Since joining the marketing industry primarily as a Web designer, I’ve worked with a myriad of different website tools to enhance our clients’ marketing campaigns and boost their effectiveness. The tools shown below are the ones we use on a regular basis at AdFicient, and ones we have gotten great results from.
Phone Call Tracking
Phone call tracking allows you to track phone calls based on advertising campaigns, traffic source, and search keywords. Essentially, it gives you the ability to view phone calls as website pageviews so that you can tie it back to see how effective your campaigns, ad groups, and keywords are.
Most business owners don’t understand the value of phone call tracking until they implement it and see the results. Understanding your audience is one of the most important things in marketing, and thus, analytics tools like these should be highly utilized.
The concept of form tracking is a fairly new way to measure and understand your audience. It involves recording the actions of your audience when they start interacting and filling out forms on your website. The metrics it provides allows you to see things such as
- How many users start filling out your forms
- How many users completely fill out your forms
- How much time users spend filling out each field on average
- Which fields are most likely to drive your users away
Website Heat Maps
Website heat maps are a graphical representation of data that shows how your users move around your website and which links or buttons they’re most likely to click on. Heat maps helps you understand how your users use your website in detail.
Although eye-tracking heat maps created in usability tests are the most accurate, mouse and click tracking heat maps can provide enough insight to save you a lot of wasted advertising dollars. You can see whether your call to action is big or prominent enough, or if your users are having trouble finding vital information.
Split testing is a way for you to test different variations of Web page elements or compare a few completely different designs and layouts to find out which one is the most effective for you.
I’ve written before about split-testing techniques you can use to find the best solution for your website, so I won’t go into that again, but I will just say that split testing is perhaps the best way to improve your conversions. You can test many things at once and in many cases, you will be surprised at what converts and what does not.
Earlier this year I wrote about how to optimize your website for speed, and while it was an important thing to do back then, it is even more important today. Mobile traffic is at an all-time high and making your website load fast for those users is of utmost importance. Mobile users do not have lots of patience so if your website is taking its sweet time to load, chances are the users will give up and go somewhere else.
I use three tools to check the speed of my websites and they’re all slightly different.
- GTmetrix – Uses Google Page Speed and Yahoo! YSlow to measure your website’s performance. It also provides actionable recommendations to fix those issues.
- Google Page Speed – Google’s own website speed test. It will not test the actual load time of your website, but rather whether your website implements caching, expire, and other methods properly.
- Pingdom – It is the opposite of Google Page Speed in that it actually tests the load speed of your website. It also shows you each file that loads and which ones are taking longer to load than others. You also have the option of testing from a few different server locations.
Testing the load speed of your website on a regular basis is important as your website can slow down over time due to several factors. If you have too many pages on your website, then at least test the most visited pages such as your landing pages and the main homepage.