Critical lead generation metrics

Lead generation sites are focused on getting people to contact them. Examples include real estate agents, attorneys, insurance companies, and web design agencies.

• Profit per order (total profit / orders): This is just as important for lead generation sites in figuring out the profitability of your SEO campaign. In fact, lead-generation sites typically need a higher profit per order than e-commerce sites to turn a profit because there is a lot more that needs to happen after the lead comes in and before they get the sale. Profit per order is expressed in dollars: 'We averaged $860 in profit per order in September'.

• Conversions (inquiries and leads): This is an expression of the number of people who are moving toward doing business with you. It's not as definitive a metric for lead generation sites as it is for e-commerce because sales do not necessarily follow inquiries. However, it is a bellwether of future business.

If leads are up then your pipeline is fuller and that means more sales in the coming months. It's expressed in a raw number: "We had 50 phone calls from our web site in March' or "We added 50 new leads to our pipeline from our web site in March'.

• Conversion rate (leads / visits) Measures the value of the traffic that's coming to your site. If 1000 people visit and you get 50 leads then you have a 5% conversion rate on your web site. Continue to track those leads through your internal systems and you'll get to a real conversion rate. Say you made ten sales. That means your effective conversion rate is only 1 % (10 sales / 1000 visits). Conversion rate is a percentage: 'The recent redesign increased our web site conversion rate from 4% to 5%'.

Web leads are different

Web leads are not like other leads and there should be different processes in place to sell to them. For example, people who find you online may be earlier in the buying cycle than those that are referred by a friend. In this case, you might put a drip campaign in place for your Web leads to keep in touch with them and help move them through the buying cycle.

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