Feedback Form
Ayos Website Design

Record Visitors as They Use Your Website

By Ayo Ijidakinro

hands on mouse and keyboard
Record mouse clicks, scrollbar movements, and keyboard presses and playback videos of visitors using your website.

Summary: Recording website visitors opens up a powerful new aspect of website analytics. The ability to watch real user sessions on your website. Imagine the powerful insights you can gather as you watch real user behavior instead of sifting through metrics, numbers, and spreadsheets!

Would you like to be able to look over the shoulder of all your website visitors so that you can understand what they're doing on your website? Amazingly, now you can. Clicktale, an Israeli startup, provides a free tool that allows you to record every scrollbar movement, every mouse click, and every keyboard press on all of your web pages and play them back as a video. What is more, the tool takes only minutes to install and is free!

Don't believe me? Watch the below video:



Still not sure why you need Clicktale? Think about the following.

On average how far are users willing to scroll down your web page before they go to the next page or leave?

Without Clicktale you probably can't answer the above question. With Clicktale you can see exactly how far down your page the user scrolled before he left or went to the next page.

Now, imagine that your "Buy now" button is halfway down your web page. With Clicktale you can see if a user saw your "Buy now" button before he left your web page.

I've been gathering insights like this for months since I started using Clicktale.

So your next step should definitely be to give Clicktale a try. Go to Clicktale.com and signup. They'll walk you through a simple set of steps to insert a little Javascript tag at the beginning and end of your website.

I guarantee you; you will gain at least one invaluable insight about your website from using Clicktale.

* Only your website's session gets recorded. You can not see anything else on the visitor's screen. Thus, besides interactions recorded on your website, the visitor's privacy is maintained.

Labels: ,

Kampyle - An Astounding Website Feedback Tool!

By Ayo Ijidakinro

Kampyle - a free website feedback analytics company - homepage.
Improve your conversion rate by using this excellent, free website feedback tool from Kampyle.

Summary: I just found an incredibly powerful, yet simple to use, tool that I absolutely must share with my readers! If you aren't already doing surveys, you should be using this tool too! It's free. It has plenty of survey and analytical power. It took me only 20 minutes to configure and install on my website. The user experience is elegant. And the tool's feedback has helped companies greatly improve their conversion rates.

If you look at the bottom right corner of my website, you'll see an orange diagonal strip saying "Give Feedback." This little strip is what has me so excited!

The orange strip is a free survey tool delivered by a company called Kampyle. The tool automatically prompts x% of site visitors, the percentage is defined by you, to ask them if they'd like to take a survey. A visitor can also opt to take the survey themselves by clicking on the strip.

Kampyle's feedback tool took me only 5 minutes to install and another 15 minutes to configure. So in 20 minutes my site has been setup with a free, professional looking survey!

Conducting a regular survey on your website is incredibly important if you want to improve your website's ability to increase traffic, increase sales, and improve your customer experience.

Would you like to regularly hear your site's visitors tell you what they think of your website?

Is it valuable to you to hear feedback and ideas for improvement from your visitors?

If the answer to either of the previous questions is yes, then I suggest you register on Kampyle now, and immediately put their free survey tool on your website. It should only take you 20 minutes!

Additional Reading

Conversion-Rate-Experts.com. October, 2008. "14 free tools that reveal why people abandon your website."

Labels: , , , ,

Your Site's Bounce Rate, Why Important?

By Ayo Ijidakinro



Summary: Improving your site's conversion rate largely starts at lowering your bounce rate. Why? Because every customer that bounces from your website is a lost opportunity to explain your value proposition and give your sales pitch.

What should you do if you have a high bounce rate? Avinash Kaushik, of Google's Conversion University, provides a great video explaining why a successful website must have a low bounce rate. While you watch the video, try to pick out reasons a high bounce rate is so detrimental.

Avinash brings out that a bounce rate between 40 - 60% is considered good. You'll never get everyone to stay on your website; nevertheless, if your bounce rate is higher than 60% you should begin by asking, Is there a problem with your website or is there a problem with your traffic sources?

A high bounce rate can occur because your traffic sources are low quality. If so, try to look for better sources of traffic. For example, if you're spending money for highly bouncing traffic through banner ads or pay-per-click advertising, cut back on this spending. You might try marketing strategies such as article writing and direct-mail instead.

If the problem is your website, then you need to use an analytics package to look at your top landing pages and see if you can understand what the visitor is looking for by seeing how he got to that landing page. Did he arrive at the landing page through a Google search? If so, look at the keywords being used to hit that landing page and make sure the landing page addresses the needs of someone searching with those keywords. Is the visitor hitting your website from a business directory such as Yahoo.com? Make sure the landing page from that directory category gives the information the customer would expect or want.

Improving your bounce rate will take time and it may take many design iterations before you finally find a solution that gives you an acceptable bounce rate. However, improving your bounce rate is worth the effort. A high bounce rate is a sure fire way to low website sales. A low bounce rate drives greater sales and means your website is making a more favorable impression with visitors.

Labels: , , , , , ,

An Incorrect View of Your Site's Metrics Can Hide Areas Needing Improvement



Summary: Site analytics averages are deceiving and hide areas needing improvement. Avinash Kaushik, an instructor at Google's Conversion University, helps explain why you need to look at more than averages when you examine your website's metrics. Hidden in your metrics could be successes and failures of your website that you've never noticed before. I thoroughly enjoyed this video. Hopefully you are using Google analytics, or another comparable analytics package, since analytics are required to reliably improve your website. Once you watch this video, take some time to look at your analytics with this fresh perspective. Then ask yourself, "How can I improve my website with what I've learned?"

Labels: , , ,

Is your website competitive? Let's Ask Google’s New Benchmarking Tool

By Ayo Ijidakinro

Screenshot of Google Analytics Benchmarking Service
A screenshot from Google's new Benchmarking service.

Summary: Google has launched a new benchmarking service to enable business owners and executives to compare their website's statistics against the industry average. This tool can help you to gain insight into how your website stacks up against your competitor. This is necessary if you are going to increase your site's conversion rate, yield maximal benefits from website promotion, or increase site traffic. In this article we will discuss the tool in more detail and analyze why it is so valuable.

Have you ever been sitting, looking at your website statistics, trying your best to analyze the data, but just feeling like you have no idea whether your site’s statistics are good or bad? You keep wondering, ‘how do I stack up against my competition?’ Unfortunately, you can’t just call your competitors every week and ask to swap data. But without knowing how your competitors are doing, you feel like your site’s numbers give you little real insight as to how your company is performing.

Fortunately, Google has helped to lift the fog. Google Analytics has released a new benchmarking tool to enable companies to easily compare their website’s statistics against industry averages. Amazingly, this free service can help you see if your website is doing well versus websites in your industry, doing poorly, or just performing at an average level. Google’s Analytics Benchmarking tool can give you insights into your own success and failure and those of your competitors.

But what is benchmarking and why do business owners and executives need a benchmarking tool to maintain a successful website? It is beneficial to examine the answer to this question.

You may know your website’s statistics (e.g. number of visitors, pageviews, etc.), but is that enough to know whether or not your website is performing well? No. Your website’s level of success, whether good or bad, can only be determined by comparing your site against competitors. This process is called benchmarking. Let me illustrate why benchmarking is necessary with an example.

In college, students are graded on a curve. Students who are far above average receive the A grade; students that are below average receive the C, D, or F; average gets you a B. It is impossible to determine your grade from your exam score without also knowing the average.

For example, while in college, I once scored 45 out of 100 on a final exam. When I saw my score I was in shock. I was almost certain I had failed. But did I fail the test? No. In fact, I aced it. It turned out the average on the test was a 25 so my 45 was an A+. Only by knowing the average could I accurately judge my success on that test.

Measuring website performance is the same. If 10% of visitors to your website end up purchasing, is that good or bad? It depends. If your competitors are getting 30% of visitors to buy, then you should be asking, ‘what am I doing wrong?’ If this were college, you’d be receiving the F. However, if your competitors are only getting 2% of visitors to buy versus your 10%, then your company is performing at an excellent level! You deserve the A+! Again, site statistics must be benchmarked against your competitors to accurately judge your success. On their own, statistics provide limited insight.

So undoubtedly you see the importance of benchmarking your website’s performance against the industry average. Google’s new Analytics Benchmarking service is an excellent tool that now makes benchmarking easier than ever. I urge you to strongly consider the use of this tool, or any similar benchmarking tool you are aware of. As a result of benchmarking your website, you will know with confidence whether your website is great, without need of improvement, or uncompetitive with urgent need of an upgrade.

Notes
  • To use the Google Analytics Benchmarking service, your website must be using Google analytics.
  • Google Analytics is a free service.
  • You can sign up for Google Analytics at: http://www.google.com/analytics/indexu.html

Labels: , , , , , ,

How can I analyze the reasons for a low conversion rate?

By Ayo Ijidakinro

Picture of an example chart analyzing your company's website conversion rate versus the competitor's.
Sometimes in-depth research is required to generate an accurate comparison between your website and your competitors'.

Summary: The past two articles have emphasized the importance of product mix in determining website success. How can you figure out if a low conversion rate is due to a poor product mix versus a bad website? This question will be discussed in this article.

How can you identify the reason for a low conversion rate? As I mentioned in a previous article stressing the importance of analytics, you can't measure yourself against yourself. The best way to measure your success and identify methods of improvement is to benchmark your website against your competitors.

What type of benchmarking do you need to do?

Since this article is discussing website conversion rate, the answer is to compare your conversion rate to the conversion rate of your competitors. For example, do you sell Caterpillar tractors? What is your conversion rate on those tractors? What is your average competitor's conversion rate? Even better, what is your best competitor's conversion rate?

If your conversion rate on a product is 8%, is that good or bad? Well, it always depends on the average for your industry. If the average conversion rate for that product, in your industry, is 3%, then you're doing great. If the average conversion rate for that product, in your industry, is 15%, then you have some serious catching up to do.

What conclusion should the data help you reach? Here are two conclusions:
  1. If your conversion rate is below the competitor average, then you probably need to improve your website.
  2. If your conversion rate is low, but at or above the competitor average, then improving your website is unlikely to help generate a higher conversion rate. Perhaps you need to sell a different product. You're already at or above the industry average. Unfortunately, this product doesn't look like it sells well in general.
Unfortunately, figuring out the conversion rate for your competitors can be difficult. It may require some in-depth research. Each company will likely have to find industry specific resources in order to do their own analysis.

(Now that we are on the subject, I am interested, myself, in finding this data. I will do my best to dig around and see if there is a conversion rate research database out there. However, I doubt there is one. Nevertheless, if you are aware of one, I would appreciate your notifying me about it.)

UPDATE: I've found a wonderful database of conversion data at http://index.fireclick.com/. Read more about Fireclick's web site conversion rate database.

In conclusion, make sure that you are benchmarking your conversion rate against your competitors and not against yourself. Benchmarking how you rank in your industry is the only objective way to identify whether a conversion rate is low because the product you're selling just doesn't sell well or if you have a problem with your website and marketing approach. By doing this benchmarking you allow your business to make much more intelligent decisions in product selection and web strategy.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

What is the value of a single website visitor?

By Ayo Ijidakinro

Google Analytics statistics for TechCrunch.com.  Posted on CrunchNotes.com
Google Analytics statistics for TechCrunch.com. Posted on CrunchNotes.com

Summary: By looking at the revenue per customer of Amazon.com and TechCrunch.com we can estimate how much the average business should be spending on its website. Website owners know that if the amount they're spending on their website exceeds the site's revenue generating potential they will quickly find themselves in bad shape financially. However, many site owners don't know what a mature site's ultimate revenue earning potential will be. This post attempts to help you calculate this on a per visitor basis.

We all seek to increase the number of visitors to our website. However, the amount that many companies spend to acquire a single visitor is often far beyond the value of that visitor. It is intelligent to analyze your website’s revenue potential to ensure you never spend more to acquire a visitor than the amount of revenue that user will generate.

Unfortunately, most of us face a catch 22. Because most of us have never had tens of thousands of visitors hit our website every month, we don’t know how much money we can generate from each visitor.

We optimistically imagine that if we can get traffic at what feels like a reasonable cost, then we will be able to recoup the investment to obtain that traffic.

But as a reality check, let’s look at someone else’s data to see what type of revenue generating potential is reasonable to expect from our website.

First let’s look at a successful content website. Yesterday I was watching this Yahoo! Tech Ticker about TechCrunch.com a successful technology blogging website. In the video, Michael Arrington, the founder of TechCrunch.com, reveals that TechCrunch.com has an annual revenue run-rate of $3 million. Then today on Michael Arrington’s blog, he posted the above graph from their Google analytics data. This graph shows that in January TechCrunch.com had 2,647,027 visitors.

So how much revenue is TechCrunch.com generating per visitor to their website? At the current reate, TechCrunch.com would get about 31.8 million visitors per year. At $3 million in revenue per year that is about 9.5 cents per visitor.

So, one of the most successful content websites, TechCrunch.com, generates only 9.5 cents per visitor. Are you operating a content website? Are you spending more than 9.5 cents per visitor to acquire readers? Remember you must include all costs in this figure, including any costs to author and host content.

What if you sell a product? Let’s look at another example. As of this writing, Amazon.com gets about 600 million visitors per year and generates $14 billion in revenue for these 600 million visitors. Thus, Amazon is making about $23 per user.

If you operate an e-commerce website, do you think your revenue per customer is similar? Can you build out this website, grow it, and advertise it for less than $23 per customer?

What should we, as website owners, do with this information?

Steve Pavlina, who is currently generating significant income from his website, has this to say: “Your business should put cash into your pocket, so before you ‘invest’ money into it, be clear on how you’re going to pull that cash back out again.” ("10 Stupid Mistakes...", March 2008)

What’s the point? Please make sure, before you invest any money into your website, that you are being realistic about your revenue generating potential. Don’t pour money into your website only to find that you quickly run out of budget and only have a small revenue increase to show for all of your money, time, and effort.

Do you operate a content website? Then ask yourself, realistically, should I be spending any money on advertising? Perhaps you should be focusing on generating quality content and nothing else.

Do you operate an e-commerce website? Then ask yourself, realistically, should I be more concerned with increasing my traffic or increasing my revenue per customer? Perhaps you should be increasing your revenue per customer and forget about increasing your traffic at this time.

If you are to be successful, the answer to these questions must be impacted by a realistic assessment of the value of a single website visitor for your company.

Make sure you carefully compare your income per customer to your investment costs per customer before you invest a penny in your website.

Labels: , , , , , ,

How Can You Tell if Your Website is Effective?

By Ayo Ijidakinro

View of top content Google Analytics report for Ayos Website Design
Above: Example Google Analytics Top Content report for Ayos Website Design

Summary: To improve your site's conversion rate you must be able to tell if an how your website is effective. The only way to tell if a website is effective is to have an analytics package such as Google Analytics. With an analytics package you can measure how customers are interacting with your website. Google Analytics is one of the most popular packages and it is free. Other packages are available from other companies at reasonable cost.

How would you prove that you have a good website?

As with most aspects of business, opinions are not very reliable. One man's beauty is another man's ugliness. Put another way, the website you think is great may be horrible to the customer. Thus, the only way to prove whether your website is good is by measuring it at work with real customers.

To illustrate, let's ask another question. How does a sprinter know he is fast? Can he just say, "Well the wind seems to be going pretty fast by my head. I must be fast?" Nope. The sprinter might think he's fast, only to be smoked by his competitors on race day. Indeed, a sprinter must keep close watch on the time it takes him to complete his race. If his time is faster than other runners, he knows he is fast. Measurement is the only way.

How can you measure your website? First you must figure out what you want/need to measure. The simplest statistic you might want to track is the total number of visitors. Yet, this statistic won't get you very far.

More detailed statistics are generally better. For example, you might want to see what percentage of users, that are finding your website from Google, are requesting product information from your company. Is the number lower or higher than you expected?

A popular statistic in retail is your shopping cart abandonment rate. What if 99% of shopping carts that are started on your site are being abandoned? That would be frightful. It would indicate that 99% of users, intending to purchase from your company, somehow were scared away. Perhaps a small change to your shopping cart would make a huge difference.

Depending on the design of your website, you can get all of the statistics mentioned, and more, from a website analytics package such as Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free resource that allows you to get awesome analytical data about traffic on your website.

In this post, I will not show you how to integrate analytics for your website. Nor will I recommend what metrics you should measure. That's for each company to decide separately. But I will tell you that, unless you have some sort of analytics package for your website you will be operating blind.

So don't assume you have a great website. Invest in a good analytics package today and prove it through measurement. Google Analytics, one of the best packages around, is free. So there is no reason for delay. Once you start measuring your website, you are on your way to improving your site's conversion rate.

Labels: , , ,