How Online Advertising Produces Offline SalesYou may generate traffic to your web site, but not everyone wants to contact you online.
Understanding Your Investment
Marketing your small business online can prove to be a powerful advertising model when it comes to gathering qualified sales leads, generating cash flow, and bringing awareness to your brand. Although there are some great analytics tools that track every conceivable online metric, it is imperative that you also focus on your offline sales to truly measure your return on investment (ROI).
When going ONLINE for researching/buying products or services, 37% of users still initiate contact over the phone after locating the number on the website.
(Forrester Research, Inc., 2008)
Your potential customers may click on your ad, stop there, and bookmark your page so they can return to it later. Furthermore, your landing pages may have contact information that include an email address or phone number that does not directly tie into the paid search campaign. This scenario can apply to everyone, however, companies that offer products or services that do not attract immediate purchase behavior should pay attention to the traffic coming in to their front lines after their online efforts go live. Many clients realize a higher conversion rate when combining the offline results to the online analytics.
What is a conversion?
Conversion: When a visitor completes an action on your web site. This could be a contact form submission, e-commerce sale, or even simply downloading a PDF or media file.
Clicks vs. Calls
When you invest in a paid search campaign, it is very easy to follow the number of impressions (the number of times your advertisement was displayed) and how many click-throughs it received (resulting in web site visitors). What can be deceiving is the number of conversions you actually get if you simply follow the online reports. If your campaign is optimized correctly with keywords, relevant landing pages that have specific calls to action, and a competitive budget, you should see conversions online. However, not everyone wants to contact you through your web site.
You only pay when your ad is clicked in a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. If a user chooses to pick up the phone and call you, it is important to know how many calls were a direct result of those online ads/clicks to justify your ad spend (and measure return on investment). Connecting these sales leads will allow you to make educated decisions about raising your advertising budget, and help determine if your online efforts have increased call volume and sales leads.
Helpful Hints (Simple, but Effective)
- Place a little message on your site or landing page that says "How can we help you? Call now and mention you found us online."
- Set up a custom phone line or dedicate an extension to the paid search advertising efforts. This number should only be displayed on your landing pages that are connected to your online ads.
- When calls come in, have your representatives ask how the customer found your business.
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