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Web Measurement: What You Do Not Know Would Make a Great Book

por sheetal chaudhri (2018-10-22)

"What's in it for me?" you ask "Why should I measure how people use my site? How does it help and what does it mean?" The purpose of this article is to try to give an idea of the effective measurement of the web and talk about the most important page of any site, landing or home page.

Why measure everything?

Fred Flintstone lived in the Stone Age, but we live in the Information Age. We deal with a steady stream of TV information, websites, email, RSS feeds, cell phones, PDAs, radio, newspapers, brochures, posters and magazine covers. Even the sides of the bus hit us with information about companies, products and services. So why on earth, amid this information overload, would you like to gauge how people use your site, another data source to bombard you with even more information? The answer is quite simple and is best summed up by 18th century writer Sydney Smith. "What you do not know would be a great book."

Consider this.

Your company is selling $ 50,000 worth of products per week (5000 units per month) through its website. You are delighted with these results, as many would be, and you measure them just because you think you are doing something right. However, your competition, always watching and waiting for your chance, eats suddenly and steals a lot of your market share before you know what's going on. As? They were consistently testing how they could improve their conversion rate online, and after maximizing the conversion rate, they went out and aggressively targeted their potential customers. The limits! However, since the conversion rate on your site is much higher than yours, they eat your market like a hungry lion.

Let's put it another way.

You are successfully selling 5000 products per month through your website, but your conversion rate is only 0.18%. According to survey conducted by, the average conversion rate of sales is 1.8%. That means you could sell 10 times more products (50,000)! Imagine what this could mean for your bottom line. If you do not know what your conversion rate is, you do not know how to improve it or even that it needs to be improved.

Measuring the conversion is not complicated.

Measuring sales or prospecting conversion is very easy. Over a certain period, you need to know how many people buy or register interest in your products or services as a percentage of how many visitors appear. However, there are more effective measures than simply measuring this type of conversion.

What a good measuring tool you should give.

The ability to improve your conversion rate depends on at least two basic things. In essence, this is what you need to measure to start a conversion enhancement program.

First of all, you need to be able to accurately measure the number of visitors coming to your site.

Secondly, you need to be able to see how they use the site, noting the paths they took and how long they spent browsing their pages.

Do not sit there, going hmmm ....

You look at ways that do not normally lead to conversion and try to improve them. Do not just sit around staring at your path tracking tool, wondering why people do not convert, but look at your site and physically use the path that the visitor left. It is here that careful analysis is needed and where comparisons must be made with paths that "convert" people. In many cases, the variables present on the higher conversion paths are not present in the lower conversion paths.

It's that simple. If you regularly compare the best paths and the worst paths while measuring your changes consistently, there must be a steady improvement in conversion. You will no doubt make mistakes, but that is why you should carefully measure all changes made and why you should measure one change at a time. If you change more than one variable, you will not know which change made the difference and you will not learn anything valuable.

Of course this takes a lot of time and effort from the Web professional, but I never said it would be easy. Compared to direct mail marketing or TV advertising, it's still a lot cheaper when you make a mistake.

Landing page

The landing page deserves special attention. When people do a search on Google, for example, they have something in mind when they get to your landing page (home / index), and if you're not, they come to you by mistake. There is nothing you can do about it. It's a simple fact of life that people who use keywords like "improve conversion" might be talking about a website marketing campaign or catalytic converters for their car.

The landing page, however, requires special attention from you as a web marketer because you want to reduce the number of outputs of a page from this page in the best possible way. This means that your focus should only be on incoming visitors. How well you meet their needs when they discover that you are essential to their conversion level. Again, measuring incoming and outgoing visitors (the bounce rate, as it is sometimes called) is a good measure of how good your homepage is when it conveys your message. Those who read for a few seconds and leave are not your target market, so do not worry about them. On the other hand, those who read a little more and leave can be slow readers, or they can be your target market, so focus on lowering that number. Your conversion rate for your landing page should rarely be measured like records or sales. It is more likely to be read time (for sites that bid on the landing page) or click to another section of the site.

Here is an example ...

Using our measurement system, we recently did a study of how people used our site. We found that the landing page was converting 68% of readers. The goal of the landing page is simple: get the reader to move to another page. The landing page title is "Are you driving qualified traffic to your site, but not getting enough customers or prospects?" This headline, the fact that we are going to describe the dilemma of target visitors in the first paragraph, and the fact that there are links to articles that educate the reader (more headlines, to awaken the curious among you) means that we have a good percentage of readers who arrive and keep advancing on the site. We are always working on the other 32%, but analyzing the returns, we found that 50% of them were possibly irrelevant traffic. We have an article starring Winston Churchill, which describes how color language can trap the reader, and many visitors come to our pages in search of a great man story. And as we mentioned above, we also found that some readers were looking for catalytic converters (conversion of keywords brought them to our site). So overall, that means that only 16% of our target audience left without doing anything. Maybe the phone rang. We cannot measure that!

Our tests on the landing page were numerous, but now we're afraid to change the title. Seriously! Because simply by changing the title of the landing page, we improved the click by 36%. That's almost double what we were getting in the same period of six months ago. So if you think you can write a better title for us than the one that currently catches the attention of 68% of our readers, send me an email and I'll test if it's better than what we're using!

Another thing we tested was urgency. We had a section on our landing page that said you could get a free ebook signing before a certain date. The date was expertly set to change every day to the date of the same day. It worked. We have a large number of subscribers in a short time and we achieved a conversion rate of 35%, which we consider incredible. More than 1 in 3 people signed up to get the book. Why do we stop? We overheard our readers who were getting annoyed with irrelevant information on the landing page. The new subscribers did not bother to see the message, but the returning visitors, the ones you really should pay attention to, complained about the same message with an updated date. It tastes something though. If you have a special offer in mind, urgency works.

Incidentally, the fact that all of the above items were tested on the landing page does not mean that you should forget about the rest of your site. For example, one of our recent articles is very well visited and received great reviews from critics and other publications on the web. But as an entry page, the URL also has a very high bounce rate of 79%. We have considered and drafted an interim conclusion. We think it's because we give readers nothing when they finish reading. They reach the bottom of the page and that's it. The end. Finished item. And they leave. So, now let's add a new section at the bottom of our articles that encourages signature or click-through. Again, analyzing and changing things, we hope to improve. If that does not make a difference, or actually worsens the rate, we lose very little, we simply turn the page the way it was. The test is about trial and error.

In short

I'll never be too smart to ever stop measuring how people use our site. I do not know what will work with our visitors the first time. I could not have said that one headline would work better than another until I tested it. I could not have said that using a great copy that instills a sense of urgency into the reader would work better than not instill urgency into the reader until I tested it. I could not have said if adding links from articles to the first landing page would improve the click until I measure. I could not have said if one graph would work better than the other until I measured it. I could not have told you that all these little changes would improve our subscription rate to more than 15% each month, until I measured it. In other words, by measuring how people use your website, you can continually improve it and therefore improve your conversion rate, which ultimately has a positive impact on your bank balance.

The author is associate editor at Bravens Inc., marketing workforce solutions