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7 metrics that prove website improvements are necessary
Over coffee the other day, a well-respected marketing manager asked for my candid opinion of her company's website. She knew I had visited and was fishing for advice. She's considering improvements.
Funny thing is, I'm asked this question all the time. Almost as often as "How much will a new website cost?"
Anyway, I explained my opinion would be just that -an opinion. I told her it looked ok and seemed easy to use, but there are much better ways to tell if a website needs improvements.
I told her my definition of a good website is one that constantly exceeds its targets and expectations. If a website has no objectives or expectations, then the interpretation of "good" is opinion. Unfortunately for those accountable for web budgets and ROI, that opinion is almost always based on visual appeal.
Let's take a look at 7 metrics to prove a website needs improvement:
- Poor home page click-through rate
When a home page doesn't do its job, the entire website suffers. Most websites today, lose 80% of its entering traffic at the home page. For help with this metric, read how to calculate home page effectiveness.
- Poor home page load time
When a home page loads slowly, visitors leave. It's really that simple. Poor home page load time also affects its click-through rate. See above to calculate.
- Lack of perceived value at first impression
If a home page doesn't quickly connect with a visitor and scream, "Get in here and continue reading because we can make your job or life easier," they leave. The best way to make this connection is to research your target market, brush up on consumer psychology and study your competition. Lack of perceived value also affects the home page's click-through rate. See above to calculate.
- Low traffic volume inside "bread-winning" areas
Imagine the retail storeowner's disappointment when she learns customers only use the bathroom. Wouldn't that be a problem? A website must pull the majority of its visitors through to its "bread winning" pages. These pages can represent product descriptions, portfolios, before-and-after, service offerings, employment opportunities, or other important areas. To track this ratio, simply compare total visitors against the number who visit these pages.
- Inadequate time spent per visitor session
Imagine the tradeshow booth owner's frustration when she learns thousands of people glance, but don't stop. Wouldn't that be a problem? A website must hold a visitor's interest for more than a few seconds. This standalone metric can be found in most website log file statistic reports.
- Low page view per visitor ratio
Similar to the time a visitor spends, this metric helps identify a stale or ineffective website. To track this ratio, compare the total pages viewed (minus refreshes) against total website visitors.
- Low "desired task" to traffic ratios
This metric is self-explanatory. If 1,000 visitors entered your website, how many clicked beyond your home page, visited your "bread-winning" pages, phoned an inquiry, subscribed or registered, submitted data, completed a form, downloaded a sample, purchased an item or accomplished an equally beneficial task? To track this ratio, compare the total of each completed task against the total website visitors. For more help, see "How to measure website effectiveness."
Regularly tracking these seven metrics will help you decide if improvements are necessary. As we all know, securing "executive buy-in" is your next challenge. Make it easy on them and build a compelling business case for the budget.
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The Website Profit Doctors are a Chicago Area Website Help Company who can transform your “information only” website into a profitable customer acquisition tool.
Primary website help services include: Website Improvements, Website Redesigns & Makeovers, Custom Website Development, Responsive Website Development, Google AdWords Advertising, Bing Ads Advertising, Google Analytics Set Up, Strategic Planning & Coaching, Competitive Intelligence & Research, Purchase Process Assessments, Lead Capture Assessments, Website Maintenance & Support Packages.
Primary website help products include: Small Business eCommerce Website, Small Business Blog Website, Small Business Website.
Blog information and opinions herein reflect the most accurate information at the time of publication and are subject to change. Readers are free to forward this article in its entirety, but may not sell, barter or leverage it for commercial profit or gain.
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