We like to remind our clients that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Just like manufacturers monitor the performance of their throughput and capacity utilization, marketers measure website performance and conversion rate.
Why should you measure your website performance?
Your website is your most critical marketing piece because it pulls a lot of weight, it helps you:
- Rank in search
- Show off your brand
- Convert your visitors into leads
Keeping your website a tuned and efficient piece of "marketing machinery" means to measure the metrics that can help you determine what's working and what's not. The data you capture now can help you make critical decisions down the road like, “do I need a new website or just some minor updates?”
We recommend that you start off with these free analytics tools:
- Raven Tools
- Google Analytics
- HubSpot Free
- Google Search Console
4 baseline metrics that will help you increase lead generation
Once you start collecting analytical data with these tools it is best to look at the baseline metrics that will help you figure out where to make improvements. We suggest 4 metrics that you should start tracking...now.
1.Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Chances are your stuff is pretty darn cool to your ideal buyers, but that doesn’t matter if they can’t find it when they search the web. Much of the time what’s hurting you in Google search, is actually really easy to fix. Issues affecting your SEO may include:
- Missing meta descriptions
- Duplicate page titles
- Pages titles that are too long
- Page titles without keywords
- Images missing alt text
Using a couple of the free analytics tools we recommend (such as Raven Tools and Google Search Console) can help you identify quick actions to take that will improve where you rank in Google search. The goal is to get found on page one. And you can’t do that if your website has any of the issues we listed above.
Measuring your website traffic will help you set company-specific benchmarks, target your website for the right audience, and make informed decisions. You’ll want to start by asking: Where do my visitors come from?
Look at what geographic regions your website traffic is coming from.
If some of your traffic is coming from China and you only do business in Michigan and Ohio, you’ll need to localize your page titles or meta descriptions to attract more visitors who can actually buy from you.
Look at where your visitors are coming from on the web.
What is the path that lead them to your website? Are they coming from social media? Email marketing? Other site referrals? Organic traffic? Knowing the answers can help you decide which tactics are driving people to your website.
Where are your visitors going?
Understanding which pages your visitors are engaging with and which they’re ignoring can help you understand your opportunities to improve and possibly even delete pages. If a good portion of your traffic is going to your ‘About Us’ page you’ll want to keep it up-to-date, and possibly add additional copy and photos. Understanding which pages get the most traffic can also tell you what information your visitors need. You'll want to include conversion points and CTAs on high traffic pages -- because you know you have a captive audience there.
Okay, so you have people coming to your site, but are they converting into leads? Seeing where your visitors are clicking can help you make better decisions on where to put lead capturing content and Calls-To-Actions (CTAs). We once had a really high traffic blog with thousands of views --and no CTA. We plopped a CTA to some additional content in there and BOOM! It converted like crazy.
You can discover how to improve your current lead generating content. You might already have a content offer that is hidden behind a form, which a visitor has to fill out before they can see it, but by measuring the conversion rate you might realize that many people aren’t submitting the form. Use these metrics to make decisions about form length and placement.
Visitors aren’t going to want to stay on your site long enough to convert into a lead if the user experience is subpar. Your site needs to deliver a good digital experience, so that your visitors can find what they need or better yet - make a purchase from you. In fact, a Forrester Research study showed that “a well designed user interface could raise your website’s conversion rate by up to a 200%, and a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400%.”
Using a tool, like Hotjar, can help you measure the usability of your site with visual recordings and heatmaps of your website traffic. With that information you can determine:
- Is your website working well for mobile devices?
- Do people know to scroll down on a page for more content?
- Are they they trying to click on non-clickable content?
Measuring your website’s usability can help you gain insights into how to change your webpages to optimize for lead generation and user experience.
Start tracking your website performance
These 4 baseline metrics will help you focus on the efficiency of your team and your website. Make sure you aren't spending too much time and energy on activities that aren't producing results. You know where to start so now it’s time to figure out your baseline performance to ensure you're improving over time.
The great news is that you can track and report on all of these metrics yourself with the help of free analytics tools.