When you think about metrics or analytics related to your tree care company website, what comes to mind? If you’re like most business owners, you probably think of the numbers you get from Google Analytics – statistics like the number of unique visitors, bounce rate, and time on page. And hopefully you’re tracking those numbers on a regular basis.
But while those metrics are a good start, the problem is that they don’t tell you the full story.
Sure, you know if your traffic generation efforts are bringing more visitors to your website or if your content is engaging enough to keep people reading it. You can see which pages visitors are landing on and which they’re exiting your website from. And you can tell where they’re coming from and the path they’re taking through the pages on your website.
While all of that is important information that can help guide your website optimization, none of it tells you anything about the single most important metric of all – your bottom line.
Are the people who visit your website calling you, requesting an estimate and, ultimately, becoming a paying customer? Because if they’re not doing that, it doesn’t matter how many visitors you have or how long they hang out on your website.
So what website metrics really matter?
The most critical number to look at in Google Analytics (or whatever analytics program you’re using) is conversion rate. Simply put, it’s the percentage of website visitors who respond to your call to action (CTA).
The best CTAs are those that put prospects on the path to a sale – “call us today,” “contact us” (using a form or email link) or “request an estimate.” While you can’t necessarily measure the conversion rate for calls to your business from your website (at least not with the typical analytics packages), you can definitely measure how well your contact and estimate request forms are converting. How many people visit the page with the form on it? How many actually complete and submit the form? And how many of those become customers?
To really get a feel for the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and website optimization, dig a little deeper. Look at the conversion rate for each form broken down by traffic source.
For example, do website visitors coming from your AdWords campaigns convert (fill out and submit a form) at a higher rate than those coming through organic search? If not, you may need to target your PPC campaigns differently, direct them to a more targeted landing page, or tweak the wording in your ads. After you make changes to your ad campaign, check conversion rates again a month later. Did the numbers improve? If so, great – keep going. If not, go back to the drawing board.
And if you operate in multiple towns or geographic areas, you can even measure conversion rates for each traffic source based on where the person lives. This will give you an indication of where you may want to target your marketing initiatives to drive more people in high-converting areas to your website.
Ultimately, the goal with any metrics you use should be to assess the impact on your company’s bottom line. If you can’t do that, you’re measuring the wrong things.
This post was originally written for TCIA and posted on their blog.