23 July 2013 - 2:22pm | by Decibel Insight

Five steps to improve your
website performance

Ben Harris, CEO, Decibel InsightBen Harris, CEO, Decibel Insight

I often meet with clients who know there is a problem with the performance of their websites, but believe addressing this is such a huge challenge that they don’t know where to start. In actual fact, there are many small steps you can take to ensure you are not only measuring, but also improving the experience for potential customers when they visit your website. While having the right software in place of course helps, the following five steps will provide you with a basic website optimisation strategy.

1) Truly understand the customer journey
Knowing the exact customer journey is key to getting to the bottom of their behaviour, so make sure the tools used to monitor the performance of your website include a customer journey mapping tool. You should have the ability to see where customers entered and left the website, and find out what they did in between, to really understand their motivations. Customers have to leave your website at some point, so don't always be concerned about pages which have a high exit rate. What's important is that your customers are influenced to convert in some way before leaving, whether that be from placing an order, booking a demonstration or signing up to a newsletter.

2) Place a value on your website content
Brands invest heavily in online marketing, from Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns to affiliate partnerships. However, very few assign a value to their content based on its contribution in persuading customers to make contact or buy something. Not only will placing a value on your website content help you to calculate ROI, defining content by value also allows you to decisively improve layout content and calls to action.

3) Assign KPIs to your website’s performance and measure regularly
While it’s surprising that very few businesses assign a value to content, many also don't set KPIs to demonstrate real intent to improve the performance of their websites. Just as you wouldn't spend money on an advert in a magazine without setting measures of success, you should set performance indicators and expected returns from investment into your website. Set up goals and related KPIs that link to your business objectives, such as to generate more leads by increasing conversion rates; measured as a percentage rather than the total number so you can see the level of change from one period to the next.

4) Go beyond traditional heatmaps to really understand visitor behaviour
Heatmaps are now better known as a method of visualising analytics, but not all heatmaps are the same and with the introduction of responsive and mobile websites, the ones commonly in use may have had their day. Heatmaps which mark dots where most people click can actually be very misleading. This type of visualisation works as a method to analyse which part of a tennis court Andy Murray serves, but does not as easily serve as a method to understanding which content is being click most! The new approach identifies not just the location of a click, but the actual piece of content being clicked. So rather than just highlighting a dot for where the click took place, the entire piece of content is highlighted enabling like for like comparison on every page of your website, intranet or extranet. So instead of comparing dots and trying to calculate how many times each piece of content was clicked, instead you compare each piece of content. Try comparing the results of a dot based heatmap and a content heatmap and suddenly you’ll have impetus to improve performance and hit your KPIs!

5) Tie together website analytics and website insight in one place to identify what action to take
The biggest issue marketers have with analytics is the overload of information. The analysis of metrics is only useful for spotting trends and reporting progress from one month to the next. Knowing how to translate these numbers into action is virtually impossible, especially for a busy marketer. However when used with insight, information that gives you an understanding of how people are interacting with your site, you can get a clearer steer on what changes to make. Using insight as well analytics will make the process smoother and easier to manage, and help you to understand the steps you need to take to improve performance.

About Decibel Insight
Decibel Insight is ground-breaking website conversion optimisation software that moves ahead of traditional analytics, in favour of a suite of intuitive, enterprise-level heatmaps. We are the only visual analytics provider offering the ability to value every asset on your website, across devices, so you can attract more leads and sales. Visit Decibel Insight to optimise your website conversion rates.

Ben Harris
CEO
Decibel Insight

Tel: +44 (0)845 123 2900
Email: hello@decibeltechnology.com
Web: www.decibelinsight.com
Twitter: @decibeltech

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