9 things you should be monitoring on your website

Every online business needs to know how its website is doing. That’s the idea behind exit surveys, customer feedback forms, suggestion boxes and other devices that we often see on big brand websites.

Without feedback from your customers and other benchmarks, an online business can take a quick slide down a slippery slope, without you ever seeing it coming, knowing why it has happened or being able to stop the downward spiral.

If you’re not technical minded, you can check with whoever manages your website for you that the following things are being monitored:

Monitoring website traffic

Traffic totals
You want to know how much traffic is coming to your website. If the line on the graph is heading downwards, you know you have to find out why and stop losing traffic before your website comes to a complete standstill.

Referrers
It’s not enough just to know how many visitors you are getting to your website – you need to know where they are coming from so you know what online marketing is working for you the most and which ones are a waste of your time.

Searches
Good analytics software and services will tell you what people searched for in search engines before coming to your websites – in other words the keywords that you are ranking well for. You can use Google Analytics, which is free, and it will show you the searches that bring traffic to your website.

Pages viewed per visit
If people visit only one page per visit, you have some work to do to convince them to visit more pages, like those that make you money. If everyone hits your homepage and exits your website, then you may need to look at the design, and the messages of your homepage to I prove on this.

Pages visited
It’s always good to know which pages are most frequently visited and are most popular on your website. This may be an indication of what your website visitors are most interested in, so you can produce more content or products like it, and it will also give you an indication of what the pages on your website that search engines like, so you can rinse and repeat.

Monitoring website performance
Forms
Are they all working, and across different browsers? Make sure you check on mobile and tablet devices, too, to make sure they look decent and work properly. The last thing you want is to lose hundreds or thousands of subscribers or potential sales because a crucial form on your website stopped working.

Shopping carts
Slow and complicated shopping carts are responsible for tens of thousands of pounds in lost sales. Make sure yours is functioning properly.

Download speeds
Clear your cache and test your pages regularly – or have your webmaster do it for you. Google penalises websites that have slow load times, so if you use very big images on your website, you may have to look into the best way to get good quality images to download faster. Remember that some people are still using much slower internet connection than you are.

Fun
If you’re not having fun, there is no point spending your life doing something that bores you. Webmastering should be fun…for you or the person you are paying to do it for you.

Monitoring a website, and knowing what you’re looking for and how to improve aspects of the site, cannot be accomplished by an amateur.  Often these professionals carry educational achievements that helped to shape their knowledge and skills.  An instructional technology masters degree for example covers many computer topics, with website management being just one.

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