You built a beautiful website. The images are top-notch, and you hired a writer to fill it with quality content. Google Search Console shows that it’s been indexed. Now what? Where are the people? Is it a problem with the site or is the market just not there? Don’t just guess the problem or make assumptions. You need to know how to measure website success so you can pinpoint opportunities and create good marketing strategies.
What is Success?
First, you need to define the goals you have for your website. How does the site fit into your overall plans for your business? If you don’t know what you strive toward, then it’s hard to know when you succeed.
All sites are different because all businesses are different. For instance, an e-commerce site selling car parts will have a much different goal than a non-profit looking for volunteers. Another thing to consider is that websites are meant to create leads, not necessarily to close the sale. It is hard to beat old-fashioned face-to-face communication when it comes to signing a new client.
To define your objective, make SMART goals.
- Specific – Who? What? When? How?
- Measurable – Get specific with figures and amounts.
- Attainable – Your goal should be realistic.
- Relevant – Fit your website goal into your overall marketing and business goals.
- Time-bound – Place a deadline on your goal.
Once you’ve defined specific and measurable goals, then it’s time to measure website success against them.
Metrics that Matter
Host Gator, a popular web hosting company states on their site that there are four metrics that matter: Consumption, Sharing, Lead Generation, and Sales. Each one is an excellent way to measure website success, but there is one more that must be considered first.
Your Website Needs to Rank
We won’t belabor this point because we’ve written several articles on the subject of ranking in Google. However, it’s just a fact. If you don’t rank in the search engines, nobody can find you and you won’t have to worry about measuring any of these other metrics. If you don’t rank, then you need to find out why and fix the issue.
Consumption refers to the material people look at or seek out on your site. First, it reassures you that you do have traffic. Secondly, it clues you into what your customers consider important. Google Analytics measures both of these common consumption metrics.
- Page Views – Track how many people read the content on your website. Find out which pages generate the most views.
- Downloads – How many people download material from your site. This is particularly helpful for those offering free downloads. You can measure downloads against sales.
Another important piece of information to measure website success is your bounce rate. If you have a high rate of traffic, but people don’t stay on your site, that is cause for concern. It could be that it’s time to update your website for better usability.
How Often Is Your Content Shared?
A good indicator of website performance (and the integration of your channels) is how often your content is shared. If you have interesting and informative material on your site, then people will pass it along. This ‘sharing’ is the equivalent of real-world word-of-mouth advertising. In essence, you are receiving a recommendation from those who share your content with their friends.
Here are two ways to measure website success with sharing metrics.
- Social Media – Large networks of like-minded customers can be reached through social media sharing.
- Backlinks – Backlinks indicate that others consider you an authority in your industry.
Most social media platforms, like Facebook, have insights into your social media performance, however, it’s a good idea to monitor social media sharing buttons on your website. If you have a WordPress site, there are plugins that track which channels send visitors to your site. You can see if they came from Facebook, Google, or other referral sites.
Lead Generation Metrics
Lead generation is the primary goal for all websites especially B2Bs. Most of the time, service industries cannot close a sale online. Instead, they need to move the client down their sales funnel, until they become active customers. However, even e-commerce sites need to collect sales leads. They might have potential customers sign up for specials or a newsletter. This gives a business the ‘permission’ they need to contact their leads with email marketing offers.
All too often people measure website success based on traffic goals and forget that lead generation is the primary goal.
Here, you can find a couple of ways to measure website success using Lead Generation Metrics.
- Conversion rates – Is there a large difference between unique visitors and conversion rates?
- Blog or Newsletter Subscribers – Keep track of the number of people interested in getting more information about your company.
There is no one place that measures lead generation. You must look at all the data and analyze your response rate. This metric fluctuates with traffic, market stability, and how well your website content meets the needs of your clients.
Measure Website Success with The Bottom Line
Finally, the metric that most businesses want to measure is sales. What is the bottom line? Am I making money? Does my website increase my overall business revenue? Without a doubt, you can measure website success by whether or not your sales increase.
Unlike a lot of web design companies, Effect Web Agency, doesn’t just build websites. Instead, we help you define your goals before designing a website to meet them. Once the site is built, then we help fill it with content that draws traffic and generates leads. Then, afterward, we measure website success. As the markets change, we can suggest improvements or minor updates that help improve your overall performance. Effect prides itself on being a full-service agency that partners with you to grow your business.