You’ve made the effort, and the financial investment, and put up what you think should be a top-notch website to market your business. And like all business owners, you’re concerned about your ROI: return on investment. And if you’ve spent some time researching and discussing business websites, you’re hearing a lot of talk about analytics.
But we need to be clear in this discussion. When we hear the term “analytics”, what comes to mind are the type of metrics that have long been associated with websites: the amount of traffic, where the visitors come from, what browser they’re using, and so on. These analytics relate to how your website is functioning, technically speaking, and don’t have all that much bearing on the all-important ROI. If you’re using a website to drum up business, you need to be concerned with what would be more appropriately called marketing analytics.
Fortunately, modern marketing tools enable you to track the appropriate analytics, and this is one of the advantages to an online marketing system. Let’s look at some of the marketing analytics that will give you an idea of how your website is performing, from a business and financial point of view, not just its technical performance.
Here’s where there’s overlap between marketing analytics and website analytics, and with good reason. It all starts with a visit to your site, and it’s important to know how many people land there every month. Specifically, you want to track how many unique visitors reach the site, as opposed to the total number of hits, for example. Each unique visitor is, well, a new visitor to your website, just like a brand new customer walking into your store for the first time.
When we talk about inbound marketing, we’re always mentioning keywords. These are terms that people search for, which will hopefully drive them to your website. Watching the ranking of the keywords you use is an integral part of this. By keyword ranking, we’re referring to the priority your content gets in search engine results. Since this translates to higher likelihood that people will get and follow a link to your site when they do a web search, it’s a crucial marketing analytic to watch.
Leads / Conversion Rate
It’s almost impossible to talk about marketing analytics, or about marketing at all, without mentioning leads. They’re your potential buyers, and making a sale is why you’re doing all this, right? Conversion rates refer of course to how many of those leads actually become buyers. Don’t be surprised if that number is lower than you may have hoped. The average conversion rate is somewhere in the vicinity of 2%. You’ll want to track that over time for large scale trends, and needless to say, you’ll want to keep the number of leads high since so few of them actually convert.
In web or marketing analytics, referrals means the source of the traffic to your website. In other words, we want to know where the visitor saw the link that they clicked on to get there. Knowing how many came from a search engine gives you some indication of the effectiveness of your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Seeing how many came from Facebook or Twitter, for example, gives you a clue as to how your social media efforts are working.