Establishing the Site Baseline: Measuring Your Site Success
So you've created your website? You may have generated some traffic and possibly have made an occasional contact or sale. Cheers. But, now Day 2 arrives and you seemed to have hit a lull in the action. Now what? An experienced internet marketer would have several suggestions for you, but that's not your area of expertise. No problem. We'll provide you with a roadmap to move you comfortably past Day 2 of site operations.
Time to Work the Business Plan
Your website is the business. That business had a plan. The first thing you should do is pull out that business plan you created when you first started this web stuff and read it.
Has your business model evolved? Is that enhancement you wanted really important to the business or just a nice to have? How far are you from the initial return on investment?
From there, Build a mini business plan to help you execute for results. Start moving the chains. work the plan.
You can't sell without traffic. You can't grow without leads. Where are you customers coming from? Did those keywords actually work? Not sure? Its time to ask your web administrator about your server logfiles , if you haven't already.
Caution, the language that logfiles speak can be a little daunting. Moreover, log files are often a litmus for server traffic and the results captured are often misleading. A slight to gross inaccuracy can leave you feeling pretty powerless. Site traffic analysis is only the start. Look for deeper analysis with 2nd and 3rd generation business tools.
Understanding Customer Needs
Is your site fulfilling the customer needs? How would you even know that? Some of that data can be mined from the logfiles , but the other has to do with simply asking the right questions.
First order of business?
- Conduct a Post Launch survey.
- Seek feedback from your customers. Actively solicit responses.
- Aggregate customer responses and prioritize any site changes.
- Re-Review your business plan and continue to move the chains.
Getting them to Act
It's pretty obvious, but in some cases, buying isn't the only success metric. If customers are downloading forms, staying longer to read new content, requesting to be added to the newsletter, contributing to your messageboard , or reading your newsletter that qualifies as a level of success and that number can be quantified as a conversion.
Try calculating conversion rates by page. Here's a hint, look in your logfiles for both most entered and most exited pages. Now document your findings. Learn from the data. Persuasion can be a powerful, powerful thing.
Segment and market to YOUR Customers
You'll need to understand the online behavior of your customers. Who buys? Who browses? Who keeps coming back, Who reads your newsletter? Once you've segmented your customer profiles, place them in buckets. Seek to understand their needs and build campaigns to attract and convert them in some way.
Building the internet Sales Channel
Take ownership. Your business can be promoted in a variety of ways. You'll need to understand how your customers like to do business with you. How successful was the banner ad you placed on Google? How much did that response campaign cost you? How might that traffic be different from the channel you created from offline promos? Document your findings.
Do you have a solid sales pitch that you know can't fail? A best offer your customers just can't say no to? Make some noise! You'll need an audience to talk to. Be careful here, SPAM is considered intrusive by most, plain annoying to others.
If you are going to make an offer to someone, make it targeted, and sprinkle some value in for good measure. You can accomplish this primarily through good old fashioned content, but it won't help you unless you can get a name...or closer still, an email address. Are some of the same customers that download your PDFs the same that read your newsletter? If that's the case, you can tie an observed action with a name. Congratulations, you have your first lead!
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