Website tracking software is probably the last thing you are thinking about if you just got your website or online business up and running. Instead, you are rightfully thinking about generating traffic and ultimately sales. But, that is the same mistake made by 99% of online businesses and it could end up costing you everything.
This same mistake is the reason why massive tech firms are hiring third party conversion rate optimization companies to fix their sites. I am talking about companies like Netflix, Google, and even heat mapping firms like Crazy Egg that have teams of website experts on staff–are hiring outside experts to come in and “fix” their websites to get them converting better. Why?
Because just like 99% or more of all online businesses, even sites by companies like Sony, Apple, and Vodafone–never optimized their sites at launch. Instead, just like everyone else, they focused on generating traffic to boost sales volume. However, failing to optimize a new website means that you start out the online business with a number of potential “thieves” that rob you of conversions, such as:
- Weak Sales Funnels
- Poor Copywriting Tools on Sales Pages, Product Descriptions, and Primary Conversion-Oriented Content
- Ineffective Web Design and Layout of Features and Tools
- Poorly Implemented SEO that Suppresses Conversions
- Shopping Cart/Order Processing Configuration Problems
- Word Press/CMS Configuration Problems/Using Wrong Plugins
- Wrong Price Point
- Weak/Poorly Placed CTA’s
Just one or two minor issues may not harm conversions too much. However, just one or two big issues or a combination of a lot of smaller ones all add up to one thing: An unprofitable online business. Here’s why:
All Future Traffic Investments Will Have Lower ROI
Just assume you have a few minor issues that combine to suppress your conversion rate by a modest 25% (the average increase in conversion rate from CRO services is around 40% for established sites). That means that every dollar you spend on SEO, PPC, or even social media is generating 25% fewer sales than an optimized site. For sites with 1,000 sales transactions a year, that means the net loss is a total of 250 sales multiplied by your average customer sale.
Losing the Majority of Online Profits
I don’t care whether you are talking content marketing, social media marketing, ppc, or SEO–getting traffic to an online business is expensive but vital to success. However, these marketing costs devour online profits and leave most online business owners with anemic margins. But if those same online businesses could generate 20,30, or even 50% more conversions on the same marketing budget, suddenly the profits surge and previously “marginal businesses” transform into profitable ventures!
Website Tracking Software is Key to Online Profitability
As you can see from the list of conversion rate problems listed above, you honestly can’t “eyeball” issues. Sure, you can point out some obvious flaws in the copywriting, design, or even programming–but what about the issues you can’t see?
Conversion rate optimization experts (or CRO experts) use website tracking software to optimize websites for 3 primary reasons:
1. Isolates the Conversion Rate Problems
Much like a doctor can isolate symptoms in a patient using diagnostic tools and tests (like lab work, CAT scans, etc.), a CRO expert uses website tracking software to isolate conversion rate problems. When certain stats or Key Performance Metrics are off, they indicate the presence of a problem that is likely suppressing online sales. Some critical KPM’s to look for in website tracking software include:
- Average Time on Website
- Average Time on Individual Pages
- Bounce Rate
- Conversion Rate (includes ecommerce tracking)
- Content Drilldown
- Mobile vs. Desktop Tracking
- Traffic Source Tracking
- Exit Rates from Key Pages
- Abandonment Rate from Shopping Cart
Now to be clear, no website tracking software on the market today will tell you how to fix the conversion rate problems or even specifically what they might be. However, a CRO expert can combine their experience with the KPM data to further investigate and ultimately pinpoint the conversion rate problem.
For instance, a high abandonment rate might be caused by a number of issues, including:
- Inconsistencies in Sales Funnel for Pricing/Offer Details
- Improper Configuration of Shopping Cart (shipping prices not calculating properly, etc.)
- Not Enough Payment Options
So the conversion rate expert uses website tracking software to help isolate anomalies in the KPM’s on the site. Then, using experience and further investigation, the CRO expert will then isolate the exact cause of the conversion rate problem.
2. Reduces Testing Costs
Website testing can be expensive especially when you consider a minimal sample size of at least 1,000 visitors or more are needed to test even non-monetized sites and establish statistical validity. For monetized sales or landing pages with an average price point of $200 or more, you might need 5,000 visitors or more to test and verify results.
That means guessing gets very expensive very quickly so you don’t want to be conducting split test after split test trying to fix the conversion rate. By isolating conversion rate problems without requiring new testing traffic, website tracking software can dramatically reduce testing costs–by potentially $1,000′s or more.
3. Helps Prioritize Conversion Rate Problems
Let’s assume you could “eyeball” a website and determine that the primary sales or landing page is the problem. Specifically, you believe the copywriting and design on the primary sales page are suppressing the conversions. So the question is: How much are they harming conversions?
Here’s a better question: For online businesses with multiple conversion rate problems spread across multiple areas of the site, which should be fixed first? Can you tell which are suppressing conversions the most?
Without website tracking software, the answer to all these questions is either I Don’t Know or a complete guess. This is why CRO experts first isolate all of the anomalies in the KPM’s and then compare them to established benchmarks in the niche to estimate how much each issue is affecting overall conversions. Then, the CRO experts can prioritize which conversion problems to fix first and strategically manage scarce resources much more effectively to maximize effectiveness of the optimization.
3 Reasons Why We Recommend Google Analytics Website Tracking Software
#1: It Provides Reliable Data Across a Wide Range of Web Traffic Metrics
Make no mistake: There are far better website tracking software platforms to choose from. But for all it’s faults, Google Analytics actually provides very reliable data across a very wide spectrum of website traffic metrics. Now make no mistake: It requires some training (Google Analytics provides a very solid training program) to learn how to configure and use properly. And while it may lack heat mapping and some other handy tools for optimization, it truly is one of the best free website tracking software suites on the planet and must for any website serious about conversions.
#2: Easy To Install and Configure
Setting up your account and actually generating and installing the tracking code is actually the easy part here. In fact, you can be up and running in maybe 10 minutes, start to finish. But setting up and configuring Goals/eCommerce is a bit trickier and you’ll also need to integrate it with your Adwords and Google Webmaster Tools to get the most out of the platform. For best results and to get the most out of this powerful website tracking software, we strongly recommend you complete Google Analytics Training which is both FREE and very useful for any serious website owner.
#3: It’s Free
You absolutely need the information provided by a website tracking software suite like Google Analytics to be successful online–period. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to pay $1,000′s a year in licensing fees or for uber-advanced systems. Google Analytics is both FREE and highly reliable so be sure to take advantage of this great resource when getting your online business up and running!
Before you invest even one penny in traffic generating services like SEO, PPC or even SMM, be sure to hook up Google Analytics to your website. This website tracking software will help isolate and find conversion problems that can rob your site of up to 50% or more of it’s overall sales. We recommend Google Analytics because it’s easy to set-up, provides reliable data that you can really use to optimize your site, and yes, it’s FREE!