To find website gold you need to analyse your web analytics
Could your business survive without a website?
Most business owners will agree that their website is a key resource for gaining and retaining high-quality customers. Whether you are an online shop, a business-to-business company collecting leads or an offline business promoting their services to the local area you will certainly need an effective website.
But why are many businesses disappointed with the results they achieve from their website? And the answer to this is that they don’t know how potential customers engage with their website.
But many businesses focus on activities that look at the website from the outside looking in such as website design, search engine optimisation work or digital advertising. And there is no doubt that activities may increase the number of visitors these services won’t, on their own, help you figure out if these visitors are adding any value to your business.
To do this you need to get under the bonnet and analyse your website data using a web analytics application, like Google Analytics. You should work out why people in your shop aren’t buying before trying to get more people in the door.
So, how can start learning more from your web analytics data?
For most websites, only a tiny percentage of the visitors to your website will ever become customers. But, using insights from your web analytics, you will be able to increase the number of visitors that convert to become leads or customers, and as a result you can increase your business revenue and profitability. Compare this to the huge numbers of extra visitors that you will need to attract to your site to get any uplift in sales.
The first job you need to do is to set up website goals. Typical goals for eCommerce websites will be a sale and for most business to business sites, it is likely to be some type of lead generation activity, such as the completing a web contact form, calling your business from a telephone link or sending you an enquiry email.
Creating a series of website goals is the first step to discover which types of visitors are going to be good for your business and which are not.
Once you have got these goals set up you now need to set up a value for each of these goals. For more details on setting up Goals in Google Analytics, please read my article Setting Website Goals to Meet Business Objectives.
Once you have learned which visitors convert you can begin to track two factors:
- Which sources of website visitors (search, paid adverts, social) are more likely to become a lead or a customer (and those that are not).
- Which content on your site influences them to convert and which might make them less likely to do so.
Do some types of website visitor convert better than others?
Once you have goals set up you can start to identify sources of traffic actual create more conversions.
Below is some data showing the number of visitors to the website’s contact page. I have highlighted the two most effective traffic sources: Organic Search and Referrals from other websites. As you will see, organic search produces more than 50% of conversions and referrals produce a smaller number of goals but at a very high rate. And it would probably be reasonable to consider devoting more effort towards these sources of new visitors. Conversely, you might want to consider moving budget out of paid search.
Does the website content affect the number of goals?
Once you have set your goals and goal values, a great Google Analytics metric you can use, is called Page Value. The way Page Value works is that it shares out the goal value of conversion among all the pages that the user visits before they convert e.g. complete a lead form.
As you can see from the example below, shows the most visited pages on the website. The contact page has a high Page Value because the contact form is on this page. As you will notice, the Case Study pages don’t get that many visits, but it does have a high Page Value suggesting that visitors that view these pages are more likely to convert than those who visit the blog page.
Page Value will give you an idea of how people you convert what pages and content they view on the site.
How can Page Value be used to improve the site?
Pages with a high Page View are likely to positively influence the number of conversions. So, in this case, when visitors arrive you may want to navigate people to view the Case Study pages and see if there is a measurable increase in goals completions. And you might want to drill down into your blog content to see which articles produce more conversions. Increasing the number of articles of these types and see if you any improvements in Page Value over time.
The ongoing process of optimising the site
You now have some insights into how visitors are using your site and which sources of visitors are more valuable to your business.
By keeping focused on the outcomes that you want users to achieve for the business you can choose the right users to come onto your site and provide them with content that will achieve your business objectives.
As you begin to optimise your site you will obtain even greater benefits to dig deeper into understanding your users. This could include analysing:
- Visitor location
- Device type (mobile, desktop)
- Comparing highly engaged users with less engaged ones.
- Surveying users to get an insight into why they have come to your site.
- Attribution modelling (this is more advanced and looks at the way that multiple in which different traffic sources work together).
The Web Analytics Audit
A great way to kick start this process is to commission a web analytics audit of your website.
The Audit is aimed at giving Actionable Insights that will help your site make rapid improvement. It also gives you site a measurement model with which you can track progress towards improving website ROI. Read about setting up a Website Measurement model.
A Website Audit will:
- Give you a measurement model that will help you optimise across all aspects of your site.
Here is an example of the Measurement Model for a lead generation website. The Model is divided into three sections: acquiring visitors, how to improve the engagement onsite and increasing outcomes that benefit the business. Each section has 1- 3 KPIs with benchmarks or targets.
- For each aspect of the website performance, there will be page packed with evidence-based insights and recommendations.
Below are insights looking at obtained more qualified visitors.
- And this is an example of an analysis of goal conversions on the site which focus on increasing lead generation.
Your website is a complex resource and it needs a deep dive to work out the best ways to make it more work harder for your business. A website audit can a great way for you to make far-reaching changes that will improve ROI for your business.
If you would like your site to be audited, please contact me and we can discuss whether a website audit would be right for your website.