Would you get excited to see that your traffic had increased 100% from one month to the next? Of course you would. But what if I then told you that your bounce rate went up from 30% to 75% and your conversion rates dropped in half. Not so exciting anymore. It is important to understand that there is a huge difference between website metrics that matter and metrics that don’t. While measuring your website traffic is important, more important is the why and not the what.
So Which Website Metrics Are Important?
When sifting through your data, it is important to note changes that have an impact on your bottom line. You could have 10,000 visitors a month and that could do nothing for your business if you aren’t getting leads or sales from it. Data is only useful if it’s actionable. Here is a list of website metrics that will help you to improve your digital marketing efforts:
1. Conversion Rates. Instead of measuring traffic you should be measuring your conversion rates. The conversion rate for your website is the number contacts made through your website divided by the number of visitors. If you get 5 leads from 100 visitors you have a 5% conversion rate. It is important to establish what your conversion rates are so you can work on improving them. If your conversion rate is 5% and you want to improve it to 10% you can use A/B testing to test your landing pages and your calls to action. Assuming you have some decent traffic, improving your conversion rates can make a huge impact on your bottom line.
2. Bounce Rates Bounce rates are still important, especially for landing pages. This is just another thing that you can use A/B testing to optimize. Compare your bounce rates for your various landing pages and see which ones are performing the best. This is especially important if you are doing any sort of PPC campaign where you send traffic directly to a landing page as it has a larger effect on your bottom line.
3. Pages per Visit and Visit Duration. If you have a site that is based on a subscription model you want to know how engaged people are with your content. A good indicator of engagement is number of pages per visit and visit duration. These tell you how long people are on your page and how many pages they look at.
Here are a few more items to look out for when checking out your analytics:
1. Conversion Rates by Source. You could be getting all of the traffic in the world but if it doesn’t convert it won’t help your business. For example, if you are getting 30% of your traffic from Twitter, you might think it makes sense to spend more time and effort on Twitter. However, if you are only getting 1% of your conversions from Twitter, you are probably better off spending your time elsewhere. Look for the sources that give you the best conversion rates and focus on those channels when doing your marketing. If you get 80% of your leads converting from organic search, you would be better off spending your time building up content for your website using some long tail keywords.
2. Keywords to Leads. What keywords are getting you the most leads? These are often going to be long tail keywords. If you find that a particular keyword phrase is getting you more leads it makes sense to create additional content for that keyword and to make sure those pages that contain the keyword are optimized for lead generation.
Ultimately, the most useful website metrics are those that you can use to improve your content and your conversion rates. If you are just using Google Analytics you should set custom goals which will give you a great idea of where your conversions are coming from. Once you have an idea of your baseline, you can begin to use A/B testing to improve your rates and increase the business coming from your website.