For as long as most CMOs have been in marketing, home page traffic has been an essential metric to demonstrate digital marketing success. We’ve invested millions of dollars in robust websites, optimized organic and paid search strategies to drive consumers to our home pages, and then moved them through carefully A/B-tested on-site experiences that end with a conversion—like a purchase, a job application, a newsletter sign-up, or an in-store visit.
But much of the customer funnel now exists off of our websites. Consumers discover and interact with brands directly in search results and on third-party apps, maps, voice assistants, like Google Maps, Amazon Alexa, or Facebook, and more—and these services often bring users directly to transactional landing pages without ever sending them to brand’s home page at all.
This change highlights the new ways consumers interact with brands online. It also means marketers who focus on home page traffic are getting an incomplete picture of their reach, and customer engagement. Without a 360-degree view of digital success, making the case for increased budgets, headcount, or compensation poses a unique challenge.
To show success as the customer journey evolves with search experiences, CMOs and their teams need a new metric for success: brand interactions.
Total brand interactions include customer engagement not only on the home page and across the website itself, but also from everywhere else a brand’s information appears online—in search results, maps, apps, directories, and other artificial intelligence-powered discovery services. In addition to showing consumers detailed information and calls to action, third-party apps and sites offer a new opportunity for brands to pull more traffic to the landing pages that they’ve invested so much to create.
Marketing teams that recognize this shift in consumer behavior are already optimizing for it. By delivering consistent answers to questions about their businesses and compelling brand experiences throughout the digital ecosystem, your digital team can drive growth in search visibility. In fact, our research shows that by creating landing pages that leverage structured data to display business attributes (such as menu items, types of insurance accepted, spa services offered, and other products and services) and linking third-party listings directly to those pages, marketers see an average increase of 28% in search impressions for their brands.
Indeed, detail-rich, and even transaction-enabled landing pages that are consistent with the information available on third-party platforms offer the seamless experience your customers expect—and drive conversions.
Understanding how today’s new channels are performing is every bit as important to marketers as measuring the channels they’ve owned for years. Viewing interaction data from third-party platforms alongside owned website traffic—with the performance of each landing page broken out—shows brands a full picture of their performance.
Embracing brand interactions—wherever they take place—as the new metric for success will be essential for CMOs to understand how their initiatives are performing in an AI-based world.