You got a website? Cool.
It must be serving a purpose right? So how do you know if it has been performing? If you don’t have an answer right away, you probably have not been measuring its performance. Here is 3 free tools you can install on your website right away to start measuring its performance.
Why Should I Measure?
Before we get started on the tools, let me tell you why is metrics important. It shows you what exactly went wrong if you are not achieving something that you want to. It shows you what you can tweak to help you achieve what you want to faster.
Say for example, you own an e-commerce website. You want to know what cause it to under-perform. Something in the sales funnel has broke or was never set up right. Perhaps it’s the number of people visiting your website. Perhaps it’s the poor website design (which usually isn’t the case). Perhaps it’s the complex checkout procedures. Perhaps it’s the vagueness of shipping information or terms and condition page. You won’t know which is it that broke unless you know how to measure it! Trying to optimise everything will cost you a lot of time and money. You want to tackle the problem that generates the highest ROI (Return of Investment). That is where metrics come into play.
Let me show you 3 tools to measure User Experience, User Behaviour and Search Engine Performance.
Measuring User Experience
You have diligently written hundreds of post on your website. Each of them is more than 500 words long and was accompanied by lovely pictures you painstakingly searched for. You swear that your readers love them because page traffic is sky high. Each and every sentence. Each and every paragraph. They love it.
Or do they?
How do you know if they love the whole article and not the click-bait title you have. Or just the cutesy images of dogs? Or the product recommendation? Or simply for the love of your writing style? You can’t possibly stand behind your users, watch them as they scroll through your website and watch where their eyes land on and stops for the longest. Or can you?
Yes, I can see if you have clicked on that link immediately. Or you have read up to this line and decide that perhaps that link is going to show you something cool. Or perhaps you have decided that it could be some nigerian scam and decided to go scroll through 9gag instead.
That’s Inspectlet for you folks. It allows a live capture of user’s activities on your website. Where they click, stop, highlight, anything!
Inspectlet allows you to see what your users see. You can see what captures their attention. Whether they have stayed for the content or they simply love scrolling through pictures. That is how you can devise strategy to do more of what they love, and less of what they are skipping.
- Register your account at Inspectlet.
- Get your code to be added on your website.
- Add code to your website and test by capturing your own data. If you are using WordPress I recommend this plugin.
- Add your IP address to the list of visitors to exclude. You won’t want to waste limited captures on yourself.
Measuring User Behaviour
Now you can stalk your users, you want to zoom out from single user and look at the aggregated results. The previous measurement allows you to tweak your content to better suit your audience. This tool will help you see how they navigate around your website. How are users moving around your website? Where do they get frustrated of searching further? Where do they find their answers? Let’s find an answer to those question with a tool none other than Google Analytics!
We all know that Google Analytics shows how many people have been to your site. If the number goes up it means yay. Here is one small feature we tend to miss out on. That is the behaviour flow feature. You can find it under Behaviour > Behaviour Flow.
Behaviour flow shows you how people enter your site and how they navigate around it. It is where you can diagnose which are the pages that people are possibly looking out for but they are not getting it. For example, if you have a page on the latest sales, you want your audience to see that immediately they enter the site. By observing the behaviour flow, you know immediately if that link is placed strategically.
Go tinker around behaviour flow and you might gain some quality insights on how you can better structure your site map.
- Register an account at Google Analytics.
- Get your code after adding your website. You will need to verify your website.
- Add the code to your website. If you are using WordPress I recommend this plugin.
Measuring Search Engine Performance
What is there to measure if you have no one visiting your site? Nothing! If you have been wondering if your audiences can find you via search engines like Google, you definitely need the Google Search Console.
Google Search Console, or Webmaster Tools as I still call it, allows you to see how is your site performing on the search engine. That is before your target audience click into your site! There are some important metrics you would like to have yourself familiarised with first.
First of all on the dashboard you will want to see the number of pages that are indexed. A simple way of understanding indexing is that Google knows that the page exists. If the page is not indexed, it cannot be shown via the search engine because it doesn’t even know about it! If you find that the majority of the page you have on your website is not indexed, you want to submit a sitemap to them. For that, I suggest this plugin if you are a WordPress user.
Second of all you would like to see which are the keywords that people are already searching to get to your site. There are three main metrics you would be interested in, impression, clicks, and position. Below is some strategy you could use for your content strategy when you look at the report.
For keywords with high position, they are potentially bringing in lots of audience for you. If they have equally high impressions and clicks, they are already your cash cow! Make sure you are optimising conversion on these pages. If the impression and clicks are not working out for you, congratulation, you found yourself a keyword that is easy to rank for. You may want to tweak the content on those page to cover a slightly wider spectrum of keywords. That way you can capture audiences who are searching for long-tailed keywords.
For keywords with moderate to high impression, these are the keywords that people are searching a lot! If your keywords are ranking low for these, you will want to work on them. Search those keywords on Google and see who are the competitors of those keywords. What you want to look out for is pages with similar or lower page rank, domain authority and page authority as your site/page. It shows that these keywords are not hard to rank for and will generate the highest ROI should you rank for them. Start generating content that are targeting these keywords and build quality backlinks to those content.
For keywords with moderate to high clicks, these are the keywords bringing people into your site. Work on converting them. See the first two tools to optimise conversion. What more should I say?
- Log into Google Search Console.
- Add your website.
- Activate it using Google Analytics code.
Do you know of any awesome tools?
Let me know if you know of any awesome tools that you are using that help you formulate your content strategy!