When diving into website analytics, we need to select metrics to measure and analyse. Metrics are fuelled by numerical values, offering businesses objective results from which they can draw insightful conclusions. But there are just SO many website metrics to choose from! We want to avoid vanity metrics that don’t offer us genuine value, but how do we know what metrics are vital, and which ones will offer our business website the best insight for improvement?We’ve complied the most beneficial metrics here, so you don’t need to worry about getting muddled up with numbers, and instead you can get straight to measuring your website success!
Website metrics for beginners:
These are the essentials; the need-to-know numbers providing a thorough website overview and visitor insight. If you’re just starting out with web analytics and seeking to improve your website results, these 5 metrics are a must:
Website visitors are quite literally, everything. You wouldn’t perform a concert to an empty venue! To have a properly functioning website, you need visitors. So, let’s get measuring…
Whether you choose to measure overall visits, or unique visits (first time visitors only-not including repeat visits) these numbers represent the size of audience you’re reaching and the amount of engagement your website gains.
What does this tell us? Plenty. This tells us the impact your brand is currently having on your marketplace. This tells us how successful your SEO strategy is and how impactful marketing campaigns are on your website. If you’re measuring both overall and unique visits, the difference tells you how many people return for more information.
This metric is the foundation of website analytics, the starting point for every business.
Now you know the number of people visiting your website, it’s logical to ask how they got there. Logical, and hugely beneficial. This metric enlightens you to where website visitors come from, be it a search engine, social media or even through direct access. This metric offers you the key to understanding how your business promotion fairs, and what channels appear most popular to your audience.
This helps your B2B marketing ventures, as you know what’s working and what’s not. With a website offering the online hub for your brand, every channel comes back to its success and referral metrics will give you the truth about your best performing channels and how they increase your business success.
Knowing your most visited and popular pages seems like a simple metric but remains paramount. This metric tells you what pages your visitors feel are most important to your site, so these are the pages to focus on when looking to make improvements and place calls-to-action for visitor conversion (more on that later!).
This is also very interesting for those featuring content on their website, as you’ll see your top 10 pages change regularly with the release of new content and assets. Knowing the pages most visited helps you understand what content and topics best speak to your audience, allowing you to better know their business pain-points and needs. This not only helps your team create more valued and useful content, this offers enormous insight into how your product serves the market, and what key benefits currently match your user’s needs.
This is the number of visits who exit your website without moving from the page they original landed on, as if they’ve hit a specific webpage, and bounced right off again (not to be confused with exit pages below). Obviously, some people don’t mean to end up on your site and exit straight away, so you’ll never get your bounce rate down to zero but reducing this rate should be a primary aim for any business website.
You need to know how many opportunities you’re losing and make changes to keep people engaged with your site. It might be that your content isn’t informative enough, or your website is too hard to navigate, and people can’t find their way to a desired page. Whatever the reason, know your bounce rate and hypothesize ways to get it down.
Exit pages are the last pages your visitors access before leaving your site entirely, even after lengthy visits. Ideally, your most popular exit page would be a “thank-you” page, or an online receipt page, as this usually means they’ve followed your call to action through.
However, this is the dream. In reality, you’ll have unpopular pages that could work harder to keep visitors engaged, and you need to know what they are and why they have a high exit rate. Find out these problem pages, then look to what they might be missing, but remember to always make small, gradual changes when editing webpages. Don’t just revamp the whole page in one go, make one small change at a time so your audience aren’t startled, and your team know the exact features your audience respond positively to (making future improvements much easier!).
So, there you have it, the best metrics to get you started! But it doesn’t stop there, let’s look to what metrics can offer improved conversion, for those keen to gain new business opportunities from their site.
Metrics for conversion
We all want to achieve positive results from our website, so we can ensure return on our investmentas with any online marketing strategy. The secret is of course, converting website visitors from just curious prospects into sales leads and onwards to clients. These are the metrics you need to measure for successful website conversion:
One of the most important metrics of all- from your website visitor total, how many of them covert as desired? An average conversion rate is between 1-5%, and we’d all prefer to be at the higher end of that figure, so there’s your goal!
This metric ultimately tells businesses the success of their website, and if this number is low you’re either attracting the wrong audience or your website isn’t powerful enough to convince your audience they need your product. Either way- this metric needs to be a critical figure for your digital team and one to constantly improve.
Interactions per visit
This metric tells businesses how many pages and actions your website visitors engage in on each visit. If visitors aren’t converting, you need to understand their journey and know why. This metric helps businesses understand their visitors journey, and at what point they interact with the call to action displaying the desired behaviour.
Ultimately, we want this journey to be as short as possible so there are less distractions between your visitors and their conversion, but a high amount of interactions isn’t a bad thing- your website is keeping them interested! The key is finding the magic element that achieves the conversion and then ensuring visitor journeys always include that element, no matter what path is taken.
Value per visit
Using your conversion and revenue figures, you can measure the value per visit (many tools can do this for you). Essentially, how much value does your website traffic offer your business. We want this to be as high as possible, but one prospect conducting multiple visits to your site can hinder this figure, so the aim lies in converting visitors as soon as possible without them making multiple visits.
This is a great additional measure to use when making changes to improve conversion, it not only hints to your success, but proves that each visit counts so your team are keen to get maximum value out of every visitor. It also offers insight to campaign prioritization, knowing what channels promote first time conversion to increase visitor value.
The amount of time spent on your website is a hugely telling metric for businesses, allowing us to understand how engaging your website layout, content and navigation is. Poor content, (even if it’s well optimized) loses visitors and reduces visit duration enormously which affects your SEO success too. Google crawlers pick up on visitor times to establish page reliability, so the shorter your average visit duration, the worse your SEO.
Again, this will never be a perfect metric; you’ll always get visitors spending mere seconds on your website, but knowing what pages keep visitors engaged and what pages lose visitors quickly allows you to prioritize changes for better results.
Cost per conversion
Another vitally important metric, cost-per-conversion is often overlooked as people dislike thinking conversions are a bad thing. They aren’t of course- we want plenty of conversions! But at what cost?If you spend a lot of money just to meet website conversion targets, what have you gained?
This metrics allows businesses to know their return on investment, how cost effective their website and marketing campaigns have been and how their conversion strategy is shaping up. If this number is higher than you’d like, look to your strategy again and see where you can be cost effective whilst still promoting an active online presence.
With these metrics in place, you’ll understand your website conversion and how you can improve it to see the results you’ve always dreamed of.
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