This post was originally published on The Huffington Post Blog.
Think back to the last time you visited a new store.
What was the first thing you noticed? And how did it make you feel?
Were you overwhelmed by all of the aisles and shelves? Were you entranced by the ambiance? Were you pleased by how easy it was to navigate? Or were you so frustrated by the lack of clarity that you stormed out in a huff and headed to one of the store’s competitors?
When it comes to customer experience, the parallels between websites and physical stores are as plentiful as they are undeniable. Just like you wouldn’t patronize a store with hundreds of aisles and zero signage, you wouldn’t waste time wandering a website with clunky infrastructure and confusing navigation.
The only difference? At least in a physical store, you might take a few minutes before cutting your losses, hopping in your car, and heading somewhere else. On a website, such hindrances do not exist. The next “store” is a click away.
This is why smart companies invest in website maintenance. Contrary to popular opinion, refreshing your website involves more than just cosmetic changes: it means updating code, site architecture, SEO and more, all with the objective of improving its performance.
Take your mobile device for example. If you used your smartphone to visit a random website a few years ago, chances are you would have been turned off by the experience. This is because most websites at the time were not optimized for mobile use. Now, the vast majority of successful websites are mobile optimized. This is because at least half of all online traffic comes from mobile devices.
User behaviors are constantly evolving as new technologies become available. Staying nimble and quickly adapting to compensate for new trends is paramount.
In the meantime, how can you tell if your website as currently constructed is performing properly? The best way to gauge performance is through Google Analytics. If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, you should become so immediately, as it reveals a trove of metrics that can inform your marketing decisions.
Key insights include the number of visitors on your website, the ratio of new/returning users, bounce rates (the percentage of visitors who enter the site and leave immediately), and much more. Reviewing these numbers against previous months and years help tell the story about the effectiveness of your website.
Of course, not all websites serve the same purpose. If your website is dedicated to e-Commerce, gaudy visitor numbers mean little if your conversion rate is low. Analyzing your website’s performance in the context of its primary purpose, as well as any benchmarks you established, is extremely important.
Keeping your website ahead of the curve can be a difficult task, but it’s a pillar of successful businesses. If you’re ready to unlock the true potential of your website, or simply would like a better understanding of how it can improve, contact the web experts at Rebuild Group for a free consultation. Call us now at 855-725-3628.