You will probably have spent a lot of money on your website, but in order for it to fulfil its potential you must keep on top of it. Neglect it and it will almost certainly fall behind — without you noticing!
This may sound like a lot of hard work, but if you review your website performance regularly with your web company the results will almost certainly be beyond your wildest expectations. Just measuring something will usually increase it by 10%!
- 1. Set Objectives
Setting initial objectives for your website, means you´ll know if you´ve achieved what you originally set out to. Objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-limited). e.g. generate enquiries from the website which result in 10 sales per month of xyz product.
- 2. Review your website performance regularly
Think of it like a game of golf. This is how most companies review their website performance: Place the ball on the tee, hit it towards the hole (Objective), then what? Wait for two years and see how close you got, decide it was not near enough and place the ball on the tee again (scrap the original website) and give it an almighty whack. Wait two years … you get the picture?
It´s usually worse than this, most companies don´t even set objectives! Take timeout. All you need is one or two hours every 3-6 months. Keep on top of it - keep it on track. In golf terms this is like hitting the ball towards the hole, then walking over to where the ball landed and re-assessing how close to the hole you are, selecting the correct club and hitting again. Walk over to where the ball landed… you get the picture.
At every review, you should bear in mind the original objectives you set — this is what you want to achieve. If you hit your goals easily then set bigger and better objectives!
- 3. What to cover in your Website Performance Review
Website visitor stats: You should look at your website visitor stats, which keyphrases are bringing you traffic from the main search engines? Which pages are the most popular? Do you need to change the wording or search engine positioning if a page is not getting regular visits?
Search Engines: Are your keyphrases right? If you spent 10 minutes two years ago thinking what people might type into a search engine and never changed it then maybe not. Guesswork is not the best way to proceed. Consider carrying out some research and trying other methods: what are your competitors using? Use keyphrase suggestion tools. Ask your clients what they would type in, how they would find you?
Are you compatible with the Internet?: The Internet changes on a daily basis. You need to make sure your website works in ALL the current browsers, meet current build standard and is compliant with relevant legislation — e.g. the disability discrimination act (DDA).
Your changing business: If built correctly, your website is a flexible and adaptable marketing tool. Make sure all new products and services are added to your website as soon as possible. Any changes to team members or board of directors are made and news should be updated at least every month. You should have a Content Management System to help with this — preferably a fully customised one which has been designed for your business.
How much profit is your website contributing?: This is the biggie for most companies. You should measure how many leads come from your website. How many leads turn into business. How much profit is achieved from each piece of business from the website? Monthly figures are ideal.
- 4. The pay-off
So what should you expect? I would expect at least a minimum of 5% improvement per year, for neglected websites a 5% reduction per year.
We need to make some assumptions:
- Leads per month: 10
- Leads which convert to business per month: 5
- Each lead results in a profit of: £1000.00
- Total profit in the first month: £5000.00
With no review, total profit after 3 years: £167,474
With regular reviews, total profit after 3 years: £193,767
16% more profit for one or two hours every 6 months based on very conservative figures, we have achieved far greater improvements in far shorter timeframes — what will you achieve?
I hope you´ve taken time to scan through this article, and more importantly you´re able to utilise the technical knowhow and give your online marketing a boost!
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