4 in 5 consumers are now using search engines to find local information such as opening hours, directions to the store and product availability. Many brick & mortar retailers are leveraging this influx of local search queries to their advantage by creating a website for their store.
Setting up a store website is an excellent way for retailers to showcase the products that they stock and give customers access to the critical store information, e.g. sales events and promotions. The problem is that quite often most retailer websites are not optimised in a way that makes them user-friendly or easy to navigate.
Below are three free tools which you can use to evaluate your website’s performance and make improvements where necessary:
1. Pointy Website Grader
67% of smartphone users will switch sites if it takes too many steps to get desired information so it’s important to ensure that your site is easy to navigate. The Pointy Website Grader automatically evaluates your website across over 20 different metrics and provides you with a detailed report on what you could be doing to improve your website and attract more customers.
One of the most important things it evaluates how search-engine friendly your website is. More and more customers are doing research online before visiting the physical store so it’s important that you are showing up in search results. By using the website grader you can understand how your website is performing on search engines and make improvements.
2. Test My Mobile Site With Google
Smartphone usage has risen exponentially in recent years with 65% of people accessing the internet at least as often via smartphone as computer. A recent study by Google found that only 9% of users will stay on a mobile site or app if it doesn’t satisfy their needs (e.g. to find information or navigate quickly) Stats like this emphasize how important is for your website to be optimized for mobile search.
Google’s Test My Site tool allows you to review your website’s performance when viewed on a mobile device. Simply enter your website URL and you’ll receive a full report which includes info about your site’s mobile usability, loading time and most importantly the estimated percentage of customers lost due to loading time.
3. Google Analytics
When a customer lands on your site, it’s often very useful to track data such as where they came from, how long they spent on the site and what device they were using. Google Analytics provides retailers with a myriad of information about how customers engage with their website.
By tracking customer behaviour, retailers can gain a better understanding of how advertising campaigns are working for them because they can see how customers were directed to their site. Google Analytics is loaded with excellent data but it can be quite overwhelming at first. The Analytics Academy is a great place to start for beginners.