When starting an inbound marketing program, it’s great when the anecdotal evidence starts rolling in. A new inbound marketing partner gets pretty excited when their redesigned website with actual contact forms pulls in a lead. They also get a little worked up when others mention them on social media and start liking their Facebook page. They realize that more traffic can’t be a bad thing, and the increased traffic lets them know something is working. All these things are great and typically happen in the first six months of an inbound program.
We have to remember that many times, the business had a bad brochure website with no calls to action, no content offers, no contact forms, no integrated social media, and very little fresh content. They also rarely have a blog or at least an active one. So you have to walk before you run, but at some point, even the giddiest business owner says, “Show me the money.” How has the growth in traffic and leads translated to growth in sales? Am I getting a good return on my investment versus money I was spending on old school outbound marketing methods?
Well even though we have the power and analytics of HubSpot in our arsenal, we (Joel Gerdis, Greg Ladden, and myself) realized that we need to know how to calculate some of these statistics on the fly. When prompted in a meeting, we need to translate year over year traffic increases, lead increases, and sales growth increases. It’s not enough to say, it’s growing. Business owners and our partners eventually want to know how much their social media presence is growing, how much their traffic has increase, and how many leads they have month over month from last year.
When I Googled “calculating website traffic growth,” I had to go to page 2 to find a decent equation. I should know how to calculate this with a calculator, but it’s been a while since Finance class in college—even longer since high school statistics. So we stumbled on a formula that works, and we wanted to share it and hopefully rank in search with this blog post for the next business professional looking for such a calculation.
Here’s an example:
Traffic July 2013 = 1220 visits per month
Traffic July 2012 = 720 visits per month
Traffic now minus traffic last year. 1220-720 = 500
Take 500 x (100) / 720 (the original amount)
Multiplying by 100 converts the number to a percentage by moving the decimal.
In this example the growth rate was a whopping 69% July 2013 vs July 2012.
This same formula works for leads, sales, and any other growth measurement. Hope you found this information helpful.
P.S. This was also a lesson in the basics. This should have been a basic calculation that everyone in our organization knows and uses on a daily or weekly basis. Now I know why John Wooden showed his players how to lace their shoes, and why Vince Lombardi started the season by saying, “Gentlemen, this is a football.”