Your website is the most important marketing asset your company has. It’s your number one salesperson that never goes on vacation. So it’s important that your website is effective. The problem is that there are endless ways to improve a website. Where do you start?
The good news is that you can use the data from your website to help determine your priorities for improving things. Here are some of the main data types that you can use to improve your website:
Traffic data gives you a high-level view of how people are arriving at your website. This data will give you some insight into what's working and what isn’t with your current marketing plan.
What to watch for: Which traffic sources perform the best? Which ones perform the worst? Where are there opportunities to improve? For your best performing traffic source, what are you doing to improve it even further? For your worst performing traffic source, what can you do to improve your performance?
Tools to use: Google Analytics, HubSpot
This Google Analytics feature can help you understand how visitors migrate through your website. Ever wanted to know the most common path through your website? Looking at user flows can show you. You can even segment it based on different traffic types and device types.
What to watch for: Do you have a clear path through your website that you want visitors to follow? This is how you can evaluate the effectiveness of it. Are there clear next steps that people take from your most visited pages? Consider using this information to make those more prominent to everyone visiting the site.
Tools to use: Google Analytics, Google Analytics Chrome Plugin
Examine conversion rates on your website on a regular basis. You need to know what people convert on the most often and which pages drive the most conversions.
Yet, trying to improve them can be challenging. It’s often difficult to figure out what exactly is happening with conversions and how to improve them. It’s usually more useful to break them down into several smaller steps.
What to watch for: How many people are clicking on your CTAs? Do you have multiple CTAs that point to the same landing page? Do they all convert at the same rate? Once people arrive at the landing page, how many people are converting? How many people open the follow-up email? Break out the conversion into smaller pieces so you can get a better idea of what’s really happening.
Tools to use: Google Analytics, HubSpot, your landing page and form tool of choice
When’s the last time you asked frequent users how they use your website? Sometimes the simplest solutions can be the most illuminating. Many qualitative questions have nuance and need more than just analytics to understand. User reporting allows you to ask those questions.
Anyone can find a few customers and prospects and ask them what they think of your website, what they find useful, and what they find confusing. If you want to get a little more advanced, you can even put together regular surveys to get a broader sample size.
What to watch for: Ask people to just give color commentary as they navigate your website. They may tend towards simple observations, so prepare yourself to probe a little deeper. Ask why they say certain things, what they think certain phrases mean, what is unclear to them, etc. Ask about their thought process—this will help you make clear improvements to your website.
Tools to use: Email and a phone call, Gotomeeting to record the session, Surveymonkey or Google Docs to get information, Hotjar to help with on-page survey questions.
How many people visit your website in a month? How many return to your website in a month? This data can give you an idea of whether your website continues to provide value for visitors. It can also instruct you on how to build out marketing programs that bring people back to your website on a repeated basis. That way each month isn’t a blank slate for traffic numbers. You’re working hard to get people to come to your site—it’s important to find ways to bring them back.
What to watch for: New sessions % in Google Analytics tells you how many visitors are returning within a given time period. This can be broken out by geography, device type, and more. You’ll begin to see how many people are returning to your website on a regular basis.
Tools to use: Google Analytics
A high performing website is essential for a modern company. Knowing what data to look at on your website, and how to apply that to improve your website can make a big difference in how people perceive your company, and how your website gets used as a sales tool.
Want to learn more about optimizing your website? Download our ebook on Growth-Driven design.