Your museum now has its own website, a crucial first step accomplished in its digital transformation. In order to boost its visibility and attract new visitors, rigorous, continuous and pertinent management and optimisation work needs to be carried out. Although publishing engaging, quality content, improving the user experience and regular interface maintenance are all, of course, prerequisites, achieving these objectives also requires statistical website analysis.
How many visits were there to your website last month? What was the average length per visit? Which channels brought visitors to your website? Which pages generate most traffic? How many times was your white paper downloaded? The list is not exhaustive, but without the answer to these questions, you will not be able to measure the ROI of your actions and will have no visibility when it comes to your visitors’ website preferences. Measuring and interpreting the data on your traffic, as part of a continuous improvement approach, contributes to ensuring the long-term continuity of your website. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty with these tips!
Use a statistical monitoring and analysis tool
This is the first step, without which you will not be able to measure your website’s traffic in any detail so as to adjust your various actions. There are currently a wide range of statistical management and analysis tools, whether free of charge or fee-paying, but we recommend you opt for a solution that meets your needs (current and future), and that is reliable and respects privacy as required by the GDPR.
More specifically, we recommend Matomo; a French open source software solution whose comprehensive range of functionalities will allow you to evaluate your visitors’ browsing paths from A to Z on AND to your website. Simple to use and with flexible hosting (you can choose the server and therefore the country of hosting), Matomo Analytics conforms to the recommendations of the CNIL (French Data Protection Agency) and complies with the GDPR. Furthermore, and unlike some of its rivals, the results produced by Matomo are never based on sampling – so no approximation!
Once you have created your account, a code provided by Matomo needs to be incorporated into your website (on your administrator interface). Lastly, note that this solution can be integrated into more than a hundred technologies including e-commerce stores, forums, content management systems (such as WordPress), etc. A big advantage when it comes to monitoring the performances of your e-ticketing and/or your online merchandise store for example.
Whichever tool you opt for, take the time to consider your choice, weighing up the pros and cons!
Use the most relevant performance indicators
It’s all very well to say that these tools are fairly simple to use and that the data they produce are exhaustive, but some figures are anything but self-explanatory when presented in absolute terms. Here is a selection of unequivocal indicators to follow.
One of the first to note is the number of visits (also referred to as sessions) in a given period. This is not the same thing as the number of (unique) visitors, since one person may visit your website several times. Similarly, the number of visits per page will tell you which content receives most traffic (and is therefore the most appreciated) and allows you to boost your conversion rate by adding a call to action or CTA button, for example. This indicator also tells you which pages are the least visited and which could therefore do with being optimised (either as regards the routing or the contents, or both).
Traffic periods are also a pertinent indicator. By observing peaks on your website, you can publish new content at the best times, or, taking it a step further, programme the send out of your newsletters at the times with the highest number of connections.
Not to be confused with the average time spent per page, the average visit duration can give you an idea of the relevance and quality of your content. Users who do not find what they are looking for will not stay on your website. So your objective is to enhance relevance and quality as much as possible. In this regard, the bounce rate refers to the number of visitors arriving on a page of your website and then leaving it straight away without even browsing other pages. The aim is to keep this rate as low as possible by optimising your content (reworking texts, adding clarification), adding links (only relevant ones) to other pages of your website (articles on the same subject, related products, for example) or CTA buttons (contact, booking form, download of a guide, etc.).
We also advise you to identify and monitor where your visitors come from – social media, external links, search engines, etc. – to can assess the effectiveness of the digital channels used. Also, do not hesitate to check the key words used by Internet users in search engines to get to your website; a veritable mine of information for optimising your content by adding the terms that generate most traffic.
Your website’s conversion rate will allow you to gauge its pulling power. This refers to the proportion of visitors performing a specific action; contact request, merchandise purchase, ticket reservation, brochure download, etc. It is obtained by dividing the number of actions performed by the total number of visitors, multiplied by 100. We recommend comparing your overall conversion rate (all actions combined) with that of each specific action to identify any that have a negative effect on this measurement. By way of example, if the number of people subscribing to your newsletter via your “Contact” page is tiny compared with the total number of visitors to this same page, then perhaps you need to think about redesigning your registration insert (repositioning, mention of added value, better visual prominence, etc.).
Either way, always bear in mind that some data can have many different meanings; make sure you always compare, look below the surface, cross-check and consider at them in perspective so as to make best use of them.
Adopt a rigorous methodology for monitoring and interpreting your results
By compiling your results in a monthly dashboard, you maintain complete and constant visibility of your website’s performance in terms of traffic. We advise you to illustrate each item of data with a short summary phrase including one or more improvement actions for those you consider most pertinent. Then draw up a general balance sheet and use it to set out your roadmap!