Do you know how well your website is performing, and what it’s adding to your business?
These days, every kind of organisation needs some kind of web presence.
Even if your site isn’t meant for selling products, it should be leading people along a journey to taking some kind of action.
1. Why have a website?
If your organisation has a website, it’s important that you know its purpose. It’s your website’s job to guide your visitors through a journey, converting them from browsers into trusted “customers” and then into “fans”. By customer, this could mean a purchaser, an event attendee, an organisation member, a newsletter sign up or a job applicant.
2. Why measure your website?
Once you know why you need your website, and are clear on its purpose for your organisation, you need to think about why you need to measure it. Simply put, if you want to improve it, you need to know how it’s doing in the first place, and that means measuring it.
For example, you may have just run a recruitment campaign and you have to account for the number of applications received via the website. You would be better off knowing these numbers to begin with, so you can then justify spending on a future online recruitment campaign.
How do you measure your website?
3. Work out some basic metrics
First, you need to decide what you want to measure. To do this effectively, you need to understand your target “customer”. What kind of person would be searching for you online, and what would they hope to find from your website?
Things you can measure include:
- newsletter sign-ups
- white paper downloads
- membership sign-up or renewal
- sales enquiries
- job applications
At first, choose just 2 or 3 metrics you’d like to measure – keep it simple!
4. Set up Tracking
Now you know what you want to measure, it’s time to start tracking it. Many people use Google’s free tool called Google Analytics for this. Google Analytics is, for some, a daunting application, but in reality and with the right guidance, it’s pretty straightforward.
‘Out of the box”, Google Analytics tracks a wide range of activity on your website: numbers of visits, where people came from, how long they stayed, which pages they visited, it’s all there without you having to customise anything.
Business metrics: the ones your boss is probably interested in, need to be set up as “goals” or “events” in the admin section of Google Analytics.
Say you’d like to track how many people sign up to your newsletter: You can set this up as an “event” in the ‘Admin’ section of Google Analytics. Email or call us if you’d like a hand!
5. Let the tracking run for a while
You need to give your website a bit of time to run on Google Analytics (say a few weeks) so it can gather enough data for you to analyse.
6. Analyse the data
Once you have sufficient data running in Google Analytics you can start to view the stats.
Here, you can see how one of our clients wanted to track how many people signed up to their training courses. Course sign-up was tracked as an “event”. In the reporting below, you can see the peaks and troughs in course sign-ups, as well as total numbers below:
To make use of the data, it is worth considering some basic ratios. For example, in the course sign-ups above, how many enquiries turned into actual sign-ups?
Your sales team will know the conversion ratio of enquiries to sign ups. You now know the conversion ratio of website visitors to enquiries.
7. Make a plan
What are you going to do with the information you’ve gathered from your website analysis? For a start, you may feel that you didn’t get the information you needed. If so, then it’s worth going back to the drawing board and rethinking your objectives and metrics. Perhaps, rather than focusing on course enquiries, you might want to look at newsletter sign-ups.
However, if you’ve been measuring all the right things and it turns out your website visitors just aren’t using your website in the way you’d like them to, you may need to act: they’re not signing up for membership or newsletters, they’re not visiting your blog, they’re not downloading your resources. Ask yourself why, and what you can do about it.
One thing you could consider is taking the journey through your website as if you are your customer:
- What are you looking for?
- How easy is it for you to find it?
Once you’ve begun to ask these questions, you can start to make progress in making your website work for your business, and improving the return on your website investment.
For more information on how to get the most out of your website, click here.