How to Measure Website ROI After a Site Launch

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We talk about return on investment a lot in the marketing world. But how do you know that the 1,000 of dollars you spend on a website rebrand or a website copy project actually give you a return on investment in your business?

This episode dives deep into measuring website ROI after a site launches. You can ditch the normal website ROI vanity metrics and in this episode, we’ll explore actionable ways to track your website’s success —from user engagement to conversions and SEO and more.

You’ll learn:

  • How to define clear website objectives and align them with key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Metrics that matter: Discover the mix of qualitative (user experience) and quantitative data (traffic, conversions) you need to track.
  • The power of continuous monitoring: Learn why ongoing website optimization is key to maximizing ROI.

This episode is perfect for you if:

  • You recently rebranded your website and want to measure its impact.
  • You’re unsure what website metrics actually matter.
  • You want to ensure your website is a strategic and enduring marketing tool.
Copy says: Listen in to this episode of the Talk Copy to Me podcast
quotes from this episode of the Talk Copy to Me copywriting podcast

Quotes about measuring website ROI from Erin

  • “How do you know that the thousands of dollars you spend on a website rebrand or a website copy project actually give you a return on investment in your business?” – Erin Ollila

  • “Understanding who’s coming to your site is very significant.” – Erin Ollila

  • “I want you to keep an eye on keyword ranking for the target keywords that you set already and you used already.” – Erin Ollila

  • “A smooth user experience is the key to keeping your website visitors interested, entertained, excited about working with you, confident about your ability.” – Erin Ollila

  • “Your website success is way, way, way more than just a pretty KPI dashboard that you set up.” – Erin Ollila

  • “You want to listen to what people are saying. But, you do also want to listen to what they’re not saying.” – Erin Ollila

  • “If you invest and you adjust and you really feel like you have a strategic and successful website — that can last you for a very long time, and it can be one of the most important marketing tools that you have for achieving all of your business goals.” – Erin Ollila

Get to Know the Host of the Talk Copy to Me Podcast Erin Ollila

Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila

Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.

When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.

Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:

Here’s the transcript for episode 118 on how to measure website success with host Erin Ollila

NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors. Erin Ollila 00:00 We talk about return on investment a lot in the marketing world. But how do you know that the 1000s of dollars you spent on a website rebrand or a website copy project actually gave you a return on investment in your business. Today we are going to talk all about measuring a website’s success. I know last week, I told you that we were going to jump right into a thought leadership series this week on the podcast. But after re listening to the case study that I did with Tony Howell, who is one of my recent website, copy projects, I realized that there was a lot to be said about reviewing all of the work that has been done, and getting some data to know if the messaging choices, the design choices, and everything really, that comes together gave you a return on investment for your website. So we’re gonna put thought leadership on pause for one more week i Pinky promise. We’ll be back to talk about it next week on the podcast and I have a great interview coming your way. But today, we’re talking about measuring the success of a website copy or design project. Hey, friends, welcome to the Top copy Timmy podcast. Here, we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk coffee. So we all want our websites to really work for us. We want our websites to drive leads into our business to make sales to develop the brand awareness or build trust with leads and customers. But how do you know if those things are actually happening? How do you know if that fancy new website design, or those words that you have been tinkering with, when it comes to things like SEO and messaging are actually working for you. Today, we’re going to go beyond just some vanity metrics and explore ways that you can measure your website’s success that paint a complete picture. Let’s talk timelines. Once you hit that live button, and for lack of a better description, turn your new website on, you’re going to want to know how it’s performing. I get it it’s it’s human nature to want to have some immediate information to make sure that we’ve made the right decisions to see if we need to make adjustments. But there is absolutely nothing you can learn from immediate data you get from your site. In fact, you may have zero data from a new site, because it takes the search engines time to index website pages or it takes them time to reclassify. If they already think a page is about one search term and you’ve made a lot of adjustments, it’s going to take them time to like rescan the page and see what those adjustments are. So as much as I wish that I could make you feel like there’s a lot of great data you can get right away there is not and if if I could ask anything of you, it’s that you wait at least six months to really review the data and everything we’re going to talk about, so that you have good quality information. So please commit with me that you’re going to wait some time before you do anything that I’m suggesting. If you want to prep for it, maybe build out a KPI dashboard, get yourself an air table base. So you can track things over a length of time. Sure, go for it, do that. But don’t start tracking until you have some time under your belt. And just remember, you know, I touched on this briefly, but the search engines need to first index pages that that can take a long time. In addition, your you know, future customers, your leads your website, viewers, they need to find you. Even if you have a super referral based business people have to refer you before those potential new clients actually come and check you out on your website. So it takes a while you know, and the people who are reviewing your website right away, are very likely in your social circle. They could be your family, your friends, your very close business peers. Maybe it’s a client that you’re super close with, but they’re not your newest leads. So that data you’re getting in those early days are from the people who likely already love you and appreciate you and want you to succeed. And you really want data from from real You’ll true new website visitors who are navigating your site and clicking around and making decisions over the length of time. All right, I will stop lecturing you. Let’s jump in. So let’s start with some fundamentals. KPIs. And if you’re not familiar with the acronym, though, that is key performance indicators are quantifiable metrics that tell you how your website is performing in relation to your specific goals. And I’m going to pause here for a second just so you can really let that sink in. A lot of people talk about KPIs in the marketing world, but a lot of people throw those three letters around. And I don’t think that the connection is made with the end of what I just said there as well. I think people hear KPIs and they think, okay, these are the things I measure, period. But really, what you’re doing is you’re measuring them against a goal. When we had an earlier episode about, you know, planning a website project, I talked about setting goals and what that would look like within the project. I also talked about having goals for your website pages. And I want to stay there for a second because you need to know what you want to happen on your website, in order to determine what you’re going to trap. So your KPIs need to be directly tied into those website objectives. For example, if capturing leads is one of the major goals for your website, you wouldn’t focus on things just like social media shares, you would track things such as sales on the site contact form completion, email newsletter, signups, now I’m going to stop lecturing you, let’s actually do a breakdown of some of the categories that can get you started. In knowing what type of KPIs you may want to track when you launch your own website. The first is, is very obvious traffic and visitors. We want to understand who’s coming to our website, everyone wants to know, like, are the people coming to my site, actual ideal clients? Are they people who, you know, in the case of a service based provider, very often what I see in sites that don’t have a real strategy is that they are attracting people who are searching for freebies, people who want to DIY, and maybe they’re putting out a lot of content for that. Yet, what they’re trying to sell is a higher price service. So the leads coming to their site, there are people who would never convert. So understanding who’s coming to your site is very significant. But when we think about KPIs, we want to think about tracking things such as Total website traffic, unique visitors. So you can see how many new faces you’re attracting traffic sources, whether that’s organic search, referrals, social media, things like that. And if you’ve invested in SEO as part of your website, copy project, which I sincerely hope that you have, knowing what’s happening within that organic search is very helpful to start to identify whether your efforts in SEO are actually being you know, strategic, or if they need adjustment. The other there are other things, though, when it comes to traffic and visitors, such as user demographics. For example, you may want to know the age of people coming to your site, you may want to find out their location if to see if people are coming within your local area. Or if you’re attracting people from areas that you don’t do not serve in your business. Another thing that you’re going to want to track when it comes to the quantitative data is the the engagement. So are your website visitors sticking around and engaging with your content? In order to find that the answer to that question, you can track the bounce rate, which is the percentage of people who are leaving after one page, you know, ideally, you want this number to be low, the average time on site. So the longer the better is doing that and having a longer average time on your site shows that the visitors are finding your content valuable. And the pages per session. How many pages are people exploring what pages are they exploring? But those are just some things to consider from the engagement part of the KPIs. Now, the next one is conversions. Everyone loves to talk about conversions. You want to track your conversion rate, which is the percentage of visitors that take a desired action on your website. You also want to track men Tricks like lead form submissions, online sales figures. And this type of data will give you information to see if those people coming to your site the leads the website visitors, if they actually turn into customers. And I’ll throw a little caveat here too, because I in my brain, when I started to talk about this, I really meant it through a true conversion standpoint, for a service based or product based business. But I don’t want you to forget, if you have an email list, a conversion can also be someone joining your list that’s just taking a website visitor and making them a little bit stronger of a lead. They may not be making a purchasing decision in the moment, but they are entering your stratosphere, let’s say, Okay, let’s move over to talk about SEO performance. If organic search is a big deal for your business, which it should be, I want you to keep an eye on keyword ranking for the target keywords that you set already. And you use already. So this isn’t trying to come up with a new thing. And creating new content. This is specifically looking for those longtail or short tail keywords you used on your website pages and reviewing whether you’re not whether or not you’re even one indexed yet. So that and what I mean by indexed if you’re not familiar with that is, do you even show up in search engine rankings? to If you are, which I hope you are? Where are you showing up in the search results for the these terms that are relevant to your business? I also want you to think about organic traffic from search engines in general. So maybe you are not ranking for the terms that you set out for. Or maybe you are right, but if you are ranking for other terms, that could be a good thing, it could mean that your ideal clients are phrasing something differently than you would phrase them or your SEO professional that you’re working with, phrase them. And you really want to know what are these phrases that they’re using? So do a review of the SEO data to see besides the words that you’ve set as your target keywords, what additional keywords are you getting? And what does that tell you about the messaging on your website. You also want to look at things like user experience UX is so important. And I actually have an interview that I’m going to do with another copywriter should be live probably in about a month on the podcast, about user experience, what it is and how you can review your site and improve on it. Or really just, you know, be successful in strategic with a great user experience from the beginning. But we all know that a smooth user experience is the key to keeping your website visitors interested, entertained, excited about working with you confident about your ability. Now, what makes this section slightly different is with the previous KPIs that I mentioned as examples, you know, traffic, visitors engagement. What else did I say conversions, SEO performance, those all have data that is generally easy to track using tools, you know, like an SEO tool will be able to give you information on performance. You actually even Google Analytics or Google Search Console can give that to you for free conversions should be something that you could be tracking through your website or your CRM, if that’s hooked up or your email service provider. Those tools are providing you with data because you’ve set up the their their tracking ability. But user experience is slightly different. You’re still getting quantity quantifiable data that I say that right? Quantitative data, who knows right now, I’m not even checking. You’re still getting the data about user experience, but you’re gaining it differently. So you may need to conduct user set satisfaction surveys. So maybe you have a pop up on the site. If you use convert box, for example, it says like, hey, quick question, did you get all the information you need it on this page? You know, it’s so much easier to do this for product based businesses. But you can gain that data from surveys on the site, or surveys that have you’ve sent out to people who have maybe filled out a contact form. An easier way to do it is just to utilize heat maps. I know that people get nervous when I say heat maps because it seems technical, but you can use tools to set up heat maps that shows you how a website viewer clicks and scrolls through your site. Doing this will give you information on you know where you can improve things. For example, Bull, do you have a confusing navigation menu? Like do people not know where to click on that top bar? Is your contact form hidden and you see them trying to find it and just giving up at some point. So, yes, you can use tools for those first, you know, few categories of KPIs that I mentioned. But for user experience, in particular, you’re going to have to put a little bit more effort in order to get that information. All right. So are those the only KPIs you can track for your website project and seeing whether it was successful? No, not at all. If you remember, I started this episode by saying that you need to set the KPIs for your own individual website. So the metrics tell you about performance based on your individual and custom goals. There are many other things you may want to track. For example, in an E commerce business, maybe you want to track product against product, and that will tell you information about what’s getting better received. A lot of big brands do this for a B testing, they may hire a copywriter to write two completely different types of product descriptions, and then show them to different users. And once they get enough data from that, they’ll determine whether they’re going to go with just as an example, the short description or the long description. That could be something that you do if you have a product based business. If you have a service based business and a shop, I’ve actually done this with one of my clients before, we tracked heat maps and analytics for the website, on whether her website, viewers were coming to her for the service she provided or whether they were coming for the like products that she offered. So that really helped her actually make some business decisions, in addition to considering the success of the website project that we did together. So you could have a lot more KPIs than what I mentioned. But I think that if you’re unsure of what to track, this is really like the standard, obvious options for you to get you started. Let’s move on from KPIs. We’ve got the numbers covered. But your website success is way, way, way more than just a pretty KPI dashboard that you set up. There are actually some qualitative aspects that indicate whether those goals you set for your website are actually being successful. For example, increase in user engagement, people who come to your site and they like being on your site are going to stay longer, they’re potentially going to sign up for your email list, they’re going to stay connected with you in that way, maybe they’re going to download content that you have. So identifying first what those things are on your website. And then maybe building in a comparison of what’s working, will give you insight onto whether anything needs changes. I might sound ambiguous here. Here’s an example. Let’s say you have multiple lead magnets on your website. And one of the things you and your copywriter talked about was what lead magnet should you go with, you know, should you have just one? Should you maybe take a different approach of putting different lead magnets in different sections of the site. Maybe you have one main email newsletter sign up, but you have a resource page with multiple free downloads, looking at the data that you get on how people actually come and use this, whether, you know maybe there’s one thing that’s being downloaded way more than another that will help you start making some decisions on you know what to continue with in your content creation, or maybe there’s going to be some things you want to remove that are not performing well. Another qualitative data set that is extremely significant is the quality of the leads. So we all know that not all leads are created equal. Website success can be measured by attracting high quality leads, who are further along on the buyers journey. So are you getting inquiries with very specific questions about your products or services? Are people automatically booking a call and then the discovery call process goes really well and they convert into high paying clients? Are the visitors of your site requesting a demo or you know scheduling a consultation like the discovery call I mentioned. If you see an increase in that or if you see again, the quality increase meaning leads who are better informed or leads who are appear quicker to purchase more That is one of the best ways to measure success. I know there’s not a tool that just kind of spits out the answer to you. But considering the leads that you’re currently receiving on your site, after some time has gone by, since their launch, compared to maybe a year ago, you will absolutely be able to start making some decisions on whether the effort you put in to your website rebrand is paying off website success is also about building your brand reputation. So one way to do this and to find out if you’re even even accomplishing it is to keep an eye on brand mentions off site. So do people talk about your website on social media, you know, has someone maybe said oh, a great example of an about page is and then your website, whatever it is, if people mention your brand, and the perception is positive, you want to pay attention to that. I mean, I’m gonna pause, you also want to pay attention to a negative perception. So you can immediately change that. Another way to measure like the brand perception is to think about branded search traffic. When I started my podcast, the the words talk copy to me when not a Google search, nobody was searching for that term. And I mentioned this because I wanted to build up branded search traffic, I knew that no one was looking for it, you know, and I wasn’t upset that it was a zero monthly search for a while. But now that I’ve been doing my show, I now measure that branded search term because people do search for it. So having these little pieces of information about what we’d like our brand to be in the future can help us kind of determine if we’re walking on the path that we’d like to be, I guess the final thing is, you know, I’m going to actually echo the KPIs. The final part is user experience. You know, when I talked about user experience, from a KPI standpoint, I was really thinking more about what was trackable, and how people move along your site and what data you can get from that. But if we’re looking at it from a qualitative lens here, I want you to pay attention to what your leads and your customers are saying about your website. Some things that I’ve heard from successful client websites, you know, post launch is, people will say something like, wow, it was really easy to find my way around your site, or I was so glad that you provided all the information about the process, because you know, it made it so much easier to book you. Or, you know, there was never any question on pricing, or I learned something new. Or maybe it was something on your about page that was personal that they could relate to. For example, when I worked on a need to Kirk brides website, we talked about this in the episode that she came on to the podcast where we discuss social media. But when we did her about page, one of the things that stood out to me as the writer and stood out to her clients was her love of cilantro. Yeah, I know that she’s a social media expert. And I’m never one to throw unnecessary information at websites. But if you are working in some fun facts, or these little personalized touches, and then your leads, or your customers say, Oh, I remember when I read your about page, you know, I really laughed at that cilantro thing. You know, my partner hates Alondra, but I am obsessed with it, those little touch points are very clear indication that your messaging is working. But the responsibility is on you to pay attention to what people are saying. Another thing to consider is the things that are not said. For example, if during a let’s say project onboarding call, you typically get the same type of questions about the process over and over again, from your clients. And you’ve adjusted your messaging on your new website to address some of those things. Maybe you notice that you’re starting to get less and less of those basic frequently asked questions. And the reason you’re not getting them asked of you by our clients is because they’ve already done the work or reading the content of your website. And they don’t have some of those basic questions. So yes, you want to listen to what people are saying. But you do also want to listen to what they’re not saying. And that’s why explaining qualitative data and how to use that as a measurement of ROI. It can be really difficult. But if you know that goal, you know, I think this is probably the third time I said this. So I’m sorry for lecturing you. But if you know the goals that you want, it’s so much easier to know what to pay attention to. So yes, you’ve done the first round of getting the quantitative and qualitative data and reviewing it and making decisions. But then after this initial round of a review on the other return of investment, I want you to make this approach Success. So regularly monitor these KPIs and qualitative metrics to I identify areas that are working well, and areas that truly need improvement. And when you have the information when you’ve collected that data, don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust as necessary on your website. Based on the data you have based on the user feedback, I want to throw like a complete word of caution that I don’t want you to make significant changes after the six month mark. And when you do make changes, make them slowly and one at a time so that you’re able to actually track whether the changes made a difference and whether the adjustments you made are actually improving on what you’d hoped would happen. But experiment and try things out, you know, the the user feedback you get can give you a lot of real good insight into what to continue doing and what needs to get adjusted. And by continuously optimizing your website, you’re ensuring that one, you had a significant ROI from the investment that you put into your website. And to that you don’t have to go through this process again, in the very near future. You know, if you invest and you adjust, and you really feel like you have a strategic and successful website that can last you for a very long time. And it can be one of the most important marketing tools that you have for achieving all of your business goals. So that’s it. Thank you for excusing this interruption, so I could sneak this episode on in here, and I’ll see you back next week for that thought leadership conversation. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me at Erin Ollila. Until next time friends

Note: Show notes may contain affiliate links to products, offers, and services that I whole-heartedly recommend.

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