In this day and age, virtually every business has a website. It’s a great low-cost marketing tool, but with any marketing, you want to be able to measure its success. With an e-commerce website it’s simple... sales. But it’s not so easy with others.
How do you measure the success of your website?
First, determine what success is. You should have built your website with some goals in mind. An e-commerce website is obviously looking for online orders, but there are many other reasons to have a website, such as: increasing brand awareness, increasing marketing and public awareness, disseminating information about your products or services, disseminating information to your employees or vendors, providing support to customers, generating requests for information, driving retail or business traffic, supporting other marketing efforts and Hiring/Recruiting.
As you can see, there are many different uses for a company website, and determining your primary goal (or goals) is important in being able to measure “success”. Your website can have more than one goal, but be careful of having too many. In the majority of instances, a “does everything” website does nothing well.
You can’t simply say “We want resumes” or “We want to drive retail traffic.” You have to quantify your goals. “We want to receive 10 resumes per week” or “We want to increase retail traffic 15%.” Quantifying your goals will make you think about what you define as “success” and will often require more planning and thought than simply saying “We want to increase X.”
You also want to make sure your goals are both attainable and realistic for your marketing strategy. If your goal is to double your walk-in traffic with your website, what is the marketing plan for getting visitors to your website?
The first step to measuring anything is having a tool with which to measure. It’s hard to know the width of a board without a tape measure. Websites have statistics, and though there are many different programs and websites, they all give you the same information.
Unique visitors are the number of different people that came to your website. This shows you, over time, the growth (or decline) of your website’s traffic. More sophisticated analytic software programs can show you where geographically these visitors are coming from, what type of computers they are using, and more.
Page views show you how many pages on your website the visitors viewed. Some software can even show you the exact progression of visitors through your site. For example: Home Page > Product Page > Shopping Cart > EXIT. This is useful because it can show you where people are leaving your website.
Goals are the most important metric you can track with analytic software. Defined by you, they can be any action a user completes, such as filling out a form, visiting a specific page, or ordering a product.
With both number of visitors and goals, we can track the “success” of your website by measuring your conversion rate, or the percentage of visitors that completed a goal. For example, if you had 1000 visitors to your website in a month, and 20 of them filled out your contact form, your conversion rate for that form was 2% (20/1000 = 0.02).
Now that you can measure the success of a website, how do you make sure your website is successful? Just looking at your numbers every week or month doesn’t do anything to help them improve. There are processes and tools available to test changes to your website and show you, in a scientific way, their success or failure. Some of these are A/B Split Tests and Multivariate Tests. If you’d like more information about these kinds of test or website analytics in general, please call us today at 706-298-2738.