Know Thy Numbers

Knowing your metrics is the first and most important step in any major business growth or leap forward.

 

Why This is Important?

Without a clear baseline of your business “numbers”, you will not be able to know WHAT to focus on, and if your changes WORKED or NOT.

DETERMINE What  To Measure

First, determine what is the most important metric you want to track and optimize for. If you could only change and improve 1 thing to help you grow your business what will it be?

HINT: This can’t be Sales/Revenue. We are looking for the one thing that WILL result in the largest amount of Sales/Revenue.

Is it the amount of people on your website? Is this the amount of contact forms? Email subscribers? You know your business best..

Some of our “Go Tos” for specific businesses are:

  1. National/Global Business – Measure “Visibility” as shown in Moz.com
  2. Local Business  – Your Maps location for your important keywords. Also known as Map “Snack Pack” ranking in vicinity of business.
  3. eCommerce: Purchase conversion rate on the website. How many of your visitors end up as customers?
  4. Consulting/Services: Customer forms/phone calls – how many phone calls and contact requests are you getting, and what is your contact conversion rate?

TRACK the metrics automatically and conveniently 

After you’ve chosen what you want to focus on, the next step is to make sure you have this Metric in front of you on a daily/weekly basis.

Google Analytics is our go to for Conversion/Traffic/Contact tracking, and for SEO we like setting up a Dashboard via Moz.com.

PLAN of Action to improve your metric

Now that you’ve chosen your metric, and are tracking it, it is time to improve it.

What is your theory about how to improve the metric?

Examples:

Conversion rate – making website changes for copy, design and flow.

SEO – optimizing the website for keywords, creating more great content.

Make sure you are changing significant things, so you will be able to see the effects. (Not just changing fonts/colors, but entire pages/flow etc).

DOCUMENT your changes, and wait to see the effect

A big mistake that can be very tempting, is to switch around too many things at the same time, and continue making changes every few days.

Doing this will prevent you from knowing which of the changes is good, and you might come to wrong conclusions..

Use this tool to make sure your results are statistically significant:

A/B Significance Test

Rinse and Repeat

If enough time has passed, and your plan did not work try to learn from it and come up with a new plan to improve your metric. Repeat the steps above to execute, measure and analyze.

After you’ve successfully optimized your metric, now either come up with a better target for this metric and repeat the steps above, or move to the next best Metric to optimize for.

For example, if I focused on generating more traffic as my first metric to improve, the logical next step for me might be to now focus on conversions.

Recap

  1. Choose what Metric you want to optimize to grow your business.
  2. Setup tracking for this metric.
  3. Plan how to increase this metric and execute.
  4. Sit back and measure the results carefully before making additioanl changes.
  5. Rinse repeat 3-4 until you reach your desired outcome, and move to the next metric your want to optimize for.

DO NOT experiment too much. Make sure you give each experiment enough time to affect.

What Metric are you going to focus on to grow your business?