By Scott Anderson Miller

Because your website is the engine powering your online attraction and conversion, start your inbound marketing assessment (IMA) process there. Before you get into the nuts and bolts of grading your website, ask yourself some higher-level questions like:

  • Why do you have a website?

  • What is the main interactive function of your website?

  • Is your website built to attract?

  • Is your website built to convert prospects into sales?

  • Are your interactive initiatives connected to your website?

  • Does your website encourage revisits and repurchases?

The purpose of a website grader is to let you know how well your website is set up for inbound marketing. It follows that a website grader should be part of any IMA you perform. At the minimum, your website grader should include:

  • Onsite website metrics such as:

    • Website traffic

    • Website bounce rate

    • Time spent on site

    • Inbound and links

    • Broken links

    • SEO metrics

  • Competitors’ standard website metrics

  • Diagnoses of both your website and your existing inbound marketing

At some point, you should also measure your website user flow, and later, when you decide to perform testing, you can measure onsite user experience (UX). If you’re not overwhelmed by the basic reporting outlined here, you can choose to include these analyses as part of your website grader report or IMA. The objective is to identify where you can reduce customer friction. User friction is any impediment to conversions and sales, so it’s key to know where any roadblocks exist on your site that cause visitor bounces, exits, and non-conversions.

Provided you have access to the information, be sure to report conversion factors like the volume of leads generated, the quality of those leads, and the total number of customers generated. This helps facilitate future inbound marketing initiatives. These reports help you create a customer Conversion Machine consisting of your website, your digital marketing efforts to attract visitors, and your conversion and reconversion efforts.

A well-designed Conversion Machine helps create a customer for life. And that’s something you and your marketing department can take to the bank!