Like most entrepreneurs, you’ve probably invested a lot of energy and time into the development of your website. You may have recruited a developer to manage the design, an SEO specialist to improve the rankings, and a social media assistant to spread the word. These are all very crucial steps to getting the most out of your online presence, so if you’ve taken all of the measures mentioned above, you’ve invested smartly.
The next step is to measure success on your website – if your efforts are paying off regarding visitors, leads, and conversions. That’s where it gets tricky. To fully benefit from the process, you have to know what you measure specifically, the reason you measure it and what it can tell you about the performance of your site.
Setting a Goal
It’s apparent; you can’t measure success if you don’t know your ultimate goal. Does your website have a purpose? Without one, there’s a good chance that your site is already leaking money, and you don’t know that yet. Make sure you set S.M.A.R.T goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) to coincide with your purpose to exist online.
For instance, some goals of your site could be:
- To gain a consistent stream of visitors who engage with your content
- To showcase your product or service and acquire new customers
- To provide details about your CSR initiatives and gather support from the community
- To demonstrate legitimacy and build a positive online reputation for your offline business
Once you have a goal in place, success measuring tools come into the picture.
Tools to Measure Success Of Your Website
Today, there’s a wide range of tools, ranging from simple to advanced, for measuring website success. Each one allows you to measure different performance metrics as you keep tabs on the growth of your website. Below are details about the most commonly used ones and brief summaries of the metrics they measure.
You’ll see that Google Analytics (GA) is the tool of choice for measuring most success metrics. It’s versatile, loaded with robust features and it doesn’t cost a dime. Also, chances are it’s what you use to see website traffic. It can be used to see how many people visit your website, which pages are the best performers, what web pages do people like the most, what percentage of visitors turned into leads and customers, and a lot more.
If you don’t have a Google Analytics account, follow these steps to create one for free:
1. Get a Google account, go to the Google Analytics page, and sign up.
2. Once you finish, click the Get Tracking ID button and install it on your website. Ideally, the installation will take place after you add the code to the header script on your framework. Go to this link to learn how it’s done on WordPress.
3. After you install the code, go back to the Google Analytics dashboard, click on the Admin link, and then click on Goals below the View column.
4. Create a goal (such as a thank you pop-up for those who complete a purchase), and Google Analytics will inform you when something significant happens on your site.
You can use Google Analytics to measure:
- Unique Visitors
A lot of website owners consider themselves as successful if their SEO efforts are generating a certain quantity of unique visitors per month. Known as “Users” in GA, this implies the number of people who’ve visited your site in a given date range. An overall upward trend is a sign of success, even if it’s gradual at first.
- Bounce Rate
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of first-time visitors who close your website without seeing more than one page. When it comes to this metric, a lower percentage means you’re doing well as people are sticking around and reading more of your content. If you have a high bounce rate, examine the speed of your website (is it slow to load), as well as the navigation (it could be that you lack intuitiveness). Lowering your bounce rate is key to improving search engine rankings.
- Conversion Rate (product page/landing page)
This refers to the percentage of incoming visitors who take action, such as completing an opt-in form or purchasing an item. We discussed how to set up goal tracking in the Google Analytics set up steps – that is what you need to do to track the conversion rate. The higher the rate, the more your content is bringing targeted traffic to your site – visitors who are interested in reading about your product/service and ultimately, to purchase it. That said, a high conversion rate could also be an indication of consistent messaging. For instance, sharing content that is connected to a landing page on social with custom text and a high conversion rate means the message on social tightly aligns with the landing page’s copy.
Chartbeat offers powerful analytics tools that enable you to measure and enhance the quality of your content as well as the loyalty of your visitors. It watches for active behaviors (the analytics software sends pings every few seconds) that identify when visitors are engaging with or reading content on your website.
Website owners get the following dashboards when they sign up to Chartbeat:
- Video dashboard: Showcases how your visual content captures people’s attention. Users get to compare Playrate, Engagement, Starts, and even advertising drop-off for articles and website, which allows them to leverage unique distribution opportunities.
- Historical dashboard (beta): It allows you to intuitively analyze KPIs, valuable tends, and content performance over a period. You can compare total pageviews, engaged minutes, and engaged time (average) for articles and website. If all of these are positive, your website is performing well. Moreover, Chartbeat’s historical dashboard lets you filter by author, section, and custom date range.
- Real-time dashboard: The real-time dashboard lets users understand how their visitors are connecting with their content at the moment – across different channels – so they can act to optimize when trends happen. For instance, if a particular blog post is getting a lot of visits, you can tune it further with content freshness, new examples, etc.
But the dashboard is only one of Chartbeat’s products. You can also sign up to utilize its optimization tools. For instance, one of the optimization tools enable you to run live headline tests that optimize for visitor engagement after clicks, so you can maximize the readership of all content pieces with proven headlines.
Another optimization feature lets users compare CTR (clickthrough rate) to post-click engagement for all anchors on a webpage. Automated insights help in determining capitalization worthy trends and benchmarks.
Google Analytics may reveal the percentage of visitors leaving your site through the bounce rate metric, but it doesn’t tell you why they are leaving. CrazyEgg says it does. The tool offers some detailed graphs that all website owners should find useful.
But it’s the company’s heat maps feature that is existing. These heat maps show which areas of your website are attracting the most engagement. The main types of heat maps offered by such tools include:
- Scroll heatmaps
These reveal how far visitors have scrolled down your web pages. By analyzing thousands of scrolls, you’ll be able to gauge the success of your web page optimization efforts.
- Click heat maps
Another commonly used heat map is the click heat map. It reveals which areas of your website get the most clicks. If the results show that the area where you’ve placed Call-To-Actions (CTAs) and Buy Now buttons are getting the most clicks, it means your website is destined to be profitable.
- Engagement heat maps
These are quite intriguing. Engagement heat maps judge how long people spend focusing on specific areas of your website. For instance, if you have a 2000-word review on “pressure cooker’ it might be that particular areas of the post are far more interesting for visitors and the rest of the content is skipped right over. If the results reveal the area where you wanted them to focus on is driving the most engagement, your website is seemingly doing well.
Additionally, heat map has a confetti report features those segments your website traffic by its source so that you’re able to see how visitors from different channels (social, search, direct, etc.) act and identify where your most profitable visitors are coming from. And unlike alternatives, CrazyEgg doesn’t place a limit on the number of websites you can measure with its tool.
2. SE Ranking
SE Ranking is an all-inclusive SEO software that enables you to conduct a comprehensive analysis of your website. Discover who exactly is browsing your website, and what is the main source of traffic.
SE Ranking also has a bunch of useful features such as:
- Backlink Checker: Uses 15 SEO parameters to evaluate each backlink. For instance, you get to see the date on which the backlink was added, as well as the total inbound links. There’s even an option to check out the domain popularity of the referring link. If you get good results, it’s likely your site is successful enough to attract links from high-quality websites.
- On-Page SEO Audit: The feature checks how well your web pages are optimized for particular search queries, whether it complies with the search rank factors as well as judge the site architecture for technical errors. The analyzed parameters include header tags, image alt tags, page loading time, keyword density, etc. If all of these are on spot, then your website is likely to see an uptick in search engine rank sooner or later.
- Page Changes Monitoring: This feature enables you to be on the same page as your coworkers as changes occur on your website. By preventing miscommunications and being in the know of any modifications planned, you set your site up for success. Monitored elements include metadata, content, backlinks, and more. Also, it helps in preventing drops in PPC relevance and score due to unforeseen changes in content.
Apart from all these features, SE Ranking offers diagrams and tools for several forms of information that is easy to comprehend for those who love visuals. And SE Ranking’s marketing plan provides valuable insights based on the analysis of your website.
Gauges are a Google Analytics alternative that offers a complete overview of the most important statistics of a website in real-time. Users can see how many visitors come to their site, the source they come from and where they end up. The software’s user-friendly UI also makes it easy to analyze multiple websites at once and extract the information you need.
Its Website Analytics feature also contains the following:
- Air-traffic data: Gauges’ air traffic data offers a map that is updated in real-time when people arrive on your web pages. You also get to see the visitors’ regions. If the air traffic map gets populated with visitors from the regions you intended to target, your website is doing well.
- Top content view: This feature tells website owners what content is doing well and what pages are failing to generate traffic. Top-content analysis helps you to refine website copy for better performance.
- Views and people: Get information about the views on different site pages and also receive insights about the audiences that visit them. If you’re getting the right kind of audience, you’re on the right path.
In addition to Website Analytics, Gauges offers a Marketing Attribution feature that automatically pulls in sales data and campaign spend data to help you analyze performance across channels.
It even allows you to remove duplicate tracking of touchpoints, which is essential when it comes to giving the right weight to the right source. Also, Gauges enables users to leverage multi-touch attribution models to accurately spread credit across sources, including organic, social channels, and ad platforms.
Mention is an all-purpose media monitoring solution that portrays negative and positive sentiments about your brand using sentiment analysis. It also gives you an in-depth analysis of your competitors and products compelling reports that can be shared with colleagues and clients quickly.
Mention’s main features – media and social media monitoring – allows you to listen carefully to the internet and social media world. Their capabilities include:
- Brand analytics: Use your media and social media data to learn more about what people say. This includes competitor monitoring, sentiment analysis, and more. Positive sentiments indicate the website is doing well.
- Tracking of mentions: Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter integrates lets users rely on and engage right from the Mention dashboard. Also, custom analytics and reports reveal what’s working, and delivers tailored market research.
- Influencer connections: Built-in scores for influencers reveal the most influential personalities, so you know who to contact.
- Collaboration: Mention is designed for teamwork. Users can share alerts with their colleagues, assign tasks, and work together to enhance success or mitigate damage. Also, teams can create detailed reports to keep tabs on their brand’s progress.
Another essential feature of Mention is Crisis Management. Pulse alerts from Mention tell you when your site’s name goes under the knife by alerting users instantly. Get notified so you can react to the bad or good news.
Furthermore, mobile apps keep users connected at times. That means they can quickly take action if a major crisis breaks out.
Mixpanel is an analytics platform that does things differently. It focuses on events, instead of page views, which is an interesting difference because a page view doesn’t tell a site owner much. The software works best for websites that sell services and/or products and is loaded with success measuring features.
Those who subscribe to Mixpanel get access to the following:
Engagement: Mixpanel lets you ask questions about your visitors and generates answers instantly. For instance, it can reveal which feature should you invest in to increase conversions. Also, users get to visualize their data in varying ways. Noisy results can be smoothed out to gain an understanding of what’s happening and whether your site is doing well.
Automatic Insights: Finding answers by yourself in terabytes of visitor data can be time-consuming. Instead, Mixpanel’s tools point users in the right direction and offer incredible trends and insights directly. The software combs through the data automatically to reveal anomalies and answers you might otherwise fail to see. Also, its algorithm out calculates the human brain, showing results from an analysis of more than seven trillion data points.
A/B Testing: A/B testing gives you the ability to measure the success of your site like a science lab experiment. Users can edit the marketing copy, change the color of a button, and more. Also, users can bring data to the table to make well-informed decisions. Mixpanel’s simple in-browser editor allows users to change any part of the UI: features can be removed, images can be uploaded, etc. Once done, you can quickly run experiments without needed to deploy code.
In addition to these features, Mixpanel lets you see the full journey of a visitor by unifying your behavioral data (generated by Mixpanel) with other systems like marketing automation, CRM, etc.
Then, users can analyze their data and act to enhance customer lifetime value and drive up client retention.
Woopra provides a way to see how your visitors’ behave across multiple touch points, including help desk, email, and live chat, across your website. The data is used by Woopra to develop detailed profiles for each user, continuously tracking web activity, syncing data from different sources, and automatically updating profiles in real time.
It best capabilities include:
Woopra lets users leverage their data to trigger automation for real-time engagement. You can use one of its many integrations via AppConnect to automate everything from drip campaign enrollment to updating a ticket request based on users’ behavior.
- Analytics reports
Reports reveal things like subscription growth, feature usage, full-funnel attribution, and more. Users can sync their data and watch the reports get infused with segmented layers. Promising results on the report means your site is performing well.
Also, users get the option to build custom live dashboards based on their company’s core KPIs. The app also delivers real-time data to the user’s desktop or mobile app when customers’ perform desired actions.
Moreover, users can drill down any report with a single click to understand the data behind charges and go from high-level insights into granular analysis with ease.
Overall, Woopra allows organizations to synchronize their customer information and monitor these activities on touch points. All the processes are carried out in real-time.
- Google Webmaster Tools (Available Through Search Console)
If you’re leveraging Google Analytics to measure success on your site, it’s a good idea to use Google Webmaster Tools (GWT). The former looks at people who’re coming to your website and what they’re opening. Google Webmaster Tools lets you see the setup of your site as Google does, pointing out its hierarchical structure. The difference is that Google Webmaster Tools helps you determine if your website is set up the right way strategically.
GWT can also provide information such as traffic trends based on articles, keyword insights, and even keyword ranking data. To get started with Google Webmaster Tools, verify that you’re the owner of your website. It’s a simple process and is quick if you’re currently using Google Analytics, or your site is hosted on an approved provider’s server such as GoDaddy’s.
With Google Webmaster Tools set up, you can look at:
- HTML Structure
In “Search Appearance” there’s an option for “HTML Improvements.” The report offers an overview of any issues with your title tags, header tags, and meta descriptions, as well as a record of any content that isn’t being indexed. If there are minimum issues and no duplications, it means your website is set up correctly and is ready for success from a technical viewpoint.
- Site Speed
Google Webmaster Tools also enables users to measure GoogleBot download time. This feature is excellent for tracking speed at page-level and receiving metrics from the horse’s mouth (the giant Google itself) directly. To measure speed, go to Crawl > Fetch as Google. Enter your URL and then choose Fetch. Google then displays the loading speed. Any result below 500 milliseconds means your site is performing well – as fast loading has a positive impact on user experience.
- Crawl Errors
This is the most useful metric in Webmaster Tools. Sometimes, a website owner might miss 404 pages, i.e. web pages that don’t exist. This leads to a loss of targeted traffic, as people who land on a 404 page will find nothing and probably press the back button on their browser. GWT reveals all the pages and posts that have the 404 error. Minimum to zero number of pages with a 404 error indicates a successful website setup.
Through its HTML, site speed, and crawl error metrics, GWT can give you the comprehensive data you need to measure the architecture of your site, which is vital to its success.
By measuring and understanding the right metrics, it becomes easier to identify what aspects of your website are performing better than others. Make sure you know how to analyze a metric. With the right website success determining tool, measuring success on your site becomes simple and straightforward.