Measure Measure Measure—it’s the only way to know what works for your site and what does not. Running a website for your business need not be a shot in the dark. Here are 6 website metrics every business should track.
1. Unique Visitors
Specifically unique visitors; which is the number of people who visit your site during a specific period (e.g. last week, last month, yesterday, today). Measuring unique visitors does not take into account the number times these visitors landed on your site. For example if you had two visitors yesterday, one of whom visited three times then you will have two unique visitors and four total visits.
Measuring this metric is important because it can easily tell you how effective your marketing is by pointing out the size of the audience you are reaching. This metric can be especially important when you run offline marketing campaigns. For example if you run a magazine ad next month and don’t see a corresponding jump in your unique visitors then maybe that campaign is not worth the investment.
Referrals will tell you where your audience is coming from: blogs, websites, social sites, search engines, and so on. The referral report will also tell you how many visitors you are getting from other sites—and this is important because it can help you understand how much your promotion efforts are paying off.
For example, your referral report can help you answer questions like: Are your social media outreach tactics working? Are people mentioning you on their blogs and linking back to you?
Getting an idea of where your audience is coming from can also help you understand which companies or blogs you should consider forging more formal relationships with. If you realize you are getting major exposure from a particular site, you might want to reach out and establish a more formal relationship.
3. Bounce Rate
A ‘bounce’ occurs when someone lands on your website and immediately clicks back or closes the browser. This is the same as someone walking into a store, taking a quick look and immediately walking away from the store. This is not a good scenario because it means they did not find your site useful or easy to navigate.
While it is impossible to get your bounce rate down to zero (because people could land on your site by accident and bounce right off), it is important to try to keep your bounce rate as low as possible. Every person that bounces off your site is a lost opportunity.
4. Conversion Rate
Conversion rate is super important because it ultimately determines how successful your website is. Conversion rate is the percentage of people who achieved a goal on your site. Goals are actions like buying an ebook, submitting an email, viewing a certain page on your site, signing up for services and buying products, etc.
If your website has a low conversion rate then either you are attracting the wrong sort of visitor or your website is not effective at convincing people to take desired actions.
Apart from the effectiveness of your website, conversion rate can also alert you to something broken on your website. For example, if your conversion rate suddenly drops, that might mean an error in your shopping cart or sign-up form.
5. Exit Pages
Exit pages are those from which visitors leave your site. Some natural exit pages are order receipt pages (the visitor is done with their purchase and no longer needs to hang around) and there is nothing you can and should do about those. But if you realize that a high proportion of your visitors are leaving your site from a particular page then you may want to find out why.
Are they not finding the required information? Is it the navigation? Why are they choosing to leave?
You want to keep an eye on the number of backlinks that lead to your website. Backlinks directly impact your rankings because they are a strong indicator of how useful others find the content on your website. The better your rankings on search engines, the easier it will be for your target audience to find you. The quality of the sites that link back to you is more important than the quantity and as such you also want to ensure the right websites are linking back to you.
And there you have them! Six website metrics every business should track. These numbers will help you understand what needs fixing on your website and what needs ramping up in order to increase your ROI. Speaking of ROI, we at Eternity have made it our life mission to ensure that your website becomes your best ROI for your business. We would love to hear from you and help you make sense of the internet and how you can succeed online.