If you run a WooCommerce website, you’ll need to monitor WooCommerce to ensure success and save your sanity. The stakes are higher with any e-commerce store because the site is actively making money. If the site breaks, slows down or crashes entirely, you’re losing sales. You could also be losing sales if you’re not watching what sells and the traffic that drives those sales.
So it’s important to keep a close eye on your WooCommerce site. You can’t watch everything 24/7, so set up some automatic tracking and keep tabs on what’s important.
Here are five things you should be monitoring:
- Page speed
1. Monitor WordPress Uptime
We’ll start off easy. Having your WooCommerce site go down is bad. Every minute your site is down is a minute you’re not making sales. Not cool. So you need to monitor WordPress uptime to notify you the instant something happens. You don’t want to stumble across an error and have to wonder how long your site has been down.
So get WordPress uptime monitoring in place to notify you immediately when your website is down. That’s the best way to know what’s happening so you can immediately start fixing the problem.
This one is easy because it’s a no-brainer and it should happen pretty rarely (if your site is going down frequently, you need to reevaluate your hosting).
- There are free uptime monitoring services such as Uptime Robot and Pingdom that can text or email you when a site goes down.
- You can also monitor WordPress uptime with iThemes Sync. The service will email you when your site goes down, so you can immediately know if you have any downtime. Using iThemes Sync can be part of your broader strategy to manage multiple WordPress sites.
2. Monitor Page Speed
Web site speed matters, especially for e-commerce. A one-second delay can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. A slow site literally costs you money.
You should monitor site speed and keep an eye out for any slowdowns. Monitoring will help you establish a baseline and pinpoint any issues so you can quickly diagnose the problem. A recent update might be to blame, so knowing any change in site speed is vital.
- Tools such as Pingdom or Google’s Page Speed can help you analyze your site performance.
- If you need to speed up your site, Kissmetrics has some technical tweaks to help you. Read more: Why Decreasing Page Load Time Can Drastically Increase Conversions
3. Monitor WordPress Security
Website security is a major issue these days and, for WooCommerce sites, it’s even more important. Again, the stakes are higher for e-commerce. Plus, there’s money on the line, so your site is a more tempting target.
You need to monitor WooCommerce for any security issues. Taking security precautions is important, but you also need proactive security to watch for sketchy issues or abnormal online behavior.
Security monitoring will keep a watch on your WooCommerce store and notify you of any issues. That gives you a jump on fixing problems and might even allow you to thwart an attack.
- Some hosting environments offer security scanning.
- Use a service such as Sucuri as a website security platform to actively monitor your site and alert you of any security issues.
- Install a WordPress security plugin such as iThemes Security to run (or schedule) a WordPress malware scan.
4. Monitor Sales
One of the most important ways to monitor WooCommerce is by keeping an eye on your sales. Sales are the lifeblood of e-commerce. There can be different numbers you watch and different reasons you watch them, depending on your store. Whatever number is important to you, monitor it.
For example, a store that’s just getting started may want to celebrate every sale. But a store that’s been around for a while and makes sales 24/7 doesn’t want to be alerted to every new sale—it’s just business as usual.
You might want to track the rate of sales—sales per hour or sales per day—to watch for larger trends. If you get a sudden spike (or drop) in sales you want to know why. Maybe you need to feature a popular product to take advantage of a trend. Maybe your marketing is working (or not working), or something out of your control is happening that will be a boost (or a bust) for your business. The only safe way to react is to have all the facts. You can get those facts when you monitor WooCommerce.
Instead of sales, maybe you’re interested in new customers. Or returning customers. Or profit per sale. There are a lot of different numbers you can track. The key is to figure out what’s most important for your store and focus on that.
Once you figure out what you care about, you’ll need to pay attention to those numbers.
- The reports included in the WooCommerce plugin handle a wide range of details, although you may need more in-depth reporting.
- You can also get fancy and use Zapier & WooCommerce to pull WooCommerce data into just about anything—and turn that info into an email, text, etc. Chris Lema shows more on extending and automating WooCommerce.
- The new iThemes Sales Accelerator plugin for WooCommerce reports brings all of the key e-commerce sales metrics into your WordPress dashboard for better insights.
5. Monitor Website Traffic
A big driver of sales is website traffic, so you should also keep an eye on your site’s traffic. You want to know when people are coming to your site, what pages they’re looking at, how long they’re staying and whether or not they’re converting.
Sometimes web traffic can be fickle, but there’s a lot you can do to drive traffic (or drive traffic away). If you’re not monitoring traffic, you’ll never know what works. All your email newsletters, social media updates and blog posts might be for nothing. Monitoring traffic can help you make better decisions about how to allocate your precious time.
It could be that email newsletters drive way more traffic than social media posts, so you should focus your efforts. Or maybe new blog posts aren’t giving a big boost, but your longtail of blog content is pulling in a lot of shoppers so there’s long-term value in blogging. Analyzing your traffic can help you answer those kinds of questions.
Google Analytics is the solution here. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Only 20% of e-commerce sites are using Google Analytics correctly. Ouch.
Actually using Google Analytics is the key. And that can be the challenge because it’s often hard to parse all the data Google Analytics provides. What numbers are important? Where should you even look?
The reality is Google Analytics can be pretty complicated. You can pair it with Google Ad Words, and track conversions from a search to a purchase on your site. That’s amazing, assuming you can set it up and then actually pay attention to it.
So here are a few solutions that can help you better understand analytics and monitor WooCommerce traffic:
- Sync Pro’s WordPress maintenance reports can include Google Analytics traffic data. This can be a good way to keep this data top of mind.
- Google Analytics automatically tracks significant data with Intelligence Events. Even if you’re not sure what to pay attention to, Google will notify you when something might be worth looking at. You can also set up custom alerts for specific details you want to pay attention to.
- If you want to learn more about Google Analytics, check out our 12 Days of Google Analytics webinar with Rebecca Gill.
When the stakes are higher you have to keep tabs on your site. Make sure you monitor WooCommerce for uptime, speed, security, sales and traffic.
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