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An attractive and intuitive website is a must for every contractor’s business. And, so is a solid understanding of the metrics behind homepage. Once the website is up and running, contractors need to develop an understanding of web traffic, how to read performance metrics, how to know where their leads come from and what factors drives their engagement. It is also important to understand reasons why a website might begin to lose traffic, leads and engagement. Knowing the figures associated with web traffic and what they mean can help create solid decision-making that will lead to more leads.
Let’s take a look at six metrics and why they are important.
Are you growing your new user base? This metric within Google Analytics allows you to see how many first-time users are coming to your site within the selected data range. This is important to grow your business to make sure that you are hitting a new audience and you are able to grow your market share.
This is different from “users.” Although traffic generated by users is important, you want to see new users coming in each and every month. This will help you identify if you are growing your new customer base.
Why is it important: How much of your business is existing business vs. new business? What mix do you want? Understanding this new user metric will help you to determine if your website reaches the right audience and your marketing efforts bring in a new customer. Everyone wants to reach that new potential customer and understanding where that new user is coming from will allow you to push on different advertising channels to bring in the right new customer for your business.
Where exactly is your traffic coming from? Are you getting local traffic or traffic out of your area? With home services business it is extremely important that your traffic is coming from your service area. While you might love to help everyone, you know it doesn’t make business sense to drive past a certain point.
Looking to see where your traffic is coming from will also help you understand what area is growing and where to focus additional marketing efforts. You want to make sure you have the majority of your traffic coming from your local area.
Why is it important: There’s no good reason to spend advertising dollars to bring in traffic from outside your service area. If your website is bringing in traffic from outside your service area, this would be an opportunity to evaluate your landing pages and channels to understand how they found your site. This should be evaluated through all digital efforts to drive the right traffic.
Mobile vs desktop
Customers are using different devices throughout the day to do search. We typically all have two or three devices at our fingertips at any given time. We switch between devices based on what we are looking for. Looking at how you receive visits to your website through all these devices will help you identify how your customers interact with your site. You want to give your customers an incredible experience on your site through all devices. You will also be able to see which devices convert best, how much time they are spending on your site per device, and how deep they are going through your site.
Why is it important: Device type will help you learn more about your audience. A better understanding of popular device types will also allow you to use your advertising dollars wisely. If you are running pay-per-click campaigns and you have the majority of your audience coming through mobile devices and they are converting, you would look to increase bids on mobile. If your desktop user is converting higher than your mobile user, your mobile experience might need improvement. Understanding your end user’s behavior through devices will help you give a better end-user experience, and help you know where to focus your advertising and marketing efforts.
Do you know how your customers “find” you, or, in other words, end up on your website? How your customers reach your website tells a lot about your marketing efforts. If you are spending money on any type of digital marketing, you want to see that it is paying off. You also want to see if you have brand recognition and people know who you are. Each channel will tell you a story. Each channel should also be working together to help create brand awareness and keep you as the local authority within your space.
Why is it important: Understanding how each channel works together will give you a bigger lift in your local area. What channels, organic, PPC, social, referral, etc., are you tracking? When you are looking at every channel and how your customer enters your site, this will help you understand the who, what and where behavior. This will also help you identify what channel produces the most traffic and whether it is quality traffic.
The bottom line is you want to be found, and you want to make it easy to do just that.
What does your site content say about you? Content on your site should be informative, end-user friendly and help your customer be able to make informed decisions. Not all of your site's content will be read; however, the most important part of the content should be at the beginning. Break content up in sections to allow your customer to easily move through the page.
Why is it important: Your website content should reflect your businesses voice, tone and authority in your space. The content should include answers to questions that you receive from your customers. It’s one of the best ways to attract customers. “When should I replace my HVAC system?” This is a question that your customer asks the search engines. This is a topic that you want to show up high in the search engine results for relevant information. If you are able to answer their question, educate them, provide helpful information, they will see you as authority. Content is king and should be a large part of your digital marketing.
What goals are you tracking? Goals will tell you how your end-user is converting. Conversions include phone calls, form fills, chats, newsletter sign ups, schedules and appointment, etc. All of these items can be set up as goals within Google Analytics, providing these are options available on your website.
Why is this important: Goals for your business will help you identify how your end-user is converting. You can see goals within devices, geography, pages, and what channel your end user converts the best on.
With your goals set up properly, you can see how many touch points your customers go through before they take an action. You can see how all of your channels are working together because we know it takes multiple touch points before your customer takes an action.
Sometimes we look to cancel certain advertising aspects because we cannot see the direct conversions taking place, however looking through assisted conversions you can actually see sometimes the first touch usually never gets the credit. Another channel gets the conversion credit. Knowing your data points before changing your strategy will help you in the long run.
Data will also be the go-to for digital marketing. Without data, you will not be able to make educated decisions and continue to grow your business in this ever-changing environment.
Chris Yano is CEO of RYNO Strategic Solutions (rynoss.com). RYNO is a full service digital marketing company that focuses on SEO, PPC, web design and social media for the home services contractor.