As you look forward to 2018 it’s a good idea to take the time to do a deep dive into your metrics in order to figure out what worked for you in 2017 and what didn’t. Here’s a list of some of the things that you can review and learn from:
What’s driving traffic to your website?
There are usually four-six main sources of traffic to your website:
- Direct traffic: Someone typed your website into their browser and navigated directly to your site. This is often a sign of repeat customers, or may come from people typing in your website after receiving a business card.
- Organic Search: People found your site through a search on Google or Bing.
- Referral: Visitors came to your website through a link from another website.
- Social: Traffic driven to your website by social networks.
- Email: Visitors clicked on links in email messages (if your company does not have email marketing campaigns this will not be applicable).
- Paid Search: Traffic driven to your site through PPC campaigns (applicable only if you have paid search engine advertising).
Use your 2017 metrics to explore how people are finding your website and what that information means to you. For instance is there a particular website that is sending a high amount of traffic your way? If so, can you leverage that relationship? Can you also think about how to get a placement on similar websites to bring even more traffic to you?
On the flip side if you are not getting very much traffic from search engines you may want to investigate your SEO strategy in order to bring more visitors to your site.
Is your social media effective?
We just covered that social media can drive people to your website, so be aware of which social media sites are sending people your way and take this into consideration when planning for 2017.
For instance if you spent a bunch of money on Facebook ads, but it only brought 20 people to your website and created one sale, that may not be a strategy you want to repeat.
With that said, you also need to take a look at your 2017 metrics from your social media platforms to get the whole picture. Social media is great for exposure and engagement, but does not always drive direct sales. For example, Pinterest is the top social site for driving sales, but takes an average of two and a half months to convert a customer.
If your social platforms have a growing fan base that is interacting with your content, you are exposing people to your brand and sales will come; even if they never directly convert from the social platform. However, if a certain social platform has limited engagement and drives very little traffic to your site, that may be a sign you need to concentrate on other places.
Are there trends to your sales?
Take a look at your transactions and see if there are any trends you can spot that will help you sell more in 2018. For example:
- Are people buying from you at a certain time of the month or year? If you have certain products that had seasonal spikes, make sure that you leverage that in 2018 by planning promotional campaigns around those spikes.
- Do people buy certain products or services together? If five out of 10 customers are buying two products together than you’ve discovered a great upsell to leverage. You may even want to consider creating a package to group your common products/services together for an easy sale.
- Is there a product or service that gives you a greater profit margin? If devise a promotional campaign to sell more!
Taking time to look at your year-end metrics can help uncover a wealth of information that will make your 2018 numbers even stronger.