How Do I Measure My Websites Performance

By Christina

Aug 30, 2017

You've got a website, you've done some SEO, but you are no clearer whether your website is working for your business. 

To know how well your website is doing you need to set some realistic goals first.  The best place to start is to decide if you are trying to increase awareness with your target audience, or trying to get your target audience to take some sort of action when they visit your website.

Once you know what you are looking for, then decide how much change you want.  That could be a number or a percentage, say 10 more people viewing a page per day, or 10% increase in sales per day. 

Then the time element comes in.  How long do you expect it to take you to get that extra 10 people viewing your page, or 10% increase in sales a week.

The metrics you use should flow from the behaviour you are trying to affect, this is the only way to understand how successful your campaign has been.  If you want to know whether you are raising awareness of your brand, then measure impressions, page views or reach.  If you're driving consumers to your website then clicks and visitor numbers would be appropriate.

It is critical that you know what consumer behaviour you wish to change, how much you want to change them, and how long it is going to take.  Without this grounding, you will not understand how your website is performing.

  • To work out if you are raising awareness you can measure impressions and page views, and in social media you can measure reach.
  • To work out if you are driving consumers to your website you'll want to measure number of clicks and visitors.

All four of these metrics can be found in Google Analytics and Google Console.  Google Adwords provides you with the same information for your advert.

Raising Awareness - Page views versus Impressions

Page views and Impressions are calculations that help you to track visitor behaviour on your website.  By keeping track of page views and impressions, you can identify weak areas in your page design and content and make changes to create a more affective website.

Page Views

They measure the number of people who view each page.

So How Does Page View Help You

If your page view number is low, visitors may be confused by the design, layout of content or what your content is telling them. 

This means you can make some adjustments, usually one thing at a time, to see if your numbers increase.  If numbers increase you have gained a bit of knowledge about what consumers expect from your website.  Keep making small changes until you know you have reached your limit.  Amazon are a good example of a website that evolves slowly to give their customers what they want, but also making those customers follow Amazon's goal which is to buy stuff, lots of stuff... 

Impressions

Impressions refer to the number of times a visitor has seen your website listed in search engine results.

So How Does Impressions Help You

If impressions are high the search engine understands your page is relevant to the search that has been made.  But, if the click rate is low the consumer feels the information you have supplied about your web page (title and description tags) are not relevant to them.  A consumer searching for web design hasn't made their intentions clear to the search engine, they may be shown companies who sell web designs, but the person actually wants web design ideas or wants to learn to build a website.  If your title tag says Web Design Company, you won't get clicked.  If it says Web Design Examples or Learn How To Create Websites then these would get clicked.  This is where landing pages and blogs come in handy, you can reach your target audience with specific pages, so a company providing all the above services in bold would have individual pages for all three options above. 

So, not only does Google have to understand what your web page is about, you have to also write something that will catch the consumers attention to first bring them into your website.  That bit of information needs to match their intentions, and this is where you may have to create a number of pages on your website to capture each consumer at different stages in their buying process.

Note: In Google Console you can see the keywords you appear for in the search engines, if those keywords do not match your business then Google does not understand what your website is about - you'll need to improve your content.


What's the Importance of Both

Both page views and impressions give a sense of your website's success. 

A low page view count can indicate a problem, such as a poor website design, a need for calls to action, confusing content, or poor search engine optimisation.

A low impressions count can indicate Google does not understand what your page is about, or no one is looking for what you're selling - shudder.

Both metrics can help you to measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign or promotion, that is designed to bring consumers to a certain page on your website.  An increase in page views after the campaign launch can indicate that consumers have seen your marketing material.

Driving Visitors - Number of Clicks / Visitors

Monitoring your visitor numbers or number of clicks shows you how affectively you are driving people to your website.  A steady increase month on month or year on year is great, you're doing fine. 

You can either look at the entire number of visitors to your site or you can break it down, between visitors from organic search, paid advertising, referring websites and from social media.

This helps you to understand which avenues you are using most successfully.  It can also give you a good idea of where your potential customers like to hang out before they visit your website, and which content or marketing material helped to drive them to your website.

If however, your numbers are really low and not increasing, the message you are sending out isn't appealing enough to get visitors to click on a link back to your website.

All of the above metrics help you to understand how your website is performing at a top level, if you are not seeing increases then you need to make changes, when you see your numbers increase after a particular change then you know that type of update works, so do more of that.

Once the customer starts buying you can then work out how many impressions you need, to create enough clicks, that will then turn into paying customers.  Then you'll understand the level of work you will need to invest in your website to maintain or improve sales further. 

These two metrics are a great place to start, there are many other metrics that can be measured as you become familiar with your figures. 

We hope you enjoyed this article and we plan to write a few more covering other ways of finding out how your website is performing.

Other articles you may find interesting:
7 steps to managing and improving your business on line

DRA Digital help businesses of all sizes attract new customers, with strategically designed and managed websites.

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