One of the great things about having a website is to be able to track what visitors are doing. This data gives you accurate information you can use to make educated, informed decisions about changes to your site. Conversion rate optimization is the most obvious goal for your website. If you need a refresher on goals, see our post on SMART Goals.
There was a great article on using Google Analytics to optimize conversions recently on PraticalEcommerce. In it, the author states:
“Google Analytics cannot identify the problem areas. But it can provide the data, which you can interpret and make changes accordingly.”
The point is the data provided. It’s just data…it cannot make decisions. Likewise, you cannot make decisions without data. The better the data, the better the decision.
Create a SMART Goal for Conversion Rate Optimization
The first step is setting a SMART goal. The M is measurable so will require you know what you are measuring and have a tool in place to provide the data. Google Analytics can provide any number of reports to provide the data to answer most any questions about your site.
Once you have that in place, you can let the analytics collect your ‘before’ data. In many cases, this will already exist and you can jump to the next step.
Come up with a theory, or plan of action, as to what change to make to your site to achieve the goal you set. Make the change and measure the result. This is where you’ll use your data to see if the result was what you expected or not. The beauty of this is there is no gray area, no subjectivity. The numbers will tell you exactly where you are in relation to your goal.
This is ongoing process, just like the website as a whole. If you are not measuring, making changes and moving forward than you are falling behind. You competitors are not standing still.
- Always have an active goal for your website.
- Always be testing something to try and improve your website.
A client of ours had a goal to increase the e-commerce conversion rate for their mobile visitors by 10% within 30 days. To accomplish this, they switched to a responsive template for their Zen Cart. In the 30 days after launch, their mobile conversion rate increased 30.2% and their tablet conversion rate increased 20.3% compared to the desktop conversion rate. This data was gathered using Google Analytics. Using this data, they not only confirmed they met their goal but that they more than tripled their goal! They learned the benefit of setting goals for their website.