by: Thomas Young
Many marketing professionals and business leaders do not track their web stats on a regular basis. If you are one of these people, you are missing out on very important trends to help track overall success for your company. Because your competitors do not watch their stats, this also means you can gain a competitive advantage by watching your web stats and taking action on what these stats communicate. Your website marketing efforts are important enough that the stats driven by your company’s website are KPIs measuring business success. Don’t be blind to this. Understand how increasing or decreasing website visits and other web stats impact your company and include that data as a key measurement tool for business success. These data points are the milestones to web marketing success.
Get Access to the Data
For most business leaders and marketing professionals, the first step is getting access to your website data and reports. Google Analytics is one of the best website statistics programs available. This program is more than adequate for most business websites. All websites should take advantage of this free service. If you haven’t done so already, set up Google Analytics. Ask someone on your team to send Google Analytics reports to you on a regular basis, weekly if possible. Also, schedule a monthly web marketing meeting to review these statistics in detail and ask questions.
The Most Important Web Stats
Here are the most important web stats to watch and review with your team:
- Total website visitors
- Number of web pages per visit
- Time on the website and the bounce rate
- Most popular website pages
- Entry pages and exit rates
- Traffic sources, referrers and search engine keywords
- Web goals: conversions and sales tracking
- Shopping cart abandonment rates
- Sales funnels and user paths
There are many more statistics available, but these are a starting point and the most important for monitoring strategic results and KPIs. The data reported in your web stats should be matched against other KPIs in the business. From this comparison, important KPI trends will emerge. One of the most common trends will be the relationship between website visitors and gross revenues. Another trend to review is website engagement and its impact on conversion rates, which also drives gross sales.
As you begin to monitor these stats you will see many comparisons with business KPIs and you can begin to ask questions on how the trends impact each other. The process will also help you find the unique web stats for your business that become KPIs.
Website Stats and Online Conversion Strategies
The most important website key performance indicator is an online conversion. Measuring conversions and how they happen is the key to your web marketing strategy. There are many ways a website visitor can become a customer and many of these paths start with an interaction on your website. All of this data is available in your web stats reports. Determine those conversion points and track them. These are obvious KPIs that have a direct impact on revenue. Here are a few examples of web marketing conversions to track:
- Phone calls or e-mails
- Website submission forms
- E-mail signups
- Blog postings
- Social media following and likes
- Online sales
- Content downloads
- Driving to your store or location
Monthly Web Marketing Meetings
The best place to review website stats, conversions and KPIs are in regularly scheduled web marketing meetings. These meetings become the core of web strategy implementation as they drive the action plans, build accountability and set project completion dates. Here is a typical agenda for a web marketing meeting:
- Web marketing goals and sales targets
- Review of web stats and data
- Website design and development updates
- Traffic generation strategies
- Website content updates
- Social media updates
- E-mail marketing
- Monthly website marketing action plan
Web marketing meetings are reviewed in more detail in upcoming chapters. These meetings are the engines that drive solid KPIs and web marketing ROI.
Extend Website KPIs into the Sales Team Process
Website data and conversions should be tracked as they flow into your sales process and those sales leads begin discussions with your sales team. Make sure your sales team is responding to web inquiries, and track their conversion rate with these leads. This will determine your ROI on web marketing efforts. The better your sales team can convert a web lead, the better the ROI from web marketing. This can all be tracked.
Web stats are the measurement of the effectiveness of your web marketing strategy. Those stats drive website and business KPIs. They are easily ignored, and it is important that you make an effort to review them on a regular basis. Otherwise, it can lead to poor marketing results without your knowledge or awareness. Website users enjoy their anonymity, but they do leave a trail behind for you to see in your web stats. Tracking that data and working to improve it provide direction for a winning online marketing strategy.
- Set company web marketing targets based on web stats.
- Set up Google Analytics for your website and learn how to read Google Analytics reports.
- Develop a list of the top website marketing KPIs to track.
- Integrate website KPIs into your overall company KPI reports.
- Schedule web marketing meetings and have your team come prepared.
Thomas Young is the CEO and founder of Intuitive Websites. He is an author, speaker and digital marketing consultant. Order Tom’s book “Winning the Website War” to get more digital marketing insights.