Understanding the effectiveness of your company's website can be challenging. If your website is designed to convert visitors into leads using pop-up forms, live chat, and call-to-action's, then the measurable results will inevitably include new leads. Not all website pages are designed for lead generation; sometimes they are used to educate visitors and provide a valuable tool for research. Let's take a look at the analytics that matter most when measuring your website's effectiveness.
How Visitors Reached the Website
Website Traffic Analytics can be a rather obscure statistic, there is a lot of potential misinformation available to you depending on the source. You might be able to filter out some things, like your own IP address, so your own views of your website do not impact the numbers. Also, you should try to filter out "crawlers." These are not real people; they are computer programs designed to jump from site-to-site using links and gathering page information.
It's important to consider your sources when looking at your traffic statistics. Other important factors include:
- Organic Search - Measures visitors who found your website through search engines like Google or Bing. This source also provides you with insights to the types of keywords used in finding your page.
- Referrals - When another website links to your content, the traffic coming from those links is called a referral. These can include a variety of sources, but should provide you with information about who is sharing your website content with their audience.
- Social Media - Social media traffic is similar to referral traffic, and as a consequence, you likely served as your own source on this occasion. Sharing your content on social media is a great way to increase website traffic, but it's not considered a referral if the visitor originated from your own social media channel.
- Direct Traffic - This occurs when your site's visitors know exactly what they are looking for, and they type the domain address directly into the URL bar. Direct traffic also includes those who've bookmarked your page for easier access later on.
Looking at the traffic sources will help you build a strategy for directing more visitors to your website. If most of your website traffic comes directly from your own sources, then this could be the indication you need that it's time to to review your SEO and SEM strategies.
How Visitors Convert on your Website
Website conversions are typically measured in two ways:
When a visitor fills out a form on your website, they are added to your CRM as an online source. This will give you a measurable result regarding the effectiveness of your website. Let's say you have 1 single form submission for every 100 visitors. Your website conversion rate is therefore 1%. It follows that the more conversion opportunities you provide your visitors, then the higher your conversion rate will be. Here are a few common website conversion opportunities:
- Contact form on your contact page
- Newsletter or Blog subscription sign up
- Live chat, or Automated Chat (aka. "chatbot")
- Special offer on exit intent or page scroll (pop-up form)
Sometimes a visitor is only on your website to get your phone number or address. Measuring offline sources is much more difficult, since you have no way to identify them without asking. Offline sources need to be manually entered into your CRM in order to continue building relationships with them. When measuring the effectiveness of your website for conversion, you must ensure that this information is available for people to find on your website.
Your website contact page may include:
- Phone numbers
- Map to location
- General email inbox or Relevant email addresses
- Social media links
As a general recommendation, you should always include your contact information in the headers and footers throughout your website. This makes it easier for your visitors to pull this vital information from any page on your site.
Other Measurable Statistics
Visitors and conversion rates are not the only factors to consider when measuring website effectiveness. While some of the following terms may seem like industry jargon, they can have a real impact on making your website a better resource for your customers, while building links, shares, and repeat visitors.
Bounce rates are the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away after viewing only one page. While a high bounce rate can be viewed as a negative statistic by some, you should also consider the page's intended purpose. A landing page, for example, may have a higher bounce rate because it is not intended to distract the visitors attention with other links and menu options. Instead, it's focussed on a single story intended to convert the visitor.
If your other website pages show high bounce rates, then this may be an indicator that you need to review your navigation, link structure and your call-to-actions — all methods used to navigate visitors from one site section to another.
Session length is the amount of time spent on your website. Like bounce rates, session lengths can be impacted by the intent of the page. There will always be pages of your website designed for quick consumption, while others will be filled with lengthier content that takes longer to read.
Session length is a good metric for measuring the overall user experience. If a page has a session length of only a few seconds, then perhaps visitors are landing on that page accidentally. If you suspect this to be the case, you should take some time to review the navigation paths leading to that page.
Setting goals, while having the resources to analyze your site traffic and user experience, will go a long way toward helping you measure the effectiveness of your website. If you do not have access to some of these metrics, you can either ask your designer where you can find them, or contact Larmahil to discuss a growth driven website design.