Clicks are thought to be one of the most important forms of online currency when it comes to digital marketing. If an advertising campaign generates 1,000 clicks to your site, it’s clearly more valuable to your bottom line than a similar campaign that only generates 100. There are thousands of articles dedicated to explaining ways you can get more clicks, including many on this site, but none of them explain just how valuable one click to your site is.
Each site has a unique purpose, a unique product, and a unique customer base, so one click to you may not be as valuable as a click to one of your competitors. Nevertheless, it is possible to calculate approximately how valuable each click to your site is with a few simple steps:
This is the easiest step, but here you’ll have to decide a specific point of reference. For example, you might choose to look at clicks over the course of the past month, or over the course of the past year. Generally, the wider range you look at, the more accurate your “average” is going to be, but going wider isn’t always a good bet if you’re in the habit of changing your strategies often.
Log into Google Analytics and take a look at your total web traffic across all channels. We’ll be divvying this up a little later, but for now, find the total number of clicks you achieved for your chosen period of measurement. For example, let’s say you had 3,000 visits in the past month.
Now, you need to find your total number of onsite conversions. If you’re looking at a landing page, this is probably going to be higher than if you’re just looking at your site in general, but keep your focal point consistent—if you calculated 3,000 clicks to your main site, determine how many conversions happened on your main site. Factor in any conversions you received, no matter where on the site they came about. For example, let’s say you had 20 conversions in the past month.
This can be tricky, depending on your business model. If you’re a simple e-commerce site and your only counted conversions are completed orders, you can start by calculating the average value of an order. This will give you a rough estimate for how “valuable” each new conversion is—it doesn’t take into account the fact that a click might result in a lifetime customer who orders multiple times, but theoretically those new orders would happen only after the user clicks back in.
For B2B companies or subscription-based companies, conversions generally rely on filling out an information form. From there, information is collected in a lead pool, where each individual stands a small chance of converting to an actual lifetime customer. Take this value and divide it by the number of conversions it takes to get one real customer—this is the average value of each of your conversions. For example, let’s say the value is $100.
Now, take the total earned value of your given period—in our case, this is 20 conversions times $100 for $2,000. This value represents the total amount of earned revenue you received from your inbound traffic. Now for the magic—take this value and divide it by the number of clicks you got in a given period. In our case, this is $2,000 divided by 3,000 clicks, which results in approximately $0.67 per click in value.
Conversions aren’t the only end goal of an inbound click. For example, a customer might visit your site, not buy anything, but tell a friend about your brand. The friend may turn to your site for a purchase at a later date. Brand awareness and brand trust are also intangible factors that can contribute positively to the value of a visit—consider alternate ways a click may add value to your site, and make gentle adjustments to your estimation from there. For example, if you get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals, you might bump your $0.67 per click value to $0.75.
Step Six: Experiment With Other Segments
Remember that not all clicks are equal. A user coming to your site from social media will likely have different values and a different impression than someone coming in from search results. Repeat this experiment by segmenting your traffic (and, accordingly, your conversions). Determine whether one type of traffic (such as clicks generated by an advertising campaign to a specific landing page) are more or less valuable than your overall average.
Once you’ve evaluated the approximate value of each click, you can better plan, manage, and execute new marketing strategies. For example, if you know that each click to your site is worth about $0.50, you wouldn’t want to spend $1.00 per click in a PPC program. On the other hand, if you know that clicks from social media tend to be more valuable than clicks from organic search results, you can shift your strategy to pay more attention to your followers.
Use this information in a live environment, and work to make your campaigns as efficient as possible.