How Well Is Your Website Performing? Three Questions to Ask Yourself
So you've got a website, and you do get enquiries from it, but do you really know how well it is performing?
For many of us just the act of getting a website that showcases our work is an achievement! However, do you know how well your website is performing? And if so, does this information affect the way that you organise and update your website?
If you're not sure how to respond to these questions then here are three things to ask yourself:
Do I have web analytics linked to my site and do I use them?
Yes I know that it sounds obvious, but if you want to know how well your website is performing then you need a way of tracking data. Putting in Google analytics on your site is simple. Google have comprehensive instrutions here, but if you have an iPages' website then all you need to provide us with is your Google analytics code and we will set up your website tracking for you.
There is much information on the web about Google analytics, but at iPages we also offer PiWik web statistics. PiWik stats have been integrated within the admin area of the iPages website and are excellent because they are very easy to understand, and they give you real time information at a glance.
What do my statistics tell me?
It is great that your visitor traffic is being tracked, but there are gems of information hidden amongst the reports. Some of the things that we would recommend that you try to find out from your statistics are:
- the number of visitors that you have on your website each day,
- which page do they enter on, and where do they exit,
- how long do they stay on your website,
- what are your most popular pages,
- what were your referral key words, and
- how did your visitors find your site.
With both Google and Piwik there is so much more information that you can glean from your statistics including the success of any digital marketing campaign. You'll probably also want to know what part of the world your visitors are coming from, when they visit, what type of device they are on, and how long do they spend on each page.
What should I do with this information?
Now that you know how your visitors use your website you can start to amend and tailor your website to meet your visitors' needs. If you aren't getting many visitors to your website then you need to ask yourself why.
Content is stilll the key to increasing traffic to your website, and I know that I go on about this nearly every week, but it has to be good content! Google is looking to index sites that answer questions that its users are putting into the search bar. And if you have something that is useful then your web page is more likely to be linked to.
Blogs are great for keeping your site up to date and for providing useful information in. And they can be commented on, which leads to discussion and further engagement.
So if you have few visitors take a look at your content, consider how useful it is, and ask if it could be improved. Talk to your staff, your friends, and family and get feedback on how they find your website. And if you're really keen why not ask your web visitors what they think using a customised survey (which is easy to do in iPages so give us a call).
You also need to look at the optimisation within the site (there's help with how to do this here), and it may well be worth investing in some Google ads to get people to find you.
The next thing to think about is: how long do people spend on your site and do they find the information that you want them to find? (And if everyone is exiting your site within the first 10 seconds then you have a problem! There are a number of reasons why people exit sites quickly, but some suggestions are lack of calls to action, a poorly designed site, or the fact that your website is slow to load. With iPages we carefully consider all these issues, including constantly tweaking our software to minimise load time).
Use the information that you obtain from your stats to analyse your uses' journeys, and see if any changes are needed on your site to encourage your visitors to buy your services or products.
So once you have asked and answered these three questions we hope that you are in a better position to structure and amend your website so that it meets the objectives that you wish to achieve. And if you need help with this process please give us a call on 01403 802000 and find out how our usability expert can help you.
Heather Khoo is iPages' leading Sussex Account Manager and specialises in helping small businesses with their website upkeep and online marketing.