How to Tell if Your Website is Working Well - or Not

Phew. You finally did it.

You completed the colossal effort required for that rebrand you’ve pushed off for so long.

It cost you thousands more than you hoped and took months longer than expected, but at least you’re finally done.

Or so you think.

You can’t measure the success of what you just completed yet. Why? Because you’re not done!

Launching the site is something you do toward the end of the process, but it’s by no means the end of it. Now you’ve got to do the boring work of analyzing the data from the changes you made to see what edits need to be made.

You see, your new website is just a best-first-guess. Well, maybe a best-second-(or third-)guess at what your buyers want from you.

If you want to make the most of your rebrand, though, you’ve got to push through the pain and monitor numbers in three key areas. Check these analytics from the new site and compare with the old site:

Bounce Rate
When people land on your website they either click through to another page or they leave the site after reading through the one they came in on. If they’re one-and-done, it’s a “bounce.”

The goal is to keep this rate as low as possible. The more interesting the content and compelling the calls-to-action the less likely you are to have a web visitor leave after just one page.

Average Time Spent on Site
Contrary to popular belief, people do want content on your site. Here’s the thing: They want GREAT content. It’s got to be interesting and useful. If you can’t do both you’re going to see short stays on your site.

The longer someone spends with you, the more likely you are to get them to buy something from you. Or at least inquire about buying something from you.

Contact Page Visits
The highest priority for your site is to drive leads to your inbox.

(If you’re a luxury service provider and you don’t get to talk with the buyer because the planner is acting as an agent on their behalf, your number one priority is likely to showcase an extraordinary portfolio and outstanding “get to know your personality” feel to the site.)

All inquiries on your site must pass through your contact page to get to you. For visitors to get to your contact page they likely need easy navigation, compelling copy and messages, and beautiful images. Do these things, and they’ll end up at your contact page.

Bonus Metric: % of Contact Page Visits to Inquiries
Not all visitors who make it to your contact page are going to inquire. We know there’s a direct correlation between the number of form fields and how many submissions you’ll get.

More fields (harder work to complete) = fewer inquiries.

(Yes, you’ll get better-qualified leads, but that’s for a different blog post.)

Find the sweet spot between more leads and better leads by designing a contact form that gets you information you need while still reducing “form fatigue.”

Do yourself a favor: Don’t stop short of the finish line when you build a new website. Testing and modifying are essential parts toward the end of the race to get more clients.

Sam Jacobson