How do you know that your business is growing and that everything is working as it should? To answer this question, you need to have a set of metrics that give you a clear picture of what’s going on in your business.
Likewise, your website, the digital representation of your business, and the means through which people find you and connect with you, also needs to have metrics in place to know how it’s doing. In this post, we’ll break down the key measures that will tell you if your website is functioning optimally.
How to measure your small business website performance
With the help of these metrics, you’ll be able to detect areas that need improvement. You can scale up what’s working well and can fix critical problems.
1. Site speed
According to a marketing report by Akamai, 40% of users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. I know I’ve quit many websites in frustration when it doesn’t load its content almost immediately when I open the page.
This particular metric is critical to fix; because it’s only when people stay on your website that you have the chance to convert them into paying customers. Here are some ways to boost your site speed:
- Regularly run your website through a speed testing tool or platform. You can add a plugin to your site to automatically check the speed performance for greater convenience.
- Use a caching plugin so that a cached version of your site appears to previous visitors instead of having your entire site load every time they visit it.
- Use an image compression tool to reduce image sizes
- Don’t upload images to your website directly. Use a third-party tool and embed the URL
- Use a top-notch hosting provider
- Add WordPress themes that are lightweight over one that has too many features
Keep in mind that site speed is just one core web vital that search engines like Google reference and review to determine site health. Additional user experience web vitals will be added to search in the coming months, and by focusing on site speed you can prepare to be on top of these new factors.
2. SEO performance
Search engine optimization increases the chances that people will find your website when they use keywords that are relevant to your business.
Without SEO strategies in place, your website can get lost amongst the millions of other websites that are trying to catch people’s attention. Here are ways you can track how optimized your site is for search engine crawling and for appearing as a result of relevant searches.
Do keyword research. Using an SEO plugin or platform, do an analysis of your website to understand what keywords it’s ranking for. This will tell you if you need to optimize your content
Check the quality of your backlinks. It’s important that spammy and problematic websites don’t link to your pages. If you find such pages, you can contact the site owner and ask them to remove your links or you can ‘disavow’ links so that search engine crawlers discount them when crawling your website
Check if your website is mobile-responsive. Google has stated that it will index the mobile versions of a website first and then the desktop version. Also, 51% of all internet traffic comes through mobile and tablet devices. It’s clear that your mobile site is the most important platform for you.
Along with these metrics, your site’s loading speed also impacts your SEO performance. By tracking your SEO performance for your site, you’ll impact how well your business succeeds.
3. Audience information
Information about who is visiting your website, where they are from, how they get to your site, and what they do there can be very revealing. To get this type of information, you need to use an analytics tool.
Google Analytics is a free and popular tool that any business can connect to. It’s powerful and will give you insights into the traffic your website gets. It can be complicated to use which is why someone without much technical expertise would do well to use an analytics plugin that automatically creates reports that you can use.
Let’s look at the type of metrics you should monitor with an analytics tool:
- Track the number of visits you get on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis or for a longer period of time
- Where are your visitors from? Are they local or from around the globe?
- How many of them are unique visitors and how many are returning ones
- Study the demographics of your site visitors. What’s their age group, gender, and their location?
- What keywords are people using to get to your web pages?
These metrics can help you assess how your site is doing and they can tell you what to work on.
With such information, you can create more personalized content for your audience. You can come up with better topics for your content and you’ll know which channels you should focus on.
4. Traffic sources
Your analytics tools can also tell you where your visitors are coming from. Understanding the source of your traffic can help you focus on the right channels and discard ones that aren’t working. Here are the different sources of traffic you should monitor:
- Organic traffic: This is traffic that comes from when people use relevant keywords to find your site
- Direct traffic: This type of traffic is where people type in your URL to go to your website
- Referral sources: These are other websites that link to your content
- Email marketing: Traffic that comes from email marketing campaigns
- Social media: What percentage of your visitors are coming from Facebook, Instagram, and other networks
- Paid marketing: This is the traffic that comes via PPC (paid per click) ads and other types of ads
When you know where your traffic is coming from and which channels are giving you the most number of visitors, you can shift your resources and efforts in the right direction.
For example, when you know that your paid ads are losing more money than they’re making, then you can find alternative ways to drive traffic. Likewise, if there are referral sites and affiliates doing a great job of promoting your website, then you should help them out some more.
5. Conversion rates
Another way to understand if your website design and content are effective is to track different conversion rates on your site.
Conversions refer to specific actions that users take. Using analytics and back-end reports, you can find out what percentage of people do the following:
- Drop their email in your opt-in popup form to sign up for your newsletter
- Download content upgrades, ebooks, and other types of downloadable content
- Click on a promotional offer, link, giveaway promotion, or call-to-action buttons
- Fill in forms completely and hit the submit button
Knowing what converts on your site and what doesn’t will tell you where you need to make changes. You can scale up offers that seem to be popular or change the content on your opt-in popup forms to create more subscriptions.
The most important type of conversion rate you can track is your sales conversions. Your business needs to make money to survive and grow. And knowing the rate at which people are buying is like keeping a finger on the pulse of your company.
Track what matters for your business
We’ve just covered the most critical KPIs that you should monitor to know how well your website is performing. This kind of data tracking and analysis can be difficult to carry out. But it’s critical that you do it anyway.
When you know what’s happening in your business, you won’t make uninformed decisions. The insights you gain can transform your abilities as a leader and make all the difference in how well your business does.