Blunt Pencils are Pointless
I have a cousin who loves jokes and puns. She thinks she's the punniest person around. (One of hers! - Don't ask her the one about the crate...)
Well websites are a lot like those blunt pencils - unless you have measurable goals.
I say measurable because it's rare enough that people have goals for their website at all, let alone ones which can be measured and analysed.
We provide Google Analytics with all our websites, as it's free and more jam packed full of amazing statistics and information than a jar of strawberries - see what I did there?
We also try to help our clients set measurable goals so they know their website is working for them.
Time and time again though, we see that determining which goals to set does not come easy and even when they are set, very few clients ever look at their statistics.
Here are three goals you can set and measure to help get more out of your website.
1. Number of Unique Visitors
This is an easy one to measure as the number of visitors and unique visitors would be the bare minimum that any stats program will track. Pick a number which you would like to see visit your website each day. For example, you might start with a goal of 10 unique visitors each day.
Having this goal means that you can then ask the question: "What features, functionality or content will encourage 10 people to visit each day?"
Try some things, see how it affects the number of visitors. See what works, and when you hit an average of 10 unique visitors each day, set a new goal and ask the questions again.
2. Time on Site
It doesn't take a genius to work out that if someone spends a long time on a website then it must be relevant.
By "long time" I'm talking about more than a minute! Latest research shows that 47% of consumers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less - And the abandonment rate increases at 6.7% per second!
With that in mind, ask yourself "how long would a person need to spend on my website to find and read the information that is relevant and important to them?"
Take that time and then ask "what information would encourage visitors to stay? What would they find useful and relevant? How should it be formatted?"
Try things, make changes and check what effect it has on your goal. When you achieve it, increase it and ask the questions again.
3. Increased Phone Calls or Emails
If you want your website to increase your sales (as opposed to simply providing information) but are not selling items directly online, the only way you can measure this is by asking people how they heard about you.
Ask yourself how many new leads you want your website to generate, then ask yourself how you can make that happen. More website visitors is a good start! Other things which will help are clear contact details and good calls to action.
Measure the success by asking people where they heard of you. Tally up those that came via your website and compare it against your goal. When you hit your goal, increase it and start questioning and measuring again!
When all is said and done...
Setting goals, analysing your statistics and making relevant changes is the only way you can really tell if your investment in a website has paid off - yet analytics is one area that most businesses have no idea exists or how to access and understand.
If you have a website and don't have any goals set or are not sure where to start, contact us for a free, no obligation analysis.
Finally, I would tell you about the time I tried to catch the fog... but I mist!