How To Measure Your Websites PerformanceHow To Measure Your Websites Performance

Do you know how to get the numbers you need to accurately evaluate the performance of your company's website? Before selling one of my early sites, I had no idea.

In the late 90s I had a web site I'd developed that was getting well over a million 'hits' and over three hundred thousand 'page views' a month. When ZDNet approached me about buying the site. I thought I'd hit the jackpot and that it must be worth tens of millions. Before we even started negotiating on price, though, they wanted to run a test on my site by adding code to the homepage so they could do their own evaluation.

The numbers I had been tracking, hits and pages views, didn't help them determine the value of the site. Hits are the number of individual gifs and items that load each time someone visits a page. Page views tell you how frequently different parts of your site are being seen, but you could have a large number of page views triggered by a small audience.

ZDNet wanted to put tracking code on my homepage to determine the number of 'unique visitors' to my site. This would tell them how many visitors I was attracting per month and what percentage of these were unique visitors; new visitors who hadn't already been to my site or visited one of their own sites.

The more 'unique visitors' you are attracting to your site the better, but you could attract a zillion visitors a month and it wouldn't help you at all if none of them contacted you or bought from you or at least clicked on the ads on your site. The key question in evaluating your web site's performance is:

What percentage of site visitors take the action or actions you want them to take, whether it is subscribing to your newsletter, emailing you, calling you to inquire about your services or making a purchase?

To evaluate your site's performance first look at your web usage statistics to identify the number of unique visitors your site receives each month. Once you have this number, divide it by the number of people who took the action you wanted them to take. This is your site's 'conversion rate' and is the second number you want to look at each month to determine how well your site is performing.

Let's say that you had thirty thousand unique visitors each month and generated 30 sales. Your conversion rate would be one-tenth of a percent. If you generated 300 sales, your conversion rate would be one percent. A 1% percent conversion rate is a healthy rate for most businesses on the web.

If you offer a free newsletter, your objective is to get as many people as possible to sign up for it, to maximize your conversion rate. While you may only get 1% of people to buy your products during a given month you should be able to get 5-15% of site visitors to give you their contact information so you can stay in touch with them.

Try the Free Web Site Conversion Calculator with this link.

Want to increase your web sales?

1. Increase the number of unique visitors to your site.

2. Get more people to contact you and buy from you.

Track your conversion rate as a first step to identifying where and how you can increase your online profits.

2005 ? In Mind Communications, LLC. All rights reserved

by Charlie Cook
References and Bibliography

The author, Charlie Cook, helps service professionals, small business owners and marketing professionals attract more clients and be more successful. Sign up to receive the Free Marketing Strategy eBook, '7 Steps to get more clients and grow your business' at

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