Website data — especially the Big 3 of sessions, unique users, and pageviews — should always trend upwards, right?
Well… the actual answer’s a little more complicated, and jumping to conclusions if you see a drop in those stats or other analytics data could leave you making the wrong decisions about your cloud, IT, or telecom marketing.
If you’re looking at decreases in your website data, follow these 5 steps to see the bigger picture.
Review Activities and Campaigns
It would be great to attend trade shows and spend on traditional or digital advertising every month, but budget, time, and resources can often get in the way.
When you’re looking at the numbers, review whether either time period had any extenuating circumstances. A break from exhibiting or a pause on advertising often results in a decrease in certain metrics as your website data readjusts after a spike in activity.
Look Year-Over-Year, Not Just Month-Over-Month
Compare the current year’s data against the previous year’s data (e.g. February 2017 against February 2016). If you see improvements, your web marketing’s working.
For example, we saw a 5% decrease in sessions when we reviewed Mojo’s February 2017 data against January 2017’s data. However, the 2017 data was actually a 17% increase compared to February 2016!
Look at the Averages
If the number of days in the time periods differ (e.g., February’s 28 days to January’s 31), this could skew your comparisons.
Let’s see what’s really happening. Find the daily average of your website data by dividing the total number by the number of days. Then compare it to the daily average from the previous period. If the current period’s average is greater, you probably don’t have anything to worry about.
Here’s another example. When we took the daily average of our February 2017 sessions and compared it to the daily average of our January 2017 sessions, we found a 5% difference. If we had more time in February, we probably would’ve seen an increase in sessions month-over-month!
Look at Other Website KPIs
Key performance indicators (KPIs) like sessions, unique users, and page views are certainly important, but there’s more that happens on your website.
If you have a decrease in one area but you’re seeing improvements in another — and the improvements are actually more important to your business — your website data is far from a lost cause.
For example, if you know that you want your users to spend a lot of time on your website, it may be more important to have fewer sessions overall if the average time per sessions is over 3 minutes.
Note that the other KPIs that you’ll be looking at will depend on your specific goals. At Mojo, it’s important to our business to continue to drive traffic from new users, so we pay attention to our “% New Sessions” statistic. You may be more interested in the number of times a user goes to your site. It’s all dependent on what will bring results for your business.
Check Your Leads!
We all want better lead generation, right?
The good news is that if you’re seeing an increase in lead generation, it’s usually a good sign no matter what else is happening on your site.
Dive a little deeper and check two things:
- your overall conversion rate (i.e., leads divided by sessions). This shows you how likely a session is to result in a lead.
- your conversion page conversion rate (i.e., leads divided by the number of contact page pageviews). This shows you how likely a page view of your key page is to result in a lead.
Take your rates and compare them month-over-month and year-over-year. An improvement in either rate is good, but improvements in both are even better!
(Spoiler alert: more leads and fewer sessions or pageviews actually results in a better conversion rate.)
Use your data — and your new and improved interpretations — to make decisions for future months. Connect as many of the pieces of your website data to ongoing or one-off efforts to best understand the effects of your marketing, identify what worked and what didn’t, and do more of what worked.
Don’t forget to work with the rest of your company (especially if you haven’t already bridged the gap between Sales and Marketing) to make sure you’re on the same page. If you haven’t already done so, connect with your company leaders to make sure that the metrics you’re tracking are actually in-line with business goals.
Need help getting the most out of your data? We can help! Contact Mojo Marketing today to solve your IT, cloud, and telecom website data puzzles, improve your lead generation, and stop drowning in numbers.