Quick. How many visitors are coming to your website a month? What is the top landing page? How many leads does your website generate? If the answer to any of these questions was “I don’t know,” then chances are pretty good that you’re either not measuring, or not effectively measuring your website.
This blog series will help you understand the importance of website analytics, how to effectively use these tools and give you some general guidance on marketing campaign management. This series is intended to serve as introductory information. If you’re an expert in web measurement and analytics, this series isn’t for you.
If you’ve spent time and money on your website, chances are pretty good that you have a specific goal in mind for your site. Depending on the type of site and its function, these goals will vary. However, in order to effectively measure how your website is performing, it is essential that site goals be clearly defined.
If you use your website to sell sprockets, your goal may be to increase the number of e-commerce transactions your site generates per month. If your site is a blog, perhaps your goal is to increase the number of return visitors to your blog, or the number of people subscribing to your RSS feed.
If you don’t already have a defined goal, you should get started now. Take some time and figure out what mission your website should accomplish. Measurement without a goal is meaningless measurement. In order to know that we’ve achieved something we must measure it against some sort of standard we wish to reach (i.e. a goal).
Prior to digital marketing, measuring ROI on marketing dollars was not an exact science. Measurement tools were difficult and in some cases completely impossible to implement. Measuring the increase in business was the typical “success” metric, but it was a bit arbitrary since multiple outlets were often used to spread the word. Knowing exactly what part of the campaign was working and where money was being wasted was too often a mystery.
In the digital age, it’s extraordinarily easy to know exactly what is working. Information can be obtained with tools that are free, and are very easy to implement. Adding a quick snippet of code to all the pages on your website gets you a veritable gold mine of data. This data can be leveraged to generate priceless insights into how your visitors are engaging and interacting with your website.
Getting the data is a great start, but simply gathering information isn’t going to affect your bottom line. We need to use the data to apply measurement to our site goals. We’ll need to ask ourselves some questions about the data we see, how it applies to our site and what (if any) changes we should consider in order to improve on our websites goals.
We all know the five W’s and the one H. These apply just as well to improving our sites goals.
These are just a few examples of some questions we can ask to quantify how customers are using our site, and how that relates to our overall website goals. Because online marketing changes at a rapid pace, constant measurement is essential to ensure your website’s success.
There are lots of tools to help you measure your site. Find the one that works the best for your website and goals. Stay tuned for our next article in our series when we discuss some of the most popular measurement tools and their pros and cons.
As always if you have something to add to the conversation, feel free to comment below.