If you have a website, you know how crucial it is to track your website performance. It is essential to stay ahead of your metrics since it helps you determine the gaps in your strategy and make accurate predictions about your business. The question then becomes, "What website metrics should you focus on understanding for business success?"
In this article, we discuss the top website metrics that every marketer or business owner should pay the most attention to when reviewing analytics. If you have the following questions, then this article is for you:
- What website traffic analytics are important for my business?
- What basic understanding of website analytics should I have?
- What is a bounce rate and conversion rate?
- How do I calculate value per visit and/or cost-per-conversion?
Understanding Business Website Analytics
Gian Clancey, author of a popular online article titled "Are You a Slave to Your Data? How Taking a Narrow View of KPIs Can Limit Growth", states that the data we gather can ruin our online visibility and performance if proper tracking is not in place. The article also reminds us of the risks of considering quantity over quality of leads, emphasizing on the short-term metrics, and giving priority to a narrow data-oriented focus over marketing innovation.
Insights reveal that in addition to having a reliable tool at your disposal, website metrics necessitate lots of strategizing and planning, too.
“Website metrics necessitate lots of strategizing and planning, too.”
There are thousands of website metrics that you can track, but the question is which ones are important? And, if your website is not achieving its targets, which ones must you pay attention to and work on to improve?
Here we go with the answer to these questions!
8 Important Website Metrics for Business Owners
1. The Traffic Source
Surprised to know that traffic is not our primary metric?
Well, traffic is not as relevant as many people think when we talking about conversion rates. What is important is not how many visitors you receive, but how well the visitors help your website achieve its goals. Understanding where visitors are getting to your site from is the key.
The three key traffic sources are:
- Direct Visitors: Direct visitors are coming to your website by directly searching for you in their browser address bar.
- Search Visitors: The visitors finding you via a search engine.
- Referral Visitors: The referral visitors are clicking through a link to your website from somewhere else, either on another website, or a social media page, among others.
Different kinds of traffic lead to different levels of engagement. Since engagement is the first challenge for B2B marketers, it is helpful to track all traffic sources individually and analyze which ones are doing the best. Moreover, it is also vital to have a variety of sources for traffic. If you are getting all the traffic from a single source, it might be risky that you have all of your eggs in one basket.
2. New Visitor Conversion Rate
First things first, you will need to determine what is a conversion on your site and how to track website conversions. In order to calculate conversion rate, all you need to do is use the following formula:
Conversion Rate = (Conversions/Total Visitors) * 100%
How a first-time visitor interacts with your website is different from the way a returning visitor does. To have more first-time visitors’ conversions, isolate this metric from conversion rates of your returning customers. Determine what they look for when they visit your website for the first time and how they can be provided with an improved experience.
Do you know that your website has only a few seconds to grab the visitor’s attention? Hence, take a careful look at your first impression and then compare it with your competition. You must know what message you communicate.
Think of the factors that matter to you when you visit any site for the very first time. Possibilities are that you are seeking usability, clarity and value. Then, answer how can you make the first impression of your own website useful, clear, and valuable.
3. Bounce Rate
A bounce is when a visitor visits your website and immediately leaves without browsing any other pages of the site. Bounce rates are usually partially attributed to the visitors that are just at the wrong websites, implying that bounce rate is a metric that needs a more in-depth look.
However, most of the time, it implies that people who visited your site didn't find what they looked for, and thus left. Therefore, a low bounce rate means that most of your visitors are sticking around your site as they are finding it useful.
You can attribute a high bounce rate to multiple factors, including poor traffic, wrong keywords, slow load times, and cluttered or bad design. Comparing the high bounce pages with the low ones provide useful data into what works for your traffic and what doesn't.
4. Return Visitor Conversion Rate
If you are thinking about returning visitor conversion rate, then think of the following two questions too.
- Why did the visitor return?
- Did the visitor convert the first time?
- Also, if not, how can the visitor be converted the second time when he/she revisits your site?
Keep in mind that even if a visitor didn't convert as a new visitor, you made enough of an impression to get them to return. A return visitor implies that the conversion process on the return visit would become more manageable than it could be when the first-time visitor found your website.
You must isolate the return visitor conversion rate and determine the ways to increase it or provide more value to repeat visitors.
5. Interactions Per Visit
Even if the visitor doesn't convert, it is not the end of the world. You still have a chance to monitor their activities on the site and how they use the information provided. What exactly they are doing on your site, how to make them do more of it, and how to affect this behavior into successful conversions are the questions to consider.
For instance, if visitors look at various pages, spend a lot of time browsing through those pages, and leave reviews or comments on your site, it means they are still interacting at a high level. Even if they're not converting (at the moment), your objective should be to increase such interactions.
Using relevant tools, like Crazy Egg, can be helpful as these tools help you understand where your visitors are clicking and the way they are interacting with your site content. Conversion rate optimization is an extremely effective effort when considering making adjustments to your website.
You should also determine how you can leverage such interactions into an increased number of conversions, whether that's subscriptions, downloads, purchases, or something else.
Interesting Read: 5 Design Elements That Can Improve the Conversion Rate of Your Website
6. Value Per Visit
The value of each of the visits is a simple metric to recognize, but much more difficult to specifically calculate. Fundamentally, it tends to evaluate how much each of the visits to your site is worth.
The simplest way to understand How to Calculate Value Per Visit is by using the following formula:
Total Value Generated / Number of Visits
Let's take an e-commerce store as an example. As indicated by recent data, most e-commerce sites see conversion rates revolve around 3-4%, wherein the mobile users account for about half of that.
If this e-commerce store acquires a 3% conversion rate, and an average purchase is worth $100, it implies that they sell almost $300 for every 100 visitors (Three Conversions x $100). In simple words, their value per visit is $3 ($300/100 Visits).
However, this metric is hard to calculate since sometimes the value comes long after the visit, or it arises in an intangible form that's difficult to measure.
For instance, blog visitors may generate value each time they add a page view to your traffic if you're, for instance, selling advertising. However, they also generate an intangible value when they add a comment on your site, making it look more engaging and authoritative.
Similarly, the visitors on e-commerce sites create value every time they buy a product, but they also generate a somewhat infinite value when they leave a product review or when they tell their contacts about the site via word-of-mouth.
Interesting Read: 4 Simple Ways to Quickly Double Your Website Traffic With SEO Changes
7. Cost Per Conversion
Cost-per-conversion is the effect of value per visit, and it's one of the most important metrics you should calculate. Cost-per-conversion is also called lead generation costs or the cost-per-referral.
It doesn't matter if you acquire high conversions or even high value per visit. If your costs are excessive, your net income might be zero or even negative.
In our example of the e-commerce store that had a $3 value per visit, that may be great if their traffic is free. However, if it costs the store $150 per conversion, and every conversion leads to a $100 order, the store is not going to be doing very well.
While trying to grow conversion rates, it is imperative to keep the costs-per-conversion and overall margins in consideration.
Interesting Read: How to Create Shoppable Posts on Instagram for Your E-Commerce Store
8. Exit Pages
Finally, you must determine which pages cause visitors to leave. In numerous cases, your final call to action, or the conversion, might be on page two or three of the user process. For instance, you may want visitors to browse through products, add them to the cart, and then enter their payment information.
If visitors are leaving before reaching the last step, it means you're losing out on potential customers.
To solve this issue, dive deeper into the web exits and find out the stages in the process that cause your visitors to leave or abandon their cart. There are indeed many reasons behind the issue, but through optimizing your exit pages, you'll begin to see an increase in your conversion rates.
The Final Takeaway
While these are quite common and significant metrics to keep track of, if you don't understand the data, then the data is not all that useful. Use this info to recognize areas that you may improve and get clarity on the ways to implement these crucial metrics.
Don't get too determined to try and analyze every single metric all at once. Instead, emphasize a few metrics for improvement and focus on these primary metrics before moving onto more advanced metrics and reporting.
Thank you so much for reading 8 Basic Website Metrics Every Business Owner Should Understand. We really appreciate it!
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.