10 Tips That Will Help You Evaluate Your Site’s Overall Performance
Websites are constantly evolving. If they didn’t, sites would look exactly like as they did in 1990. New technologies and designs emerge regularly and as the internet changes so should your site. Users are accustom to these changes and these start to become “industry standards” or “best practices”.
The more in-line with how the majority of sites are designed and function – the more receptive your site will be in the eyes of the visitor. Outside of performance – design and functionality of a site is crucial to a websites success. Once of course you’ve brought visitors there with your optimized content, social and/or media buys.
Here are the ten tips that will help you evaluate and improve your web site’s overall performance and success:
1. Bounce rate – Has your bounce rate increased over time? Are your pages ranking organically for the wrong terms? If you wrote a blog post about the benefits of coconut oil, but organic traffic to that page is about “coconut trees” then your SEO is off and it’s time to reevaluate how you write your content.
2. Conversion rate – Has your conversion rate dropped? It may be natural to see dips in conversions especially during the off seasons, Holidays and weekends. A steady slow decline in conversions however, is a sign you have a problem.
3. Social shares – Have you been active in social media? Are users sharing less of your content? Are you sharing your content yourself? Is your content as social friendly as it has been in the past? If sharing has dropped on your site you’ll have to dive into your analytics and figure out what has changed about your content and re-evaluate your content creation.
4. Traffic resources – Is your site getting less traffic from referring site? Is it due to lack of content? Is it lack of organic rankings? Maybe, lack of social sharing? Compare prior referring sites and see why you’re not receiving the traffic you use to from these resources.
5. Pageviews – has the number of page views dropped over time? Are you doing a good job of getting readers to view more pages?
6. New / Repeat visitors – Ideally, overtime new visitors and repeat traffic should grow. A steady decline can be a sign that you may need to ramp up your SEO.
7. Design – Is your site design in style with most sites? Just with anything that is affected by the “times” so are websites. If your site is out dated and not following the unspoken standard of website design, you could be hurting you bottom line. Check out your competitors and see what they do. Your visitors are mentally comparing your site to your competition. Who’s site would you buy from? Which site looks more creditable?
8. SEO – I could write a whole article on this topic alone. Basically, it comes down to a few key metrics. Has your rankings dropped? Were you hit by a penalty? Are your keywords still relevant? Search can be trend driven. One year you could be an Online Marketing Expert, but the next the trend may be Digital Marketing Expert. Evaluate the market place with trending toosl like Google trends and see if your major terms are still valid in the space.
9. Calls to action – Are you testing your messaging? Placement? Are their too many calls to action? What do you want a user to do when they come to your site? Too many distractions can cause confusion and users may do nothing or take an action that doesn’t result in a sale.
10. Conversion Goals – If you sell a product that requires some thought, research or a moderate investment you may want to users to complete an initial conversion, before a purchase. If you see that users are more likely to buy after the first 2- 3 purchases or after 15 days – you may want to capture users emails and market to them that way. An email address would be more valuable to you at that point.
Some of these cross over into others – for example; an out dated design can increase bounce rate – Calls to actions can contribute to conversions rates. The goal here is to test different metrics, once you’ve found where you site’s weakness is.
Any of these 10 items that show a downward trend could be a sign that you need to evaluate your marketing as well as your website. If you sit around waiting for your site to rebound it will never happen. Even of your site is healthy and sales are good, staying on top of the latest marketing channels and methods is a wise thing to do. Testing things while your site is doing well is better then trying to quickly breathe life into a failing site – as you’ll make bad decision that could make a bad situation worse.