Growing your business
How To Measure Your Online And Website Performance
Most businesses these days will be well aware that in order to survive - and succeed - they need to maintain a positive online presence. Without it, they could be missing out huge opportunities; with research finding that around two million small and medium sized businesses in the UK are missing out on nearly £174,000 each year with a combined total of £343 billion due to a lack of online presence.
Whether it’s making sure you optimise your website performance, getting your social media channels up and running, experimenting with online advertising or getting your email marketing right, there’s a lot of effort that goes into creating, managing and maintaining your online reputation.
But the big question is, how do you know if it’s working? The simple answer to this is measurement.
According to our recent survey on the online presence of small businesses, the second most popular aspect of digital that business owners wanted to know was how to measure their online performance. As a business owner, it’s crucial that you’re able to see what’s working, what could be done better and how your customers are interacting with your business and perceiving it.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you get started with measuring your online presence:
Set Up Your Tools
Having the right tools in place will make it much easier for you to track and measure your online presence.
To measure your website performance, Google Analytics should cover all of your website metrics as you can use it to set up customised dashboards and see how your content is performing.
There are also tools such as Handle which allow you to monitor and manage your online presence - and credit and finance information - all in one place. This tool gives you visibility across all of your channels in one handy dashboard, whilst identifying and providing recommendations for improvement too. Although typically charged at £99 per year, Handle is offered to all Liberis customers entirely free of charge.
When it comes to social activity, Sprout Social and other social media tracking tools can help you to measure all of your social interactions as well as uncovering exactly what users are saying about your company. Using this data can then help you to make sure you’re reaching the right people and posting the right content.
Define your Metrics
While considering what tools to use, you’ll need to work out what metrics you want to measure too. Starting with your your website performance, one of the first things you can look at is your audience size and whether it’s increasing or not. You can then consider metrics such as how many website visits you’re getting before drilling down into individual page views. You should also look at things like bounce rates and exit rates to see the exact point where your visitors are dropping off from your site and how long they’re spending browsing your site.
Aside from your website, you’ll also want to look at any statistics you have on your email marketing campaigns, online advertising and social media accounts as well. Social media statistics can be particularly useful as you can track exactly what people are saying about your business by looking at where you’re being mentioned.
Another important metric to look at is your top referrers and how your visitors are finding you. You can get a list of your top referrers from the Traffic Sources section of Google Analytics which will show all the sites that your visitors have come from. Once you’ve seen where your business is being mentioned, you can then follow up or outreach to them.
Record your Results
Once you have all of this information to hand, it’s a good idea to keep record of it so you can keep track of your progress month on month, or year on year. You can also use these records to see where you are in terms of reaching targets and goals.
Going through this on a monthly basis is a great place to start and means you can look at any trends or spikes that might occur. If you’re using a few different tools to measure your key metrics then it could be worth setting up a spreadsheet - this will make it easier to see everything in one place making it accessible and comprehensible for other employees to view as well.
Optimise Your Online Activity
And finally, once you’ve gathered and recorded the data that you need, it’s time to use this to create actionable steps that you can take moving forward. From the data you should be able to see if you’re targeting the right audiences, and whether they’re positively engaging with your content. You should then ask yourself: ‘How can I expand on the positives and what steps do I need to take to combat the negatives?’
Putting together a plan which you can revisit each month along with your monthly findings means that you can respond quickly and continue to effectively build a positive online presence!