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5 steps for tracking the effectiveness of your website

Set objectives, track your progress and keep improving your site

5-minute read

Your website is one of your most important sales tools. But could you say for sure how effective it is at generating leads and converting them to sales?

If you answered no, you’re not alone. Many businesses set up a website without thinking about tracking its results. Second, it’s never too late to start tracking visitors, and doing so will have concrete benefits for the future growth of your business.

It doesn’t matter if you use Google Analytics, PiWik or MixPanel, you absolutely must track what’s happening in your marketing and sales funnels. One of the best ways to learn about why and how customers buy from you is by watching how they interact with your website.

Any interaction with your site that moves a customer one step closer to making a purchase is called a conversion.

Here are five steps you can take to start tracking your online conversions.

1. Know what you want your site to achieve

There are two kinds of conversions:

  • Micro conversions are small events like somebody clicking on a video, downloading a brochure or engaging with a specific piece of content.
  • Macro conversions mark the completion of bigger goals, like someone submitting a quote-request form or completing an e-commerce transaction.

Before you start tracking results, figure out which macro conversions are most important for your business. Then work back from those to the micro conversions that will show a customer is on the right path toward those bigger macro goals.

2. Set up a tracking platform

One option is to use Google Tag Manager, a free tool that lets you add “tags” to your website—snippets of JavaScript code that collect data on clicks, downloads and other activity. That data is then sent to Google Analytics, where you can analyze it in all kinds of ways including user location, gender, how someone arrived at your site and more.

You don’t need to be a web developer to use Google Tag Manager or Google Analytics—everything is done through a user-friendly interface. But if you want to take advantage of more in-depth functionality, such as tracking how far people scroll down a page, you might consider bringing in a JavaScript developer to customize the code and a technical marketer to make sense of the data.

3. Score your conversions

Once you start tracking, you’ll see that certain channels are better than others at contributing to conversions. Google Analytics lets you assign a dollar value to each conversion, and you can base this value on your average customer acquisition cost and the lifetime value of a customer. This shows you the value of the traffic coming in through social media, mobile, search and email so you can focus on the best-performing channels.

For example, if you’re seeing that your Instagram content is doing more conversions than LinkedIn, you can adjust your budget to focus on that channel.

4. Refine your approach as needed

There is no silver bullet for growing your business. You need to constantly test, measure and optimize your online strategies, experimenting with different channels and solutions to find the ones that work best for you. It’s a process of constant iteration and continuous improvement.

Customer behaviours change. Search trends change. You have to listen, watch and adjust as you go.

5. Take ownership of your site.

Given how important your website is to your overall sales and marketing process, you can’t afford to treat it like an afterthought. With many small businesses underestimating the amount of time it takes to keep their sites relevant, it’s recommended to have somebody internal to your company “own” the website and be responsible for its upkeep.

Remember to keep your house in order

The first thing potential customers see is your website. Think of it as your house. If it has good curb appeal, they’ll want to come in and see more—and do business with you.

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