Let me start with a quote:
“You can’t improve what you don’t measure.”Peter Drucker
That being said. Website metrics need to become your guide in decision making, and help you determine if your marketing efforts are meeting your overall goals. When a business launches a new marketing campaign, they expect it to generate leads and sales. By tracking metrics you can get an idea as to whether or not the marketing campaign is heading in the right direction.
What are website metrics?
Website metrics is a general term that refers to methods of measuring a website’s performance. Examples of website metrics include traffic, bounce rate, top-viewed pages, and conversion rate.
The number of web analytics tools on the market is staggering. The sheer variety of metrics and services provided by these softwares can be dizzying. With that said, if you’re looking to expand your website’s reach, there are certain metrics you should keep an eye on. Everything from visitor flow and traffic estimation to ad metrics will help determine the success (or failure) of your website and marketing campaign. Pay attention to these statistics, and you’ll have a better idea of what your audience desires—which can lead to a more effective marketing strategy!
12 essential website metrics
1. Traffic – Number of Visitors
The number of site visitors you have is your site “traffic.” Within your traffic, there are many segments you can break the data into. This is where you are likely to focus on some of your KPIs.
You can track traffic in several ways. Often, your web hosting provider will offer traffic statistics in your account dashboard. Alternatively, you can use a WordPress plugin to gather your traffic data.
However, the most recommended tool for the job is Google Analytics.
2. Session Duration
The session duration metric is easy enough to understand. It calculates how much time a visitor was active on your website. Like average pageviews per session, this metric is a great indicator of how engaging your website is. The more time user spends on your website, the higher this metric will be.
Session duration is a metric that has more to do with how your website is designed (and the type of content you’re presenting) than it does with actual engagement. If you want to see how engaged people are with your website, you’re better off looking at average time on page metrics or bounce rates.
3. Average Pageviews per Session
The average pageviews per session metric show exactly how many pages of your website a visitor has browsed.
The higher pageviews per session generally mean that your site is interesting. If the average number of pages browsed at each session is high. This means you are getting qualified traffic.
You should always aim to have your visitors stay on your website as long as they possibly can.
4. Bounce Rate
A bounce occurs when a user visits a page on your website and leaves your site without taking any other actions on it, such as navigating to a new page or filling out a lead generation form. Your bounce rate, then, is the percentage of sessions on your site that bounced.
There are many considerations to take into account when examining website bounce rates. There are multiple ways to define a bounce rate and various ways to calculate one, and a high bounce rate does not necessarily mean that you have a poorly performing website. Although it can give you an indication of how engaging your content may be, bounce rates are only one way to measure engagement and should be used in conjunction with other metrics to form an overall impression of how effective your website is.
Few tips on how to lower your bounce rate:
- Increase website load speed
- Optimize for relevance
- Provide easy navigation
- Include a clear Call to Actions
- Rethink your product and landing pages
- Create engaging content
- Optimize for mobile
- Use internal linking
- Design a better user experience
- Try to understand why visitors are leaving so early
- Do some A/B testing
5. Average Time on Page
Average time on a page can help you determine how much of your content users are consuming. This information is valuable to any website owner because it reveals how well your site is engaging visitors and how much of your (potential) community sticks around. If you want to draw repeat visitors back to your website, there is no substitute for keeping them engaged with quality content.
6. Traffic Sources
The traffic sources metric is a valuable asset to digital marketers because it allows you to see which of your digital marketing efforts are creating the most value for your company.
- Organic search: The user came from an organic — meaning unpaid — listing on a search engine results page
- Paid search: The user came from an ad on a search engine results page
- Social: The user came from a link on a social network
- Referral: The user came from a link on another website
- Direct: The user came directly to your site, such as by typing your URL into their browser
Bonus tip: Always use UTM parameters!
UTM parameters are five variants of URL parameters used by marketers to track the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns across traffic sources and publishing media. There are tools like Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder to help you set up UTMs: https://ga-dev-tools.web.app/campaign-url-builder/
7. Device Source
Device Source metric can be used to find out the top device types (PC, tablet, or smartphone) people use to access your website. In addition, you can see the top operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows) and top browsers (Chrome, Safari, and Firefox) being used to render your site.
Knowing what devices your visitors are using will help you present them with a site that best fits their needs.
You’ll be able to make changes to the design and content so that your site looks great on the devices most commonly used to access it. Devise source data may come in handy when you’re creating ad campaigns as well.
8. Engagement Rate
Engagement rates are metrics that track how actively involved with your content your audience is. Engaged consumers interact with brands through “likes” comments and social sharing.
Engagement rate metrics are far more important today than they have ever been. If you are paying attention to the type of content your audience is engaging with, you will notice ways in which you can improve your content as well as create new material that will be more appealing.
Engagement rate metrics consist of the following metrics:
- Scroll depth
- Average time on page
- Average page views
- Bounce rate
- Form conversions
9. Conversion rate
Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that make a defined conversion action on your site. This is a top-level metric that tells you how well your site is transitioning visitors to leads or customers.
Depending on your business goals, a “conversion” could be almost anything, but here are a few common types of conversions:
- Making a purchase
- Submitting a form (contact us form, lead gen form, etc)
- Calling your business
- Engaging with your online chat
- Signing up for a subscription (either paid or free—like a newsletter)
- Registering on the site
- Downloading something (software trial, eBook, mobile app, etc)
- Using something (new/advanced feature on your software or app, simply using your software/app for a certain amount of time)
- Upgrading their service
- Engaging with your site in some way (time on site, repeat visits, number of pages visited)
How to calculate the conversion rate?
The conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of conversions (desired actions taken) by the total number of visitors and multiplying the result by 100 to get a percentage.
For example, if your web page had 31 sales and 575 visitors last month, your conversion rate is 31 divided by 575 (0.053), multiplied by 100 = 5.3%.
11. Cost per conversion
CPC is a useful tool to determine if your advertising campaign is successful and also if it is profitable or not. The cost paid per conversion, or CPC, will provide a great indication of how much you need to spend in order to generate conversions and sometimes generate only a few.
A low Cost Per Conversion rate indicates that there may be an issue with the ad itself, such as a low click-through-rate (CTR), or with how it is placed. The rate can also be too low due to a lack of highly targeted traffic, relatively cheap conversion goals, seasonal trends among customers, or other factors. If the cost is excessively high for conversion, it may be due to unnecessarily expensive advertising channels, a lack of highly targeted traffic or a lack of conversion goal optimization.
Cost per conversion should not be confused with cost per click, which is also abbreviated CPC.
How to Calculate Cost Per Conversion?
Cost per conversion is calculated by taking how much money is spent on an ad campaign, divided by the number of conversions (customers) over the same period.
Cost per conversion = Total cost of ad spent/number of conversions.
12. Exit Pages
The exit page is the last page viewed by a visitor during a visit (a visit ends after 30 minutes of inactivity on the site). It provides great insights to understand your user’s behavior, the journey they take, and how you can optimize your website to boost conversions and keep users longer on the website.
Bonus tip: Visualize the metrics
With free tools like Google Data Studio, you can extract the KPIs and consolidate them into a tailor-made report. This will help you track the progress of all your current goals.
Website metrics tools
Alex is a co-founder of a digital marketing agency. His specialty is in overall digital marketing strategy, social media advertising, search engine advertising, search engine optimization, and conversion rate optimization.