We all know that you can’t improve it if you can’t measure it. So how do you measure your website performance? Needless to say, most people would gauge the effectiveness of their website based on e-mail enquiries and/or direct sales. But a website can be having so much more [or little] influence on your business than you perhaps realise.
Most people know to ask potential clients where they found out about their business, be that Search Engines, Google AdWords, Social Media etc but this can be a little vague at best. Having a structured approach to measuring website performance gives you a clear idea of what is working and what isn’t.
So where do you start, and what can you actually measure? Many people would say that Google rankings are a good measure of your website and there are indeed many free and subscription tools available that will show where you are ranked and monitor your weekly performance, be that up or down in the rankings. One of the issues with this is that you may have some great page 1 rankings but are they bringing you the valuable, quality traffic that your business needs?
The ultimate tool that is easy to install and completely free is Google Analytics. A highly informative piece of reporting software that will tell you everything that you need to know about how your website is performing. For example, how many people are visiting your site on a daily, weekly and monthly basis? Comparisons with previous months show traffic fluctuations. But this is just scratching the surface, Google Analytics will tell you which pages people are visiting on your website, and how long they spend on each page. It tells you where they enter your site, which keywords they have used on Google to arrive on your site (especially useful with PPC management campaigns) and at which point they left your site (which helps with retargeting), including how long they spent there in total.
Reporting in Analytics goes far deeper than this but the above gives you a very clear idea of what is working and what isn’t. Critically it also tells you which products or services are the most popular on your site, and lets you view your keywords that are working and which are not.