Tuesday, September 4, 2007

How do you know if your website is working?

If you’re not using web analytics to continuously learn and improve your website’s marketing results you’re marketing with a bag over your head.

The problem with analytics in most companies is that they don’t know what to do with all the data they can pull from the plethora of robust web analytics vendors on the market.

Where should online marketers start? Page views, unique visitors, leads, top exit pages, etc. it can all be overwhelming and daunting just to stay on top of and report much less use all of that information to improve your marketing results and be the superstar of the next Monday morning meeting.

The data in and of itself is useless, unless you:

  1. Establish Key Performance Indicators that are aligned with your unique business bottom line goals.
  2. Have a plan to produce measurable results from your web analytics.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) allow you to see at a glance the current state of your web site as it relates to your specific business. Each business is different and requires a unique set of KPI’s that are relevant to achieving the business objectives you’re accountable for.

Your KPI’s are directly tied to a continuous improvement process. The measurement of your desired results against current conditions and changing the direction of ebbs and flows over time to increase your results is what the continuous improvement process is all about. Success in optimizing your web site is based on incremental and constant improvements. A website, unlike print collateral is never really finished. Web design is organic and flows back and forth constantly improving and learning from your unique visitors.

The combination of web analytics and persuasive web design is where measurable results are formed. Persuasive web design guides users, influences human behavior and motivates your visitors to take action that is measurable through web analytics.

Persuasive design is both visual and verbal. Visual persuasion successfully guides your visitors through your site by using persuasive principals to compel visitors to take more action more often. Some ways visual persuasion accomplishes this is by removing roadblocks, improving visual communication and enhancing the usability of your site resulting in a better user experience with your company brand and your website.

Verbal persuasion provides the right content at the right time in the right way to effectively encourage visitors to take action on your site. Content on your site designed around a persuasive path touches on a visual mental image within the imagination of your prospects. Compelling verbs, attention-grabbing nouns and spell binding adjectives will pull your readers through a persuasive pathway, at each step bringing them closer to closing the action that meets your business goals.

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