How do you know your website is working?

This is one of the most common questions we are asked. To be clear this is not usually in the context of whether or not the site is down, but more a matter of, is it being found as well as it should be and is it making the most of the visitors it does get. We would argue though that the number of people asking this question are very tip of a much bigger iceberg/ number who are “blissfully ignorant” of how their website is performing.

In this digital age that we now live in, there is really no excuse for not knowing how well your website is performing – although that being said one of the most common failings in this area are down to human beings. So what are our top 10 ways of checking that your website is working.

1. Ask your enquirers/potential customers.
A surprisingly number of businesses don’t ask this question or if they do, they don’t log and track the answer to it. Without this information you are falling at the first hurdle of tracking where your new business comes from. Our preference would be that you log what people say and that if the answer is “found your website”, then ask how they found your website.

2. Track how these enquiries progress
Knowing what the conversion rate of enquiries is from different sources and where applicable the average order value is key. The holy grail where you are spending money on driving traffic to your website is to know the £’s worth of order per £1 of marketing spend. This way you can compare different forms of marketing which might have very different costs.

3. Re-inforce your manual tracking through Google analytics.
It is possible to set up goals in Google Analytics for telephone calls, emails and form submissions. What this then means is that you can determine how many of these you have had and what drove them. Have you ever wondered for example whether visitors to your website are from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin convert better. Bear in mind though that only calls via mobiles will be tracked (or Skype) but that also a call is tracked by counting the number of times the message – call 01242 xxxxxx is triggered and not all these will go onto call.

4. Determine the extent of the correlation between website traffic and sales.
It is usually a case of how much of a correlation there is between movements in website traffic and sales volumes rather than a case of whether one exists. Showing sales volumes over website traffic on a graph over the same period will show this.

5. Look at Google Analytics to see what it tells you
How is website traffic performing compared with the same period last year? Is your traffic up or down and where is it coming from and how does it differ. What is the bounce rate for your site (where people arrive on one page and leave straight away)?

6. Do you know how many people are looking at your business before they make contact or visit your website?
This might sound impossible to some or it might sound like you need a crystal ball. Whereas the answer is in fact your Google My Business listing that appears top right when you search on Google for yourselves, and is the red blob on a map when people search for your type of business. Once you have claimed your business you have access to rich insights and a number of marketing tools i.e. posts, adding photo, responding to reviews or messages. Top tip – Increase the visibility of your Google My Business page and you will drive more traffic to your website or people to make contact with you.

7. Check the health of your website in the eyes of Google and Chrome?
If your website is not considered to be secure in the eyes of Chrome and Google your site ranking will suffer and you will be losing visitors. Also check whether Google thinks your site is fully mobile friendly.

8. Consider monitoring / viewing what your traffic is doing
Google Analytics has an element of live traffic that if you get sufficient volumes of web visitors will give some insight into the behaviour of your traffic. The behavioural view on analytics will also tell you where people arrived and where they went. Products such as Hotjar (other products are available) allow you to view live on screen how visitors act – great for example if you have a lot of people visiting a form but then abandon it.

9. Consider getting somebody to review your website from a user experience perspective
Whilst not statistically significant this can give valuable insight into how others view your site, particularly if they also look at some of your competitors sites. Or you could conduct a survey of your website visitors to gain their views.

10. Get an external view from a Marketing Consultant
A fresh pair of eyes can give a more balanced perspective – but then we would say that wouldn’t we? Why not get in touch to get us to have a look at your site for you.