Measure. Adjust. Rinse and Repeat.
In an age where the new standard for doing business is largely online (blogs, web searches, email, etc.), there are still so many businesses out there relying on websites that are not working for them. Your website is your first impression and the goal is conversion whether you are for profit, non-profit or just having fun, so put it to work! Even easier, if you are in the market for a new site utilize your marketing team or firm to build in the analytics before mapping the site out, sort of like prewiring your home for surround sound – easier done now than later. With products being so interchangeable and service organizations being in a highly competitive environment, this is a step that should never be skipped.
What to measure.
Website analytics can tell you everything you need to know about your target audience. With a good solid analytics program you can determine:
• Type of device they are using (mobile, tablet, computer, etc.)
• What web browser they use (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.)
• How they found your website (Google, domain typed in, referral link, etc.)
• What pages of your site they visited and in what order (including point of entry and exit)
• What page they were last on when they left your website
• How long they were on your website
These statistics are the crucial pieces of information needed to continue to tweak your online presence and capitalize on opportunities; if they clicked through to your website, chances are there is an opportunity awaiting you just as if someone stepped into your storefront. When analyzed correctly, a marketing firm can recommend which pages to keep, which pages that are in need of adjustment (copy, design, etc.), or which should be deleted entirely. Simplifying your website is very important to the user experience (don’t forget, search engines are also a form of “users”) so utilize your analytics to trim the fat.
How it ties to ROI.
What about a return on my investment though? CEO’s and Executives always ask what type of return they are getting on their marketing efforts and most marketing teams struggle to provide useful data. When we look at online conversions we typically look at two factors. The first being call to action – whether or not an order was placed, a contact form was submitted, or a request for additional information was made (i.e. newsletter sign-up). Within a good analytics system, all conversions can be tracked, helping you to determine what type of return you are getting through your website.
The second factor is analyzing inbound calls. This can easily be implemented in-house; anytime an incoming sales call is received, your team should be asking each caller how s/he found you. You can separate the referrals from those who found you on their own via your website. Even with numerous electronic ways of getting in touch, many people still prefer to speak with a live person and you want to know if they searched and found your website before they called.
If your team is not finding out where sales leads are coming from, you are missing out on hidden opportunities to fine tune processes and convert more sales. The good news is, it isn’t a myth; ROI can be tracked!