Part One

by Lorraine Ball

As a business owner, you conduct performance reviews of your employees. You evaluate the quality of their work, the objectives you outlined for them, and the results they delivered. But do you hold your website to the same standard? Do you conduct a web performance review on a regular basis to determine if your website is delivering results? You should!

These days your website is the epicenter of your marketing activity, feeding social and email campaigns, answering customer questions and capturing leads. Use this outline to conduct a website performance review to see if your website is living up to its full marketing potential.

Start with Analytics.

Install an analytics package on your website. If you have a WordPress website, WordPress Stats will give you some basic information, but we strongly suggest installing Google Analytics.  The tool is free and will give you critical insights into visitor’s behavior, keyword traffic, bounce rates, and other information you need to know.

How many visitors come to your site?

Next, it is time to dive into the data. Look at traffic trends. As you look at the numbers you will see trends, but more importantly, you will uncover opportunities for improvement.

Is your traffic growing? If you have a seasonal business be sure to compare year over year traffic.

Do you have fairly consistent traffic or are there spikes? If you can identify what drives the spikes in traffic you have a key to the type of activities you should do more often. Does traffic spike when you send a newsletter? You might want to consider adding a second newsletter or actively promoting your email program to grow your list.

How are people finding your site?

Some people will come to your site by typing in the name of your company, others will simply search for a keyword or phrase. Some people will be referred to your website from a link from an email, social media, or another site. There is no perfect mix or right percentage. Instead, your objective should be to improve each over time.

Pay close attention to referral traffic which comes to your website from another website. While search engines don’t value links as highly as they once did in establishing your authority, a referral from another high-quality site still brings traffic. So take time to expand your referring sites, increasing the outlets where people might bump into you. You can build these critical, credible external links by promoting others. Write blog posts about others, link to their site, post quality comments on other sites, engage in conversations, and bloggers will return the favor.   It may take a while to get noticed, but it will come in time.

Look at the Key Words

Google does not make it easy to identify the keywords which drive people to your website. But you can back into the information by looking at your landing pages.  Are there obscure blog posts that continue to generate traffic month in and month out? If so you can guess that the topics contain relevant keywords for your audience.

Once you identify several keywords be sure to include these phrases in the first few paragraphs, excerpts, summaries categories, and tags of web pages and posts. Use tools like Google Ad words, even if you aren’t going to run a campaign this will help you understand how competitive your terms are, and help you find relevant alternatives.

Do some keyword searches. What keywords do you want people to use to find you? For us, it’s things like Indianapolis web design and Indianapolis social media. We frequently run Google searches on these words to better understand where we rank, where our competition ranks and how we can move up on the search engine results pages. You should be doing the same.

Next Month we will talk about the Visual elements of your website.