How to Start Optimizing Your Website Today
You think you have a great website, but do you? If you're not testing and targeting, you're likely not making the most of your online presence. Research shows that many companies still aren't testing, and as a result are losing ground to competitors who are.
So, where do you start? Typically you want to examine your web analytics framework to truly understand the most important metrics — i.e., key performance indicators (KPIs) — behind your business goals. In turn, those KPIs can be correlated to site factors that can be tested. Here are a few tips on how to turn metrics into testable factors, along with five key errors to avoid when getting started.
If you don’t already use a web analytics framework for your website, it’s about time you start. This framework will make your goals and their measurement explicit as well as keep you focused on what’s important. Almost every website wants to achieve one or more goals: reach, acquisition, conversion and retention (RACR). If your business is focused on more than one of these goals, you’ll want to set up a different framework for each of them as you’ll be focusing on different metrics and therefore different factors to test.
Let’s look at a very simple web analytics framework for conversion using a hypothetical online retailer as an example in the chart to the left.
With this framework we now have enough information to figure out which site elements and factors to test in order to understand which of them influences visitor behavior. Obviously you'll want to track those pages and areas of your site where users click on in the conversion funnel — e.g., the "Buy Now" button and resulting "Thank You" pages.
Here are some things you could test and measure in support of an e-commerce website: