Your website is critical to your company’s success. From an inbound marketing perspective, a website is a company’s best sales tool, meant to attract prospects and convert them into sales-ready leads.
But company websites often fulfill many different purposes and serve a variety of audiences -- prospects, customers, employees, job candidates, perhaps the media, maybe even governmental and regulatory agencies, depending on your industry.
With so many internal stakeholders dependent on the website, how do you know if your site is performing as intended? We’ve got you covered. We’ve been building websites for nearly 20 years. Based upon our experience, here are five must-have website measurement tools every business needs to know how their site is doing.
The Top 5 Tools to Measure Website Performance
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the granddaddy of website measurement. As the de facto gatekeeper of the internet, Google has a gold mine of data at its fingertips, data it gladly shares with webmasters via Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a free website analytics service that provides insights into how users find your website and what they do once they are there. You can analyze visitors and their behavior across dozens of dimensions and criteria.
You can create custom dashboards and assign other users, such as your marketing agency, to view the data. Google Analytics also has robust reporting capabilities. You can generate reports in PDF as well as XLS and CSV formats. Google Analytics also connects with other platforms such as WordPress and HubSpot, allowing you to view GA data from those systems.
To install Google Analytics, all you have to do is place a small tracking code on each page of your website. Once installed, you will be able to track your site according to visitor acquisition (where do your visitors come from), visitor behavior (what visitors do while on your site), and visitor conversions (where and why are visitors converting on the site).
Google Analytics measures:
- Traffic sources
- New visitors vs. returning visitors
- Mobile traffic
- Social media traffic
- Most-viewed content
- Pageview times
- Audience geographic location
- Audience engagement
- Funnel visualization
- User flow
- … and more
2. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site's presence in Google Search results. You don't have to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google Search results, but Search Console helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site.
Search Console helps you:
- Confirm that Google can find and crawl your site.
- Fix indexing problems and request re-indexing of new or updated content.
- View Google Search traffic data for your site:
- how often your site appears in Google Search,
- which search queries show your site,
- how often searchers click through for those queries
- Receive alerts when Google encounters indexing, spam, or other issues on your site.
- Show you which sites link to your website.
- Troubleshoot issues for AMP (accelerated mobile pages), mobile usability, and other Search features.
Search Console is valuable to all types of users, from business owners to technical webmasters to digital markers.
From search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, Search Console help you monitor your website traffic, optimize your ranking, and make informed decisions about the appearance of your site's search results. You can use the information in Search Console to influence technical decisions for the website and do sophisticated marketing analysis in conjunction with other Google tools like Analytics, Google Trends, and Google Ads.
Adding a site to Search Console is a very simple process. First, log into your Search Console account. Once you're logged in, enter your URL and click the red “Add a Property” button. Search Console will ask you to verify your site. There are various ways to do this. The easiest way is by allowing Search Console to detect your Google Analytics code. In fact, this is the recommended method by Google.
3. SEMrush Site Audit
SEMrush is an all-in-one tool suite for improving online visibility and discovering marketing insights. The applications tools and reports are able to help marketers that work in the following services:
- Keyword Research
- Competitive Analysis
- Social Media Marketing
- Public Relations
- Content Marketing
- Marketing Insights
- Campaign Management
One of the platform’s most valuable features is Site Audit. This website SEO analysis tool will help you find and fix on-site issues and boost SEO-optimization.
The tool crawls your site and checks its SEO health and prioritizes SEO issues so you can decide what to fix first. It grades your site on a 0 to 100% scale in an easy-to-read dashboard.
The tools ensures the security of your website with HTTPS checks, while also detect all possible AMP implementation issues. The tool tracks your SEO optimization progress across time, too, so you can gauge your improvements.
The Overview Report will show you the top issues, the most frequently found problems on your website. If you want to fix a particular issue throughout your entire website, then go to the Issues report, and display the URLs of all webpages affected by the issue. The Page report will list all issues found on a landing page.
SEMrush is extremely easy to use and provides clear instructions on what needs to be fixed. At Inbound 281, we use SEMrush on a weekly basis to monitor and fine tune our own site as well as the sites of our clients.
SEMrush is a must-have for any organization serious about keeping their website technically healthy and high ranking.
Want to see the SEMrush site audit tool in action? Get a free report here.
Your website looks good — but how are visitors using it? Imagine if you could look over the shoulder of your site visitors and watch what they do, where they look, how far they scroll, where they click.
That’s what Hotjar lets you do. It’s like a magic ball into the behavior of visitors on your site. It’s the next best thing to expensive and time-consuming focus groups.
Hotjar is a behavior analytics and user feedback service that helps you understand the behavior of your website users and get their feedback through tools such as heatmaps, session recordings, and surveys. Specifically, Hotjar displays heat maps of your website so you can monitor page engagement.
With Hotjar, you are provided:
- Heat maps that show you where people are clicking, and which percentage of viewers click through vs. bounce.
- Recordings of how people are using your site, so you can see which elements are engaging, and which are confusing or uninteresting.
- “Conversion funnels” that let you set up intended page visits in a certain order, so you can monitor clicks through the entire pathway.
Hotjar complements data from traditional web analytics tools like Google Analytics. With Hotjar, you get a window into the world of your users. It’s visual interface makes understanding the insights more intuitive and easier than pouring through reams of numbers.
5. HubSpot Website Grader
HubSpot’s website grader is free tool to measure four aspects of your website:
- Performance (i.e. speed)
- SEO effectiveness
To use the grader, all you do is input your website URL and email, and let the grader do the work. You will get an overall score, plus a breakdown according to each area of the report.
Get a Free Website Performance Consultation
Interested in learning how to measure and optimize your website’s performance? Schedule a free consultation today with an Inbound 281 digital marketing strategist.