We don’t need to tell you about the benefits of having a website for your business. In the age of technology, the internet is the first place customers go to find the businesses they need, and you want them to find you.
However, a great website is an ongoing project. You need to keep a constant eye on your web metrics to see if it’s performing as expected. Tracking your metrics is also the only way for you to find out what’s holding back your site’s success and fix it.
If you’re new to managing websites, a report of your web metrics can look like a flurry of confusing terms. To help you use these statistics to your advantage, here’s a summary of the metrics you should focus on.
Web Metrics to Watch in 2018
The first step toward maximizing your site’s performance is identifying any problems. To do that, these are the metrics you need to keep an eye on:
1. Total Site Visits
The number of site visits you get will vary based on your location and how specialized the information is. Regardless, you want to see a steady increase in total site visits. If you see any sharp increases or decreases, try to identify what changes you made to your site or your marketing campaigns around that time.
2. Sources of Traffic
If you want more web traffic, the key is finding out where your existing traffic is coming from first. There are four primary sources of traffic you’ll see in your metrics:
- Organic search (people who searched for related keywords and then clicked on your site from the search results)
- Direct traffic (people who specifically typed your web address into their browser)
- Social (people who clicked a link in a social media posts)
- Referrals (people who clicked a link to your site on another site)
This can help you determine how to focus your future marketing campaigns and judge your current campaigns’ success. In your referral traffic, it’s also a good idea to look at which sites are sending the most traffic your way.
3. Visitor Demographics
By seeing your users’ basic demographics, you can see which groups you’re appealing to the most. However, perhaps the most helpful part of the demographics is the information about where your users are located.
If much of your traffic is coming from other countries or other parts of your country, it’s a sign that you need to improve your local SEO.
4. Average Time on Site
You can’t ask every user whether they think your content is interesting, but evaluating the time they spend on your site is just as helpful. You want people to spend at least a few minutes reading or watching your content. If your average time on site is too short, it may be time to focus on creating more engaging content.
5. Mobile Traffic vs. Desktop Traffic
For the internet as a whole, more traffic comes from mobile devices than from desktop browsers. However, every site has its own metrics of where the traffic is coming from. If you have a sizable amount of traffic from mobile devices, it’s important to make sure your site is mobile-friendly.
6. Interactions Per Visit
You don’t want people to come to your site to read one page and leave. You want them to be engaged and click around your site, exploring different pages or filling out forms. Your metric for interactions per visit will tell you the average number of actions users take on your site.
If this number is low, you might want to build a better internal linking structure or take a look at your navigation.
7. Conversion Rate
While “interactions per visit” includes all actions a user takes, “conversion rate” measures how many users perform a specific action. This can include high-value actions like making a purchase or filling out a form. If this number is low, you want to look at your conversion funnel and find out where you can improve.
8. Cost Per Click and Cost Per Acquisition
If you’re running a pay-per-click campaign, cost per click is a crucial metric to track. You need to find out if your investment is worth the action your traffic is taking.
There are two metrics you may see: cost per click and cost per acquisition. As their names suggest, cost per click includes anyone who clicks through to your site. Cost per acquisition only includes people who spend money on your site.
9. Bounce Rate
Your bounce rate is the percentage of users on your site who leave after viewing one page. This can be a sign that you don’t have enough linking structure or that your web design doesn’t encourage people to take action. It’s also important because it affects your search engine rankings, so pay close attention to your bounce rate.
10. Page Load Time
While the time it takes your page to load depends partially on your user’s internet connection, it also depends on your site’s performance. Over half of users will leave a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. If your load time is higher than these three seconds, it’s time to find ways to boost your site’s performance.
11. Click-Through Rate
The click-through rate (CTR) reflects the percentage of people who click on a link in a marketing email, social media post, or PPC ad to go to your landing page. The CTR is an important way to determine how successful select campaigns are so you can make conscious marketing choices in the future.
12. Top Landing Pages
In your metrics, you can find out which pages on your site have the best performance. You can sort pages by the number of views, time spent on site, bounce rate, and more. This is a great way to compare your pages and find out how you can help those pages that aren’t performing as well.
Staying On Top of Your Web Performance
When it comes down to it, the only way to know how to improve your site is to know where the problems are. Monitoring the metrics above is the first step toward a more successful, profitable site for any business.
For more insight into web metrics, check out our website monitoring blog.