How well is my website performingPublished 06/10/16 09:58:pm
I’ve got myself a great looking web site – how do I know if it’s getting me any business?
This is a question a lot of business managers and owners will be asking themselves, some while after a new site was commissioned and built. The usual scenario is a year later after the website went live. The boss is looking at where the companies’ marketing budget has been spent and if there has been any return on investment (ROI). Suddenly the Marketing Manager responsible for commissioning the site is hauled into the office and asked to produce some figures on how successful the site has been to justify the thousands of pounds spent. “Er, not sure…I’ll look into he stutters”.
A quick call to the web agency reveals there is no reporting or analytics tools installed on the site. “Well, it wasn’t specified in the brief and no-one asked for it at the time”, the web agency replies. Not good. A year of having a website and no-one has a clue how many visits it has had or how many sales might have come from it.
Google Analytics . This is a tool provided by Google which can be easily installed on any website. It is not the only web analytics tool on the market but it is free and we will always install an account on each new website we create from the day it goes live.
The package can then be accessed by the client via a url, login and password so at any time they can view how many people have visited the site, what keywords were used to search for the site, how long they spent browsing, the most popular pages and so on. In fact the amount of available data can be overwhelming to the untrained eye and can be difficult making sense of it all. This is where we can help.
We can analyse the data for you and make recommendations based on this information. In fact, this data becomes invaluable when you decide you want to re-design or make changes to the site. How do you know which pages are viewed the most (and are most useful)? Which pages and content should you keep and which ones should you ditch?
Maybe some areas of the site you thought looked great where a lot of time and design work was invested into them turn out to be pages that are hardly been viewed at all. But hang on, is this a design issue we’re talking about here, a search engine issue (i.e. it’s not being found), or a copywriting issue? This is where the skill of understanding the stats comes into play. You notice that some pages are very popular but most views are for less than half a minute - barely time for readers to have got past the first paragraph. Maybe they are not seeing all the useful information further down the page and quitting before they get to it? Time to take another look at that page.
If you really want to prove whether pages are successful because of particular elements (style of button graphic) and wording (such as a page title), Google offers A/B variant testing where multiple versions of the page can be set up to see which techniques work more successfully. After a period of testing, you then implement the most popular version permanently.
Unfortunately there is no 100% guarantee of always interpreting all this information correctly. It does however give you a very good idea of how your site is doing, what you can do to improve it and some hard facts to go back to the boss with. Ultimately though, armed with all this information, don’t lose sight of the fact that your website is all about getting new or repeat business and keeping customers happy.