March 15, 2016

Give Your Website a Performance Review

Lee Steely

Maintaining a website can be daunting when your business isn’t just online–but because you know online presence is important, you have one anyway. And that’s great news! In 2016, not having a website is a handicap akin to not having a phone number, so keeping that website up and functioning is important. But after putting in all that work (and likely, money), the best possible next step is to track how your website works for you. Here’s how to get started on your own, no marketing team required.

Defining Terms: Sales Funnels, Leads, & Conversions

You’re probably familiar with the concept of a lead. A lead is basically a potential customer, and the target of your sales funnel, the process by which the lead finds your website and ideally, becomes a customer. What counts as a conversion is dependent on the goal of the sales funnel you want to track.

To bring this to a real-world example, one sales funnel your business might want to track is the funnel of visitors to your website from Facebook. Your “conversion” focus could simply be how many visitors come from the link to your website from your company’s Facebook page, or you could go further: how many from Facebook went on to fill out a contact form for a subscription list, or visited a certain page on your website, downloaded free provided content, or converted all the way to a complete sale. You might also focus on the sales funnel from Google search, Bing search, or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads. Your focus is your own to define, and with every additional sales funnel you’re able to analyze and compare, the better you’ll be able to see which online channels are working best for you—and which could use some tweaking. This is part of what we call multi-channel marketing.

Finding Conversion Rate

The formula for conversion rates is the same whether we’re talking about analytics data for websites or a self-compiled list or spreadsheet of clients and how they were found—as long as you have some tracking metric, you can use this formula:

Conversion Rate = Total Number of “Conversions” / Number of Leads x 100

For example, let’s say we’re tracking online sales as our conversion event, with visits from Google as the sales funnel. If our website had 100 visitors from Google search last month, and of those 100, 10 resulted in sales, the conversion rate for that month would be 10%.

That’s useful information! And we’re only covering the tip of the iceberg in terms of what you can meaningfully track through your website.

Google Analytics: Tracking Made Easier

Once you get serious about tracking conversions on your website, you’re going to want to get familiar with

Google Analytics

. The tool is relatively simple to use, and Google walks you through the process, so it’s a great resource even if you’re not a marketing professional. Google Analytics allows you to track up to 20 goals per profile, in 4 categories:

URL Destination:A particular page on your website—perhaps a “thank you for subscribing” page if you’re looking for email leads, or “thank you for purchasing” for e-commerce sites

Visit Duration: How long a visitor stays on a page. This can help you track user engagement on your website.

Pages Per Visit: Another way to track engagement: are your visiors leavingafter the main page, or do they click through several pages first?

Event: Perhaps the most customizable option. An “event” can be any specific action you define: clicking a link, filling out a form, downloading content, video views—get creative.

Once you set your goals, Google Analytics will begin compiling reports out of the data for you automatically.

So there you have it! You’re ready to get tracking. Of course, we can get infinitely more detailed with tracking metrics in digital marketing, but even a basic understanding of how your website is performing is going to be an invaluable asset if you’ve never tried it. See for yourself.