So you’ve spent thousands of pounds on a new website—or maybe spent countless hours building one yourself? (Same difference; The time you spent has been an ‘opportunity cost’.)
So, how well is your website performing for you?
- How many sales and enquiries did it generate last week?
- How many unique visitors did your web site receive last week?
- How does your web site’s conversion rate compare to your industry average?
Every web-site owning small business owner should not only understand what each of those three phrases mean, more importantly they should know the answers to those three critical questions on at least a weekly basis.
If you don’t know how well your site is performing, I can almost guarantee your web marketing strategy is not generating the highest levels of sales and profits for you.
“If You Don’t Measure It, You Can’t Improve It”
That’s a famous quote from business management guru Peter Drucker.
In terms of online marketing, that phrase means that unless we know how many people (unique visitors) are arriving on our website each week, we can’t determine our conversion rate—which is the percentage of unique visitors who actually buy or enquire as a result of visiting your website.
Once you know your conversion rate, you can start improving it.
Using your current conversion rate as a benchmark, you can start adding things to (or removing things from) your website, in a bid to increase your conversion rate.
Sometimes even the simplest changes to a website can significantly increase your conversion rate.
For example, removing a few fields from your enquiry forms, or improving the headline or graphics at the top of a web page, or adding an ‘on-exit popup’— all of these simple alterations can significantly ‘lift’ (increase) your conversion rate and boost your enquiries.
Why? Because those particular tweaks can reduce your ‘Bounce Rate’—which is another key statistic to track on your top performing pages.
‘Bounce Rate’ is the percentage of unique visitors who only see a single page and then immediately leave your website without buying or enquiring.
And if all of these terms sounds confusing or overly technical, don’t worry!
I’ll go into all of those statistics in more detail in future posts, but I should quickly say here that…
It Doesn’t Have to Be Overwhelming
I realise that my suggestion of tracking these key statistics on a weekly basis sounds like it could be quite onerous.
However, using free services like Google Analytics you can get a short report automatically emailed to you once a week, summarising all of those critical statistics.
Once you have those measurements, you can start making small tweaks to your site—gradually increasing the number of sales and enquiries it generates for your small business.
Statistics Help You Improve the Right Things
One of my private clients thought his website was doing a bad job at generating enquiries for his professional services firm, simply because he hardly ever got any enquiries from it.
So I asked him how many unique visitors his website was getting each week.
He told me he didn’t know… and that he would “ask his web design agency for the numbers.”
It transpired that his web design agency had added Google Analytics to his site, but had not given him access to it!
As soon as I heard this I of course suggested he gain access to his own statistics, as a matter of urgency.
Once we looked at them, we found out his site was actually quite effective at converting unique visitors into enquirers — it was above the average for his industry.
(If you want to know what the average website conversion rate is for your industry, Google has all the answers!)
Anyway, the statistics showed his lack of sales and enquiries was in fact due to a much simpler reason.
His website was getting nowhere near the amount of weekly traffic that his web design agency told him!
(Another good reason to be in charge of your own statistics!)
All his site needed was more traffic—a very easy thing do when you implement any of the more than 200 traffic tactics that are possible.
Specifically, as this client’s firm delivered services locally rather than nationally, I advised him to first set up all of the free local traffic tactics that make a huge difference.
I also suggested he started testing Pay Per Click (PPC) ads on Google and Facebook, with geographic targetting turned on, as well as other similar tactics.
(Needless to say, he didn’t use the same web design agency to do this work for him!)
Hopefully in this relatively short article I’ve managed to convince you; Knowing your statistics is the critical first step in turning your website into a sales and enquiry generating powerhouse for your business.
Every day that passes without any measuring going on, is another day that your site will almost certainly be underperforming.
If you don’t currently know your statistics, configure your online analytics service to email you a simple report once a week.
Or, if you don’t have any analytics installed on your website, do it today!