How to measure the success of a website

Christina Pomoni By Christina Pomoni, 19th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/22j.1mba/
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Sales & Marketing

Although traffic is a good criterion to measure the success of a website, it’s not enough. It takes a number of factors that need to be evaluated to assess if a website performs well with regard to marketing goals.

Introduction

Measuring a website’s success is of fundamental importance to the process of improving its performance. Many business owners consider that having high traffic levels is enough for a website to be successful and compensate their web marketing efforts. However, although traffic is a good criterion to measure the success of your website, it’s not enough. It takes a number of factors that need to be evaluated to assess if your website performs well with regard to your marketing goals. Then, you need to measure actual results against marketing goals and assess if your website is successful and what needs to be done to improve its performance.

The first two steps you need to take before start measuring are: knowing your audience and establishing success criteria.

Knowing your audience

A key element of any business is its customers. Similarly, when it comes to web marketing efforts, it is very important to know your target audience in order to convey the right message. This involves assessing properly who are the people who visit your website in terms of demographics, content preferences and information needs. Who these people are in terms of age, education etc? What are they looking for? Why are they using particular information? How often they look for that information? All of this information can be monitored by utilizing traffic monitoring, log analysis and user surveys features.

Establishing success criteria

By establishing success criteria such as the number of visitors, the time spent on the website, the number of subscribers to the mailing lists etc, it is easier to determine if your website is successful or not. Moreover, there is a number of metrics including Google Pagerank, Alexa Traffic Rank, and others that can be used to evaluate the effective success of a website.

After these two factors are determined, you can start measuring the traffic levels, the bounce rate, and the conversion rates of visitors. This can give you a pretty good idea of where your online site is heading and if you need to improve weak areas.

a) Traffic

Traffic is one of the key measures of a website’s success. The level of visitors your website gets is synonym to the efficiency of your web marketing efforts. The more visitors, the higher the popularity of the website as well as the greater the probability of building profitable customer relationships. In the context of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) you can drive more traffic to your online site by using particular keywords or keyword phrases that are relevant to the products or services of your business. In doing so, when users enter these keywords or keyword phrases in their search engines, your website will appear in return results. The frequency that your website appears on return results is subject to what type of advertising you choose for your business. If you run pay-per-click ads, your website will appear in paid results, such as Google AdWords, every time the relevant keyword is searched. If you run organic listings, your website will be indexed based on content relevancy and keyword match.

You may also engage in affiliate marketing to drive more traffic to your website. Any method you try, the aim is to increase traffic levels and get visitors who are interested in your product and/or service range.

b) Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who come on the website and leave immediately. Obviously, if a bounce rate is high, it means that your website doesn’t attract visitors and they are not interest in reading your content. Bounce rate is particularly important for new websites that aim at establishing their web presence and get market share from competitors. If you analyze bounce rate, you basically know the extent to which your visitors are targeted. Therefore, if your bounce rate is high, change your keywords and start over again. People may find your website in search engines when entering different keywords in search boxes.

c) Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who convert casual visits into order placements, newsletters sign up and so on. To evaluate conversion rates you need to use metrics that show page views, the time spent on the website, repeat visits, and click rate on critical links.

Conversion rate is, in effect, an indicator of customer satisfaction and visitor involvement. If conversion rates are driven up, more prospects are likely to turn into regular customers. Some effective methods to increase conversion rates for your website are a) using quality content, b) establishing good navigation structure, and c) increasing trust level of visitors.

Sources

http://www.clarity-media.co.uk/sitesuccess.php
http://www.businessknowhow.com/internet/kpi3.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bounce_rate
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_rate
http://www.websitemarketingplan.com/online/web_metrics.htm

Tags

Alexa Traffic Rank, Bounce Rate, Conversion Rate, Google Pagerank, Measuring A Websites Success, Measuring The Success Of A Website, Traffic Level

Meet the author

author avatar Christina Pomoni
As part of my long journey, I have served as an Equity Research Associate, a Marketing Research Analyst and a Financial & Investment Advisor. Besides, having lived at Chicago, IL, Boca Raton, FL and Paris, France has helped me, not only to be a succe...(more)

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