I’m a sucker for tradition; I love a happy ending and the good guy always prevails in my stories so in the final part of this blog trilogy we meet our prince charming who, for the purposes of cohesiveness, will be named Success riding upon a steed called Review.
So, here is a quick recap of the steps that we have gone through so far:
- The tell tale signs that your website needs a review
How to brief a team to carry out the required work
How to review the benefits of the changes made
And having dealt with the what, the when and the who, we are now ready to move onto the why and measure the success of the review a.k.a reviewing the review. But in order to get this ball rolling in the right direction we need to go back to the start because before you can measure, you have to know what you are measuring against so remind yourself of what your objectives and goals were in the first place?
Was your goal to increase traffic and as a result, sales?
If so you will initially be looking to measure the difference between site visits before and after the review and changes were made. To do this you need to compare the traffic statistics both pre and post review to see the difference the changes have made, for instance, if visitors to your site were 200 a day pre changes, and are now 300 post changes then congratulations, you can deduce that your changes are working. Now you should look at page visits and the duration the visitors spend on each one, especially the pages you changed, and importantly, how many more are now clicking ‘buy now’ since the improvements were made.
A bit of advice though, don’t be scared if the trend seems to be the reverse of what you expected. Sometimes sites need time to bed in, especially if there have been significant changes to content, structure and SEO. Continuously review and monitor your site’s statistics using Google Analytics or outsource the task for analysis.
Was your goal to rank better for keywords, or SEO, in Google?
If this is the case then you will need to monitor two main things:
1) traffic to your site coming through search engines and the keywords they are coming in from
2) the positioning of your keywords on Google
There are lots of free keyword ranking checkers out there to you help monitor these points and it will take a little time to gather and collate the most reliable information so aim to monitor this continuously over 6 months at least.
Was your goal to implement a site redesign and improve structure?
If so, you want to monitor KPIs like bounce rate (those that leave your site from the same page they landed on) as if this decreases then your site has grabbed the visitor’s attention better. Secondly you want to monitor the time spent on site and page views which will give an indication of whether people are now enjoying spending time on your site more. As a rule of thumb, the more page views you receive in less time, the clearer the navigation and therefore a more efficient and effective site.
Was your goal to increase sign ups, enquiries and sales?
You now want to survey your customers and ask their thoughts. A great way to get feedback is to ask a sample of your customers about what they think of any obvious changes you have made. For example, changes to check out, design and content can all be monitored by asking a focus group of customers before and after redesign.
A site audit is always a good way too. Give a sample of people various tasks to carry out on your site before and after the changes take place and gain feedback on whether these tasks were completed more easily and smoothly before and after.
Remember not all site reviews will end in a final website, sites are constantly evolving things, and unlike a physical store, you can ‘repaint’ things whenever and however you like in order to improve.
Next week I will talk about communications and how to ascertain you are using the right channels and methods to reach your desired audience.