We put together a list of questions and answers to review each month to understand how your site is performing at a basic level. Google Analytics is the industry standard for most small to mid sized websites, so we’ll be taking you thru our guide using Google Analytics to answer some of the questions.
Our numbers are pulled from our own + some client data, which are all small to mid sized service-based companies located in Atlanta, Georgia. Representative sites include Landscaping services, Home services (remodeling, renovations) Attorneys and other professional service providers. If you have a site similar to these examples the below data would apply to you.
Is Our Site Driving Business Opportunities?
Metric: Conversion Tracking We typically consider conversions as form submissions & phone calls. Most basic websites have a form somewhere on the site for visitors to fill out & a phone number to call. These are two mechanisms your potential clients will utilize to contact your business, so naturally tracking these actions is crucial. You should be looking at year over year, month over month, and historical trending to understand how your website is performing. If you are not currently tracking these actions, setting up tracking should be your top priority.
How many mobile visitors do we get & are they having a good experience?
Metric: Mobile Visitor Metrics To answer this question, plus the next few questions we’ll just need to jump into Google Analytics. You’ll need to log into Google Analytics, then select the appropriate website profile. Once at your reporting home screen, look to the left sidebar, and click on Audience . This action will show new options – of these click Mobile then Overview. Now select a date range, let’s look at the prior month just to see what’s going on. If you don’t have a lot of visits (under 1,000) you should select a wider range.
As you can see in the above example we’re not seeing any conversions from mobile, which is not necessarily bad. Your mobile visitors probably have different needs & goals than your desktop users. By being able to directly compare your desktop, mobile & tablet users you can quickly identify the relative differences between them. Two simple metrics to compare are avg pages per session and avg session duration. If these differ significantly, it’s time to look at your mobile site and determine if it’s providing a good experience to your visitors.
Am I getting more or less traffic from search engines?
Metric: Organic Visits Over Time Another relatively easy report to generate. Jump back to your main reporting screen in Google Analytics, then click Acquisition > All Traffic. Once in this report, look for Primary Dimension right below the chart. Click the word Medium, then in the data table click on organic & select a date range. At the minimum you want to look at the last 13 months if possible. Instead of the data, you want to focus on the chart:
At a high level, we can clearly see our traffic is trending positively. If we saw traffic dropping over time, we’d need to evaluate our search marketing tactics & work out how to correct the issue.
Am I getting more or less traffic from non-search sites?
Metric: Referring Visits Over Time Here is a very easy report to generate. Click on Acquisition > Referring traffic. At the minimum you want to look at the last 13 months if possible.
A healthy marketing plan includes being mentioned & building links on other websites. Over time these new links should bring in new traffic to your website. By looking at your referring traffic history you can quickly identify if you’re seeing more or less traffic over time, and can dive into each website sending you traffic.
Is my site loading faster or slower than my competition?
Metric: Speed Testing To answer this question we’re going to utilize a really useful tool called Pingdom. Pingdom allows you to enter any URL into a tool, that will then download and score the speed of the load time of the site. When using this tool click on the advanced options right below the URL input and select “new york” as your data center. Once your website loads type a few competitors into the tool and compare the results. By manually selecting the datacenter used, you will have a more realistic comparison.
The above data serves as a reasonable threshold. We see that our site is in the top 81% of all sites tested, loads in under 2 seconds, and the page size overall is 1.1 megs. Run your own site thru along with competition and note differences. Long loading times could mean you have unoptimized images, inefficient or incorrect coding and/or potentially on a slow server. These issues can sometimes be fixed without a major investment.
Is my site available to my customers all day & night?
Metric: Site Uptime Uptime is a little harder to simply jump into. Uptime monitoring must be set up ahead of time, and must collect data for a few weeks before you have anything useful to review. Pingdom, which we just used, also offers uptime tracking for free for one website. We encourage you to set the tool up to watch your site. When your site becomes inaccessible Pingdom will send you an email. You will also have access to a reporting interface that will give you historical numbers and uptime percentage.
By staying on top of these metrics you’ll be well informed on your past & current performance, and will be able to plan out future efforts. At WebTech Marketing we monitor and report on these metrics on a monthly basis for our clients. If you are not seeing these details each month contact us today to set up a free consultation.