Contrary to popular belief, a website is not a black hole that sucks away money and gives nothing back. Many business owners feel that they keep pumping money into their websites without knowing exactly what they are paying for. Exactly what does monthly linkbuilding or blogging get them anyways? Is any of this actually generating new business?
All of these questions can be answered with one simple word: metrics.
Website metrics is a way to measure and analyzing your site’s performance. Metrics will tell you how many visits your website gets, where those visits are coming from, what content is the most popular, and so forth.
There are several ways to measure traffic on your site but the easiest way is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a simple snippet of code that you put on every page of your website that you wish to track. The code is not visible on the page, but it does record the volume of traffic to your site, the pages visited, and more. You can then review the information on the Google Analytics Dashboard.
Best practice for tracking website traffic
- Install Google Analytics immediately — ideally when you first set up or update the site — so that you have a baseline to compare later changes against.
- Track it on a weekly or monthly basis depending on the frequency or types of updates you are making.
- Keep track of when you change a call to action, a special, savings, or new product to see how those changes affect the visitors to the site.
- Mark each time you send your site to a list, promote it on a message board, or to a newsletter, etc. to see which produces the best results.
- Track everything. You never know which combination of changes will produce results, so it’s best to simply measure everything you do. Another tip to help you track special offers individually is to create a custom URL for each one. For example, if you are running an ad for a summer special, direct web traffic to: www.yoursite.com/summer2014special. This way, you will know which portion of your website traffic is for the special, and which part is normal day-to-day traffic.
Understanding where your website money is going all boils down to metrics. Instead of having a black hole in your budget, you’ll know which activities generated more interest among your customers and subsequently more website visits. From there, you can refine your marketing strategy until your website is reliably bringing in more business.
Don’t know where to start? 3-Keys is here to help. Ask us about how we can simplify and manage your website tracking today!