Web Metrics Your Best Friend in Website Optimization

Robert Valcourt
Mar 14, 2012
Web Metrics Your Best Friend in Website Optimization

Website Optimization Series Part 3 - Using Web Metrics to Improve Your Layout, Content & Navigation

[Continued from Part 2: Optimizing for Search Engines]

You know how important a first impression is! In the Web it's no different. The first impression a user gets when visiting your home or landing page(s) can make all the difference. Users often leave Web pages in 10-20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people's attention for much longer. A great way to measure the performance of your pages is to use Web metrics. Specifically you will want to pay attention to the following:

  • Home or landing page abandonment rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Time on site

Conversion Rates - A Key to Calculating ROI

So what exactly is a conversation rate? It's the percentage of visitors that turn into a lead, sale or some other desired outcome. A retail site is frequently considered a success when its purchase conversion is in the high single digits, but for lead generation sites, numbers in the high teens are considered good. An average retail site is converting about 1 to 2 percent of visitors and an average lead generation site is doing 5 to 6 percent.

Measure, Then Optimize

If your measured results are below your expectations, it's time to take action. Look at the pages that are not performing well. Is it easy to find your products? Is it easy for users to find the means by which to contact you? Consider the following when making changes:

  • A user should not have to hunt for your products or services.
  • Make it easy for your customers to contact you. Display phone numbers or contact links prominently if appropriate.
  • You home or landing page(s) should display a clear call-to-action element up front and center.
  • Your content should read naturally and be clear and concise.
  • Keep your site navigation simple and visible. While drop-down menus, scrolling text and pinned ads for example may look appealing or serve a specific function, they can often confuse and annoy your users.
  • Your purchase or booking area must be secure and must strongly convince your users of this. It should also build a level of trust between you and your customers. Include messages ensuring customer information privacy or display links to your Privacy Statement.
  • Testimonials are often a valuable tool to build trust.

Now What? Continual Measurement & Improvement

Make your changes and run another campaign. Continue to measure and update your site as needed.

In Part 4 we'll have a look at Website performance optimizations.

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