How do you measure your progress on your website? Do you even measure it at all? When I began my website career I thought wow, I am a genius at this. I have a great design, people are constantly telling me how beautiful it is, and I am positive customers are visiting the site…Or are they?
If you aren’t measuring your work, you really don’t know if you are getting folks to your site and what pages prospects are even interested in. I just KNEW my page on how to use our products was being utilized the most…But once I loaded a simple analytical software (I started out with google analytics which is free) I found that no one, I mean NO ONE was going to that page. This was good information for me because it forced me to ask myself two questions.
1. Was I marketing the right information?
2. Was it too hard to find?
So being the tester that I am, I did not do away with the section, I simply called it what it was and moved it higher on my menu of the home page. Previously it was buried within the services section and I called it “Recently added articles,” which really didn’t make sense. So I changed the name to Service Tips and Tricks and it was now a category on my home page. This changed the traffic and we saw an increase of over 80% response within one month. The site varies from month to month but on average they receive 20,000 unique visitors. It’s always good to know what your customers and prospects are interested in so that you can market to them effectively.
You also should know what search engines are generating visitors. Knowing which keywords are working for you will help you to create better methods of SEO (search engine optimization). Yes, you can do this on your own as long as you’ve got your Analytic software set up on your site.
Your measurement software will also tell you the exit rate (The number of users viewing your page then leaving) which will help to understand what pages may need to be tweaked or removed. Lastly, you want to know what your conversion rate is. What is the number of visitors who make your intended action?
Conversion Rate (%) = Conversions/Unique Visitors
Average Search Engine Conversion Rate is 1.8%
Some additional details that you’ll want to know concerning your conversion rates are what product literature are being downloaded, which pages have been bookmarked the most, which pages have had forms filled out the most and which pages are generating orders the most.
So how do you improve the conversion rate on our websites? Well, there are hundreds of micro actions that you can do to lead up to a “Macro Action.” In plain speak though I would say develop your entry page so that its easy to follow, get your products correct next, and make sure you have a “more action” on that products page. So that when someone see’s your product, you force them to do something more. This would lead directly into the “Close” section which leads to your conversion hopefully.
Stats are not just about numbers. You can define your concepts, develop goals and ask the important questions about your products to lead to superior products against your competition from web analytics. Really, the “Hits” to your page mean NOTHING without the other details such as the information + context (where did the visitors come from), Knowledge + more context (if you can fill in this information you can tell a story on your customer and have knowledge of whats going on with your site), and data + information (page views).
So where do you fall in this pyramid? You are above the Knowledge section with your wisdom and understanding. The reason why is that YOU should know when to do anything on your site and understand what to do to fix anything that isn’t working. No analytics program will tell you what to do. But they will help you to develop your own wisdom and understanding. The expense of your analytic software should be only 10% of the salary of the website master. I would invest more in the actual person who will interpret the data, because if you’ve got a talented person, they will be able to take that software and truly make it make a difference in your business with clear reports, goals, and definitions.
Be sure to set up an analytics software so that you can be the best web marketer possible!