Small Business Websites That Work
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- Read the introduction in full
- Free chapter: Planning your website and creating the content
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- About the author
Measuring your website's success
You wouldn't measure the effectiveness of a shop by how many times the door swings open, yet businesses that obsess about how many people come into their website do exactly that
At a glance:
Decide how you can measure your progress towards your site's goal and analyse the information that affects that. Don't get hung up on increasing hits, for example, if your goal is to increase sales. Use your visitor information instead to find ways of improving sales, such as increasing the number of customers you have or the amount they spend.
You can use counters or server reports to analyse your website traffic. Reports will tell you much more than counters and will be invisible to visitors, but you'll have to pay for them.
Not all the information you need will be available in those reports. Some of it will need the technical team to set up other measurement tools, but you'll need systems in the business to trap important data there too. If you need to learn more about customers, set up a survey on the website.
Websites can be constantly improved and continuously refined, becoming more and more effective at growing your company with each upgrade. The changes need not be expensive or daring: a new navbar might make the site easier to use, or a brief explanation might increase confidence in your sales and bump up incoming orders. When you re-promote your site, create new content for it, introduce new product lines or revamp the design, check first how the site is performing now to make sure that you don't repeat any mistakes or false assumptions. By process of careful planning of the site, testing of what works and aggressive promotion, you'll see that you can have a website for your small business that really does work.
These are the subheadings in this chapter:
- Know what to measure
- Using counters
- Analysing server logs
- Making the stats work for you
- Carrying out surveys
- Technology tips: checking website performance
Cartoon: Cran & Lerma