If you can’t measure, you can’t manage!
- I view the source code to see how the site was designed and what technologies and CSS was used to create the look and feel. I only do this for websites that are well laid out. All browsers allow you to see at least the HTML and XHTML of a site. PHP for obvious reasons is not visible. But I do this really to get some deeper understanding of the site
- I check the platform it was developed on. There are some great online tools that give you a wealth of information on a site like builtwith.com which for instance lets you put in a URL andd it gives you statistics about the site, code used, encoding and the contetn delivery network.
- I see if their contact details are show prominently. I have blogged repeatedly on this and is it’s a bug bear of me. People use the internet often only to just find out your contact details. If they cant find it they may often bounce out and not make potential valuable contact with you and you then lose business.
- Finally and most importantly in my mind I check to see if they have Google Analytics or some form of statistical package installed. Google Analytics provide free code that gives a website owner a wealth of information on the traffic to your site. If you don’t have this on your site then you should immediately fix it. Site statisitcs are a must have no matter how small your site is.
It amazes me as to why people do not actually have Google Analytics installed. The actual Analytics Web Site has a wealth of information on the topic – see the list of useful links below . Install it today and start tracking. Google Analytics is free, gives you a rich set of information on your site and if you haven’t used any site tracking in the past it will open your eyes to your overall site activity.
If you aren’t measuring how your site is performing and know where people are coming from to your site and what keywords they are using to land on the site then you are working in a vaccuum.
Gauging Your Website Effectiveness
If you have a site that is doing OK business wise without you knowing the site statistics then imagine if you knew the items below that you can find out from Google Analytics (GA) in seconds. Quantitative data is king when it comes to your website.
- Your most and least popular pages and the number of visits
- What keywords people are putting into search engines to come to your site?
- What cities people are coming from?
- How long people are spending on your site
- Specific traffic for specific pages that you might have redirected people to.