In this era of digital transformation, e-commerce is one of the most preferred ways to make a purchase, a trend that will likely continue in the aftermath of COVID-19. With the convenience, ease, and security of this contactless shopping, 25 percent of sales are projected to be online by 2025, MarketWatch estimates.
Given the ubiquity of this medium, it’s crucial that your business has an active website presence to generate traffic and convert leads into customers. To achieve these goals, you also need to measure how the website performs in real-time. But while anyone can track a generic number of monthly visitors or transactions, a more effective approach is to monitor the growth metrics for your specific business objectives.
The right data yields an accurate, inclusive, and targeted picture of how your website is doing, and the action steps below can help you track this growth.
Know which Measurement Tools and Software to Invest In.
There are all kinds of software programs available to measure your website’s performance—so many that it can be a challenge to determine which are most useful and worth the investment. For comprehensive insights on all features of your website, from the SEO optimization to content shares and click-throughs to sales funnel interactions, start with Google Analytics. Then, once you narrow down the particular objectives of your business, research the tools you’ll need to track those more detailed metrics. For instance, software like Qualaroo monitors conversion rates, user feedback, lead generation, and calls to action, while User Zoom evaluates the customer experience and website usability. You don’t have to amass all the tools, just find what serves your endgame.
Monitor Conversions that Show Your Company’s Actual ROI.
Now that you know which measurement tools you need, it’s time to focus on what metrics hold the most value for your website. Just because a certain data point is accessible to you doesn’t always mean it’s relevant to track, so first turn your attention to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which distill the entire breadth of analytics into a large-scale barometer of your website’s overall success—and which areas need an adjustment. You can also break KPIs down into website segments such as page views, email subscribers, social media or content shares, online purchases, and other conversion points. KPI illuminates where the most ROI comes from because this data offers a “general idea of how effective your site is at converting traffic into meaningful action,” adds Crazy Egg.
Aim for Qualified Leads that Align Most with Your Business.
Not all website traffic is equal—you can attract high numbers, but they might not meet your demographic criteria. So prioritize the quality of website viewers, not just the quantity. It’s most lucrative and efficient to track leads with sizeable budgets who fall into specific categories or industries and show potential to buy. These will either be marketing qualified leads (MQL) or sales qualified leads (SQL). “The primary difference between an MQL and SQL is that an MQL is a visitor who is aware of their problem, while SQL is a lead who knows that your product might be the solution to their problem,” Marketo elaborates. Monitoring qualified leads ensures that you don’t waste time on other traffic and maximize your resources on converting MQLs to SQLs.
Find the Right Balance of New and Repeat Website Visitors.
Of course, you want to reach untapped audiences, but according to Fundera, 65 percent of sales are from existing customers. This balance of new versus returning website visitors depends on what your website offers. In a similar vein, “If there is a healthy percentage of new visitors who come to your page and take action by purchasing a product or service—or in the case of SERVPRO, by contacting our Customer Care Center to schedule an appointment—that is a positive step for any business,” says Mike Stahl, CMO of SERVPRO. “Likewise, returning visitors could be more engaged with your website and the content or information on it — which is the reason they come back. This is why it’s important to have information available that encouraged return visits and ideally, return business,” he adds.
Website objectives are unique to each individual business, but they can still be measured to detect areas of improvement and ultimately promote consistent, sustainable growth. E-commerce is the way forward, so tracking your online metrics will ensure you are headed in the right direction as a company.