Like it or not, your web presence plays a huge role in how people perceive your business.
Your company strives for constant growth and improvement, so why should your company’s website be any different? Before you can pinpoint problem areas of your site or opportunities to improve your tech strategy, you need a thorough understanding of how your site functions as-is. That’s where analytics come into play.
If you haven’t already jumped on the analytics bandwagon, here are a few site metrics that every business should be keeping tabs on:
- Bounce Rate
- Conversion Rate
- Traffic Sources
- Session Duration
Your company probably has many goals for your website, but your site’s purpose ultimately boils down to this: it is an easy way to interact with customers and potential customers. That’s why keeping track of unique and returning visitors is essential– this metric should give you a sense of how successful your site is at reaching your audience.
The visitors metric keeps track of how many times people visited your site. The unique visitors number, on the other hand, counts how many different people accessed your site, usually based on visitors’ IP addresses. That means that if Visitor A accesses your site once and Visitor B accesses your site 10 times, you will have 11 visitors (1 from Visitor A and 10 from Visitor B) but only 2 unique visitors (Visitor A and Visitor B).
Another important visitor metric to consider is repeat visitors, which tells you exactly what it sounds like it would tell you: how many people have returned to your site after visiting it the first time. Repeat visitors is particularly helpful if your business relies on building a relationship with customers or acquiring an online following.
If you want to improve your website, your bounce rate is another essential metric to understand. A “bounce” is when a visitor leaves your site after visiting just one page. That means that they find themselves on your landing page and hit the back button, click an external link from your homepage and never return, or otherwise leave your site almost as soon as they get there.
Your bounce rate, therefore, is the percentage of your site’s visitors who bounce. On average, you can expect your bounce rate to hover around 75%. Much higher than that, and you’ve probably got a problem. If your bounce rate is lower than 75%, great! There’s still room to improve, though. Tracking your bounce rate gives you a great place to start analyzing your site’s effectiveness.
Before you can examine your site’s conversion rate, you have to determine what “conversion” means for your business. Generally speaking, a conversion occurs when a visitor does whatever you’re hoping they do on your site. That can mean signing up for a newsletter, filling out a form, buying a product, or anything else you deem important.
Tracking your site’s conversion rate tells you what percentage of visitors end up converting. Most analytics software even allows you to track multiple different conversions– for example, signing up for your newsletter and making a purchase– as separate statistics. Paying attention to conversion rates can help you determine how visitors navigate through your site and which paths through your site are most successful (i.e., lead to more conversions). Applying what you learn from this sort of analysis to other conversion paths on your site will make your company’s page more effective as a whole.
Paying attention to where your site traffic comes from is essential to fine-tuning your company’s digital and marketing strategies. This metric will tell you what search engines send the most visitors to your page, how many visitors find your site through advertisements and social media, and helps you pinpoint other unexpected traffic sources you may want to tap into in a more deliberate way. This data helps you determine what traffic sources your business should be focusing on.
Session duration refers to how much time visitors spend on your site before they leave. Generally speaking, the longer your average session duration is, the better. It means that your visitors are probably engaging with more aspects of your site, reading more of your copy, and in the end, are more likely to convert. In addition to tracking overall session duration, it can be useful to track how long visitors spend on each page of your website. This will help you figure out what your visitors are looking for on your site and optimize other pages by incorporating those elements on your other pages as well.
Most analytics services collect so much data that it can be difficult to figure out what’s important and what is not. By keeping these 5 site metrics in mind, you’re sure to develop a clear picture of how your site is performing and, more importantly, how you can make it even better.