Maximize Website Performance for Professional Services



Understanding how your website performs is important to ensure it's working for you (not against you!) to achieve your business goals. But it goes beyond the top-level metrics you see in Google Analytics. There is more to performance than visitors and views. To really understand and optimize your site, you need to dig deeper and understand which metrics really help move the needle for your industry. This post goes highlights metrics that are important for Professional Services companies like Heinz Marketing.

By Lisa Heay, Director of Business Operations at Heinz Marketing

As part of my Marketing Operations role, one of my focus areas is to understand how our website is performing and where we have opportunities for optimization.

Google Analytics can be intimidating. Sure, there are baseline metrics like visitors and views, and you can watch the numbers rise and fall over the months, but do you know what those numbers are really telling you? Can you use them to make strategic decisions about your marketing efforts and your website?

You need to dig deeper.

Why should you care about website performance?

Understanding how your website is performing is crucial for several reasons:

  1. It helps you optimize your user’s experience. By understanding your website’s performance, you can identify areas where users may encounter frustrations such as slow load times, confusing navigation, or poorly optimized content, and then make the needed improvements to keep your visitors engaged.
  2. It helps you maximize conversions. A website that can effectively convert visitors into leads or even better, customers, is essential. By tracking conversion metrics such as form submissions, contact requests, or downloads, you can identify which areas of your website are most successful in driving conversions and optimize those that are not.
  3. It will inform your other marketing strategies. Website metrics provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. By analyzing traffic sources, keyword rankings, and user behavior, you can determine which marketing channels are driving the most qualified traffic to your site and then you can allocate your resources accordingly.
  4. It helps you stay competitive. Your website serves as the primary touchpoint for potential customers to learn about your company and evaluate your expertise. By monitoring website performance metrics, you can benchmark your performance against your competitors and identify opportunities to differentiate your company to stay ahead in the market.

Understanding how your website is performing is essential for maximizing its effectiveness as a marketing and lead generation tool for your company. So what metrics should you pay attention to?

Heinz Marketing B2B Content CTA

General website metrics you need to know.

I set out to figure that out for our own website, and article after article mentioned the same metrics. Here are some of the basics:

  1. Website Traffic: This includes metrics like total visits, unique visitors, and page views. It gives an overall view of how many people are engaging with the website and what they are viewing.
  2. Traffic Sources: Understanding where your website visitors are coming from (organic search, paid advertising, social media, referrals, etc.) helps in understanding which channels are most effective in driving visitors to your site.
  3. Bounce Rate: This is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate can indicate that visitors aren’t finding what they’re looking for or that the website needs improvement in terms of usability or content relevance. 
  4. Conversion Rate: This metric tracks how many visitors complete a desired action, such as filling out a contact us form or downloading a resource. It indicates how effective your website is in turning visitors into leads or clients.
  5. Average Session Duration: This metric shows how much time, on average, visitors spend on your website during a single session. A longer average session duration generally indicates higher engagement.
  6. Form submissions: Monitoring the volume and quality of leads generated through your website is essential for evaluating the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
  7. Device, Browser and Geographic data: Understanding how visitors access your site and from where they are located can help you optimize content for those different platforms and audiences, and ensure the user experience is consistent across those variables.

While all interesting, I felt like these weren’t the key to understanding how our professional services company website was successful. I didn’t feel I could make many sound and strategic decisions based on these alone. So I dug in a level deeper.

Website metrics specific to our industry: Professional Services.

For a marketing consulting company like us, where the core product is expertise and knowledge-based services as opposed to e-commerce sites and product-based businesses, the metrics for measuring website success need to be more nuanced and tailored.

Here are some key website metrics that may be more relevant:

  1. Lead Quality: Rather than just focusing on the quantity of leads generated, professional services companies should assess the quality of leads coming through the website. Metrics like lead source, industry, company size, and specific service interests can help to gauge if you’re attracting members within your ICP.
  2. Content Engagement: These firms rely heavily on thought leadership and educational content to showcase their expertise. Metrics such as time spent on high-value content pages, scroll depth, downloads/shares of whitepapers, e-books, and case studies, popular topics, and engagement with blog posts can indicate the effectiveness of content in attracting and engaging your target audience and showcasing your expertise.
  3. Referral Traffic: Since word-of-mouth and referrals play a significant role in acquiring clients for professional services firms, tracking referral traffic sources to the website can provide insights into the effectiveness of networking, partnerships, and client referrals in driving website visitors. If you know which channel or partner is working for you, you know where to invest more heavily in the future.
  4. Inbound Marketing Metrics: Measuring organic traffic, backlinks, and social shares can demonstrate how effectively you are driving relevant traffic through your content and social media marketing efforts.
  5. Navigation/User Flows: Have you ever analyzed how users navigate your website? There is a very cool (free!) tool called Microsoft Clarity that lets you watch recordings showing a specific user’s path. You can see where they are clicking, how long they stay on the page, how far they scroll. It’s very interesting – more on that to come in another blog post soon.
  6. Video Engagement: For services firms, video can be powerful for showcasing expertise. Track metrics like play-through rates.

The key is tying your website performance not just to general traffic and conversions, but to how effectively it is driving awareness, establishing credibility and nurturing relationships. Now we’re getting somewhere. 

By focusing on these more specialized metrics, professional services firms can better evaluate the success of their website in achieving their unique business objectives and enhancing their reputation as trusted advisors in their respective industries.

Wrapping it up.

All this comes down to continuous improvement. The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and user expectations are always changing. Regularly monitoring website performance metrics allows you to stay agile and adapt to emerging tech and trends in your own industry. 

Look beyond the first page in Google Analytics to determine what metrics really help move the needle for your industry and business objectives so that you can establish your baseline now and continuously optimize your website based on these data-driven insights to ensure it remains effective in achieving your business objectives over the long-term.

Want to chat? Email us for a free brainstorm session!