Do you have a steady stream of traffic coming to your website?
That’s great. But now you need to take it a step further and convert your visitors into customers. It’s pointless to get traffic to your website if you don’t have specific goals in place to measure your site’s performance. During this post, I’m going to cover helpful tools to track your site’s performance and tips for converting your website visitors into customers.
You NEED an analytics system with goal tracking
The best way to improve the performance of your site is to understand how your current visitors use your site. This starts with understanding how people are finding your site (Google search, Bing search, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) moves through how people use your site, and ends with visitors either becoming your customer or leaving your site. It’s important to look at the types of visitors that are becoming your customer, but more importantly look at the types of visitors that are leaving your site. Understanding your non-customers better will help you make appropriate changes to your website that will turn your non-customers into customers.
There are good, free analytics systems with goal tracking out there. Here are two I recommend:
Installation’s really easy with both Google Analytics and Piwik. You can always email me if you need any help with setup as well: koby (at) choosewhat (dot) com
After your analytics system is installed, take the appropriate time to set up goals. Goals define your website’s business objectives allowing you to accurately and efficiently measure the performance of your site.
Analyze your website visitors
Now that you have your analytics system with goal tracking set up, make sure you spend time to analyze your website visitors. You have a wealth of information at your fingertips, so definitely make the most of it. Focus on the areas where you have the biggest room for improvement. Your biggest opportunity areas typically include the following:
- Entry pages
- Funnel abandonment rate
- Keyword conversions
This is the time to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. You need to view your website in the eyes of your visitors to better see things through their lens. Understanding your website visitors is a continual learning process, so don’t expect to learn everything over night.
Make improvements to your website
After analyzing your website visitors, you are now ready to make evidence-based changes to your website. For example, if I have an e-commerce site and everyone’s abandoning my funnel on my checkout page, I know where to focus my efforts. I don’t know what to change yet, so determining that is just as important. Talk to people and survey your visitors to find out why they’re abandoning. Then, make changes to your site based on this information. Everything you change to your site should be driven by data.
It’s imperative to use testing software to accurately measure the impact of changes to your site. Testing software allows you to split your website traffic, so that one traffic set sees version A of your site and another traffic set sees version B of your site. You can compare the conversion rates of your versions and choose the one that outperforms the other. Testing software usually includes statistical significance, so you know when you have collected enough data to have a version that’s deemed as a conclusive winner. In laymen’s terms, this means that there’s enough information available for you to be confident one version really is better than the other version.
Here are two testing software tools available on the market. I’ve used the Google Website Optimizer before and have heard great things about the Visual Website Optimizer.
- Google Website Optimizer (free)
- Visual Website Optimizer (not free)
WhichMVT.com has a full-blown unbiased comparison of testing software tools.
After you make improvements to your site, continue to analyze your website visitors and run tests on your site. Running tests in an iterative manner is the best way to turn even more of your website visitors into customers.