Tracking your website’s visitor behavior with web analytics (such as Google Analytics, which is FREE) is the first and most critical step towards understanding how your visitors are interacting with your web pages. Without this data, you’ll never be able to understand who is visiting your business website, where they are coming from, what pages they are visiting, and at what rate they are converting into a lead or a sale.
How to Track Your Visitors
First, you need to install web analytics on your website. Here’s How to Install Google Analytics on Your Website.
Understanding Conversion Rates
A well designed small business website or web page has a clear purpose. Normally, that purpose is to create a lead (by phone call or contact form) or a sale. When your website creates a lead or a sale, a “conversion” has occurred. This means that somebody came to your website and was convinced enough to move forward with your business on some level.
Therefore, your website can be objectively evaluated by how well it generates conversions. If 100 people visit your website this month, and only 1 converts, you have a 1% conversion rate. Your goal then is to find ways to improve that conversion rate (which is an entirely separate topic).
While a conversion can be a lead or a sale, you have to figure out how to track that action on your website. Most of the time, this isn’t a perfect science. For example, if someone visits your website and decides to pick up the phone and call you, there is no way that web analytics will be able to track that this is actually a conversion. So it’s important to understand that your web analytics will NEVER be perfect, and frankly nor are they intended to be. Instead, they are intended to give you some baseline data about the trends that are happening on your website. With this data, you’ll be able to make changes to your website and instantly see if they result in an improvement in your conversion rates. Obviously, if your conversion rates go up, you did something right (you’ll probably notice your phone is ringing a bit more, too!).
How to Track Your Conversion Rates
You can’t improve your conversion rates if you are oblivious to what they are in the first place. So, you first need to start tracking conversions. Here’s how to you’re going to do that:
Step 1: Define What a Conversion Is for You - If you define a conversion as a lead (i.e. when someone contacts you), then you should consider it a conversion when someone visits your “Contact Us” page. Ultimately, your website should be enticing visitors to contact you about your products or services. So - when an increasing amount of visitors are reaching your contact page (whether they actually fill out the contact form or not), it means that your website is doing its job. For example, let’s say that out of 100 people that visit your website in a given month, your analytics is showing that only 10 reached your contact page. So you decided to add a few pictures to your home page, and adjusted the messaging a little bit. Then, next month, you see that 30 people out of 100 visited the contact page. This means you just tripled your conversion rate! So as you can see, while this isn’t a perfect science, tracking conversion rates will allow you to improve your business.
Step 2: Set up the Conversion within Google Analytics - Google Analytics allows you to setup a conversion event (they call it a “goal”) so that you can track it over any period of time. Here’s where and how to do it (follow steps 1, 2 & 3 below):
Next, you’ll create the goal. Follow the steps in the screenshot below:
Lastly, click SAVE. Congratulations, you now have a conversion rate to track! This means that every time somebody reaches the URL you entered, a “conversion” will be accounted for.
Step 3 - After a day or so, you can generate reports to start checking on the conversion rates. Here’s how:
A Final Word
Now that you are successfully tracking conversion rates, your next task is to optimize your website to generate higher conversion rates and maximize the ROI (Return on Investment) of your marketing endeavors. You’ll want to play around with your headlines, text, offers, discounts, photos, and graphics (we highly recommend that you learn How to Setup & Use Landing Pages to help optimize your pages). Try all sorts of different variations, and track the performance of each one. Keep a good record of the dates that you ran these tests. Then, you’ll be able to compare conversion rates for each of them.
Ultimately, after enough trial and error, you’ll be able to determine what the best performing marketing messages are for marketing your specific products or services to your target audience. You will have maximized your ROI. Having this information is extremely powerful, because you can and should use the exact same messaging on all other advertising that you do (print, radio, TV, brochures, etc.). Doing so will maximize the ROI of all your marketing expenses - not just those you do on the web. How can it get any better than that??
Seeing how powerful and valuable this intel can be for your business, we hope this article encourages you to install Google Analytics, start tracking conversions, and start optimizing your website today. Login to your IconoSites website builder account and get started!