Are you getting enough value out of your website?

The corporate website is an intrical part to almost every organizations sales/marketing process and still remains the main point of interaction for corporations. The need has never been greater to understand, communicate, and interact with the online behaviors of buyers. A recent study by Forrester Research found a typical business website was ranked first in determining whether a purchase would be made. So what if you have a website and have tracking implemented, but you are not generating a lot of business? In the following post I will give you some insight on why this might be and some examples on how to fix it.

Virtually every web analytics program, which delivers account based visibility, has come a long way in helping organizations to identify, track and report the online activities of an individual website visitor. However, this alone is not enough to translate into revenue. Analytics is just one step toward the goal of making every interaction more meaningful.

Now do something constructive with the data!

Below are some basic metrics of measurement that a typical analytics package offers:

- Conversions
- Total visits
- Page visits
- Search terms that were used to find your site
- The length of time they spent on your site
- Actions taken on a particular page
- Point at which action (such as watching a video) was abandoned
- Where the visitor originated

One size fits all approach
The above basic metrics enables an organization to better understand what is and is not resonating with their online visitors. This insight should be the driver for making adjustments to the layout, copy, content, navigation, and functionality of your site.  By understanding which content is driving your site or where someone might be aboding a cart you can make alternative targeted changes to better meet the needs of your audience. It's not the shear volume of data that is the issue here- its the quality and usefulness of the data. It is imperative that organizations continue to enhance and refine their website to ensure the unique needs of each visitor is being met. By tailoring content to individual requirements of visitors, online visits are more likely to translate into desired actions and by extension increase revenue.

No two are the same

It's important to note that no two tools ever count traffic the same way. Google Analytics will report one metric, Omniture SiteCatalyst another and WebTrends a third. While their movements might be highly correlated, their reports never are.

The ‘industry average’ conversion rate
Being “average” is not where you should aim. What you really want to know is, “Am I doing well enough?” and “Am I leaving money on the table?” First I wanted to take you through why it’s almost impossible to lump all industries together to get an average. If you are a B2C organization you will be tracking on-site behavior and buying habits of visitors who represent their own needs or those close to them. B2B organizations have a much different definition of online conversion and success. A higher account based layer of intelligence is needed to understand the individual AND the company they represent. B2B has a longer more complicated sales cycle. Every business has different goals, and usually it's more than one per site. You may want your customers to buy something and/or join your loyalty program. Those are two separate conversion actions and each generates two separate conversion rates. Lead generation produces vastly different rates from e-commerce. And so on. They key to "not leaving $ on the table" and getting more business in either environment is simply to know and understand your target. Simple, right?



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