Website redesign is a tough but necessary part of growing as a business and adapting to modern UX expectations. Good website managers perform routine site checkups to measure a website’s performance. Certain metrics point to a need to make major or minor changes, such as low server traffic, high bounce rates, and low conversion rates. It’s vital to have a firm understanding of which metrics matter most to your website during performance checkups.
Some hiccups can be easily fixed, while others may indicate that it’s time for an overhaul. We’ve compiled a list of some of the key performance indicators to evaluate your website’s performance. Every company will have unique considerations, so be sure to develop a checkup schedule tailored to your specific business strategy and goals.
Overall Search Engine Traffic
While high traffic alone is not by itself a solid indicator that your website is performing well, it’s still vital to accurately measure your overall website traffic. Most business to business purchase interactions start with a web search and modern consumers readily turn to search engines to research products and brands before purchasing. It’s vital to capture as many organic searches as possible.
Google and other search engines are constantly updating their algorithms to create a more level playing field for marketers, so if you notice a sudden drop in your overall site traffic, or this year’s traffic doesn’t seem to reflect last year’s, your site may be outdated. In some cases, proper optimization may only take a few tweaks. However, this isn’t always the case. A significant loss of traffic may indicate that it’s time to try a new approach to your website’s design.
Mobile devices account for most Google searches, so if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re going to take a hit with your search result rankings. Over the past several years, “mobile-first” has been a mantra for website developers. If your last website redesign was before the mobile explosion, you more than likely need to update.
A bounce occurs when a user clicks on your site, then quickly clicks back and away from it. The modern consumer has a very short attention span, is very ad-conscious, and has little patience for slow-loading websites. If your site doesn’t load promptly and reliably, they will quickly leave and search for an alternative. Most mobile consumers are searching for brands, goods, and services on the go, many times while in the store considering a purchase! It’s imperative to get their attention quickly and keep them interested so they stick around your site.
High bounce rates aren’t the only penalty for poor mobile optimization. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, then it probably hasn’t been updated or redesigned in quite some time. Google prioritizes websites with a consistent update history and a healthy history of links and backlinks. If your outdated webpages are full of dead or undesirable links, you’re paying a penalty in your search rankings. Missing out on the sheer number of mobile searches is a tremendous loss.
Your conversion rate is the number of successfully completed actions compared to your overall traffic. For example, if 10% of your landing page’s visitors sign up for the mailing list on the page, then that page has a 10% conversion rate. If you notice your conversion rates slipping, it may be time for a change. Search engines can change their algorithms and cause some aspects of your page to hurt your search result rankings over time.
Ultimately, the goal of your website is to convert leads into sales for your company. If any of your webpages are underperforming or start declining in their apparent ability to convert, it may be time to reassess those pages. Measure how long visitors spend on those pages, whether or not they’re following through on the pages’ desired actions, and adjust accordingly. In some cases, you may need to redesign entire pages.
Since each page of your website should serve a purpose or encourage visitors to perform a desired action, you need to measure how long it takes the average visitor to complete these actions. For example, you could post a blog that has a call-to-action at the end, leading the user to click a link and learn more about the subject matter or a particular facet of it. If your visitors are only rarely clicking the link, it may point to a problem with the blog’s content or its failure to draw interest. If people don’t spend more than a few seconds on your written content, this could signal the same lack of interest.
If it takes longer than expected for visitors to enter an email address, finish checking out with a transaction, or performing any other desired action, this could be an indication of poor webpage performance. If pages take too long to load or update, it may be turning some potential leads away. While dedicated customers may simply wait for actions to finish, new leads typically won’t be as patient. Longer completion times usually indicate user uncertainty or poor page performance, both of which are considerable issues for marketers.
If you find your website’s maintenance taking up a much larger portion of your operating budget than expected, of if your website support costs continue to increase, you may only be applying temporary fixes to serious website issues. Assess how much you’ve spent on IT and web development costs over the last few years. An upward trend should be considered a problem.
Your website is crucial to your business. If your company doesn’t exist online, it really doesn’t exist at all. It’s vital to ensure your website is offering an acceptable return on your investment. If you’re devoting tremendous resources to developing high quality content and value to customers, your website needs to faithfully convey these things to visitors and capture their interest. Maintenance costs lower the return on the investment you make through your website, and a redesign can be a fantastic method for improving your website’s performance.
One of the best metrics you can use to evaluate your website’s performance is to ask your visitors about their experiences. Consider deploying survey tools to ask visitors a few questions about their time on your site, such as whether or not they found what they wanted, whether or not they intended to make a purchase and if so, how easy the checkout process was. Surveys are a good way to evaluate the UX your site’s visitors are having, and most visitors won’t mind taking a few seconds to offer feedback.
If you deploy surveys but receive minimal engagement, consider incentivizing survey participation with a promotional offer or discount coupon. You may even want to send surveys to recent buyers’ email addresses to ask about their visits. Another method that helps promote survey engagement is promoting your survey to a targeted group of users. If you send a follow up e-mail thanking a customer for a purchase for example, include survey links that are tied to information about upcoming products or discounts. Users who have already purchased your products and are satisfied with their experience are more likely to be invested in improving your business. Honest customer feedback can help you identify users’ pain points when engaging with your site. Too many customer frustrations mean it’s time for an overhaul.
Ultimately, considering a website redesign can be daunting, but if these metrics and your other key performance indicators show decline or less growth than you expect, it’s time to make a change.
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