Entrepreneurs who see the most success online are constantly improving their online campaigns by analyzing website statistics. Assessing the behaviours of your potential customers enables you to invest your marketing budget where it will be most profitable, and improve your website based on the actual behaviour of web surfers (which is often very different from what our intuition tells us!). Here are three ways to stop wasting your money on ineffective ads so you can start selling more.
1. Consult your website performance report
The most popular website analytics tool, Google Analytics, is free and easy to install and use. You can consult your Google Analytics report at www.google.com/analytics (for your advertising campaigns, this address will vary according to the provider managing them).
Your business likely appears in a YellowPages directory or one of our digital tools, like YellowPages.ca or our mobile app. Even with a basic free listing, all the necessary statistical analysis tools are available. Simply visit Yellow Pages 360° Solution to request that a consultant help you access and understand your report. This is a free service, and performance statistics are available for all digital and traditional marketing products offered by YellowPages.
Here are the most relevant types of website statistics:
- Impressions: Number of times your ad has appeared online to a potential customer.
- Clicks: Number of clicks made on your ad (i.e., interactions).
- CTR (click-through rate, or click rate): Percentage of clicks on your ad once it was displayed. Allows you to determine which ad is the most effective at generating clicks.
- Visits: Number of times someone visits your website. Example: Paul visits once + Maryse visits twice = three visits.
- Unique visitors: Number of different Internet users who visit your website. Example: Paul visits once + Maryse visits twice = two unique visitors.
- Number of calls: Number of people who called the unique telephone number appearing on your website or in an ad.
- Page views: Number of pages seen by users. Example: Paul visits two pages + Maryse visits three = five page views.
- Keywords: Words a surfer types when performing an Internet search. Depending on the context, the user will then click on one of the organic search results or on an ad displayed among these results.
- Demographic data and geographic areas: Gives you more precise information about your visitors. Do they correspond to your target market?
- Reference/source: Indicates how your visitors found you: search engines, social networks, links on other websites, etc. “Direct” means they typed the site address and are familiar with your company or saw your ad.
- Visitor flow: Most interesting part of the report. What page do your visitors land on? What pages do they subsequently visit? Notice the number of terminations for each page (the number of users who leave your website at this point).
TIPS: Configure your report to display statistics only for users you’re interested in, such as those from the region you serve. Isolate visits from one source, like search engines.
2. Discover (and evaluate) your potential customers’ actual path
Try to understand where your users are from and how they arrived at making their purchase. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Surfers are from which regions or countries?
- Which are the most popular pages? Which are the least popular? Do users really read the “Company History” page? (Hint: Probably not.)
- How many people make it to the “Contact Us” page?
- How many people contact you?
Use these web statistics to discover at what point potential customers are lost on their path to making a purchase. Do they find your website? Once on your site, do they consult the product page?
Let’s use a simple path as an example. A potential customer visits your website, consults the product page and your address on the contact page and then makes a purchase in your store. How much did this generate in sales? The number of sales is calculated as outlined below:
number of visits to your website X the percentage of those visitors who contact you = number of calls or emails
For example: 1,000 visitors X 30% who contact you = 300 calls or emails. This is very good. But can we do better?
Probably. You can improve your website simply by removing from your home page any text that’s irrelevant to your customers. Simple changes like modifying a title or adding a photo may improve certain statistics by 50%, 100% or more! See MarketingExperiments for some examples.
3. Improve the weak links of your marketing technique
Use statistics to identify any weak links in your customers’ path. Start with easiest changes and those that will make the most impact. Consider making one improvement each month. An Internet marketing consultant could help with this.
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