Oh, the dreaded numbers game. You’re probably thinking that you started your own business so that you could focus on what you love doing and what you are great at. If you work hard, deliver what you promised and treat your customers with respect, that your business would thrive. After all, the universe rewards those good people. Right?
Only, that’s not happening. Somehow, your bank account is never where you need it to be. You’re not sure what’s working well with your marketing efforts because new leads are barely trickling in. As for your website, you’re not sure how effective it is. You feel overwhelmed and hopeless and don’t know where to start. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
When I graduated from University, I was so excited to get out in the real world and start working on real projects. No more assignments, no more all-nighters, and no more working on projects that seemed meaningless. Life was good. I was working on a variety of projects and interacting with real clients who cared about the outcome. Somehow, after 6 months, I was feeling empty and depleted and realized that I was not getting the regular feedback I had been receiving in University. During my University years, assignments were being handed in weekly so I was getting consistent feedback on what was working and what I needed to improve on. I had metrics to measure my performance against and that was very gratifying.
Your business is similar to school in that, if you don’t have metrics to measure your success against, you can end up wandering aimlessly hoping you will succeed. You won’t know when things are starting to deteriorate, why they are failing and what actions you need to take to steer you in the right direction. This is where metrics can be a lifesaver and these are the metrics I use to ensure I’m on the right path.
Review your financial metrics to improve your business
As coaches, healers and creatives, we often feel very uncomfortable talking about that dirty little word called “money”. We’re much more comfortable talking about passion, healing and transforming people’s lives. Here’s the thing, if we don’t have enough money, then our businesses will not survive and we won’t be able to help people live better lives.
My life was transformed years ago by a simple book I read by David Bach titled The Automatic Millionaire. It was life changing and money seemed to be magically accumulating using his recommended strategies of pay yourself first, make it automatic and the latte factor. But I didn’t know how to translate that into my business until I came across Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. As a result, I now have multiple bank accounts that make it easy to track my sales revenue, my expenses and my profit.
How much sales revenue is your business generating?
The main goal of any business is to create income. Your income can come from a variety of sources including services, courses and products. This metric will show you if you are getting enough clients to sustain your business. As soon as an invoice is paid, I deposit it into an account I have labeled as “Income”. Twice a month, I transfer a pre-determined percentage of money out of the “Income” account into the following accounts: HST, Federal/Provincial Tax, Expenses, Owner’s Compensation and Profit.
Next Step – create strategies to improve income
If you’re income is not sufficient then you can look at taking actions such as: improving your marketing strategy, creating a more effective website, generating more leads, raising your prices and/or adding more services.
What are your monthly expenses?
Even though your sales revenue may be outstanding, understanding your monthly expenses allows you to determine if you are able to pay your business bills as well as pay yourself. I used to only look at my expenses at the end of the year when I did my taxes and never really had a good indication of how profitable my business was. I now track it on a monthly basis so I can ensure that I stay profitable on a quarterly and yearly basis.
Next Step – reduce expenses
Should your expenses outweigh your sales income, you can take action by: increasing your sales and/or looking at what expenses you can reduce or eliminate until your cash flow improves.
Are you generating profits in your business?
One of the main aspects I loved about the “Profit First” approach was the idea of paying yourself first. This is in addition to your bimonthly owner’s compensation. Mike Michalowicz insists that you spend part of your profits on yourself even if it’s as simple as buying yourself a new plant for your office. Having a reward to focus on at the end of a quarter is great incentive to focus on all the other hard stuff. Last year, thanks to my profits, I was able to buy myself a new computer and monitors for my design work. As a result, I was pleasantly surprised at how proud I felt for what I had accomplished all year.
Although tracking your financial metrics is important, there are other areas to monitor in your business that drive your day-to-day business activities. The next two categories will help you determine the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and your resulting conversion rates: social media metrics and website metrics.
Monitor your Social Media Metrics to enhance your business
Chances are, you’re a very busy Entrepreneurs wearing many hats, including that of a “Social Media Guru”. With so many activities requiring your attention, you know you don’t have time to be ineffective, particularly when it comes to driving traffic to your website. Let’s look at some metrics that will help you determine what’s working, what’s not and what you can do to maximize your marketing efforts.
How many followers does your business have?
Although the number of people that follow you is an indication of your marketing effectiveness, the quality of your followers is what really matters. Having loyal followers does two things for you:
- It allows you to build trust and connections with potential buyers so that when they are ready to buy, you are top of mind.
- It generates referral opportunities.
That being said, tracking the number of people following you is a simple metric to monitor to give you a high-level view of visitors interested in your content.
Next Step – reflect and redirect your marketing strategy
If you notice that your numbers are going down, you can review your marketing activities and the marketing climate to see what’s changed. Have you changed your content topics or strategies? Is there something going on in your area or the world that may impact your efforts, such as a pandemic? Has a social media platform algorithm changed? Take some time to reflect so you can redirect your efforts and focus on a tactic that is more effective.
How much social media engagement does your business create?
The purpose of Social Media is to create connections and build relationships with potential buyers. Engagement can range from post shares, post comments, reviews and post likes – this can be accomplished by inviting your visitors to take some kind of action. If you can compel your visitors to engage with your content then your posts will have more visibility, will show up in more search results and will help you achieve your sales and marketing goals.
You can find this metric manually on each platform or by using a tool to manage your social media, they typically provide a summary of these numbers for you.
Next Step – invite your visitors to engage
Increasing engagement on your social media platforms can be as simple as including a call-to-action every single time. Your audience will become accustomed to taking action and respond accordingly so that when you make a big ask, they are not surprised. An ask can be as simple as “Double tap if you agree”, “What do you think? Let me know in the comments”, “Like this post”, “Sign up”, or “Contact me”.
How often do visitors click on your social media page links?
Your visitors engage on a journey from the moment they find you on Social Media to the point of buying. As you build trust with them and educate them on the value of your product and/or service, they become more comfortable interacting with you and the experience you provide. You can measure the level of trust by monitoring the level of engagement.
Every time a visitor engages with your content, they are committing to moving forward on the buying journey. At first, they may just be viewing your posts. Once they start resonating with your posts, they will choose to follow you, like your posts and even share your posts if they believe they will add value for other people. This means you are positioning yourself as an expert and their level of commitment is increasing. Clicking on the page link means they are actually interested in taking the time out of their busy day to read your content. Often this brings them to your website where you can take them on a journey of sharing more details of what you offer, how it enhances your customer’s life and what customer’s need to do to buy.
Next Step – inspire your visitors to click on the link
If people are looking at your social media content but not taking the next step of clicking on the link to your website, then you need to ensure that your content resonates with them and explicitly asks them to click on the link to continue reading. Compelling content that resonates with your readers empathizes with the problem they are experiencing, hints at potential solutions and describes how your solution will enhance their lives.
Assess your website metrics to elevate your brand
Most website metrics are measured through your Google Analytics account. Although there are many metrics that can be tracked, depending on what your goals are, the following numbers can help you determine the effectiveness of your website.
Before getting into the details, you can get an overview of your website performance by looking at your Google Analytics-> Audience-> Overview, Acquisition-> Overview and Behavior->Overview to get a feel for who your visitors are, where they are coming from, and what pages they are spending their time on.
Listed below are some specific metrics that will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing and website.
How many users are visiting your website?
Like the social media metric for followers, the number of visitors will help you determine the traffic that is coming through your website (Google Analytics -> Audience Overview). If your traffic is flat or decreasing, there are a few things you can do to assess your efforts.
Next Step – evaluate traffic sources and content
If the numbers are increasing, you can evaluate what marketing efforts are effective by digging down into where your traffic is coming from, what pages they are landing on and what the bounce rate is for those page. Conversely, if your metrics are declining, you can verify what content is not working and focus on what is popular with your visitors.
What social media platforms are most effective?
Many business owners are using Social Media as a marketing strategy to drive traffic to their business and website. You are busy and wear many hats as a business owner and your time is valuable. Understanding which platforms are most effective for your marketing tactics and which ones aren’t will help you plan out your strategy so you can attract more prospects and convert them into buyers.
Acquisition-> Overview will show you how many people come to your website by typing in the link directly, how many come through social media, how many through search queries and how many through other websites or platforms.
In particular, Acquisition->All Traffic->Social->Overview, will help you find out exactly which social platforms are most effective at driving traffic to your website.
Next Step – focus on engaging marketing platforms
If you have been focusing on Facebook and your numbers are indicating that Instagram is more effective, you may want to consider putting more effort into Instagram and cutting back on Facebook to optimize your time.
How often is your business showing up in search queries?
According to Smart Insights, 81% of people search online for a product or service. The number of times your website appears in a search query is an indication of the effectiveness of your SEO and the keywords you are using in your content. You can find your total impressions metric by visiting your Google Search Console and clicking on Performance (Google Search Console -> Performance -> Total Impressions).
Next Step – create SEO rich content
Review what search queries are being used to find you by clicking on the Queries tab in the Google Search Console Performance view. Choose a phrase with a high number of clicks and create content around that phrase to drive more traffic to your website.
What landing pages are most popular on your website?
Creating content for your website can seem like a lot of work with not much return but this is where you can see the results of all your efforts. You may be pleasantly surprised by which pages attract the most visitors – sometimes it’s the page that flowed easily and effortlessly for you. You can find which pages are most popular from your Social Media by clicking on Google Analytics -> Acquisitions -> Social -> Landing Pages and for Search Queries by clicking on Google Analytics -> Acquisitions -> Search Console -> Landing Page.
Next Steps – guide your visitors to take the next step
Identify your top 3 landing pages and add call-to-actions to guide your visitors to take one more step toward buying. This could be to sign up for your newsletter, download a freebie, read a case study, view your services or to contact you for a free discovery call. The goal is to build trust and create a connection where your leads feel comfortable reaching out to you.
How many conversions have you acquired?
Conversions come in many forms and don’t necessarily lead to an immediate buy. It is simply an “ask” that leads to the next bigger “ask” to the point of sale. A small ask could be to like a blog post, or share a blog post. A bigger ask could involve downloading a freebie or signing up for your newsletter. And the final ask could be to schedule a discovery call and eventually purchase your offer. As your visitors navigate through this marketing journey, you are building trust and credibility with them. You can track many of these metrics through the conversions tab on your Google Analytics by clicking on Conversions -> Goals -> Overview. You will see a list of destination pages that have been created to track specific actions such as a Thank You page for signing up for your newsletter or scheduling a discovery call.
Next Steps – adding intentional call-to-actions
Our job is to make it extremely easy for visitors to take action on our site. Although it may seem repetitive to us, you don’t want your visitors to have to search for your contact form or email opt-in form. The simplest way to increase your conversions is to make the call-to-action visible and easily accessible. This can be as simple as adding it to your header, your footer, and in your sidebar.
Track your metrics to improve the health of your business
Imagine always knowing what to do next to improve the health of your business. You create blog posts, engage on social media, and guide your visitors on an amazing customer journey. Even if you are getting some leads, there are many moving parts to your marketing efforts, right? Get strategic, track your key business metrics and take intentional action.
An effective website amplifies your brand, engages your visitors and is aligned with your goals.
An effective website is intentionally designed to attract the perfect potential clients to your business so you can simplify your marketing efforts, get more clients and create more abundance in your business.
My services help entrepreneurs like you create beautiful strategic websites that engage more visitors and transform more lives. Together we’ll determine your goals, track your metrics and create strategies to improve the health of your business. Let’s chat.