Monitoring Your Website's Performance
Would you spend $1000-$6000 or more on your business, without checking whether it was achieving anything?
Many website owners do.
What has your website contributed to your business in the last 12 months? Two years? Longer?
All business inputs (time as well as $) need to be reviewed regularly for their effectiveness in generating results. Your website is no exception. This will take some time, brainwork, communication with your customers, and maybe a brushup on your maths skills.
It's no use monitoring your site if you are not prepared to act upon your findings. The sooner you respond, the better it will be for your business. Maybe it's all good news, and you decide to expand on that successful online campaign. Maybe you can see ways in which your site could improve. But do it!
Do you really know how your site is performing?
So, all your new business comes from phone enquiries, not via the contact form on your site. But how did those new customers get your phone number? Ask them!
Do customers like your website? How often do they come back to it?
Do they find it hard or easy to navigate, uninformative or helpful?
Often a business owner designs a website which appeals to him or her but is not logical for a wouldbe buyer. Learn to see your site from the customer's point of view.
Does your site use a font size, type or colour which is hard to read?
Check any fancy graphics; some look great at first sight, but fall down on legibility.
Is that essential and gripping information on your webpages impossible to digest, with long sentences and endless paragraphs?
What about typo's and spelling mistakes (they really irritate some readers) and a clear layout?
If writing for the web isn't your field, it could be cost effective to get help from SuttonNet with communicating about your business online.
Which pages do your customers find most useful?
Do they use phones, desktops, tablets? What is it like for them viewing your site on a phone?
Maybe it's time to upgrade to a mobile friendly website. You might not need to start from scratch; some website designs can be adapted for a small screen.
Do you keep a close eye on how many times your site is visited, how long site visitors stay, what keywords lead people to view your site, monthly online sales income vs no of site visits?
And do you act on this data promptly, to improve your site's impact?
If not, why not?!
Some website owners are fascinated by wading through their site stats. Others ask SuttonNet to produce a report and recommendations from the raw data, and they act on these.
Updating your website
If you dread the task of updating your website, you might need a site with a newer content management system (cms). Many changes can be quickly and easily made using a cms such as SuttonNet's Bizazz.
Or if working on websites isn't your thing, you can ask us to change the site content for you, at very reasonable rates.
Often it's worth getting an expert to make the more complex alterations, to save you time and to keep your site looking its best. Text which doesn't wrap correctly around photos, or poorly reproduced images, don't help to sell whatever it is you sell.
Encourage your customers to check out your site from time to time, even if they don't always buy from you online. Put new information up there which they want to see:
- online specials (occasional or permanent)
- community news or photo updates
- how-to maintain and get the most from their new purchases
- member specials for return customers when they log in to your site.
Spend an hour a month reviewing your site's look, words and images against your current business goals. Look at it with fresh eyes; how would a potential customer see it? Then ensure that the website is better next month. It's a simple worthwhile exercise for every business.
What measures success for a website?
It all depends on what you want to achieve.
It's important to:
- set website goals, in accordance with your business plan and vision
- design or modify your site to aim at those goals
- review and update website content frequently
- review site visitor behaviour and outcomes of site visits frequently.
Most importantly, if you're not satisfied with your site's results, do something about it! Don't keep mindlessly paying out for webhosting when you could be getting more for your money.
Set goals in terms of changed customer behaviour which can lead to improved sales, not just 'no of site visits per month'. Web statistics can only tell you so much. And no statistical method for collecting website usage data is perfect. That is, unless you have an ecommerce site and you only count actual sales... which doesn't tell you anything about customers who gave up trying to use your site!
Different data collection methods and
reporting styles deliver different results, eg on no of visits from
mobile phones. Spam/rogue traffic can distort stats. And your website's
role is to obtain more sales, not merely site visitors.
Don't neglect analysing your website's productivity. Budget time, energy and $ to gain feedback on your website's performance and to improve it.
And contact SuttonNet if you'd like some help.
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