Let’s face it! In the last decade, the internet has permeated every fabric of human life and revolutionized how we conduct business. Today, more and more consumers are turning online to make purchases. According to MOZ, 80% of consumers conduct some online search before purchasing. For online marketers, this is heaven-sent. However, eCommerce and blogging are constantly changing. This raises the question, how do you make sense of all the data generated on your site, and what metrics matter most? Well, that’s an honest question, considering the amount of data that a site generates. Perhaps, this explains why 94% of online marketers believe that analytics can help them achieve their goals, but only 15 to 20% use site metrics for decision making. The thing is, most marketers think it is subjective, but that’s not the case.
So, which metrics should you be tracking for your business?
Specific metrics hold the key to how your site and content are performing. On the other hand, vanity metrics are not worthwhile and could distract your marketing efforts. Furthermore, every business is different, with unique goals, needs, and preferences. Therefore, the metrics you should be focusing on provide meaningful insights into your business. In other words, you should be concentrating on metrics that provide actionable data that your marketing team can use to gauge your site’s performance and suggest how it can be improved to generate more leads and conversions. And though there is no Holy-Grail type of what you should be tracking, here are the most important metrics to keep a close on.
The 7 Key Metrics You Should be tracking for Your Website
It should not surprise that traffic is the most vital metric to track on your site since it facilitates engagement and conversation. Nevertheless, traffic itself cannot be used to quantify the performance of your site’s content. The most crucial metric to keep an eye on is traffic growth over time. Though every website, blog, or online shop has a different threshold of web traffic before target audiences can start converting into paying customers, they all share a common goal: to increase traffic. If you have an effective marketing strategy in place, you should notice an increase in traffic over time. And that’s a clear indicator of positive performance.
In Google Analytics, web traffic is categorized into two:
- Users: These are the number of unique visitors that land on your site once during a specific time frame. For instance, a person visiting your site every day for a month is only counted once when adding up the number of users in a month.
- Sessions: This metric considers every person who visits your site regardless of the number of times they have been there before. So, if someone visits your site five times a week, it will add up to 5 sessions in a week.
Both of these measures will offer you different insights on your site, but you should be concerned about increasing or decreasing traffic over time.
If a person lands on your site after a Google search, looks around, and after a few seconds click the back button, it is known as a bounce. And this happens all the time. Perhaps, they could find what they were or looking for, or your site just looked boring to them. The percentage of bounced visitors versus the total number of site visitors is known as the bounce rate.
Typically, a bounce rate between 26-40% is perfect; anything in the 41-55% range is considered average, while a bounce rate above 56% is above average. If your site metrics show that you have a high bounce rate, it will eventually drop your SERPS rankings, and this can result in a significant or even a crippling drop in traffic. Since high bounce rates are caused by a mismatch between your content and the visitors’ interests, there are two things you can execute to improve this metric.
- Improve the value of the content on your site so that it can resonate with your audience or
- Refine your marketing strategy to ensure that you are attracting high intent buyers and interested consumers.
According to SEMRush, domains don’t rank the same on different devices. For example, a recent report indicates that 76% of URLs change by almost two places on mobile devices than desktops, 52% change by three places, and 30% percent change by ten places. Though dropping by a single number might not sound significant, people browsing on different devices have different habits, and this could see your domain drop by up to 10 places which could be catastrophic. To avoid this, identify your best traffic sources, then concentrate your marketing efforts there. Moreover, improve your content and site layout to ensure that everyone who visits your site, regardless of their device, receives a seamless experience.
The search Engine Results page indicates how well your content is doing when someone searches for the products or services you have on offer. In simple terms, SERPS Ranking show where your content appears on search engine results. Though this is not a metric you can statistically calculate, it is perhaps one of the clearest indicators of your content or products against your competitors.
According to HubSpot, 75% of internet users never scroll past the first page of search engine results. This means that if your content ranks highly, the chances are that you are going to appear on the first page of search engine results. To see your rank, try searching the keywords used in your content and see where it shows up. If your content is good, it should rank highly. If that’s not the case, improve your on-page SEO, and that should result in an authoritative ranking among your competitors. With almost 50% of all Google searches in 2019 ending without a click, your domain must rank highly.
Time spent on site
If you have executed a good SEO strategy, the chances are that people will be drawn to your site. However, the accurate measure of your contents’ quality and value is the amount of time people spend reading it. The longer your visitors stay on a page, the more content they consume, which implies that it adds value to them. In this case, you should evaluate:
- Evaluate how your target audience is engaging with specific posts or products
- Using the Medium’s method, estimate the read time
- Then compare this time with the average read time for that particular post
If the averages line up, it implies that site visitors are reading the content in its entirety. If not, it may be just scheming over the content or just reading a few lines. However, don’t expect the averages to line up perfectly since people have unique needs and preferences. Instead, look for a close average and improve your content if it’s not close.
Is your content good enough to keep site visitors coming back for more? Well, I mean, content is a lot more like a meal, and the honor you can bestow on your guests is to have them begging for more. Just like you would never return to a restaurant that serves awful meals, visitors will not return to your site if your content doesn’t resonate with them or offer value. The ratio of return visits to total visitors should provide a concrete answer to whether your target audience finds it relevant or not. And let no one lie to you that you can mitigate this with paid advertising. The fact is, between 70% and 80% of people who use the internet completely ignore paid ads. Therefore, your organic concentrate on a good and effective marketing strategy should not be built around attracting one-time visitors. To get the ratio of returning visitors, segment your site’s traffic, then extrapolate it to get predictions that will hold to be true.
The most practical and efficient way to get this ratio is to evaluate how much direct traffic your site receives since this often comes from returning visitors. In this case, good or bad results will depend on the effectiveness of your marketing strategy and campaigns.
Top Traffic Source
You can use many sources to generate traffic when launching a marketing campaign. For instance, you could be using popular apps like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or newsletters to drive traffic to your site. For example, if you find out that most visitors originate from Instagram, it is one of your top traffic sources. You can then use this information to concentrate your marketing efforts in the right place since people on that platform are more interested in your products. On the other hand, if little traffic is coming from Facebook and you keep focusing your marketing there, it goes without saying that you are doomed to fail. Therefore, analyze this metric and identify your top traffic source so that you can engage with high intent consumers. However, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore other traffic sources since they also bring the traffic. Instead, investigate why they are not interested and do what is necessary to raise interest and keep them engaged with your brand.
Let’s face it! Ecommerce is constantly growing, which means there is a lot more competition than ever. So the only way to keep your business afloat is to concentrate on the metrics that provide the most relevant insights so that you can make the best marketing decisions and stay ahead of the competition.