How do you know if your website is performing?

One of the great aspects of your online presence is the performance of your website can be easily and closely measured. Website statistics are provided today with almost every web hosting package and this software provides information that can be a valuable insight into how people are reaching and navigating your website.

In fact, many people can become overwhelmed by the volume of website information available from your statistics package so this article is designed to help you extract the most important information from your website statistics, plus help you accurately assess the performance of your website.

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Below is a simple framework that your business can immediately start using to analyse the performance of your website.

Online Sales Funnel:

A) Your website traffic

The number of people visiting your website is obviously important to know as this information gives you an indication of the number of new business opportunities that are being generated from your website. The most accurate indicator of website traffic is the monthly number of unique visitors your site is receiving. Stats such as hits or number of pages visited can be misleading as this information counts multiple visits from the same person plus visits from search robots which means the information from these data sources can be easily skewed. We suggest that you compare the number of unique visitors to your website on a monthly basis as the best starting point for analysing the performance of your website.

The most effective ways to increase the number of unique visitors to your website on a monthly basis is to invest in some of the following Internet Marketing initiatives:

Pay per click advertising
Search Engine Optimisation
Email Marketing
Website Conversion Rates

Once you know how many people are visiting your website the next step is to analyse how effective your website is in converting people from visitors into sales leads. The simplest way to start this process is to measure the percentage of email enquires that your business receives from your website compared to the number of unique visitors your website receives per month.

For example if your website received 2000 unique visitors per month and received 100 online sales enquiries per month your website conversion rate is 5%.

To study how you could possibly improve your website conversion rates we suggest you analyse the following sets of data:

Web Pages most visited:

This information is very helpful in understanding whether potential customers are visiting the most important pages on your website or whether they are becoming lost in your website navigation and exiting early. To improve your conversion rate the first step is to ensure as many visitors as possible are accessing your most important sales and product pages.

Top Exit Pages:

The website information contained in the top exit pages section of your statistics informs you of the website pages that people have visited prior to leaving your website. This information can be extremely valuable because if this number is quite high on a particular page you can invest some time and resource into improving the content and layout of this section of your website. Conversely if your exit rate is low on some pages you can apply similar content and layout on other web pages which are experiencing a higher percentage exit rate.

There are obviously many more sophisticated ways in which you can measure the performance of your website. However, if you consistently start using each of the above measures you can quickly and easily incorporate website performance into your standard set of business performance measures that you analyse every month.

This process will also help your business avoid the trap of subjectively measuring the performance of your website which can often include asking a set of friends if they like the look of your website or not. This will inevitably result in your business continuously making design changes to your website based on feedback from lots of different people.

Our tip is to keep your website performance measures simple and objective and this will help your business get on the road to achieving online success.

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