How to measure your web site and landing pages
Marketing analytics encompasses a broad range of measurements. Each of your marketing channels present tactics that can and should be measured regularly. These channels include your website and landing pages; social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter; lead nurturing and marketing automation; search engine optimization; paid search and blogging/content creation.
For today, let's just concentrate on your website and landing pages. This is the logical starting point because your website is at the epicenter of all your marketing efforts. Every online campaign you run, every email campaign and every piece of content you create should drive traffic to your website and landing pages. Your landing pages give you the chance to convert site visitors into marketing-qualified leads and customers.
So what exactly do you measure and how do you get the data? The second part of that question is easiest to answer: you get your insights from a web analytics program, such as Google analytics, which is free, or from a paid platform like HubSpot, which features sophisticated closed-loop marketing analytics. Let's review the eight main ingredients of web analytics.
1. Unique visitors. By definition this means the number of individual visitors that come to your site during a specific time period, not counting duplicate visits by the same person. This measurement will tell you if your marketing campaigns and content creation are paying off. You want to see steady growth in this area. If the number of unique visitors isn't growing, you need to take a fresh look at your marketing efforts.
2. New vs. Repeat Visitors. If you have a lot of repeat visitors, your site is said to be "sticky." In other words, your visitors are finding lots of valuable content that compels them to return again and again. A good benchmark to shoot for is 15 percent. If you get less than that, you might not be offering enough content. If your repeat visitor rate gets too high – let's say above 30 percent – it means that you're not growing your audience enough to generate new business. I have found that most entrepreneurs, especially new business startups, just don't have enough meat on the bones when it comes to their website. The challenge is to create lots of remarkable content quickly. An inbound marketing agency can help you with this.
3. Traffic Sources. Usually this breaks down the sources by which visitors come to your website: direct, organic or referral. Direct traffic comes from people who have typed your URL into their browser, got to your site through a bookmark, or clicked on an untagged link from an email or document you created. Organic traffic comes from a link found on a search engine results page. Referral traffic comes from a link that a visitor clicks on another website.
Traffic source statistics are a good indicator of how well your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts are performing. You want to see your organic traffic growing until it hits around 40 to 50 percent of total traffic. You can also assess your link-building efforts by measuring your referral traffic. Try to have referrals deliver 20 t0 30 percent of your traffic.
4. Referring URLs. These refer to links that are not search engines that send traffic to your site. A growing number of referring URLs means that you're producing content that bloggers and other sites value and are willing to share with their audiences. This is also tied to your SEO strategy. Try to produce more of the type of content that is likely to generate inbound links.
5. Most and Least Popular Pages. This information is valuable because it helps you understand what content visitors find most interesting. More importantly, however, popular pages are good starting points for your database building efforts. For example, offer a registration form for a content download on those pages.
6. Indexed Pages. This measurement tells you the number of pages on your site that have received a visitor from organic search. This metric will also indicate which landing pages receive the highest percentage of visits.
7. Landing page conversion rate. This is the percentage of visitors to your site who take a desired action, such as buying a product or filling out a form. If your landing pages aren't producing leads, you should replace them with a fresh approach. You can track conversion rates as visitors move through your sales funnel. For example, you can measure the percentage of visitors who become leads, the percentage of leads who become customers, or the percentage of visitors who become customers.
8. Bounce Rate. This is the percentage of new visitors who come to your site but then immediately leave without any other interaction. A high bounce rate means your content is lousy. It could also mean your site has poor or confusing navigation or no clear calls-to-action. Bounce rates vary from industry to industry, so there is no clear level of unacceptability. Rather, you should watch your bounce rate to make sure it's either going down or remaining steady.
Use these eight measurements on a regular basis to fine tune your marketing. Watch what happens as you add new content and launch new campaigns. Over time, you will learn to make your decision based on real data and not on theory or hunches.
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