June 21 Clinic Notes


Please download the Essential Metrics dashboard tool here


These are the notes for our interactive May 10 clinic on Landing Pages. The recording of the event will be posted here in a few days.

If you are participating in the live teleclinic, we will ask you to refresh your page several times through the call as we add data and other notes.

In this clinic we cut through the clutter and show you how to:

  1. Understand where and how your current metrics could be misleading and result in flawed marketing decisions.
  2. Identify and track the metrics which are essential to reducing your costs and increasing your revenues.
  3. Use a simple, Essential Metrics Dashboard that will enable you to track the metrics that are most important to achieving your goals.
PPC Tracking

vs. Third Party Tracking

Tracking Visits Difference in visits purchased
According to Google & Overture 138
According to My

Affiliate Program

167 21.01%

KEY POINT: Relying on inaccurate metrics can give you a very misleading picture of the performance of your site and adversely effect future marketing decisions.

To ensure you are seeing accurate metrics, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Don’t rely only on metrics from a PPC engine or any other third-party provider. Always use a back up web analytics solution to verify the data.
  • Choose an appropriate tracking solution based on your site technology. And, if your cart resides on a different server, make sure you use a tracking program that can follow the link.
  • Run and compare results from tracking solutions built on different technologies. (For instance, compare your log file analyzers vs. a javascript solution.)

KEY POINT: In spite of enormous advances in all areas of online technology, at this time there is no single service, product or solution that can be relied upon to give you totally reliable metrics. By using two or three different solutions, you can compare results and at least identify where you have problems.

 Third Party Reporting — Actual data


Unique visitors Reported
  Actual sales Actual CTR Difference
Price Point 1 597 39 6.53%   19 3.18% 105%
Price Point 2 583 45 7.72%   8 1.37% 463%
Price Point 3 599 40 6.68%   4 0.67% 900%


Unique visitors Sales Conversion   Actual sales Actual CTR Difference
Price Point 1 149 12 8.05%   12 8.05% 0%
Price Point 2 156 9 5.77%   6 3.85% 50%
Price Point 3 140 5 3.57%   3 2.14% 67%

>> Step 1: Establish a baseline by calculating both the cost and yield of each desired action on your site

Calculating cost and yield per interaction on your site can be achieved very simply by answering the following questions:

  1. How much does it cost to get a single desired interaction at your site – be that a visit, a sale or a subscription?
  2. What is the value to you of each interaction?

This can be expresssed with a short formula:

  • CPx is the cost per desired interaction
  • YPx is the yield per visit

YPx-CPx then gives you a revenue figure for each visit to your site.

X is the variable, representing the desired interaction, which might simply be a visit, or it might be a sale, a referral, a phone call or a subscription.

To calculate the cost per interaction you need to list all the difference sources of your traffic, as each source will have different costs associated with it.

These traffic sources include:

  • PPC Advertising
  • CPM advertising
  • Paid Directory listings
  • Affiliate relationships
  • Other partner relationships
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • The publication of one or more newsletters

It is important to remember that although some sources of traffic may not appear to have a hard cost in terms of price per click or exposure, they will likely cost you in time spent by your staff or in fees from outside suppliers. This will certainly be the case for search engine optimization, for example.

>> Step 2: Identify those metrics that are most likely to impact both the cost and yield of your visitors.

Once you have a clear idea of your cost and yield per desired interaction, you need to start tracking those metrics which can help you identify where improvements can be made.

For instance, if you track from the source of traffic all the way through to sales, you will be able to identify the traffic sources that gives you the highest ROI and look for ways to get more of the same quality of traffic.

The exact metrics you focus on will vary according to your business. A site selling hard goods may find their key metrics are different from a company selling subscriptions, for instance.

:: When you cut through all the confusion, there are really only four elements you can measure:

  • The AMOUNT of activity on your site – page views, visitor sessions, returning visitors, etc.
  • The SOURCE of that activity – referrers, search terms, languages, countries, organizations, etc.
  • The NATURE of that activity – entry pages, exit pages, browsers, platforms, JavaScript versions, cookie support, screen resolutions, page refreshes, page load errors, average time per page, etc.
  • The RESULTS of that activity – click trails, most requested pages, number of page views, signups, orders, etc.
Organizing Questions
Question: Related Metrics
1. Who visited my web site? Unique Visitors
2. From where did they come? Referring URLs, Referring Search Phrases
3. Which pages did they view? # Entry Pages, # Page Views, Average Time on Pages, Page Views per Visitor
4. Did they have any trouble with my site? Browser Versions, Platform Versions
5. What did they buy or sign-up for? Orders (average amount, number, total revenue) and Sign-Ups

Based on the metrics described above, the tool records CPx and YPx in three areas:

Past Performance, Current Performance and Goals.

Certification ProgramLearn from the MEC Research Team How to Test and Optimize Your Website Become Professionally Certified in Online Testing! The next certification course is starting on July 15. If you have not yet enrolled, and are planning to, you may do so here.

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1 Comment
  1. David Burdon says

    Excellent and succinct article.

    I would change 4. above to: “How did they see my site”. Screen resolution and operating system (Safari vs. Firefox vs. IE).

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