Having a website is an absolute essential for today’s business owner. Your website is where customers will look first when they’re trying to find out information about your company, from what types of products and services you offer through your hours of operation and more.

It’s very, very important that your website be mobile friendly: Google is aggressively ramping up their plans to penalize sites that aren’t mobile friendly in search rankings. If you’re been procrastinating, now’s the time to make changes! 

But how do you know your website is working? Conversion rates are really important. You want to be able to identify how your web presence leads to customer engagement and ultimately, sales. With that in mind, here are four ways you can assess the effectiveness of your website.

1: Ask Customers How They Found You

Direct interaction with your customers is one of the best ways to discover how they learned about your business. Keep track of their responses in your customer database sometimes referred to as your CRM: this will help you assess the effectiveness of not only your website, but social media, print advertising, word of mouth referrals and more.  I witnessed this first hand while waiting to pick up some cookies for a Valentine’s Day gift: the baker asked the customer ahead of me how he’d found the shop. The man replied that he’d called a competing baker, only to get no answer. So he’d turned to Google and found the cookie shop – proof positive that her digital marketing efforts were working.

You’ll want to talk to your regular customers as well. Ask them if they’ve visited your website regularly, and if so, what kind of information were they looking for. Knowing that regular customers go to your site for information on special offers, informative articles, or other content makes providing more of that type of material a clear priority.

2. Utilize Call Tracking 

Using dynamic call tracking, you can learn how many calls your business receives that originated from your website, what device the user is calling on, and where they’re calling from. Having this information not only helps you assess the effectiveness of your website, it also provides valuable insights enabling you to geo-target your advertising, an efficiency that can save you serious money.  Dynamic call tracking systems will track where online your visitor originated from as they click into your website: calls originating from paid search, from organic search, and referring websites like Facebook or Yelp.

3. Increase Your Use of Website Forms

Website forms can be used to invite people to join your mailing list, schedule a consultation, receive additional information, and more. They’re a very powerful tool, particularly if they’re simple and easy to use on a mobile device. It is a good best practice to have a form on every page of your website, including your home page and contact page.  Forms give you a near-real time tool to measure customer interest in your offerings, as you’ll see requests as they’re submitted. Additionally, you can track form conversion rates using your Google Analytics account what drove them to your website.

4. Review Google Analytics Regularly

Every business owner needs to have Google Analytics set up. It’s a free tool Google provides, with many valuable reports you can use to fine tune your digital marketing efforts. Google Analytics is so important that we’ve produced several videos on how to use it and teach classes on it regularly for local SCORE chapters.

At least weekly, you want to log into your Google Analytics account, click on the Acquisitions tab, and then choose source. This will show you where your website traffic is coming from. You’ll be able to tell if visitors found you through an organic Google search, paid Google advertising, Facebook or other social media, paid link placements such as Yelp, and more.  This is a valuable exercise to ensure that both your organic SEO and any paid advertising you’re doing are effectively generating traffic.

Websites Need Regular Care

In a lot of ways, your business website is like a houseplant. You can’t just set it up and forget it! Plants need regular food, water, and nurturing. In much the same way, your website needs regular attention from you. Plan on editing your website on a monthly basis, taking care of tasks like removing old, outdated product listings and adding new content. There’s always something that needs to be done – and your activity will help attract Google’s attention, keeping your search engine ranking constant or maybe even improving it! No matter what to see better conversions on your website you need to spend time reviewing what works and what doesn’t work.