Build a Purposeful Website, Then Monitor It and Adapt as Needed
By Richard Rutigliano, PriMedia Inc.
In the quest to attract new customers or clients, an effective website is an invaluable tool. When a site delivers what prospects are looking for and simplifies conversion, the company succeeds in adding new accounts.
To optimize your site, design with the prospect in mind, and then use website analytics to evaluate the site’s performance. Today’s buyers prefer companies that they perceive as helpful and forthright. Meet those expectations with a site that combines great informational resources with straightforward navigation that keeps the customer well oriented.
Web analytics can provide essential support to help you see how customers are traveling through the site and spot problems, such as broken navigation links or website copy that sends the wrong message. The most popular tool for the job is Google Analytics, which is free to use for most sites and offers comprehensive data on traffic and usage, including granular information on each visit and visitor.
You can use Google Analytics to define goals on the website, which can be either micro goals or macro goals, and then track which visitors convert, i.e. meet the goal. A macro goal in Google Analytics aligns exactly with your company goals: to add new customers or sign existing customers up for new products and services. A micro goal could be anything that reflects the kind of engagement you are trying to create. You can set up a few micro goals such as the visitor spending at least two minutes on the website, clicking through from the blog to another page within the site, or liking the company on Facebook. Once the goals are defined, your reports will show you what kind of results you are getting.
Google Analytics ties everything together with what it calls Flow Visualization and Goal Flow Reports. You have created a “sales funnel” on your site that originates in a marketing campaign, travels through the information pages where the customers get answers to their questions, and concludes with a successful signup. Flow Visualization allows you to follow prospects through the funnel, seeing how they arrived, what pages they visited along the way, and where they ended their session.
If the sales funnel is working well and engaging visitors, you will be able to track their page visits and see how they are flowing towards the conversion point. Ideally, the pattern will show a satisfying level of engagement with a solid percentage of goals completed.
Alternatively, goal completions might fall short of expectations, and you might even find that visitors are dropping off without shorter sessions and fewer page views than expected. Flow Visualization enables you to drill down into the visitors’ paths and might show one or two pages with high levels of drop-offs. The Analytics report will let you know where to start your troubleshooting.
The online marketing experts at PriMedia are ready to help you win on the Web. To get started, please call me at 800-796-3342 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.