Just having a website is not enough.
You need it to perform well.
- Are people visiting it?
- Are they becoming customers?
- Is the site generating sales and helping to grow your business?
Is your website an asset or hindrance? Here are the ways to find out.
Website statistics – why they are vital
Checking the visit to your website, finding out what needs changing and putting those changes in place will give you the true picture of how successful your site is.
Website statistics will give you the straight facts you should know about the activity on your website.
Every website should have its own statistics software running as a standard feature.
Because you will be able to tell what’s working and what needs to be changed in order to increase the number of visits to your website.
Without the numbers, you won’t know whether your site is attracting prospects and converting them into customers. Unless you know how profitable your site is, it could end up costing you money when it ought to be helping you to grow your business.
When is the best time to start gathering website statistics?
Ask your web developer to set up the statistics package so that it tells you:
- The number of website visits by day, week, month
- The number of web pages per visit
- How long they spend on your site (average)
- How long they spend on each page
- Where they come from (location)
- When the search engines visit your site
- The page people enter your site (it’s not always the home page)
- From which page they leave
- The most popular pages visited
- How many are repeat visits
- How many times people visit before they buy
- How long the page took to load
- Which operating system your visitors are using (also tells you which mobile or tablet visitors use to access your site)
- Which browser your visitors are using
- Which key phrases your visitors use to find you
- Which websites are sending visitors to you
- Inbound links – links your website has gained and where they come from
- Problems with broken links
If I want to know one thing what should it be?
The magic figure you need to watch is conversion rate: the percentage of people who buy when visiting your site.
How to access your website statistics
You will need the URL and log in procedure that allows you to access the software. The person who built your website can set this up for you.
Know what people are searching for
Know which phrases and individual words are leading people from the search engines to your website.
This will enable you to target your content specifically at the people you want to attract.
How often should I check the figures and what should I look for?
Have your site statistics package set up to provide you with a summary of your website’s daily, weekly and monthly visits. It is useful to see the breakdown of visits every month, every week and every day – and to make comparisons.
Be aware of any changes you make to your website, such as new services and products, offers and email campaigns that will cause the figures to fluctuate.
How to spot trends, patterns and differences in your web statistics
The amount of data the software gathers can feel overwhelming. The trick is to extract the right figures and interpret them correctly. Here are some examples:
- Did you run an email campaign to launch a new product or service? If so, your site statistics software will tell you how much extra traffic the campaign attracted and enable you to analyse the results
- How popular was your exhibition stand or your workshop? Did you notice an increase in website visits immediately afterwards? You will be able to track the success of your offline marketing activities and take an overall view
- What consistencies and variances are there by region? These useful insights help when planning a localised or regional campaign
- Perhaps among your business network, you are building a relationship with a supplier whose services complement your own. You will be able to view the links that connect to your website and the traffic they generate.
Above all, you will be able to monitor the immediate effects of any optimisation work done on your site. And change to a more profitable course as soon as you need to.
Google Analytics will tell you all about your website visitors’ behaviour. You can set conversion goals and measure your website’s performance:
- Where the visitors that ‘convert’ come from
- Where visitors leave your site
- How many new customers were acquired
- How much revenue was generated
- Number of new visitors
- The return on capital employed of your website.
To get started, all you need is to create a Google account and add the tracking code that gives Google Analytics access to the website data. If you would like our help in understanding the terminology used in Google Analytics, contact Tresil. Or take a Google Analytics training course.
Although Google Analytics can look confusing at first, it can be set up to work on a simple or advanced level.
Unless you intend to become a Google Analytics expert, you may be looking for help in installing the software and generating reports. Contact Tresil for advice on analysing and interpreting the data.
Make decisions on what is actually happening, not what you think is happening
This type of information is pure gold when running your business (you may even find it addictive). When uncovered accurately, you will know the effect of every marketing activity you take on. You will know immediately whether to continue with what is profitable or if you need to try something else.
You will gain insights into your customers that previously you had no knowledge about. This means youwill be better able to help them use even more of your services.
It means you can change your online marketing strategy immediately to best effect.
All you need is the open-mindedness to a different approach when results turn out different from those you had expected.
An asset not a hindrance
We can only run our businesses successfully online when we know the facts about who is coming to our site and who is buying from us.
Anything else is guesswork, misconception and opinion.
As successful business owners, we need straight facts. The risk of loss-making business decisions based on anything other than knowledge makes no sense. Yet it’s a trap some people fall into.
Everything online can be measured: your every tweet, blog, web page change, product ordered, emails signed up to, brochure downloaded, course booked, form completed. What’s more, it can all be linked back to your business objectives – the reason why your website exists.
The smarter you use your website statistics, the more success you’ll have.
Not only will your website pay for itself: it will be growing your business. And beating the competition.
Tresil offer a bespoke website improvement package that starts with an initial review of performance. Contact us if you would like an in-depth look at the opportunities available to take your online business to new heights.
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