Monday, July 11, 2011
A visually stunning website, although eye-catching, will not necessarily get your firm new business. Content is single-handedly the most important component of website success but, unlike an attractive design, it can be difficult to evaluate. How do site visitors perceive the information on your site and how is that perception affecting their decision to contact (and retain) you? Google Analytics can help you answer these questions with its statistics on website content.
Upon logging into your Analytics control panel, you will find that there is a whole section devoted to content analysis. Below are the key statistics which you should be actively monitoring:
Top Content: This report includes a list of the most commonly read pages. Here you will find the number of pageviews for each top page and the average length of time spent on each page. Of course, you want the average length of time on the majority of your top pages to be substantial. If it is a copy-heavy page like your blog or articles page, you want to make sure site visitors are there for a considerable length of time, meaning they are actually reading the information and find it interesting enough to keep reading.. If visitors are spending less than a minute on the page, it can probably use some help. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, most visitors won’t spend more than a minute on your Contact Us page; they will grab your number and/or address and then ideally reach out to you. With this list, it is also important to pay close attention to bounce rates. For a full explanation of the significance of bounce rates, refer to our previous post on the statistic.
Top Exit Pages: Google Analytics also keeps track of the exit points, or the page a visitor was on when they exited your website. This statistic is also incredibly valuable for measuring the quality of your content. The point of your website is to engage site visitors and keep them reading! If you find that your attorney profile page has a high exit rate, you are probably not selling yourself well enough. Or if your blog page is turning people off, you might consider exploring other topics or perhaps even toning down your opinions that may not resonate with many. Once again, it is normal to expect some pages to have a high exit rate. For instance, once a visitor fills out the consultation request page and receives the confirmation of submission, they are likely to exit the site and wait for your call.
Top Landing Pages: People tend to think that when a visitor comes to a new site, they arrive first on the home page; this is far from the case. When internet users search for your site using Google, they are likely to be directed to the page that best matches their search query based on Google’s index. For example, if a visitor searches for an estate planning attorney in your town, they will probably be taken first to the estate planning overview page of your website. By understanding where visitors are landing on your site, you can have a better idea of what web-users are searching and also which of your pages are well-optimized with appropriate keywords.
Since your content should be frequently updated and new copy added to your site regularly, it is important that you monitor these statistics often. Once you add content, refer to Analytics to see if it is resonating with visitors. If it is, keep it up and post similar articles or blog entries. If not, try moving in a different direction and explore different calls to action to engage site visitors.