How to Determine if Your Website is Successful.
- Adam Hayes
Making sure that you pick the correct metric to measure is extremely important to having a truly successful website.Recently on SEOmoz's whiteboard friday they discussed how to keep clients happy. Much of the conversation focused around knowing what determines success. A point that I thought was extremely important was tracking and focusing on the correct metric for determining success. Here are some ways to "track" success and why the metric might not be telling you what you think it is telling you.
PageRank - Google assigns a link ranking to sites based on the number and quality of links pointing at your site. Google updates PageRank about every 3-4 months. Unfortunately, while many people chase the "green pixel dust" they ignore creating great unique content to get links naturally. Also since it is updated infrequently, it is just an indicator of if your link building is moving in the correct direction.
Number of Links - In general it is better to have more links, but getting links through link farms or other artificial building methods will ultimately have a negative impact on your rankings.
Number of Visits - In general it is better to have more traffic, but if that traffic doesn't actually do something, are they beneficial? The same applies for unique visitors.
Sales - Business metrics like number of sales or number of email list signups is a better metric. However if you don't compare that to the number of visitors you might see that you only convert one of every X number visitors which isn't good.
Conversion rate - This is linked to sales per visitor. Normally the higher the conversion rate the better. But if you only get 5 visitors per year, but you convert them all, you still only had 5 sales. As we've stated before, first increase your conversion rate and then focus on getting more customers. Ultimately, those things you focus on and track will get the most attention and the most improvement. So make sure you set good goals, track your progress, and evaluate along the way if you are focusing on the right data.