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March 2012
The Business Value of Your Web Presence
By Diona Kidd

The Business Value of Your Web Presence

     Quantifying the business value of your Web presence will help guide you on investment decisions, determining when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” Note that we’re talking about the overall online presence of a business, including the website and Internet marketing. Most businesses aren’t successful online without the support of Internet marketing to drive qualified traffic to the company website.

     Most businesses use their online presence to provide sales support and branding awareness. Other businesses may also use the Web as a customer support tool. The online presence of a company is always changing, so it’s important to prioritize the goals of the Web presence to guide decision-making.

 

What is the primary goal?

     Quantifying the value of a Web presence utilizes goal priority to determine value. Sometimes goals appear to be of equal value. These competing goals put the overall investment at unnecessary risk because decision-making becomes unclear. Tying goals to an economic driver can help create clarity on priority. It’s important that all goals are prioritized and tied to an economic driver because the purpose for any financial investment is a return on that investment.

     Lead generation and brand awareness are common goals that compete when they haven’t been prioritized. When you dig deeper, oftentimes the reason a company wants brand awareness is to drive sales.

     Therefore, it makes sense to prioritize lead generation over brand awareness because lead generation ties directly to an economic driver, sales. Brand awareness will occur as part of the lead generation activity.

     No matter what business you’re in, nothing should undermine the primary goal of your online presence. By focusing on the most important goal, you can easily say “no” to ideas that will undermine the top priority, or “yes” to ideas that support it.

 

How do you quantify the value?

     Once you’ve established your primary goal, the next step is to determine how to measure the value it brings to your company.

     Given the scenario above, the primary value of a lead generation Web presence can be derived by looking at the quality and quantity of leads, the sales cycle for those leads and the value of closed sales.

     Also, be sure not to overlook cost-reductions that occur because the website exists. For instance, you might have lower costs related to customer service if you offer self-serve options on the website. If you didn’t offer this cost-saving service online, what additional costs would the company incur?

     We often find that a qualitative analysis is very eye-opening to businesses, and vary greatly from impressions held without the benefit of actual numbers. With a better understanding of the quantitative value your Web presence brings to your business, you can take steps to improve it.

     When you’re clear about the priority of online goals and the business value your Web presence brings, the path to achieve online success becomes much clearer.

     For more clarity, download our free Web Presence ROI Calculator at www.knowmad.com/roi-calculator. It can help you easily see the return on your online investment.

 

 

Tracking and Managing Leads Online

     With all the marketing tools available online today for lead generation, how does a savvy marketer know which to use? Let’s take a look at a few of most popular services.

 

Call Tracking

Tracking leads from online activity includes telephone calls, in addition to website forms. A popular method for tracking inbound calls from the Web is the use of online services like Twilio or Marchex. These services allow call tracking by providing a dedicated phone number for the website and forwarding that number to existing phone systems.

 

Conversion Tracking

Many websites use Google Analytics to track visitors. An underused feature of this service is conversion tracking via goal setting where goals correspond to a measurable action performed by website visitors. For instance, you can track the number of website visitors who submitted a sales form or made an online purchase.

 

Lead Management

There are several options available to capture and manage the leads generated from online marketing activity. Popular online services include Infusionsoft, Eloqua and Hubspot. These services typically provide closed-loop reporting to allow marketers to see which channels are generating the most qualified leads.

 

 

 Google+ Business Pages

     Google Plus (Google+) has been in the news a lot lately because of its growing importance to online marketers. Google is driving this change via a new product called Search Plus Your World (Search+) that promotes personal profiles and business pages in search results. To find out how to setup your business page on Google+, visit blog.knowmad.com

 

Diona Kidd is a Managing Partner at Knowmad, a Web strategy, design and Internet marketing company located in Charlotte.
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