How Do I Track My Website’s Success?

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    With all marketing campaigns, it’s vital that you track your website’s success over time and it can start with your website.

    The sheer amount of data in your website’s analytics means it is easy to establish what is, and isn’t, working but also cause some overwhelm. The goal is to track what is working and what is not. Then having enough information to know what needs to change.

    Most of this information can be found within your Google Analytics (GA) account and there are a few things that you should be looking at on a regular basis. Learn more about 7 important Google Analytics reports.

    Goals and Conversions

    Before you start analyzing your website you will need to establish company’s purpose, marketing goals and defining your conversions.

    1. Define Your Website’s Purpose

    The website’s purpose should be to support the company’s mission and help the company achieve that mission effectively.

    It’s obvious if you have an e-commerce website that its purpose should be but if you have website that is more service based business like a moving company or renovation company, the default purpose is to gather leads.

    Learn more about creating customer centric web design.

    For B2B companies, a website’s purpose can be to build branding and authority in its respective marketplace.

    2. Create Website Goals

    Once you have a clear understanding of the purpose of your site you can set your website goals. Your goals will vary based on your industry, products or services, where your site is right now and many other factors, but here are the four common website goals for most businesses:

    1. Increasing Online Sales Revenue. Examples might include increasing the number of monthly qualified leads by 15% or increasing the website’s conversion rate by 5%.
    2. Increase Online Sales Conversions. This is the ability of a website to sell or convert a website visitor into a customer.
    3. Increase Qualified Leads. It’s one thing to track traffic but one goal would be to measure changes in the quality of traffic.
    4. Establishing Authority/brand Recognition In The Industry. This could include dominating Google with your brand name or improving awareness of your product and service.
    5. Automating and Streamlining Processes. This could include reducing the time it takes to complete a task or reduce costs internally.
    6. Improving Customer Service. This might be to improve client satisfaction by 15%.

    3. Establish Website Conversions

    Any conversion you establish need to be intertwined with your purpose then should be quantified. Using SMART goals, (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant), I recommend creating website goals that you can objectively record in your spreadsheet.

    Below is a list of website conversion examples you could incorporate:

    1. Completing a contact form
    2. Completing an estimate request
    3. Clicking a phone number
    4. Reduce website costs
    5. Email subscribers
    6. Sharing content on social media
    7. Making a sale
    8. Redeem a coupon
    9. Clicking a specific button
    10. Webinar subscription
    11. Sign-up to a membership

    Measure Essential Key Performance Monthly

    I recommend creating a spreadsheet with these primary numbers. You’ll find it easier to go back, month-to-month, rather than relying on GA and adjusting numbers.

    1. How much website traffic am I getting?

    As the most important metric, this is what encourages engagement and conversions. What you are looking for when measuring your traffic is the increase in traffic over a given time.  When you are succeeding in your defined website strategy you should see this increase.  This is a definite indicator of your website’s performance.

    2. Do most people visit at specific times?

    Google Analytics can give you information concerning traffic by the hour. With this information you can determine when visitors are using your website and when you should target them with specific content and online promotions.

    3. Which websites are sending me the most traffic?

    This includes which search engines, social networking sites, and other sites you may be partnering with are benefitting you the most. Knowing this information can help you decide where your advertising dollars are best spent. 

    4. What part of the world are my users coming from?

    If you are only looking at your website traffic but you’re focusing on a specific region, you might be misconstruing your overall traffic. You’ll need to understand where, geographically speaking, are people vising your website. If you look at your overall traffic and over 30% of your traffic is coming from outside your region, let alone your country, then you need to research how to shift this.

    5. Which pages are the most popular?

    Identifying which pages are getting the most views will give you insight into what your audience is most interesting in and allows you to optimize your website to increase traffic and conversions.

    6. How many pages are they visiting per visit?

    Providing content that offers internal links that support other content is important.  Make it easy for your visitors to click through to your other content.  This keeps visitors engaged and, on your website, longer.

    7. What is the average length of time your readers stay or whether they leave too quickly?

    Your “bounce rate” is the percentage of visitors that land on one page and then exit a site.  Whether they are leaving through an external link, pressing the back button on their browser, closing the tab or typing another URL into their browser, or their session times out because there is no interaction.

    You want to ensure that visitors are on your pages long enough to understand your message.  If your bounce rate is not impressive, consider the reasons and what you can do to correct the problem.

    Have you done something to the site that is causing a higher bounce rate? Is your content engaging enough? You will need to get to the bottom of it and lower this rate.

    Lengthy visits suggest that visitors have interacted more with your website. 

    One tool track users on your website is Hotjar.  

    Find out how you can keep customers on your website.

    8. Do your readers come from search engines or referrals or paid search?

    Google is what we all automatically think of when we look for search engine traffic.  But don’t forget Bing, Yahoo, and other directory websites. For web design companies, we often look at companies like Clutch for referrals. If you are construction company, you might be looking for referrals from Better Business Bureau or local associations like AGC of Virginia.

    9. What pages are primary exit pages for your site?

    There are two ways to view exit pages.  First, determine which pages are driving users away. Second, if it is a Thank You for Contacting Us Page consider including a “Next Step” link to download a free white paper, leave a comment or learn more.  Try your best to keep folks on your website.

    10. What is the ratio of new visitors to old?  What is the level of loyalty?

    What we want to see are repeat visitors.  Returning website visitors can indicate good customer and visitor retention. If you have a high ratio of returning visitors shows that you are providing valuable content that has them coming back for more.

    And of course you should always have first-time visitors to your website. Depending on your goals, a high number of new visitors could indicate strong visitor recruitment.

    11. How many shares do you have from social media?

    When you are providing valuable content, people are likely to share.  The best method to count this is to use UTMs to track campaigns. Using a UTM generator, web page’s URL, and a standard set of campaign terms, you can use your analytics to see how and where people came to your website.

    Extract the analytics that social media sites provide.  You are looking for the “link clicks”.  They can help you determine if you are using the right content on social media, if your headlines are strong enough and your social media marketing efforts are paying off.

    12. Are visitors clicking through and answering your calls to action?

    When you let your visitors know the next step, you will need to verify that they are clicking through and taking action.  If not, changes need to be made to increase this rate – this is how you convert visitors to customers. Try different things and make your CTA fit into the content on your website. 

    To track click events, you’ll need to add a tag using Google Tag Manager that will record each event as a trigger for each button or link that you want to track.

    After you’ve added your code, you can view these events by accessing the Events page in Google Analytics.

    13. Where you rank on search engines?

    Your Search Engine Results Page or SERP is where you rank when someone searches for something that is relevant to your business. If you rank high, you are doing something right but make sure to also look at the clicks-through rate.

    You’ll want to use a tool like SEMRush or WebCEO to report on your organic reach.

    Your desired metrics all depend on your website goals and your marketing strategy to know what you need to be tracking.  If you don’t know your current website statistics, give me a call and I can set you up with tools and email these reports.

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    Christina Hawkins

    Since 1999, Christina has been designing and building exceptional websites partnering with small businesses to help them grow and increase revenue. With many years of experience in creating thousands of websites, she understands the need for continuing education in her field and, therefore, is constantly learning and teaching others about internet marketing and digital processes. In addition to her ability as a digital marketer, Christina serves as a coach and mentor with Agency Mavericks to other digital marketing freelancers, helping them grow their businesses. She is a sponsor and co-leader of Houston's WordPress Meetup. Recently, she spearheaded the next Houston WordCamp 2020 as its coordinator after a 10 year hiatus. She is currently President of the Houston Interactive Marketing Association.

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