How do you measure the success of your website? Is it an increase in link popularity, search engine results pages (SERPS), hits per day, unique visitors, pages viewed, length of time on your site, conversions – or what? What keywords are visitors entering into search engines to find your site?
Are you actively managing your websites?
In order to manage anything, you need some benchmarks to measure against. Web analytics provide those benchmarks. Analytics are indicators that reflect the potential of your website. As Internet professionals, we all know that we can’t manage what we can’t measure, and that goes to say, you can’t monetize it either.
How would you know if your site is under-performing?
Is it as simple as tracking unique visitors or page views? Not really. There can be an endless number of other performance indicators that define and reflect the success, or lack thereof, of a particular campaign. Are you sending out direct mail? Doing email broadcasts? Advertising in print media? Running pay per click (PPC) ads? Are these tied to your website? If you’re a solutions provider, analytics analysis helps both you and your customers by defining opportunities.
Knowing how a visitor arrived at your website, when they arrived and what they did on your site is invaluable. Aligning that data should define the scope of future marketing campaigns.
What’s important to your organization?
This all starts with what’s important to you. Tie that in to your analytics metrics. Decide what key indicators best align with the objectives of your campaigns. Come up with a list of a few basic indicators that will reflect the most insight. One key indicator could be – how many visitors does it take to achieve your goal? If that goal is for visitors to purchase product directly from your website, conversion factors are important measurements.
If your goal is to generate leads or brand awareness, would poor page design or navigation hurt? Landing pages are immensely important, especially those that draw the most traffic to your site via value add content.
Tweaking your website
What typically happens when a visitor first lands on your website – first impressions? If you draw 100 unique visitors to your main landing page daily, but only 2 click through to your shopping cart, could tweaking your landing page improve your response rates, and ultimately the number of conversions?
Are some pages on your website not attracting visitors at all? If not, it’s probably time to update those pages. Likewise, if viewers are highly engaged in a specific content area of your website, would linking other parts of your site to that content help?
Start with keyword analysis. Enter the keyword or extended keyword phrases that attract the most visitors to your site. Take notice of the results pages, specifically your competitors’ sites. If their sites rank higher in SERPS than yours, what is different between the sites? Is it their content? Their navigation? Their meta tags?
Ranking higher in search engine organic results pages will direct more targeted traffic to your website. Take that information and your analytics analysis – to shape and redefine your site for success.
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