How You Can Tell If Your Site is Performing
According to the folks at Google, there are one billion websites on the internet. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they are used for what seems like a million different reasons. We at SITESTR focus on business websites, so that’s where we’ll start.
Some websites aim to provide information to customers or clients. Other websites operate as e-commerce stores that sell products. Other site apps can serve as an account portal so members of the site can access private details. Financial sites like banks, savings and loans, and investment managers are good examples of this.
Regardless of why your company has a website, it needs to be designed in a way that meets your business goals. And the success of the site has to be measurable, using some basic website analytics.
What Are Website Analytics?
Website analytics programs serve to count things that occur when people visit a website. Our developers refer to these “things” as site events, but regardless of what you call them, what you track is completely up to you.
There are many site analytics programs available that can tell you what keywords visitors have used to find you if they used organic search, or from what link they arrived. These programs can tell you how long your visitors spend on site, what page they arrive at, and if they leave from the same page or if they visit other pages. In many cases, you can even learn from what city, state or foreign country a visitor is from.
The most popular site analytics program is offered by Google. We’re big fans of Google Analytics – we’ve been working with it since 2006, only a year after it was first released. In fact, all SITESTR clients on our professional site plan are automatically integrated with Google Analytics tracking out of the box. We also integrate your site with Google My Business and Google Search Console, but discussion on those products is for another day.
Google Analytics is a complex program, and it’s easy to get lost. The software can track virtually anything you program or configure it to. That’s why, when it comes to performance tracking, we recommend you simplify, simplify, simplify.
Measurable Success of Advertising
If you are in business, you are likely familiar with the concept of rate of return. If you spend $2 to make $10, then your rate of return is 400 percent. Hey, wouldn’t that be nice!
Website performance tracking can be oriented in the same manner. Let’s say you invest $500 per month in digital advertising aimed to bring traffic and conversions to a specific landing page on your website. If after one month your analytics tracking indicates that your marketing spend produced $4,000 worth of sales, your ROR would again be 400 percent. If it were only that easy!
Obviously, with this information, you would increase your marketing investment. That’s great, but there’s more to consider.
A properly set up analytics tracking system can give you insights into the specific effectiveness of individual ads, target geography, user segments, landing page time on site, bounce rate – and the list goes on. Each of these measures can serve to inform how you implement your marketing mix and spend.
But it doesn’t stop with advertising. You’ll be able to tell if users are finding your site via organic search, if they’re coming from a video link, from a link on another website, or from a link from a social media post. This information is great to have when making decisions regarding content development. Hey, we’d rather write pages people actually want to read, right?
Measuring the Success of Your Website
A good place to start? At SITESTR, we recommend setting some goals. Which goals you set requires time and thought, but it’s really necessary. Not every site is suited for success when the primary goal is centered around hard conversions. You really have to decide best fit for your business. We can help you think through this process.
Good examples include:
- Time on site – The more people who are using your site to learn about your offering, the better
- Referral source benchmarks – We like to benchmark things like Facebook posts to see whether our messaging is actually baiting interest or not
- Contact conversions – How often people take a flier via your landing pages is usually a good indicator of effectiveness
- Page speed – Users don’t like to wait. In fact, load times can correlate to (lost) sales numbers
And yes, tracking leads and sales will inform the all-important conversion rate metric (users divided by conversions). Of course, once you get comfortable, you’ll find these KPIs are just a start.
But what if the goal of your site is to support an offline conversion like an in-store purchase at a retail outlet. Or, what if someone standing in a retail store uses the display to research the product in person, but ultimately makes the product purchase online.
According to a survey by Nielsen Global Connected Commerce, “a majority of consumers conduct research online prior to buying – regardless of whether the purchase was in-store or online.”
In those instances, the success of your website can be measured by the number of site visits, visitor frequency, visitor time on site, and if you want to get really adventurous, product recall.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when getting started with an analytics tracking strategy.
The SITESTR Analytics Dashboard
At SITESTR, we aim to make the tracking process as simple, straightforward, and effective as possible.
That’s why we offer our clients a custom analytics dashboard that enables them to see both real-time and time series trend analytics for their website and components of their marketing mix.
Whether you want to measure the number of times a particular button is clicked, or whether your traffic is male vs. female, our dashboard can provide that to you 24/7/365.
Oh and the best part? The SITESTR Analytics Dashboard comes with your Professional Plan.
When it comes to websites and digital strategy, there is a lot to unpack. At SITESTR, we can build and manage your websites so that you can focus on running your business. Whether it’s a new site design or a digital advertising strategy, our team of experts can help you.
Does your digital strategy need some help? Perhaps you need some consultation on what your options are. Contact us below and we will get you hooked up with a specialist. All inquiries are met with a response within 24 hours.