In order to keep your vehicle running smoothly, it’s essential that you change the oil and perform other maintenance tasks several times a year. Similarly, our online businesses need tender loving care on a regular basis to ensure optimal operation.
In fact, it’s recommended that site owners perform a comprehensive analysis of their websites about once a month. An in-depth checkup will help you figure out what you are doing right, areas that need improvement, as well as how to optimize them.
Do you have any idea how much traffic your site gets on a daily basis? How about weekly or monthly? Your webhost should provide you with some of the answers to these questions but, if you want a more detailed analysis, consider using the Google Analytics tool. Not only is it free but, utilizing this tool will make it easier for you to answer the following questions:
- Which pages have the highest percentage of visitors leaving your site? For instance, have you noticed a trend where visitors are leaving your site from the order page but before placing an order? If so, your checkout process may need to be revamped.
- How much time are visitors spending on your site? What about on each individual page? If your visitors are leaving some pages almost immediately after arrival, they will have to be tweaked to better attract the attention of your customers.
- How are your visitors finding out about your site? Is there a particular site that’s pointing them towards you? Can you partner with the site and capitalize on this?
- Are most of your visitors coming from one particular search engine? Why do you think this is and how can you get traffic from other search engines as well?
- What offers and keywords on your pay-per-click (PPC) ads are getting the best response? Can you place them anywhere else on your site?
- Where do your visitors live? If your site is getting a lot of attention from a particular location, is it possible for you to make a simple change that caters specifically to those people? For instance, if you find that a lot of your traffic is coming from another country, perhaps you should consider offering your services in that language as well?
Although having lots of traffic is good, without sales your company would be like a car with a bad transmission i.e. going nowhere at all. So, it is essential that you monitor your conversion rates (the percentage of visitors who buy products from your site) closely.
If your site is getting a lot of traffic but not a lot of conversions, it means there’s a disconnect between the message that brings visitors to the site and the one they are receiving once they get there. Take a deeper look at where you are losing the interest of your visitors so you can try out other options.
If your site doesn’t get a lot of traffic but you have a high conversion rate, it means that you’re doing an excellent job. Still, you will have to employ some better tactics to attract more site visitors and, consequently, generate more revenue.
Email response rates
Did you know that email marketing is still one of the most effective campaign strategies around? But, this doesn’t mean that you can set it and forget it – you should check your sales and traffic numbers after each email blast. Doing so will help you figure out which promotional offers and subject lines provide the most benefit. But, that’s not all – you will also learn the best times of both the week and the year that are best for your email blast. Consider using an email management system, like iContact, to save you time and help you pinpoint the areas of your campaign that are doing great as well as where may need some work.
There are other areas that you should analyze to ensure your site’s smooth operation, they include:
- Broken links: Use Google webmaster tools to check for broken links and other technical issues on your site; sitereportcard.com is also a great resource.
- Ranking: Do searches for keywords that are relevant to your industry to see if your site shows up in the first page of the search results
- Your competition: Do a little spying on your competitor’s site to see if they have any new products or are running any special promotions. If you want a more in-depth look at their inner workings, use KeywordSpy to find out more information about the keywords they are using. Another great option is to simply subscribe to their newsletters and RSS feeds.
The Bottom Line
A malfunctioning website can be just as disastrous to your business as a brake failure would be for your vehicle. Thus, it’s important to set aside one day every month to ensure that your site runs like a well-oiled engine.