Have You Got Your Ear To The Ground Or Your Head In The Sand?
Article source: http://www.msjsoftware.com/. Used with author's permission.
What happened on your website yesterday? What about last week or last month? How about in the past hour? How many visitors come to your website as a result of using a search engine? How long do people stay on your website for on average? Which pages do your visitors go to?
If you don't know the answer to some or all of these questions you are effectively operating a website blind.
This is like riding a bike blindfolded and expecting to arrive at the right destination. It's impossible and the likelihood is that you will crash, wreck the bike, lose pride and get left behind.
If you don't know what's happening with your website or how people are using it and how they are finding it how can you hope to ever improve the site? Sure - you can rely on second-guessing or asking the opinion of a handful of people but that's hardly going to give you accurate information on which to base a decision is it?
"Mike - I know what you're saying. It's true that I need to track what's happening but I don't have the X"
X = Money?
X = Time?
X = Knowledge of where to start?
X = Need, as I already do this?
If you answered "Money" - this would seem to be a valid reason but you can get your hands on the basic information about how your site is performing for nothing (ask your developer or web hosting company for starters and they'll be able to point you in the right direction or check out the resources below)
If you answered "Time" - I'm sorry but if that's the case why do you even have a website if you don't have the time to measure how it's performing? Would you behave the same way with your business? Thought not..
If you answered "Knowledge of where to start" then this is fair enough. To get started try these resources that will help you:
If you answered "I don't have the need, as I already do this" - congratulations - you get a week's free pass to the Smug Club. But seriously though - you might already get all the statistics about how your website is performing but do you spend time viewing them, interpreting them and most importantly - USING them? When was the last time you used the statistics about your website's performance to implement a change on your site and then track the results on subsequent statistics to see what effect it had? It's all gone quiet in the Smug corner...
Feeling uncomfortable with all these questions yet? You should be. If you're not happy with your website you need to dig a little deeper and ask what it is exactly that you're not happy with. Did you set definite, time-linked and realistic expectations for the website's performance prior to starting out? If you're not getting the leads or sales you had hoped for you need to work out why this is the case - scratching your head won't do it. Tracking the performance of your site and viewing detailed statistics on how people use it won't give you definitive answers either - but it will propel you several miles in the right direction.
You are the doctor and your website is the patient - you need to connect it to an ECG and start monitoring and recording everything. How else can you work out how to make the patient better? Or maybe you have the perfect patient who doesn't actually have anything wrong with them?
About The Author
You can get free access to lots more articles that will help you to improve your website's performance plus a Free Bonus Special Report "How To Turn Your Website Into A Customer Magnet" worth a value of £47 ($85) here: http://www.magnet4web.com/website_services/?page=freeguide