A while back, a prospect came to us looking for help. Their search traffic had all but disappeared. Leads from the website were halved, and the president of the company had suddenly become embroiled in the details of SEO.
“We only got 13 links last month, and only posted 8 articles about our main keyword. We’re still ranked #27, we need to be doing better. Can you help us?”
We started like we do with most clients, by making a dashboard. In the top left corner, in bold numbers, we showed the revenue that the website was generating. In just three weeks – a relative nanosecond in a busy sales organization – the conversation changed.
“We only converted 10% of our leads last quarter. We need to improve that to make revenue go up. Can you help us?”
You Are What You Measure
The point isn’t that focusing on SEO improvements is the wrong thing to do, but rather that organizations need to improve the metrics they measure. Of course, traffic to your website is good for business, but given the choice between more links or more revenue, there’s a clear winner. After all, what are those links good for, at the end of the day, if not a means to revenue?
In the example above, the sales presentation became the priority because it became clear that it was the fastest thing that would affect the bottom line. But that kind of insight is impossible to gain if you’re measuring links and blog posts, not revenue and expenses.
After the pitch was modernized, the close rate nearly quadrupled. Then, it was time to get to work on filling the top of the funnel, knowing we could close almost 40% of the leads. For this president and her company, the change was fast. For others, it takes a lot more effort, but it all starts with how you classify success, and looking at how you measure it.
Companies that get it wrong confuse activity for achievement. How many emails did we send? How many meetings did we have? How many times did I follow up with that vendor? That prospect? How many pipeline moves did I make?
Companies that get it right focus on results and achievements, however they happen.
What are you measuring?