Your Website And Marketing Plan
One of the most important stages of your marketing plan is the actual analysis of it. Unfortunately, this stage is also one of the most overlooked stages by many business owners and marketing managers.
Without a website and marketing plan analysis there is absolutely no way that you can tell if your website and marketing plan are giving you the best possible ROMI (Return On Marketing Investment). When done correctly and consistently you may find that analyzing your website performance can be fun and will soon become second nature to your every day management tasks.
Understanding the ROMI formula is essential if you are working strategically and need to:
- Produce the best possible results with your marketing investments
- Improve marketing ROMI
- Optimize marketing spend
- Maximize promotion effectiveness
- Maximize channel effectiveness
- Drive marketing accountability
- Support business planning
How To Analyze Your Website And Marketing Plan In Less Than 10 Minutes A Day
During the launch phase of your website you have had installed some sort of web analytics program on your website, such as Google Analytics. GA is free and installation is a simple task for any webmaster. If you have missed installing it during the launch phase you should install it now.
Allow for at least 30 days of data before making any conclusions on the performance of your website. Once you have accumulated data over time you may wish to compare shorter periods and benchmark them against previous preriods ( Year on Year comparisons tend to offer useful insights for most sectors).
For the purpose of this exercise lets assume that you have a sufficient amount of data to make some conclusions as to whether or not your website is performing well, and what actions you need taking to put your website performance back on track
The following 7 website stat categories will unveil how your website is performing
Google Analytics, provides helpful stats to determine how your website is performing and where it needs attention. Crucial data that you should pay close attention to on a daily, weekly, monthly and year on year basis include:
1. Unique Visitors – A unique visitor is a user who has made one hit on one page of your website during a defined period of time. If a user makes several visits during the time period defined, it is only counted once.
Expect your unique visitor count to climb and fall in direct correlation with your online marketing efforts, email or social media campaigns as well as during peak seasons for website traffic for your industry.
2. Returning Visitors – A returning visitor is a user who has previously visited your website within the selected time frame and has come back to any given page on your website.
Optimise your website to attract a high number of returning visitors, or users. A high returning visitor count is a good measure of how resourceful and authoritative your website is.
3. Traffic Sources – Traffic sources show you where your website’s visitors are coming from. These numbers are broken down into direct traffic, referring search engines and referring websites.
Expect the majority of your traffic to be coming from your most cost effective marketing activity; SEO (referring search engines and other websites as a result of your link building efforts), email and social media.
4. Bounce Rate – The bounce rate stat shows the percentage of visitors that left your website after viewing only one page.
Expect your bounce rate to be below 40%. A bounce rate above 40-45%, may require a deeper analysis. Anything above 45% might be proof that your website is not “sticky” enough to keep visitors engaged. However, if your website is an online subscription portal through which visitors access a paid service, bounce rates are expected to be high.
5. Average Time on Site – the average amount of time visitors spend on your website upon landing.
A landing page with a clear call to action or website attempting to capture a visitor’s information is expected to show low Average Time on Site as visitors are leaving your website almost as soon as they get there. Make your website as “sticky” as possible by providing relevant information that visitors can interact with to keep Average Time on Site high.
6. Top Content Pages – show you which pages on your website get visited the most, where users are spending most of their time and where they are finding relevant content
This data can provide insight as to why better performing pages my receive more attention over lesser performing pages, and can be useful when optimising your page content.
7. Keywords – Your analytics program displays the keywords and phrases that visitors are using in the search engines to find what they are looking for and land on your website.
Keyword data provides useful insight into the keywords that are driving traffic to your website. Keywords should be consistent across all marketing channels including landing pages, email and social media.
You can use this data to reallocate your search engine marketing campaigns to focus more heavily on keywords that are bringing visitors that are spending more time on your website and even completing set goals that you have determined (ie. downloading a white paper, activating a trial or purchasing a product).
Marketing Plan Analysis
Now that you have analyzed your website and its stats, it is necessary to analyze your marketing plan. The most important thing you need to know at all times throughout your marketing efforts is the ROI that you are getting from your marketing plan.
The ROI is dependent on your business and its goals, and it should be established during the process of building your marketing plan. If your marketing strategy is not producing a profitable return on what you are spending on marketing, then you need to re-evaluate your marketing efforts.
Google Analytics, and many other website analytics programs, have features to directly track your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). It is highly recommended that you take advantage of these. Once you setup conversion goals in your analytics program it becomes very easy to track your ROAS on a regular basis so you can optimize your search marketing efforts accordingly.
Build website analysis into your day-to-day schedule leaving at least 5-10 minutes a day to look over and analyze your website’s performance data to assure that you are receiving the highest possible ROI for your marketing efforts. You can set up most analytics programs to send daily reports to your email inbox.
- A Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics 5 (kissmetrics.com)
- Why website visits don’t always translate into sales (theglobeandmail.com)
- Have you optimized the website? (sarahyam.wordpress.com)
- Understanding ROI and Marketing Investment