Optimizing Your Conversion Rate: The Scoreboard is the Only Metric That Matters

by Frank on February 5, 2010

After the college football National Title game (or, at least, the BCS title game) this year, I saw several similar posts on Facebook from fans of the University of Texas.  They all said something like, “the better team didn’t win tonight,” and pointed to the fact that the Longhorns had to play most of the game without their star quarterback, Colt McCoy.  While this was unquestionably a blow, the winning team is always better – at least in the one metric that counts: the scoreboard.

This is especially true in business.  I wrote earlier about an eMarketer report (posted on SEOmoz) that showed that the majority of senior marketers in their survey thought time on site and pageviews were the most important success metric online.  While having a lot of page views is a lot nicer stat than, say, bragging about your Alexa rating, those metrics ultimately aren’t the ones that matter.  Sticking with the college football analogy, they’re essentially the marketing equivalent of a Texas Tech-style offense, which puts up ridiculously high offensive stats but can’t seem to win a conference title.  In the end, pageviews and passing yards don’t ultimately determine success.

My friend Brett Duncan (if you come back often, you’ll probably find that I steal a lot of ideas from his blog – at least I plan to, at any rate) wrote a post yesterday about social media, specifically addressing what the true “success metric” is for it:

Too many of us are trying to prove to the rest of our colleagues that we know what we’re talking about when it comes to social media. The fact is the medium is too young for any of us to be experts. While it’s extremely important to carve out time to connect with those that do what we do, it’s more important to connect with those who want what we’ve got.

Brett is spot-on.  I’d love to prove to all my web-industry buddies (not to mention my boss, clients and colleagues) that I’m an internet marketing guru, or an SEO or PPC ninja.  I can spout all the latest news and know all the buzz words.  And while all that industry learning often does translate into better rankings or better conversion rates, for many, many wanna-be gurus, it’s just talk.

In internet marketing, the only metric that ultimately counts is your conversion rate.  You can have all the traffic  in the world and be the recognized in-house expert, but at the end of the day, the question you’ll need to answer is “how many customers did we get?”

  • Frank –

    I am pumped about this blog! Steal away.

    Awesome analogy on how the scoreboard is the only stat that counts. I often say the most important offensive stat in baseball is runs scored. Then runs batted in. Everything else is just a means to that end, the end being to have more runs than your opponent. Funny how we celebrate batting average and home runs more than runs scored.

    Looking forward to more –

    bd
    @bdunc1

  • Frank –

    I am pumped about this blog! Steal away.

    Awesome analogy on how the scoreboard is the only stat that counts. I often say the most important offensive stat in baseball is runs scored. Then runs batted in. Everything else is just a means to that end, the end being to have more runs than your opponent. Funny how we celebrate batting average and home runs more than runs scored.

    Looking forward to more –

    bd
    @bdunc1

Previous post:

Next post: