Measure the success rate of your webpages
It is not enough to have a company webpage. You should also be able to measure it, whether you successfully address your current and potential customers.
When you invest in the creation of a company webpage, you want to be sure, that it is of real business value. You assume the investment will be returned in the form of new or returning customers, the sales of products and services will grow, or simply by higher profits. You don’t need an expensive software or education of an analyst to be able to measure the success rate of your webpage. However sometimes it can be really difficult to make sense in all the available data and know how to evaluate, what needs to be monitored and what does it actually mean.
Luckily enough there are several simple and free tools, which will help you to focus on the correct data.
What is our goal?
Before you find out what you should actually measure, you need to identify your goals. Why does our company have a webpage? If you sell goods online, the answer to this question is very simple. However in other cases, the answer doesn’t have to be so simple. You can make a simple list of goals focused on the profits or increase of the customer’s interest in your company.
People can buy your goods on the Internet, get the necessary information or contact you through the web form. In order to stay in touch with you, they can subscribe to your newsletter. All of this can be facilitated by the company webpage. You can find out based on the available data, if it’s meeting especially these key goals.
First and foremost you will need a program for the analysis of the webpage, which is necessary in order to be able to measure the success rate of your webpage. You can choose from several types of tools, from the free ones to the ones that cost thousands of Euros per month. However the best solution is to use Google Analytics, which is free and provides all the necessary data.
You should also have a tool for webpage maintenance, e.g. Google or Bing, which will help you to improve the visibility of your webpages.
What to focus on?
1. Is the number of qualified visitors of the webpage increasing?
The best type of traffic is qualified traffic. By qualified traffic we understand those visitors, who are your potential customers. But how can you find out if the visitors of your webpage are also your potential customers? Except for case when people actually visit your webpage (because they are aware of it), you can check where they are coming from.
They can come from search engines, mostly Google. If the webpage has significant traffic in search engines, you can focus on key words people use to search. Based on this you can then adapt your webpage in order for it to be easier to find and be displayed in the results for searched terms in your field (so called SEO). Are the people searching most often for the name of your company? Then you can adapt one category of the key words to your brand and include in it all the variations of your company name and webpage. Other categories can relate to the area of your expertise, e.g. if you sell pools, you can have categories of key fords for chemicals, waterslides, water toys, etc. You can setup these categories in your webpage maintenance tool and monitor them in the reports, based on which you can establish what are your customers looking for online.
Except for this people can be visiting your webpage thanks to links on other related webpages. The increase of traffic through links from other webpages usually means that people are redirected to your page, because it’s useful to them. E.g. if your blog describing how to add an attraction in the form of a waterfall in the pool has higher traffic (several webpages refer to it) than the manual for selecting a cover for the pool, then people are most probably interested more in waterslides than the covers (assuming that both articles have been promoted equally).
2. Is your webpage useful to its visitors?
Not every visitor comes to your webpage with the purpose to buy something. Some visitors simply want to get to know your products or the company as a whole. If you are monitoring sales only, you can lose valuable input showing how you can attract potential customers.
The most frequent and most clear metric remains the monitoring of profits. If you sell goods online, in Google Analytics you can monitor e.g. the number of clicks on the button “order” or completing the purchase process. If you tie this data to your categories of keywords and information about links from other webpages, the data will seem to you even more useful. Are the customers coming from forums about parenting buying more than the ones who are redirected from webpages about houses and gardens? Then the parents and the families can be more valuable target groups for your business.
Using the keywords categories you have setup you can see what type of visitors of your webpages sees them as useful. In this case especially this data will help you:
Time spent on the webpage and the number of displayed webpages.
These two metrics are oftentimes quite akin. E.g. you can set up a goal in the form of time spent on the webpage for 30 seconds (time on site) if you want for your customers to read your article. Or you can set the goal of at least 2 subpages visited (page views per visit), which suggests that the visitors consider your webpage as sufficiently interesting to check more content on it. You can also monitor the rate of leaving the webpages, which means how many visitors are leaving the webpage as soon as they visit it, because they didn’t find the information they were looking for.
RSS subscription or subscription of news.
This metric is especially useful for a blog. If someone comes to your webpage from a browser or a link, reads a blog post and then subscribes to the newsletter, it’s a good sign your article was useful to him. You can monitor the number of subscribers using the monitoring of goals in Google analytics.
3. What are your performance indicators in the browsers?
By using keywords categories you can also monitor how is your webpage doing in the search engines rankings and if people are clicking on it. Both tools, Google and Bing, monitor impressions (how many times is the webpage displayed in the results), click, links and the average positions of keywords, which generate the traffic for your company webpage. If you look at these metrics you will see, if your position in the search engines is getting better, and whether your search results seem convincing to the people.
The key for monitoring the activity on your webpages is not to get lost in the data. Make sure you have an analytical tool installed on your webpage and it is adjusted for search engines. Make sure you understand the goals of your webpage – and then ask yourself the basic questions: What is our overall traffic? What pages are referring to us most often?
Soon you will have a great overview about how your investment in your webpages is paying out.
About the Author
I have working experience ranging from start ups to corporate fortune 500 companies (CBRE) I combine an analytical mindset with a creative, out-of-the box way of thinking. I have worked for Lion&Lion (major digital agency in southeast Asia) where I was part of the Marketing and Facebook Advertisment teams. Helped a lot of start ups for fun mainly with business and marketing plans, market research and branding.