big dataWe have entered the age of “big data.” Everywhere you turn, someone is talking about the deluge of data being collected by virtually every enterprise at every level. From marketing to finance to customer service, data is now a big deal if – and it’s a big if – you have what it takes to analyze all that data and know how to effectively apply that analysis to your inbound marketing.

Inbound marketing leverages the closed loop analytics you apply to your website landing pages, SEO, business blogging, email marketing, lead nurturing and social media channels. Analytics tracking software, like Hubspot and Google Analytics, collect information on nearly every aspect of your visitor’s activity on these digital marketing channels. This data is captured both behind the scenes, like a visitor’s browser or IP address, and as information that they provide to you by filling out forms on your website.

Knowing what data is important and how to use it effectively will boost your inbound marketing investment to higher and higher levels with every campaign you launch.

Important Landing Page Metrics to Watch

Begin by understanding the metrics you’ll need to gauge the effectiveness of your landing pages. These include:

  • Call-to-Action (CTA) Click-through Rate: The percentage of visitors who visit your landing page by responding to your call-to-action.
  • Visior-to-Lead Conversion Rate: The percentage of website visitors who fill out a form on your landing page and become leads in your contact database.
  • Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate: The percentage of leads who become customers.

Call-to-Action Click-Through Rate

While your ultimate inbound marketing goal may be for 100 percent of your new customers via an organic search engine result, the reality is even the search engine giants need call-to-action (CTA) marketing to entice people to visit their websites.

So, before you look at how well your landing pages convert site visitors to leads and ultimately into customers, it’s important to see how effective the call-to-action that gets them to your landing page is. Do you CTAs drive enough traffic to your site and do those site visitors stick around long enough to take the next step?

You can optimize the effectiveness of your CTAs by monitoring their performance and isolating the elements that comprise the CTA, like the text, graphic or button. Then modify them one by one until you see improvements.

Visitor-to-Lead Conversion Rate

Getting visitors to complete your landing page form and move on to the next step is an accomplishment in itself. But of course, the end game is for them to become a customer. So you need to examine your landing page conversion rates – visitor-to-lead, lead-to-customer, and visitor-to-customer – to understand how effective your landing pages are at affecting the bottom line.

Studies show that companies with 30 or more landing pages generate seven times as many leads as their counterparts with less than 10 landing pages. To understand how good that first prompt, the call-to-action, is at impacting revenues, compare the CTR of your call-to-action against the visitor-to-lead conversion rate for your landing page.

Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate

Knowing which content topics and types turn site visitors into leads is a good start, but of course, it’s not the whole story. For that, you need to know what is it that is most readily turning leads and visitors into customers. That’s where closed-loop analytics come into play.

Closed-loop analytics gives you the complete picture of the inbound marketing customer acquisition process. It provides data about which landing pages converted the most visitors and leads into customers, rather than just relying on anecdotal evidence from the sales team. Closed-loop analytics also identifies which web pages were visited along the way to a lead becoming a customer and gives you other insights to further increase the number of leads you generate, raise your conversion rates even higher, and sell more to existing customers.

The sheer deluge of data collected online through inbound marketing can be daunting. By focusing on, and continually monitoring, the important information, you can leverage “Big Data” to improve your investment in inbound marketing.