A website provides another channel through which you can promote your business and increase leads and sales. In most cases, if a website doesn't provide leads or new clients it is of little value to the business. This makes it important to continuously tweak and monitor your website to ensure that it offers relevant content and is user-friendly. Visitors are to a website like breathing is to human beings; and a website's conversion rate is an important benchmark which is used to show a website's effectiveness. Without visitors there can be no conversions. The most effective way to maximise conversions is by knowing what visitors do on your website so that you can improve the usability and overall functionality of the website and consequently increase ROI.
To see how visitors are engaging with your website you can install Google Analytics, Google's free analytics software. Google Analytics will highlight the areas on your website that are performing well as well as those that need improvement. Below are three of the main areas one can measure in Google Analytics.
Where do your visitors come from?
Did they type the URL directly into the browser, were they referred by another website or did they find your website through a search engine? If they came through a search engine, which keywords or key-phrases did they use to find the website? You can also track other marketing campaigns like PPC campaigns or special newsletter promotions by making use of uniquely tagged URLs.
What did the visitors do on the website?
Which and how many pages did they visit and how long did they stay on the website? Pages with a high exit rate may need tweaking or a complete content revamp. Thinking about what a visitor would want to derive from a particular page or section of your site is a good place to start when developing your content. Under the Content tab in Google Analytics one can select the Site Overlay option which will show the percentage of visitors that clicked on various links on your website in a visual way- this gives you an idea of where people are looking on your pages.
The most important part of the visitor process - did the visitor convert? In essence this results to the visitor becoming a lead or a new client. As mentioned, conversion rate should play an important role in your web strategy, a high volume of traffic may look impressive but the conversion rate is the deal-breaker.
Apart from the above, there are a number of other areas that can be measured and what you measure will depend on your type of business. To get you started, think about which actions you need visitors to perform in order to increase the website's overall conversion rate. Should they fill in a contact form or request more information? Download your portfolio? Sign up to your newsletter? Once you have determined the goals for your website work on the various calls to action and include them in your copy. Maintaining a website requires a constant investment of time and effort and you should regard your website as a constant work in progress.