A Strong Tracking Setup is Key to Understanding Users and Maximizing Conversion
So you just launched a new or refreshed website? Great! Or maybe there’s nothing new about your site at all, but you’re not sure how it’s performing or what adjustments are needed. In either scenario, proper website tracking is the most important step you can take. A well-tracked website provides meaningful insights into how you are attracting users, the journeys that they take through your website, areas that confuse or frustrate them, and most importantly, how efficiently your website is converting them into customers.
Identify Top Channels and Landing Pages
As a website owner, gaining new users is one of your top priorities. Analyzing your top performing channels and landing pages can help you to devise the most effective acquisition strategies.
You most likely have a variety of strategies in place to bring users to your website. This list of tactics is endless, with search and social advertising, email and SMS marketing, organic social posting, search engine optimization. Understanding which of these channels is actually driving visits to your website is the first and most basic step towards effective tracking. These metrics are easily measured by having Google Analytics installed on your website and proper UTM terms attached to your digital content.
While much of your digital content might already have a specific landing page or product page attached to it, users coming from search engines or referral sources could be entering your site on any given page. Having lots of diverse content on your website is a great way to attract users from across the web, but without proper tracking it is impossible to know which topics and keywords are actually producing the best results. Through Google Analytics, you can easily see which pages and posts are getting the most traction. You can then draw from these insights to produce content that is more likely to attract new users.
Now that we know where users are coming from and which content is attracting them, we can begin to analyze the way they interact with the website.
Load Time and Bounce Rate
Load time and bounce rate are two key metrics that are captured as soon as a visit starts. Load time indicates the amount of time that it takes for a given page to become visible to a user, and it is one of the most important factors which influences the second key metric — bounce rate. Bounce rate describes the percentage of visitors who exit your website without taking any action. Reducing load times is one of the best ways to prevent these wasted visits and lower your bounce rate. Through Google Analytics, you can identify your most common landing pages with the highest load times and focus your efforts on speeding up those key pages.
Simply attracting visitors to your website is not enough — we need them to do something once they’re there. The steps a user takes between landing on your website and performing a desired action (conversion) is called a ‘user journey’. The ultimate goal of a web designer should be to make the steps of this journey as simple and compelling as possible. Straightforward navigation and well placed call-to-action buttons are examples of key elements that tie a user journey together, but how do we measure the success or failure of these elements?
Google Analytics provides many great tools that can help track user journeys. Using funnel visualization and reverse funnel visualization, you can see exactly which pages a user visited on their journey towards conversion. Funnels represent a chronological set of actions you expect your user to perform or pages you expect them to visit on their way to a conversion. As the name suggests, funnel visualization provides a visual way of analyzing how your users actually move through those steps. You can also see pages on which users exited the website before completing a conversion. You can then work to optimize those pages with the highest exit rate or attempt to remove them from the journey. Implementing custom events is another way to gain valuable insights into your users’ behavior. You can use custom events to track button clicks, link clicks, scroll depth, and many other key metrics.
HotJar is another great tool that can help shed light on your user journeys. With tools like heat maps and screen recordings, you can truly enter the mind of your user and experience your website from their point of view. What area of the screen is the cursor most commonly drawn to after the page loads? Are there any elements which frequently attract rage clicking? This might indicate a broken link or button. Using HotJar, you can analyze your users’ behavior in depth and gain a deeper understanding of how they move (or fail to move) through your website.
Goal and ROAS Tracking
At the end of every user journey lies a goal. Goals exist in many different forms (phone calls, form submissions, purchases, etc.) and are the main reason that your website exists in the first place. Ensuring that they are tracked accurately is the most important part of an effective tracking setup. In Google Analytics, you can create goals based on certain page views or events. Ensuring that your goals are set up within Google Analytics makes it much easier to track their performance.
In order to properly measure ROAS, be sure to keep all of your advertising channels in mind when setting up your conversion tracking. Google Ads integrates directly with Google Analytics, but other advertising platforms such as Meta may require you to install and configure additional conversion tracking scripts to measure success.
Make sure that each of your goals is tied to a monetary value. This is fairly straightforward for goals that involve a purchase on the website, but for goals without direct monetary value (such as lead form submissions or phone calls) you will need to analyze your business data and calculate an average value to assign to each goal. Tying a monetary value to each of your goals will give you a more complete picture of how your ad spend is performing.
Proper Website Tracking Provides a Baseline to Measure Digital Success
Your website is at the core of your business’ online presence, and measuring its performance is essential to understanding and maximizing the success of your digital efforts. Once you understand where your visitors are coming from and how they interact with your site, it is much easier to implement data-driven optimizations that will lead to more customers and more profitable advertising campaigns. In business, we go to great lengths to understand exactly how well our systems, employees, and revenue are performing and to expose areas of opportunity. Your website should be no exception!
Are you looking to refresh your website or ensure your website tracking system is up to date? Konnect with us!