Measuring the success (or otherwise) of your marketing activities is hugely important. If you don’t know how well an email or advert performed, you can’t justify doing it again in the future. On the other hand, being able to show the success of previous work gives others confidence, and their support, in what you are doing. It’s also rather handy when the annual budget reviews come up and you need to go in to bat for your department.
But that can result in being asked about how is your website performing – and far too often marketers struggle to give a reply.
Nowhere is the need to measure activity more important – and more beneficial – than with your website. You spent valuable time and money on the design, the hosting and ongoing content. It is after all your shop window for the world to be attracted to your products and/or services. So what is preventing you from making regular checks on how it is performing?
The answer to that tends to be a combination of time and complexity. Websites can be measured across a variety of parameters, including:
- Page Popularity
Plus plenty more if you had the time and inclination.
Making Measurement Meaningful
That is partly the problem. There are so many different ways to measure how your website is performing. But there are three questions which prevent businesses from getting real insight into how their website is performing:
- How do you get the performance data?
- Do you understand the data that is presented to you?
- Are you able to turn the data into meaningful insight?
This is an issue which affects so many businesses, to the point where website performance measurement has become something of a dark art. It’s probably down to it not enjoying the high profile of other digital marketing disciplines such as SEO/SEM.
What doesn’t help is understanding how to access the data surrounding your website. You can use free tools such as Google Analytics (although this service is ending soon) or subscribe to paid platforms such as Hubspot or SEMRush. Even so, you still need to know what to look for and how to extract it for review.
And yet it is critically important. Because, if you don’t review the performance of your website, you can’t answer these 6 basic questions:
- How many people visit your website?
- Where do they come from?
- How did they find your site?
- How long do they stay?
- What pages do they visit?
- Where do they leave?
And these 6 questions can give you valuable information about what improvements you can make to your website to get more visitors, keep them for longer, have them visiting more pages, and increasing the amount of inbound leads. Which, ultimately, is what your website is supposed to be doing – bringing in new business.
If you don’t spend time measuring how well your website is performing, then you can’t base any changes to the site – page layouts, keywords, content or navigation structure – on known facts. Such as what pages are popular, or where the visitor trail tends to go cold. Instead you can only guess. Which can be a huge risk to the public visibility of your site.
Solving how to measure your website
Having looked at why you should be regularly measuring the performance of your website, let’s go back a little to what’s holding you back from doing this. For most businesses having the skills and time to use the analytical platforms, find the data, analyse it and gain an understanding what needs to be change to improve performance is key. And if that’s you, contact us for help.
We have over 20 years’ experience in analysing websites – and already have access to the tools you will otherwise need to find and train up to use properly. Plus, by coming to us for your website analytics you’ll save yourself a huge amount of time – which you can invest more productively into your marketing plan.