In the first few years of my web career, the big thing was simply to have a website. Once you had yours, you were “in”, done, and could go on with business. Sadly, few clients were interested in anything more than a launched website. Even though everyone knows that you need a website, it still amazes me at the number of businesses that are content with simply having an expensive business card online. In today’s business world, you need to have a website that will roll up its sleeves and sweat alongside you. So, let’s take a look at how you can tell if your website is successful.
There were also programs that would read the raw traffic logs on the server. They were a bit more helpful because they could track all the information that is stored. The search phrase that someone used to find your site, their IP address (location), and the traffic to all your pages. More helpful, but still easily cheated because the server logs a record every time a page is loaded.
Enter Google! The number one place to start is identifying where you’re getting the statistics of who’s coming to your website and what are they doing on it. Google Analytics is one of the absolute best, totally free solutions. We insist with every site we build, that it is set up and installed. In a previous tip, we covered how to set up and install Google Analytics, so we won’t revisit it here.
Quantifying Your Goals
So, you’ve got traffic coming to your website? Great! Done? NO! Like we talked about in last week’s tip about website goals, it’s important to know how your website is supposed to support your business goals. As a sales tool, how many leads/sales do you need to get from your website in order to support your business goals?
This process shouldn’t be “pin the tail on the donkey”, but a solid look at all the ways that you get leads: phone, networking, website, or? And, as you quantify where leads came from over the past couple of years, what percent were from your website? Are you good with that, or do you need to see that increase?
Reviewing Your Website
We talk quite a bit about stepping back and looking at your website… because it is important. Never… never just launch your site and not look at it!
With the idea in mind that your website needs to step up to the plate and bring in more sales/leads, look at it for the following (yes… We’re writing in the first person so you can easily ask yourself these questions as you look at your website)
- Is the benefit that my products/services bring to people clear as the 1st message on the home page?
- Do I clearly lead people to additional information so they can make a qualified decision?
- Is the information that I have on my website easily understood by the people that come?
- Do I have a clear call to action that draws people in to want to work with me?
- Do I have specifically worded forms on my website that provides enough information to qualify the lead?
With the five elements above, do you have a clear, “slippery” funnel that potential clients can easily navigate without distraction and want to make the choice to work with you? You can’t ask your website to bring in more leads without giving it the correct tools… ie, a very clear funnel and call to action.
Tracking People That Call From Your Website
With the advent of mobile devices and services like Google Voice, people can just click on a phone number from a website and call you. There are a couple things you need to do to make that work smoothly and also be able to identify when a number is clicked. There’s no way to track if they actually call, so the closest we can get is a click.
The first step is to make all of your phone numbers clickable links. For the code behind the scenes, it’s super easy in content management systems. Highlight your phone number in the content, click on the “link” icon in your editor, and add” tel:+1 and your phone number without any spaces. Here’s the code that is generated: – and, if you’re working in a theme setting area that doesn’t make it easy, you can copy the line of code and change the number to your phone number.
The 2nd step is slightly geeky because it involves another free tool that Google Analytics (GA) has – Google Tag Manager (GTM). This tool works with Google Analytics to provide additional detail that you can’t get from GA itself. There are plenty of how-to’s on the web of how to set up GTM (here’s a good video), but this is one area that we’ll encourage you to connect with someone that has experience with GTM — it will save you a few grey hairs, and you’ll know it is done right. If you’re interested in tracking the phone clicks on your website but don’t know anyone that knows GTM, reach out. We have a GTM guru on our team who can get the basics set up without a huge cost.
What Are People Doing On Your Website?
Having Google Analytics on your website gives you the potential for using a laser eye on how people are interacting with your site. Knowing the number of people coming is not enough. Are they leaving your site at critical Call to Action points? Or, not following the funnel you think you have in place?
We covered all the basics in one of our previous tips on how to make Google Analytics a useful tool, so instead of a repeat, we’ll recommend you go back to that article for the “how-to”.
The point here is that you need to know what people are doing. If they aren’t reaching the end of the funnel where the final Call to Action is, they aren’t becoming a lead. And, it’s your job… or your job with your web guru… to try and figure out why, and then figure out ways to fix it.
Sometimes the fix is obvious. Other times, it may not be so clear, and for that, you can create A/B tests. Obvious fixes are nice because you can dive into the solution. A/B tests take time to show the results. We’ve used Google Optimize with some clients as it gives an easy way to create and run A/B tests. And, we let them run for 4-6 months depending on what we were looking for. But, the results that they gave us helped us redesign the page for better results.
You don’t have to geek out and do A/B tests to start. If you honestly ask yourself the 5 questions we outlined earlier and take a close look at your Google Analytics, you’ll have a good idea of adjustments you can make on the site to bring improvements.
Your Online Partner… for Success
If the idea of tackling this all alone seems a bit overwhelming, we’re here to help. Our free website review takes a look at all the basics that you should be aware of and it comes with a free consultation once we’ve got the report together. Schedule your free review today, and we’ll help dig out the answers so your website can do a better job of carrying its weight.