Measuring the performance of a website is a relatively easy thing to do, but many businesses don't do it. Instead, many decisions are based on assumptions that can result in limiting the success of a business.
Lets have a look at how you can avoid making the same mistakes with your website.
Measuring people's behaviour can help your business
John Watson began his career as a behavioural psychologist before becoming a very successful advertising executive.
Watson believed that psychology should only be based upon observable data. His 'Little Albert' experiments being particularly famous, if ethically dubious.
His faith in measurable data had a huge impact on the advertising and marketing industry.
Starting at the bottom of the rung, Watson worked at Macy's selling coffee to the public where he observed what customers were buying. He discovered that the products placed near the till would sell at briskly; that customers would buy on 'impulse'.
Acting on this new information helped Macy's sell more coffee and propelled Watson up the ladder of the advertising world.
So you can blame John Watson for the rows of chocolate bars strategically placed by the till, but he also demonstrated how observing the behaviour of customers can dramatically improve sales.
Don't assume to know your website users
John Watson did not assume to know how his customers behaved. Instead he observed their behaviour and then acted on the findings.
It is all to easy for website owners to make assumptions about their business. Here are some common ones:
- Assuming to know how users behave on a website
- Having an opinion of what users want from a website
- Believing the website is effective with little or no evidence
The assumptions you make may be correct, but they could also be very wrong.
Four simple steps to help inform your decisions
Step 1: Define website objectives
Helps to focus you on the key goals of the business whilst providing you with some benchmarks to measure how the website is performing.
For example, your objective might be to increase the number of subscribers to your mailing list or perhaps you would like to increase sales of a certain product.
These objectives should be reflected in the design of the website.
Step 2: Install analytical tool on your website
Analytical tools provide a business with crucial information about their website; from basic statistics like the numbers of visitors through to communicating where users are falling out of a conversion process.
There are lots of analytical tools available with one of the most popular being Google Analytics, but make sure that the objectives you have identified can be measured.
Step 3: Regularly measure website performance
Use the data from your analytics tool to measure whether your objectives are being met.
Step 4: Take action!
Be prepared to take action to improve performance.
Have there been more subscribers this month? If not, can the page layout be changed to encourage more people to sign-ups? Perhaps the wording around the sign-up form could be tweaked?
Improving the performance of your website begins by refusing to make decisions on assumptions, and instead base them on facts.
So set those objectives and get measuring.