Did your new website go live? Check these 5 KPIs
1. The visitor flow of Google and other search engines
Search engines play a significant role in providing new visitors. That's why you took into account the redirect plan when you were preparing the new website. Thanks to the redirect plan, you can take over the good ranking of the old website when you're launching the new one.
After a few weeks, Google and the other search engines completely indexed your site. The old pages are removed from the result lists of the search engines. At that moment, it's recommended to check if the same, or even a higher, amount of visitors still access your website via Google and other search engines since the launch of the new site.
If that's not the case, act quickly, because you'll lose valuable time and even more valuable visitors.
2. Time on site & pages per visit
The time that visitors spend on a website, and the number of pages that they look at during a visit indicate the level of interest that these visitors have in your site. The first few days after the launch of the website, regular visitors will have to find their way again. You will notice that the number of viewed pages and the time per session will increase temporarily. That's normal.
After a few days or weeks, those numbers will drop to a normal level. That's why you have to compare the numbers of a few weeks before the launch to those of a few weeks after the launch.
Of course, the meaning of the "Time on site" value depends on the content and goal of your website. For some sites, it may be perfectly normal for visitors to spend a short amount of time on your site, quickly find what they are looking for, and leave again. So it's very challenging to compare this parameter to other websites.
3. Website performance and importance of the homepage
Everyone knows that visitors love fast websites. For every one tenth of a second that web shops like Amazon can make their homepage load even faster, they notice an increase in sales. Obviously, your website too was optimized for speed when it was launched. But is that still the case a few weeks later?
Most of the time, colleague-editors can use the content management system to add texts and visuals to the website. When those visuals aren't optimized, the size of the images on the homepage of your new website will be too large (over a few tens of megabytes). That also harms mobile experience. The consequence? Your efforts to create a fast website were in vain.
A tool like Pingdom Page Speed can, on a permanent basis, test a few key pages of your website, and warn you when a certain page has become too "large."
When it comes to e-commerce sites, online sales are, of course, the most important way to indicate a website's success. But informative sites as well can determine a set of "micro conversions" that can designate how well the website is performing:
- News letter registration
- Demanding a catalog
- Getting in touch
- Searching for points of sale
Try to use the same KPI's for your new and old website. It's recommended to check in advance if the analytics are working correctly on your new site. A tool like Google Tag Assistant helps you with that. Afterall, when you have launched your new website, you want to look into the evolution of the conversions as soon as possible, right?
5. Quantitative visitors' survey
Like you maybe noticed when you launched your new website: people don't like change.
Do you want to take a qualitative survey to find out how people feel about your new website? Don't do so immediately, but wait a few weeks. Give visitors the time to discover the new site and to get used to it.
A few weeks after the launch, the feedback you receive will be much more balanced. This feedback allows you to schedule some website improvements.
Building a website is a lot like remodeling a house. The golden rule: don't use your entire budget right away. When you're building a website, it's best to have 20% to 30% of your budget in reserve. That way, you can make a few extra changes to your website, based on your insights after the launch.