One of the major reasons I believe a webmaster or site owner has problems improving their site is simply because they do not know what to do. Have you spent countless hours searching the net for ways to improve your site? If you have, then this post is for you.
The Fundamental Flaw
There are numerous websites that can help you improve your site, and you may have found this article to do just that. The fundamental flaw made though, is the fact that you are going to other websites trying to fix your website.
The problem lies in your sites content, the design, and the goals (if any defined) that were made for the site. Improving your website doesn't require gizmos or tricks, it requires self analysis.
The Trick to Improve Your Site
So the trick to improve your site does not rely on searching the web for hours. It’s looking at your site. It’s observing others using your site, it’s looking at analytics, it’s thoroughly analyzing it before you try to fix it.
Spend twenty minutes watching two or three strangers using your site. You can gain more from those twenty minutes than you can gain from any site with improvment tips.
Analytic Tip to Improve Your Site
Besides looking at the best resource to fix your site (a.k.a. Your Site), the second best place is your sites analytics. I personally love Google Analytics, and here is a great little project for you to work on if you use it. It’s a great way to improve your site!
There are all sorts of ways to use Google Analytics, but a favorite of mine can give a clear mission for those of you that try this. On my dashboard I keep six items:
* Page Views
* Bounce Rate
* Avg. Time on Site
* New Visitors
Making sure you have at least those item on your dashboard, click on Google’s Benchmarking tool listed under visitors. After clicking the Benchmarking menu item you will see how sites similar in size compares to yours. Write those numbers down on how you compare. For example if your site gets 30% less visitors than others simply write down -30%. See table below for example.
Then, after you have written down how your site compares to others, open the category list, and pick out your category. You can find the category list near the top, underneath “Overview”. It’s a link that will expand. Write down your findings again comparing your site to others in your industry now.
By doing some simple addition you can find out your sites weakest area. By adding the percentages together, look for the top two. You now have a clearly prioritized list that you need to work on to improve your site.
Comparing Everyone Industry Score
Visits -30% -5% -35%
Pave Views -20% 3% -17%
Page/Visits -45% -15% -60%
So by looking at the case above it’s clear that there is plenty of room for improvement in getting more page views per visitor.
You would love to see the numbers go up in the other categories as well, but first things first. Go with the main killer. It may help the other numbers as a pleasant side effect.