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Are you not able to identify where your leads are coming from? Can you not measure the value of your Web visitors?

Regardless of how prospects find out about you (a referral, an ad on Google, a tradeshow, or any other means), the next thing they are most likely going to do is visit your Web site to get more information.

The Internet has become the de facto choice when doing product research. Therefore, your Web site has essentially become your frontline sales person… or one big lead-generation funnel.

For businesses with products or services too complex to be sold online (such as most business software products), the goal of the Web site is to provide as much product information as the prospect needs to take the next action—contacting the vendor directly.

More specifically, the goal is to guide the prospect to the Contact Us page so that the salespeople can take over and win the sale! While most marketers fully understand this, problems arise in measuring the success of individual ad campaigns.

The following six recommendations target this measurement problem and help marketers decide where to allocate future ad dollars:

1. Use a tracking tool on a daily basis to see where your Web site visitors are finding you, and the path they are taking once they enter your Web site. If your Webmaster has already installed one, make sure that you are able to access the latest information on a daily, if not hourly, basis. In other words, do not wait for a weekly or monthly meeting for the Webmaster to provide the information. It is much too valuable to you as a marketer.

2. Make your Contact Us page easy to find and easy to use. Since you cannot dictate how a user will want to contact you, include both an online form for the prospect to complete as well as your phone number.

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Michael Ortner (ortner@capterra.com) is president of Capterra (www.capterra.com).