With websites acting as the front door for most businesses, the health of a website is key in helping potential and existing customers find what they are looking for and take their next step; whether that be to make a purchase, book a demo or schedule a meeting.
By tracking the correct pointers on your website, you’ll confidently know what is – and what isn’t – working, as well as what could be improved, shining a light on how to optimise your customer journey.
In this article we explain how to analyse your website, spot where it is “leaking” and understand how to fix those leaks, instantly improving the health of your website with the long-term goal of increasing website lead conversion rates.
Let’s dive right in.
1. Measure: Average session duration
Why? Because a strong content strategy means you are engaging and educating your leads – they’re building trust with you.
Customers buy from brands that they trust. In online marketing that trust is built through well-written content that provides a solution to a problem. Written words can establish a relationship between your brand and the reader of ‘you understand me’.
A winning content strategy requires articles that tap into the thoughts of web visitors along their journey to – ideally – becoming a customer. From answering key questions that they may have about your product or service, to deepening the understanding of a knowledge topic that you share, content is the way to build this relationship.
So how do you measure this? Simply put, through tracking the engagement a reader shows with your words. If your content is entertaining and informative and people spend time reading it, your authority on that subject matter deepens. Always remember that you are trying to establish or heighten the trust between your brand and the reader.
There are some other ways to engage your audience when reading your content:
- Visuals – content is king, but visually appealing is vital too. Content with more visuals on average receives 94% more engagement
- Navigation – Easy navigation to supplementary content through CTAs, breadcrumbs and a well-thought-through menu
- Next steps – manoeuvre those that did engage well towards the next desired step. Pop-ups can work well when created effectively, or live chat can enable proactive engagement with a potential customer, encouraging the next action to be taken.
2. Measure: Bounce rate
Why? Because a high bounce rate means people aren’t staying on your site, they aren’t finding a solution to their question that leads them further along the funnel
Bounce rate is the measurement of how many people visited your website and then navigated away after only viewing one page and not taking an action – meaning closing their browser or moving to another website, rather than continuing their journey on your website.
If you have a high bounce rate (higher than 70% for blog content, more than 56% for key pages), then consider the reasons why.
- Did they find the information they were searching for?
- Were they able to navigate further?
- Does your formatting support readability?
Straight to conversion may be unlikely on a first visit, but a healthy website means your visitors spend time on your site reading the content and navigating through multiple pages. If the bounce rate is high then the website is not currently serving them. In all likelihood, they had questions and your content did not help them. How can you fix this?
- Clear messaging – show the offer, cleanly and clearly. A well-designed, user-friendly web page gives a clear idea of what people are, or aren’t, interested in from you.
- Internal linking – pre-empt what your reader most likely needs next. Provide clear steps on your website to find out that information, too
- Assistance – if this page didn’t answer their question, which alternative pages do? Chat services enable your visitor to ask any question they may have, making directing to other pages much easier.
3. Measure: Exit rate
Why? See the pages that interest your customers most – then amplify them!
Your exit rate can show you where in the customer journey most of your web traffic is disappearing. These pages will be a strong indicator of what currently isn’t performing for you, enabling you to, again, analyse why. On these pages, consider what customers on this page are looking for answers to. Is that being answered by your content? How can you answer that question better?
- Content – have you written something compelling, entertaining and informative? You may just need a critical eye going over what is currently published
- Hooks – be this clear CTAs or enticing copy, make the next step simple. If it is not incredibly easy for your reader to do so, don’t expect any action to be taken
- Next steps – arranging a callback or continuing to purchase, is this where the journey ends? A chat service here can find this out on your behalf
4. Measure: Site speed
Why? Because we live in an instant world and no one waits ten seconds for your site to load.
The speed of a site can be affected by a range of things. This could be because of large files, bulky code, too many plugins, unoptimised CSS and so on. Luckily testing your site speed can be done very quickly using Google’s page speed test tool. Simply add your website domain and click “analyse” to see the results for your website on both desktop and mobile devices. This will also pinpoint where any site speed issues are coming from so you can address these.
5. Evaluate: Mobile friendliness
Why? Because over 90% of internet users around the world access the web on a mobile device.
Mobile-friendliness is more important than ever before. Luckily these days website platforms, themes and developers make it easy to create a mobile-friendly website. But it’s still good to test how well your site is performing on mobile. Again, Google provides a very easy-to-use mobile-friendly tool to test this. Once you understand how well your website works within a mobile view you can further optimise this for your mobile traffic.
If you are using forms or live chat to capture enquiries, it’s important to test how these work on a mobile device.
The measurement and analysis of your website health requires consistent tracking of various areas of your customer journey; from content to customer insights to design. With simple, yet calculated reviews of your website, you’ll quickly know where to focus your marketing efforts – copywriting, UX or design. These numbers may not mean much when you start but over time you’ll build up awareness and understanding of your customer journey, unlocking the essential clues as to how you can improve and increase return on your investment.