing tactics—that they continue to measure every single activity they invest in so that they can get the most bang for their budget buck.

Optimization and smarter spending are a crucial part of the digital marketing landscape in 2017. By investing in a solid plan to track, measure, and intelligently plan your efforts, you’ll be setting yourself up for a successful year across channels, content, customers, and beyond.

A Martech Love Story: Going to Work for My Ride-or-Die Marketing Software Platform

A Martech Love Story: Going to Work for My Ride-or-Die Marketing Software Platform

OK, I admit it—I fell in love with a piece of software. There must be some kind of group for that. Before you judge me, let me explain.

I spend a lot of my time working (OK—there is definitely a group for that). Luckily, my husband and I are similar creatures, and we do similar things—Salesforce.com, Marketo, lead generation…you get the idea. I am sure you can imagine how exciting our conversations can be over a romantic dinner.

Anything that makes my work life easier is something that grabs my attention. As a VP of Marketing, there is always a lot going on—and because I get to be the biggest spender in the organization (yyyassss), something that helps me crunch the numbers and run reports on how my marketing programs are performing compared to my spend can seem like a marketing miracle. And that is how BrightFunnel and I were introduced.

The Measurement Problem

I worked at Marketo for over three years. Besides the fact that the platform itself has analytics capabilities, the marketing team culture was also very analytics driven. However, I ran content marketing and was not an analytics wiz myself, so measurement was always a challenge. Using the pre-built measurement tools in Marketo wasn’t the most intuitive action—plus, as any content marketer can attest to—measuring content is challenging. There had to be an easier way to look at true marketing program impact.

I will let you in on a little secret: Numbers aren’t naturally my thing, and analytics don’t come easily to me. As Jon Miller, the Co-Founder of Marketo (and my manager there), frequently used to tell me, “Dayna, you have to be more analytics driven—you have to work at that.” I am naturally more of a right-brained, creative thinker, but a goal of mine was to become more left-brained and analytical—because not being an analytical marketer would be a huge CLM—a career limiting move.

At my next role at EverString, I took on more responsibility running demand generation and, eventually, the entire marketing organization. I wanted measurement to be a key part of how I ran my team. My executives were entrusting a lot of budget to me and I wanted to show them beyond a shadow of a doubt how much of a revenue driver marketing could be.

And I wanted measurement to be something my entire team was on-board with.

Enter BrightFunnel

One of the reasons I initially looked into BrightFunnel was to help me solve the content measurement problem—I wanted to see, regardless of program, how a content asset performed across every single channel. Not an easy feat!

We chose BrightFunnel to help us solve the measurement problem and I never turned back. All of a sudden, I had so much more insight into how everything was performing—which helped my whole team make much better decisions. Plus, the platform was incredibly easy to use, so creating a culture of measurement amongst the team was easy.

BrightFunnel helped me run multiple levels of reporting—team reporting, executive reporting, and board level reporting. Pulling reports was simple, the board was happy, and all was well in marketing analytics land.

Stack-Ranking the Stack

We had a huge tech stack at EverString. I mean, we tried everything under the sun—and there are a lot of marketing technology tools to choose from. But when I thought about my top “ride-or-die” software platforms, only a few made the cut—and BrightFunnel was one of them.

To me, BrightFunnel was an absolute must-have. Not only had it helped me create a culture of analytics on my team and show marketing’s impact on revenue, it also helped me overcome my personal fear of analytics.

Working for BrightFunnel—My Ride-or-Die Martech Software

So, what happens when you fall in love with a software platform? Well, you go and work for them. And that is exactly what I did with BrightFunnel.

The stars aligned, the timing was right, and I came on board as VP of Marketing to build out and run marketing and sales development. Plus, I get to evangelize the software platform to all of marketing, letting them know that measurement can be easy and needs to be a part of your day-to-day.

I am super excited to be on board and can’t wait to hit the ground running this Q1!

10 Resolutions for Data-Driven Marketers

10 Resolutions for Data-Driven Marketers

As 2016 (FINALLY) comes to an end, us marketers now look forward to the upcoming year with renewed hope, refreshed expectations, and revitalized goals. The slate is clean again—we can dust off the residue from quarters past, and use what we’ve learned to move ahead with more speed, precision, and know-how.

It’s hard to look forward without first looking back to figure out what to do differently this time around. And since resolutions just come with the New Year’s territory, we’ve outlined 10 good ones to help data-driven marketers get a head start and step up their game in 2017.

  1. Track and measure everything throughout a deal’s journey. The steps your leads take towards the dotted line will tell you how to plan for more success in the future.
  2. Develop an ABM strategy that works. Define and locate your target accounts, get to know their internal decision-makers’ biggest challenges, and then decide where and how to target them. From there, continue to track results and refine your strategy.
  3. Look at more than leads. Yes, generating leads is important—but so is generating pipeline and revenue. Start understanding where and how your team influences deals throughout the entire funnel.
  4. Instead of crying over spilled milk, learn from it. If a campaign failed last year, take a step back to figure out where you went wrong so that you can make more informed decisions—and see more success—as you move forward.
  5. Play hardball with budget by proving what you’ve delivered for the business. Definitively show marketing’s impact, ROI, and direct contributions to pipeline and revenue, and whoever holds the purse strings won’t be able to say no.
  6. Listen to your fans, your foes, and your customers. Their words will help determine your future strategies and focal points.
  7. Don’t underestimate your value to the business. Find out which metrics you can track to show how you contribute to the bigger picture, and then pull the right reports so that you earn the respect and praise you deserve.
  8. Measure everything. Once you’ve collected all the data in one place, use it to make more informed decisions around upcoming events, content, social media, ABM strategies, paid programs, and more.
  9. Celebrate every win as a team. Big or small, individual or collective, every success matters—track progress, gather results, and don’t forget to stop and appreciate the accomplishments.
  10. Have fun! Be creative, give yourself room to fail and grow, and don’t take it all so seriously.

Let’s raise a glass to 2017 being your biggest, brightest, and most successful year yet. Happy New Year!

Vanity vs. Tactical Marketing Metrics: What’s the Difference?

Vanity vs. Tactical Marketing Metrics: What’s the Difference?

Vanity metrics are all too often confused with metrics that are in fact relevant—but they’re only relevant to a certain group of technical marketers.

The ‘vanity metrics’ category includes things likes social media likes or followers. A lot of people have Twitter followers simply because they tweet outrageous things, for example, but that doesn’t mean they’re influencing those followers or that they have any real clout. These metrics don’t mean much when it comes to measuring your efforts, and they don’t offer any real insights into your overall performance. If you can’t use the metrics to make better plans for future campaigns, then they fall into that ‘vanity’ category.

Tactical metrics, on the other hand, provide you with actionable data that can help influence your decisions around future campaigns. Followers’ comments about your exceptional service or product, for instance, speak to a successful strategy and offer valuable insights into what you’re doing well. When happy customers share information about a product on their social channels, those aren’t just followers—those are endorsers. It’s like the difference between telling a friend that you love something and telling him to check that thing out.

I hear metrics such as open and click-through rates referred to as ‘vanity metrics’ when in fact they’re not vain at all. Open rates are a sign that the people receiving your emails both want to receive information from you and that the topic seemed interesting to them. For example, if I get an email from an airline telling me about a sale on flights from a city that’s nowhere near me, I’m going to ignore it. It’s generic, it doesn’t take my persona and specifics into consideration, and they’re showing me that they just don’t care what I need. But if I get an email from a local business telling me that something I regularly buy from them is on sale, I’m going to open that right away—they’re thinking of me, my buying patterns, my needs, and my convenience.

Overall, open rates are trending data. It’s less about the absolute numbers and more about the proportion of leads that are opening the emails. Because open rates can be both false negative and false positive, they’re never completely accurate. Click-through rates are accurate, but are again trending. Is the percentage of leads clicking in my emails increasing? If so, then I’m sending more relevant information. If those rates are decreasing, I better check what I’m sending and make sure it’s important to my audience.

Vanity metrics are exactly what they sound like—numbers that may be high, but that only show winners in some vague, ill-defined popularity contest. Tactical metrics are important trending data that tell marketers about the health of their database, the needs and interests of their audience, and the expansion of brand awareness. These numbers are important to businesses that are trying to help their prospects and customers do better, learn more, and reach their goals.

These tactical numbers play into a larger measurement context, and will help you make sure you’re on the right path as work to drive more pipeline and revenue for the business. To learn more about how you can measure and report on these metrics, check out the B2B Marketer’s Guide to Tactical Reporting Guide from our Actionable Insights Pocket Guide series.