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Measuring your Website: What data should you track?

Posted on October 12, 2020 - By Cathy Pedrayes

People often assume that the quality of a website is subjective, based on how it looks and their own personal preference. But the reality is that websites provide concrete answers about how customers—and potential new customers—currently interact with your fuel company. This information comes in the form of data that you can use to get better leads, close more sales and make better marketing decisions.

Here’s a look at which website metrics you should be tracking and why.

1. Website Sessions

When someone visits your website, that visit is tracked as a website session. A customer or prospect could be there to pay a bill, find contact information or read a blog—that’s all considered one session. It’s an important metric because it provides an overview as to your marketing and SEO’s performance. It can also reveal potential problems on your website. If you notice a significant decline in user sessions, that could indicate a problem. On the flipside, if you notice a sharp increase, that could be the result of a successful marketing campaign.

2. Top Pages

Top pages refers to the pages on your website that are most popular. Unlike the other metrics, this one is an indirect measurement, requiring you to look at the total page views on your website and filter out the top 10. Your top pages could be your contact page, a particular blog post, a page about areas you service or something else entirely.

This list includes important information because it allows you to optimize those pages for higher conversion. For example, if you notice that most people are visiting a “Areas We Service” page on your website, you’ll want to review that page to make sure the areas listed are accurate but also add some quick links for customer enrollment and ways to contact you.

In addition, you’ll want to ensure those highly visited pages tell your story. You may only have one chance to make a great impression. Furthermore, knowing which pages of your website are popular will allow you to identify what topics your customers are most interested in so that you can adjust your marketing and social media strategy accordingly. If your audience is interested in pool heaters, give them more information about how to select one, what the benefits are and other useful information that will increase the traffic to your website and extend the time they spend there.

3. Traffic Sources

Your traffic sources will help you understand how potential customers are arriving at your website. Is it via a Google search? Are they typing your website right into their browser? Are they coming from a blog, an email or even a recent news story?

Knowing your traffic sources will allow you to understand how well your performing on google searches. How many visitors are organic? How many are the result of a paid media campaign or an email blast? And where can you improve? Knowing your top traffic sources can help you focus on getting highly qualified leads that ultimately grow your business.

4. Mobile versus Desktop Visitors

A key metric to monitor is how many of your customers visit on a desktop versus a mobile device. Globally, the trend has been mobile with many websites seeing over 50% of their website traffic coming from a mobile device. It’s a huge source of traffic so it’s important that your website functions properly on a mobile device. And tracking this data can also give you insight about where you can improve your website.

You may also notice that mobile customers spend more time on your contact page versus your desktop visitors, in which case you’d want to make sure the type is large enough to read on a smaller screen. Similarly, if you notice customers begin filling out a form on a mobile device but don’t finish, it could indicate that the form is too long and difficult to fill out for someone who is on the go. You’ll want to adjust your form to make it easier to complete.

5. Search Engine Ranking

Customers are searching for your business every day and 90.1% of those searches happen on Google. Furthermore, 75% of potential customers who conduct those searches never scroll past the first page of search engines, which means if you’re not actively working to get on that first page, you’re leaving an opportunity on the table.

This is particularly true in the oilheat and propane industry, where Warm Thoughts has found that the turnaround time from inquiry to decision is about a week. Keeping in mind that search engines are a huge source of lead traffic (over 40%, according to Warm Thoughts data), it should come as no surprise that monitoring how you show up in search results is important.

Technology is constantly changing, so monitoring your search engine ranking is an ongoing effort that requires a specialist in that field. Google, for example, updates its algorithm hundreds of times per year with some algorithms (often known as “core updates”) impacting your website more than others.

In September 2019, we saw one of these core updates as Google implemented a core algorithm change that led to a drop in the number of keywords a client’s website was ranking for. Because we actively monitor search engine rankings for our customers, we were able to quickly identify the problem and fix it for our clients.

The graph below shows precisely when the Google update affected our clients’ websites and how quickly we fixed the problem and then surpassed previous search engine rankings:
search engine change graph

Similarly, it’s important to note that your keywords and search engine rankings are not one size fits all. For example, a fuel company in Connecticut has a different customer than a fuel company in Texas. As such, the keywords need to be adjusted and monitored to reflect customers’ needs in each of these regions. When they’re done well, search engine rankings can lead to dollars gained. If they’re done poorly, then dollars are lost, which is why we view these rankings as a critical component of your business.

Are you looking to start monitoring your website analytics or improve how you monitor them?

Warm Thoughts Communications manages over 125 websites and digital campaigns for propane and heating oil companies in nearly 40 states. From large holding companies to smaller family businesses, Warm Thoughts has a strong record of helping companies use data to propel their businesses forward. We can do the same for you.

Book a complimentary, 15-minute consultation to learn more.


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