Clicks. When it comes to websites, blog and social media posts, digital advertising and marketing campaigns, clicks and the Click Through Rate (CTR) are the gold standard when measuring the effectiveness of an online property, a campaign, or simply a standalone piece of posted content. Conventional wisdom states that the more clicks generated and the higher your CTR, the more effective your online properties and content are in driving traffic to your website, which should be the central hub of your online presence.

A Measure of Success

We’re not here to debate the practical importance of clicks and CTRs, which are tangible methods that gauge the effectiveness of your online properties and your and marketing initiatives, but should clicks and CTRs represent the “final word” on the success of these properties and initiatives? Unfortunately, without a complete and holistic online presence that includes an effective marketing funnel, a website designed to maximize visitor conversion and a grand plan guiding your online efforts, clicks and CTRs may not represent actual, tangible results – in fact, they may not have a strong correlation to your conversion rate.

Seeing The Online Forest For The Trees

Businesses and organizations spend a lot of time, money and resources on digital properties and initiatives, which is practically a requirement for success in 2017. There are few, if any, businesses without an online presence who can succeed by strictly utilizing older advertising and marketing methods, so it makes perfect sense for companies to make this investment without a second thought. It also makes perfect sense for companies to want tangible results in return for these investments, but do clicks and CTRs represent the best possible method for measuring these returns?

How Many Customers Are Coming Into The Store?

In practical terms, clicks and CTRs are the equivalent of prospective customers physically entering a brick and mortar store. The companies and organizations that own and manage brick and mortar stores spend a fortune on branding, marketing and advertising campaigns specifically designed to attract prospective customers, in almost exactly the same manner that companies invest resources in attracting online readers and visitors. However, brick and mortar retailers understand that getting prospective customers through the front door does not directly result in an increase in sales, and to ignore the elements within the store that motivate conversion will ultimately result in failure. By focusing on the “trees” of clicks and CTRs, you can miss the “forest” of your complete online presence and marketing funnel, which can significantly reduce your actual conversion rate.

Measuring Your Actual Conversion Rate

If clicks and CTRs aren’t telling the whole story when it comes to the effectiveness of your digital properties and initiatives, what can you do to quantitatively measure your actual conversion rate? It may be relatively simple or difficult depending on your business and the nature of the products and services you have available for sale. If you operate a digital storefront, it is easy to measure any fluctuations in sales, but if these transactions occur offline, you may have to implement more old-fashioned methods to measure this effectiveness, such as polling your customers. Whether these efforts are easy or difficult, or even if you choose not to make the necessary investments required to collect and study this data, simply ensuring that your business or organization has established a strong and effective marketing funnel, along with a website designed to maximize conversion, can ensure that your clicks and CTRs represent a more accurate and effective method of measuring the effectiveness of your total online presence.