An Easy Guide to Making the Most of Your Secondary KPIs

BY By Zack Anewalt // Search Strategist

Every great play in sports is remembered for how it finished, but the assists are just as important.  

Have you ever wondered what ‘assists’ you might be missing when tracking a user’s journey on your website? Opportunities for conversions could be slipping through the cracks.  

You have many trackable elements on your website. Most of the time, the focus is on the most ‘bottom of the funnel’ conversions, for example, purchases. These are your primary metrics. However, informing yourself of the secondary KPIs onsite and tracking them can lead to a deeper understanding of a user’s journey with your brand. Incorporating this structure into your paid search campaigns will allow you to classify keywords into each step of the funnel and adjust your media accordingly.  

Traditionally, paid search is a ‘lower funnel’ tactic. If a user is engaging with the brand through a direct text search, the likelihood of capturing a conversion is much higher than your traditional/social display efforts. Despite this, there are still keywords in search campaigns that perform better in the awareness/consideration lane.  

Let’s consider your website sells specialty cookware, and you also have an in-store presence at major retail stores. In the past, you’ve optimized your campaigns towards direct purchases. However, on your website, you have actions like newsletter sign-ups, “create an account,” a recipe page, and a “find in store” feature. 

Adding tracking to these elements, and linking to AdWords or search engines, will allow you to evaluate how your keywords drive each conversion action.  

  • A well thought out analytics scope for your website will give you the foundation to optimize for every step of a user’s journey. 

Evaluate where each of these new conversion actions falls into your personal sales funnel. Is a “find in store” conversion more valuable than a “newsletter sign-up”? 

  • What do you consider an awareness conversion, a view on a recipe page vs. something more in the consideration phase like “find in store”?  

Analyze how your audience interacts onsite through your tracked conversions. When a user converts to a purchase, how do the other secondary conversions play into that journey?  

  • You may reach a time where you see a drop in the number of purchases from paid search, but an increase in the average order value sitewide. Are there more users creating accounts or subscribing to a newsletter? This may show a higher percent of return users engaging with your site. 
  • Here is where you can take advantage of nurturing these users into the continued expansion of brand loyalty or it may indicate an area where you shift focus into an awareness play to uncover new users.  

Looking back now, does your website offer outlets for your customers that you are not tracking? Remember that the secondary KPIs in the purchase funnel can sometimes be just as useful to analyze when painting the big picture of your business.