Measuring your website's effectiveness is how you know what is working.
In this episode, Darryl takes us through the various ways you can measure whether your site is doing it's job.
Darryl: Hi I'm Darryl King. I'm here with my co-host Ed Pelgen, we’re couple of old internet guys who been running our online agencies work well over 20 years. We get together weekly to talk about all things online especially for small and medium business owners or executives who still talk about their website, as they're bloody website. Each week we're going to tackle range of online issues put them in plain language so anyone can understand how to make their website work better for their business. This is episode 29. Hi Ed! How are you going?
Edmund: Good Darryl. Yourself?
Darryl: good, I suppose I should say that episode 29 is Titled: How to Measure your Website's Effectiveness
Edmund: Yep, I think; Yeah, This is an excellent topic cuz we've got 28 previous episodes telling people how to do all these different things and I thought it was a good opportunity for us to talk about; well, how the, how the heck do they measure, how do they actually know that any of this stuff that we've been telling do is having an effect and how do you actually measure if your website is doing its job and given that you're the author of the ultimate website planning guided, I figured that you would be the ideal person to have this conversation with today about measuring the effectiveness of something that you've planned for. Correct?
Darryl: well, I think! In that’s potentially one of the biggest problems right? There’s a lot of people don't plan what they want their website to do?
Darryl: So when you don't know what something you wanted to do. How do you measure whether it's going to work? You know
Darryl: If you, if you discount for drive in the country just anywhere it works. right? But if you're trying to drive to Sydney from Brisbane then the effectiveness is, hey are we making progress, we hit in the right direction and are we getting closer? Are we, you know and there's a lot of benchmarks and standards around; how many plumbers now it would take what an average juniors etc.
Edmund: So from your experience. What would you say has been the way that most people measured their website effectiveness? How do they say, “What are the great; it's doing it’s a great job” what's their typical pinch mark?
Darryl: Well, maybe it depends a little bit on their sophistication. You know; I mean; People that are working in online marketing and here comes all the large organizations that have a lot of resources; they'll be looking at really granular data
Darryl: for that; the person that this podcast probably targets that we most people that listen to it. A lot of them would just be something simple as inquiries. Well; at the very top level; hey, I get 3 inquiries a day, I get 10, a week I get one a month, and I get whatever it might be. Well I think that's a starting point that's whether; it’s the only thing that they kind of and said to define during more
Darryl: that sort of things.
Edmund: Yeah, So I mean, so I guess if we; if we simplified down to a very basic level. They're looking for leads or online sales and inquiries and that's at the end of the day that's all; that's all that matters ultimately.
Darryl: well yes and no and that's why I think people get hung up because someone goes “well I don't get inquiries for my website” does that mean it's not effective and it really comes down to what was the purpose of it; so you know where we start it; so if you think about let's just say that you sell massive pieces of machine you know maybe earth moving, just for example and you do servicing of them and you have parts etc.. Let's separate the parts of the business a little bit and in say these machines are out in the field. They have and they're owned by companies that do a lot of servicing themselves and things like that but to do that they need access to resources, so they may have a website which is purely a servicing information resource or it might be; another example as a warranty website, so if you're; your home goods appliances as a wholesaler; you have a distribution channel; you don't have people coming there buying your product or generating leads. Okay; so LG let's say on LG and I don't do any retail distribution, so the only people that I sell to a channels you know
Darryl: big-box stores and all these sorts of things, so what's the purpose of this website? Well Ed might have multiple purposes then my instance might be you know marketing awareness brand product awareness; that's one, but we come in here and look at it. Then we go there's service information, warranty information; so the effectiveness of that website is our end customers able to easily get in contact with servicing people are they able to get access to stuff and maybe that company does the service they don't do they don't do the retail but they might have service branches; so they allow you to book bookings to get your item serviced or if you're a printer manufacturer and you have you know like download drivers and stuff so at that that website there is effective if your end-users the ones that buy your product can effectively get access to the information that makes the use and ongoing maintenance of that advice easy. Right? So that's also effective not just
Darryl: I am I Edmund Pelgen Online Kickstart and I'm getting; you know; when you need a week for; you know; the spray is here were; you know; that that's not obviously relevant and I think that's one of the problems too sometimes of people only look for leads and sales designation
Edmund: so what you're basically saying to me is that to truly measure the effect of a website you need to have given some thought as to what the ultimate what the initial goal was that you would have built the site for and based on what you're saying it sounds like a lot of people go into the process of building a website without any clear idea of what their goals are and therefore they don't know whether it's effective because they have no idea what they're measuring against.
Darryl: Well blogging is a great example so we step back; right? We’ve seen the growth of blogging and lots of blog; people start a blog; have to go all the way back; you know; like journalist (5:52). I'm just writing shit and putting it out there. How did you measure a blog effectively? Well; you know; people reading it are they using comments there's lots of ways of measuring them now then something will start to commercialize it cuz they build an audience but not all of those people when they first started blogging said “I'm gonna be really popular writing about needlepoint” you know; and something I want a worldwide audience because I just do this really cool stuff now I can actually have and fill it when it's not listed, so; you know; sometimes people didn't engineer a goal or an objective they just thought under the website. Yeah we need a website, now had it for 12 years, done a few risk ins and they're not thinking about what's its purpose and then you know; I'm not gonna spend more money it never gets us leads but for your business leads might not be the model, you might be someone that does face to face falling in it. It's the only way your product sells or you might be a really long burn sale cycle for a really expensive piece of equipment that the best thing the website does is just credibility and brand recognition; Hey look at all the case studies and there's no collection there's no anything. So the way how would you; okay; so question; how would I measure the effect in this back type of website? Well I would measure the effective from their website because the people I'm speaking and said; yeah actually I went to watch those two case studies and link me to, told me about; I showed them to the MD; you know, it was a really powerful story that's really got you in the running we're really considering the product; well that's effective, that's highly effective but in the old day; well; we; brochures or we took a CD out I don’t have a CD drive let me show you mine
Darryl: there were all these problems like how do I like to leave up information to people and so; you know; that there's no lead in that site but if you're a little in commerce store you know that doesn't have a physical premise premise that people come to you've got well your effectiveness would be like an affair well you'd have multiple when you you have to break it down and maybe this is what we'll talk about today about for their little bit as like there's actually tears of effectiveness too because you could have the most highly converting shopping cart layout. One person comes to site they buy it. I got a hundred percent conversion rate. The problem is only get three people a month
Darryl: that's not effective right because the first level of effectiveness of that site would be am I getting found by getting found by the right people etc...
Edmund: alright, so what I want to do now is based on what you told me I'd like you to step back a little bit right and we're assuming that the reality is that most people probably haven't planned their website effectively.Sso they really have no idea what their goals are by which they're going to measure the effectiveness of the website. So assuming assuming a lot of our listeners are in that situation I'd love you to step us through the process that the thinking and the logic of how they can start thinking about; okay; Well how do I start to measure this effective the effectiveness of my website and then maybe like you just said step into those multiple levels of effectiveness, I think that would be a really helpful process to help people start thinking about; okay, well I've got a website. Is it effective?
Darryl: okay, so I guess this come back to you have to have a critical thought and quite often what’ll I do at workshop with people. These are the first questions and I think you've been present and one or two where the first question is who this is for? Or what do you want out of it? And quite often there's like; oh we want this and we want this and so I say people is; what's the most important thing that you want this to do to your business? So let's say that you have a high expensive product that you might have payment systems online but you don't really expect people to buy, so what you want is people to learn about the product and contact you, so then you have to really be clear about that and say; my primary goal on this website is I want my audience and you need to know who that is to do X and so you kind of have to stand there and go well, I want to get we get one lead a month from our website and we really want to get ten; we know that's what our business needs but when we run an ad we expect to get a results so we want to get 10 leads a month for this particular product or a hundred or whatever it is because once you determine that, now you know its effectiveness a lot so I think the thing there is to go back and gather some basic metrics about what is your website actually doing performance looks like. How much traffic comes to it? how much; you know; some of the key things like that I spend a lot of time; do we even track that they're filling in our contact forms, do we have effective and so what we've talked about analytics and stuff is when you get sellers key stuff but like even in a crude sense like if you get emails from your website, if you don't even have to; just track how many go back and look at them in your mad programmers and sort them by date and go; in May it was 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 30 you know; like even at the cruise sent for a smaller business that doesn't necessarily; isn't familiar with this things. Get an idea, where are we today? and in the; you know, when you do business planning you go; you know, our gross profit at this, our net profit for the year is this but we want to do like; I don’t know; like forerunners, we, we've made a hundred grand profit for the year. The next year to meet some way other objectives I'd like to make they're a hundred and ten, one hundred and twelve what I'm gonna do; so what that effectively means I have to make $1,000 more net profit per month over twelve month period. So now you had a measure, like; so then when you go back at the end of January your whatever that month is; you start after this is you go; did we make a thousand dollars more profit this; you know; this month; no;
Darryl: okay, why not? What we get close to? You know; what have all we got a bit more like that you have a place line to do it so if you only get three inquiries a week and you want ten, you now know what it needs to be and so you; that's already telling you that this website is it quite as effective as you need it to be for this task then you're gonna look at it and go; analyze this and say well maybe the websites not actually designed or put together to do that; you know, hey it's got all this product stuff it's not actually engineered to get inquiring; everything's about by now so it's a really innovative website because no one's buying because we only sell fourth and a half thousand or you know 3d printers but what we actually know is that if they call us and we talk to them well; we'll answer all their questions better and do a site visit or whatever it might be. We sell every time so we just want to get them to do so now is the side effect of all; hey, it's got product info it's got a shopping cart you said it's done all the basics but for us it's all focused off on that car and instead of saying buy it says, want to know more about this product type three conversation drives into a called clicked record thing so don't so once you know what you want and that's only one example you can evaluate well, like I think people would be able to easily see all of a sudden why their website isn't as effective as it could be because; ah well we're asking you more on a buy but when Anna buying doesn't work
Darryl: and sometimes that but that's the; can't see the woods for the tree moment; oh it's looks pretty, it's got some brochure information, it's got some product information that's all work but that since one way but if you were then saying; well, we only get four people to our website a month so we get three inquiries a month that's really effective it's just not the right type of effective and so then that's a different conversation so by getting those base numbers and standing exam so the first question is; What do I want? Right? And you need to know your business so if you know your business really well; you know that you're not really gonna sell a line; all right?
Darryl: then you need to say; well, what do we need then we need to look enquiries to give to the sales team and that call to; do that; so that's what I've got to get how many we get or okay, now I know what I want; that's working like; How many people actually come to our lips? You know and work from those numbers. Is that kind of answer?
Edmund: yeah, absolutely; I think the one of the key points that you pointed out there was really having a good understanding of the behavior of your customer too because the example that you used was our people are coming to the site and they're not buying well; the product is a high involvement product that needs a face-to-face discussion to sell; of course they're not gonna buy so you're measuring it using the wrong benchmarks. I guess
Darryl: and if you; you certainly; when I talk about planning; understanding the audience requires that research to organic customer. We’ve done this for about content production but the same thing is true if you sell will talk about glitter site you know
Edmund: yeah 14:34
Darryl: we add to a go yeah and these things only two or three two bucks a pack now you know so if you're in say countries like Australia and UK with shipping might be problematic price-wise you know; you're not going to sell one three dollar thing and have a five dollar shipping cost. Right? That; so you've got to encourage people to buy $30 worth of these little packs to ship because it's much more cost-effective for them; do you have to understand what they're trying to do so again in this instance it's about thinking through when they'll buy stuff. Were here because the shipping price for the $3.00 thing so actually you came on you know my shipping cost is design in a little box not a little sachet so if I didn't put it a little in vibe (15:15 but exchange costs shipping fee) so if you buy one; I've got to smarten up away my cards so it's again; what; what; you talk to customers or talk to people on the site; put tools there if you're not an offline business view covers, get a live chat, hop in and ask people hey what is it that's not getting you to buy but it all comes down to understanding what people wanna get and then I think you can start to work from that and I guess that's where; you then start to think about is the design or content on my site going to meet that objective is that am I getting enough people, is it a technical issue
Darryl: you know; my sites so slow it's actually that that's not making it perform so knowing that performance. If I have a warranty thing or no like the download the driver demo and people get to the site and it's so hard to get to the driver and work out which one is for me and then when I click on it; it kind of used some third-party download tool that looks very dodgy and looks like it's going to put malware and that whole thing is not engineered to be a good solution for people. So I wouldn't call that effect you know like if I; if I just want to download a free driver I'm gonna give you my license number of my; sure you did; you know; although they're not effective ways to get the results of; you have to work out all what is effective mean for that client; that means I can find it easily, I could download it quickly; install it and solve one of my problem so they like my product or I can buy the product really quickly or the information is so easy to find and there's this great call to action since; hey, just give us some basic info and ask a question.
Edmund: okay, so once; once; once they've sat down and have gone through a bit of structured and logical thinking about this and they've; they've got an idea that; hey the site's not being as effective as it could be. I mean how would you; how would you recommend that; that they then address the; the issue and improve its effectiveness
Darryl: so I guess it's like design mapping so like workflow mapping rather than design in itself so like that example; we set up you go through these five steps to do it so the first thing is you set a new objective so like in making an effectively say, I; and the only old days; we used to say if you can't get to in three clicks, I'm gone; by there was this mantra that (17:27…?) everywhere; I think half the time was actually wrong because at the end of the day if it was really; if; if the pathway was logical and all of the steps are really good; people will follow it because that if it's gonna solve their problem but there was; I think there was a thing to stop crappy websites that just puts extension whale. So the thing there is if if it's taking seven clips to get a result; I could create a metric that said to be more effective; we want it done in three so there's a number; now we have to sit down and do sketch out on page for workflows to go; what's step one two three four five six seven; okay, do we really need them to give us an email address to download this drug? No; okay, so we can take a step out; you know, do we have to use a third party thing; you know, that was set up five years ago; bandwidth was bad whatever was said; was wrong; no, we could just link it here; you know, so you can; that workflow sort of stepping is going; is that right or it might be more visual design so if you've got access to design team or things like that or look at your competitors and say, you know what; so we're working on a task at the moment where there's an input form to get a comparison table and in there; the client had seen this awesome example and when you analyze the awesome example; what it was is that the input form to create the data was constructed in this really clever way that at read like natural language had this and did this to do this there and you float along the form, so there's actually a form and a button but it felt like you're reading a sentence and just filling it in and doing it and that worked really well to bring up results and then you had a couple of toggle options and for toggle that the language changed but you were really entering the same sort of data but it got you different results but we looked at five or seven and you model stuff up and then when you see something like that; you go, are that is so much better, that's so more effective to get the next page and sometimes it's micro effectiveness. So having a better input form to get the results; gets more people to get the results that then buy it. So it wasn't actually that the price of the thing was wrong or the design of that was wrong; was just that you could make the form or the element on page more effective by analyzing it so then you're going out to external sites; you're talking to your designers and you're asking hey, just this thing; I want to make it work better and then of course you could go down to things like testing MAP and check it out but; but I think you need to do some step-back; just analyze; what are seven hops or
Darryl: it's; it's really clunky; I hear that a lot; it's really clunky; will it ask someone to design less clunky; what is it about it that's not flowing naturally
Edmund: it was interesting the comment you made there about micro effectiveness. I mean are there common elements to all sites where by looking at them you could get an idea that; hey, you know, this site is probably less effective than it could be because these little micro effective moments; I suppose aren't as effective; I mean, Are they're comments like that you could look at
Darryl: Yeah; yeah; I think you right. You say fan pages are really good example; it won't copy stuff; stupid carousels up on websites and they slow the performances thing down and a lot of tests have said that people don't even go through the carousel
Darryl: then someone else's did it so I'm copying it so people made a design decision to copy they didn't think about the effectiveness for the user and a lot of places the home page is purely a gateway product. Help me choose something deeper because you know, all that other things being equal; I would had land on the home page; Land on the content page or search info/ searching. So in those examples that whole home page and then trying to do a call to action; wrong or whacking a pop-up box; that's, I don't even know if I'm on the right site but I've got up a pop-up window that’s not contexted irrelevant that can be really long; shopping cart prices as a ticket so a really common one in the deep conference process I think is not allowing guests check out; so get to check out this where you don't have to create an account you just put your details in a bar; right, so, I don't want you to do it, I don't want you to use that password; this might be a one-off transaction; I just want to buy it; I know I have to give you my no.; you know, (21:32) it's like; it's not about you. it's about the user so you know, having to go or remember or register well that's not what I wanted I just wanted to go from car checkout and Gone then until you've added one two three more pops in it so that's a thing that can happen; um, things like mystery meet; mystery meet - is where people have you know like graphical elements that don't tell you what they're bad and we have to go mouse over them to find out what they are and you know, oh , it's like a random surprise
Darryl: I don’t want a random surprise; I'm trying to navigate (22:25) and in a voice-activated AI world that's useless; right? Unless it's tagged to say this is the button for that because I'm talking my way through it so you want to create simple workflow you want navigation to work; you know, I don't like hamburger menus on desktop; they don't; I don't see the purpose I understand my role because we have a limited space but a hamburger menu is it cliff I didn't need two years ago because the navigation was there so I; you know, like I could do it so these are; these are things that people do because there might be easier for them or I think it's a great design thing but they're not necessarily effective for the person trying to use the website
Edmund: Instinct; do you think that people get caught up when they hear the word effectiveness they think; oh, it's it's just analytics and stuff and they get caught up with all of these cool little tools and widgets and toys and they want to see the little numbers go up and down and they think if they're changing those things that they're improving their effectiveness; it's a little; more
Darryl: Yeah, but the things that come to it. Like you you can you can keep a lot of online marketers really well employed with improving bounce rate; you know, it's like that's a number; right? oh, my bounce rate; I’m so upset; I've got it down to 42 percent; did that make any material difference and you know, the the key thing that we see it a lot like in Australia so I see a global traffic; you can filter it to Australia the bounce rate and it improves immediately; right? So I can whittle that doll and get the result I want out you know, the stats; anywhere which I want to present to imply.
Darryl: That the real thing is drilled down put an axe you want from the Switzer. Oh, I want to sell more coffee, I want more inquiries here; we did our review on our lineup later a month or so ago, I want more people that want a house painted in the areas of Brisbane that's what I want to find me through my website so that's really easy to understand
Darryl: it doesn't really (23:59) us; he could have a 90% that's right, if his inquiry rate goes from one week to ten a week; he doesn't care about this bounce rate but he doesn't really care anything; I think if you can keep the main goal focused obviously all of those factors might impact that number you know, you might; you might get it to ten but it could actually be twenty if you fix some of those other factors but I think they come secondary or tertiary in the init thing; I think you're right that it's; like hey, I just need to get more email advice for the right type of people I need to shoot more of my packs of glitter or
Darryl: you know, my machines or whatever it is; that's the primary focus and when you build or fix a website; what's going one; that's the primary goal and then go two or Three it could be second; how I want people to sign up for my newsletter and all that but if that's not helping get more of this
Darryl: it really shouldn't get a long wait you know
Edmund: yeah and I think you've just hit it on the head there I don't want to get to indebt to this and overcomplicated; the reality is what you're saying to me is that a website's effectiveness is based on a good strong understanding of the primary goal right? And then my
Darryl: Your goal; your goal; your business goal
Edmund: my business goal and then everything works back from that so rather than get getting caught up with all these little metrics around analytics, around downloads and all the sort of stuff that you could; that could be distracting for you oh, I'm just trying to get this many ebook downloads because Gary Vee does or whatever it's focused on what's your business goal and then step back and logically look at your site from that perspective and just see whether all the things you're doing, all the pages, all the traffic are helping you achieve that end goal.
Darryl: here's a really good example; there's a; there's a guy they taught me to and he's got a relationship with his web developer and they're trying to work and get lifted standing right? but as it stands out he's got its long-term business and they have email addresses for everyone they do work for; they're not using them they're not new not emailing they're not doing a newsletter; now; you know, it's a trade business and they do it but these people are all rich targets for them and all they have to do is not every month but what; you know; they're entering winner; it's a slow period for though; there's what's the first thing I mentioned to him was; well, you have the data; the most effective thing you can do right now is to send a newsletter with a special offer for the thing that you can now do. So you know, it's like in in winner pool guys that make pools put them in the ground they always offer a good deal because they inquire in winter no, (16:32) and one certain spring lady in the cellar. Right? so pulls them quite often; cheaper to be installed made and installed in winter because they have less on and you get them done with all there is so ideal time for them to be targeting is late summer early autumn, fall where they say; hey, want to haven't put it in winter; avoid the delays get it done and we're doing attempts in your winter special but they can boost their stuff that's really effective. it's; you know, because we're talking all things online not just websites so this person it's like you know that one email at; you've already got the email addresses they're already existing customers you've got like a thousand or so you know, you only even get five or ten jobs to; come clean the thing to do this thing and it's become effective it's not the most effective which is kind of you know turning the dials as is it the most difficult but you're not doing it now so you can get a really quick win by doing things more effectively than you work based around the primary goal which is they need to book more jobs; now getting that from the website in a highly competitive trade space is actually gonna be harder; can going back to the existing base and so like to me that's kind of like just a normal business going gets busy. they forget; I think that goes back to what you're saying you know; what I actually want here; I'd be just a bit quieter than we could be, I could do with an extra three or four jobs a week; okay, what's the easiest way to get that ? Not Oh well let's rebuild the new 18-grand website that's automatically Instagram feed; I’ve really; you know, I'd be tasting all the style check this off like; let's just; how do I get one more inquiry oh wait; what; how do I do that? What’s the fastest way I could get that?
Edmund: okay, I don’t know; that was awesome especially the little dance that went; went with it. I think that's it for the day Darryl. I don't think there's any more to be said and I don't want to over complicate it. What do you reckon?
Darryl: well I would say one thing if you're not sure what's not effective about your website; can I ask the people; that are your customers actually go and asked; just we talked about in content research nor'wester; have a few phone calls, picture sales guys to do it; have a meet and greet; we you know put on lunch and bring people in or even just talk to your people that answer phones again like we did with content and say; what's the biggest frustrations about our business everyone tells you because then you solve one of those things that you know, that so that's the thing I think is; if you can't see through the woods, trees right? That know where you can't see the wood for the trees; ask people that you're trying to spend money with you and see what you can find out
Edmund: and you got that tip for free on this podcast that is amazing value and I think that's it for the day Darryl. What do you think?
Darryl: I reckon
Edmund: excellent; thank you very much for listening. Guys we really appreciate having you along for the ride. If you want to see the show notes and get access to the resources today that we're talking about. Darryl do we have any resources that you think we reckon we could throw into this
Darryl: I know; ah; maybe will; if they; reference the sections on that yeah, the planning guide about
Darryl: go link to that chapter that might be useful; we did link in the last episode to the whole book but we'll link to that free resource on there about setting goals and understanding (29:47)
Edmund: excellent, so look if you want to see those notes and links and get access to the resources we've talked about and you get notified when new episodes go live; just visit bloodywebsite.com or subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or stitcher also if you enjoyed this podcast please leave a review in iTunes it really helps people find the podcast. We hope to see you next week when we'll continue chat about my bloody website. It's goodbye from me
Darryl: It’s goodbye from him