Do you Know your customers?
Search engine optimisation is only one side of the optimisation coin
Your web site is built and up-and-running; it's optimised for the search engines and you're attracting increasing numbers of visitors but...
You're not getting the expected increase in leads, contacts, orders you would like or expected!
Analytics and web optimisation
When potential customers arrive on your site:
- how did they find you?
- what route did they use?
- what keywords/phrases did they use?
- what page(s) do they first land on?
- how many of them are there?
- what proportion are first-time visitors?
- how many return?
- what do they do?
- how long do they stay?
- what is the bounce rate of landing pages?
Without knowing answers to, at least, some of the above it is almost impossible to tell if your web site is working effectively and achieving its objectives or could do better.
Using the data collected from analytics applications such as Google Analytics, web optimisation is about identifying where the bottlenecks are and the on-page factors affecting successful completion of your visitors intentions and your expectations.
Web optimisation is about providing your visitors with the information they expect to find in an easily read and digestible form that confirms that where they are, are where they want to be!
Where they are should give them the information they need, answers their questions and give them the confidence to take the next step in their search.
Collecting data and analytics
All web sites generate information about visitors and store them in log files on your site. The information can be analysed and help answer many of the questions above.
Over time collected data builds up and provides trends in visitor behaviour and can help identify pages and content that is not performing.
Pages that have a high bounce rate, exit rate or pages that visitors spend very little time on can point to areas for improvement.
Bounce rate and landing pages
Particularly important are pages with a high bounce rate that are also landing pages.
Landing pages are those pages that visitors first land on after a search. Not all visitors enter your web site through the front door (your home page) but could land on any page in your site.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who after reaching any particular page leave without clicking further into your site. It can be measured for every page but is more critical if the page is a popular landing page.
It indicates a problem with the page. It is failing to fulfil the promise made when the returned search result was clicked.
It could be the content is confusing, doesn't relate to the search terms used or it's not clear what the next action is required to reach the information expected.
Every page a landing page... first impression counts!
As we have outlined elsewhere when a visitor first arrives you have about 7 seconds to convince them they have arrived at the right place and where they expected to be.
If that first impression doesn't convince them and they leave, as a first-time visitor, they may never return.