4 Metrics That Tell You It's Time to Update Your Website
Whether your website was updated 3 weeks ago or 3 years ago, it can be challenging to know if it's performing well or needs another refresh. Regular analysis of your website's performance is a great way to measure overall site effectiveness. But between Google Analytics, Search Console and your website platform/vendor data, it's easy to spend hours and hours looking at numbers. Don't get "analysis paralysis", instead use these 4 metrics to get the big picture on your site's overall performance and to help guide decision-making:
1. Traffic and Sources
Measuring traffic shows whether your site is attracting people. When looking at total traffic, it's important to identify where your visits come from - is it Direct, Search, Referral, Social or Paid? When people type in your URL, this is Direct traffic. Search visits are coming from Google and other search engines. If this traffic is low or has dropped, it can signal SEO issues tied to keywords and user experiences. Referral (links from other websites), Social (traffic from social media sites) and Paid (visits from advertising) traffic are all driven by specific marketing activities. Your traffic should increase over time, especially if you're implementing marketing campaigns. If traffic is not increasing — your website needs attention. The best place to start is working on your SEO.
2. High Bounce Rates
Bounce Rate is the percentage of people who leave your site shortly after arriving. While industry averages vary, financial services has bounce rates of 53%*. This means roughly half the people click away and leave the site without any interaction. There are many reasons for a high bounce rate including slow page load times, unattractive layout, poor functionality, bad content or content that's unrelated to the search query. If your bounce rate exceeds 50%, it's time to test new homepage layouts, refresh headlines with more compelling user benefits and add more relevant content to the site.
3. Visitor Engagement
Once people enter your website, it's important to understand what they're doing, where they're going and which content they value most. While you can spend a lot of time looking at different analytics, focus on tracking the number of pages viewed per visit, identifying your most popular pages and exit pages. This data tells your engagement story and helps identify areas that need improvement.
4. Low Conversion Rates
The overall goal of your website is to convert visitors into sales. For most financial professionals, this means having a call-to-action that provides sales leads by collecting visitor information, scheduling an appointment or signing up for your email newsletter, etc. Using valuable content and information can be an ideal incentive for prospective clients to provide their email address. If your site has great traffic and lower bounce rates yet isn't capturing leads, then it's time to add a more compelling content offers along with testing new call-to-actions.
Review Analytics Regularly
Look at these 4 areas monthly (or quarterly) using Google Analytics and your website platform/vendor data for an excellent snapshot of how your site is performing. And if all of this sounds like Greek to you, instead of spending valuable time trying to make sense of it all, consider outsourcing to an expert.
Remember, your website is the central hub of your entire business and brand, making it your most powerful marketing tool. It's extremely important to have a dynamic site loaded with quality content that educates visitors, becomes a magnet for search engines and converts leads.
Diana is a content marketing strategist and virtual marketing director specialized in financial services. She has 20 years of marketing expertise, including campaigns for top brands such as Johnson’s Baby and Band-Aid.