There are currently over 1.8 billion websites online, and that number goes up every second. Not all of them are your competition, of course, but you know that you have a lot of competition in your market today. Thus, you need to understand your website metrics and how analyzing and managing them will help you build your business.
You need website metrics to help you measure your website performance. Without tracking your metrics, you can’t effectively manage your growth online. You need to know your metrics to convert those website visitors into leads and leads into paying customers.
Depending on the size of your business, metric tracking is a relatively painless and straightforward process. Companies can set up a spreadsheet and input data manually. If your business is more extensive, you can use automated services.
If you want to make sure your website is performing at its best, keep reading because we’re going to show you a few tips to help you get the maxim return on investment (ROI) when it comes to your digital marketing tactics.
And it all starts with web analytics.
Using Web Analytics
Web analytics is crucial to growing your business online, and is used advantageously by the most successful businesses in the world. Google Analytics makes it easy to sign up for an account, add your website, and watch your metrics in real-time. With analytics, you can also track your advertising if you’re using Google Ads, track your Flash, track video, track social networking applications, and just about everything else Google has to offer for you and your website.
You do not have to use Google Ads to track your website performance. Analytics will show you how many users visited your website that day, how long those sessions lasted, what the bounce rate is, and you can even watch your stats in real-time.
This works for many businesses because they can see where the demographic area is of the largest number of visitors and track where in the world other visitors are visiting from. With this information, you can target your content, advertising, products, and services to the client base you are seeking. When following metrics for the long term, you’ll be able to see insights and trends.
If you’re posting blog content on your website, you can use analytics to measure each post’s performance. Things you can track:
- Keyword kits
- How a user landed on your site
- If the user came through a search engine or another website
- Where the user is from
- User age and other demographic info
This information will show you what posts drive traffic to your website to continue with that trend. You can see how long they’re staying to read so you know whether the length is an issue and what changes you need to make. You can even track your click-throughs to see if your call to action (CTA) is getting the clicks you need to convert those visitors into paying customers.
You can use analytics to measure your website performance, but you can use it to measure social media data such as Facebook likes.
There is so much you can do with website analytics that this doesn’t even scratch the surface, which is why it’s at the top of the list. It’s truly one of the most informational resources for measuring metrics to help build your business through your website.
Analytics to Focus On
With so many things a business could track, it’s easy to go down a metric wormhole. Your time is valuable so what you really want to focus on are these 8 metrics to give you the numbers you need to decide your ROI and help you build your business.
- Revenue – This is hands down the most essential business metric to track to build your business. If you’re not already tracking it, you should be. Along with revenue, you should be monitoring gross income and your profit. By keeping track of revenue metrics, you can link it with which metrics affect your revenue.
- Visitors – Focus on unique visitors. This is the number of people who landed on your website during a specific timeframe (you can look up any.) This number represents each different person. So if 1 person landed on your site 5 times, it only counts as 1 visitor. Visitors are important to track because it represents the size of the audience you are reaching. As your marketing efforts expand, you want your visitor reach to expand as well.
- Referrals – Once you learn how many visitors viewed your website, you will want to know where they all came from. This is why you will track referrals. Referrals track users based on their clicks. This will tell you whether they found your website through a search engine, another blog post, another website, or linked somewhere on social media. Knowing where your traffic is coming from will help you understand whether the work you are doing to promote your website is working.
- Bounce Rate – Bounce rate is the rate at which someone lands on your website and immediately clicks off it by using their back button or closing their browser. This may mean the user didn’t see what they were looking for and have no interest in clicking around the website to see if it’s there. You can use this rate to figure out why people leave as you want the lowest bounce rate possible.
- Exit Pages – Exits pages is when a visitor is viewing multiple pages on your website and then decides to leave without a purchase or filling out the contact form. Having a high exit rate could indicate problems. Look at those pages with high exit rates and try to learn why your visitors are leaving your site from that page.
- Conversion Rate – Out of all of the metrics worth tracking, the conversion rate is probably one of the most important because this rate is the percentage of people who made a purchase, filled out the contact form, or any other call to action goal available on your website. This is the ultimate measure of how well your website is performing. This is its success rate.
- Top 10 Pages – By viewing your top 10 pages report, you can see what your visitors think is your most valuable material on your site. This will give you an idea of what to focus on in the future.
- Social Media Followers and Traffic – Using social media can be a low-cost and effective way to grow your business, so you’ll want to track to make sure you have a decent ROI. While you can track followers, shares, clicks, views, replies, and comments – what you really want to focus on is conversions. How many people are following you, and how many of those people follow your social media posts to your website.
It is easy to get overwhelmed with web analytics and tracking metrics. Start small and pick a metric from an area that needs improvement and build up from there. Focusing on just one thing will help you get a feel for the numbers. From there, you can see your business build.
Analytics Not to Track
Just as there are things to track, there are a few things you shouldn’t bother tracking. It’s not that these things don’t provide any sort of value – they’re just not the top contenders when it comes to building your business.
Videos are a huge trend in digital marketing right now so it’s perfectly acceptable if you have a video or 5 on your website, or perhaps you’ve created and are linking to a company YouTube account. These views are important, especially if they are driving visitors to your website. Keep in mind that in social media, for a view to count, a user needs only to watch 3 seconds of your video to count as a view. On YouTube, it’s just over 30 seconds. If your video is longer than 4 minutes, these metrics aren’t telling you anything important so it’s not worth your time tracking these metrics.
Email Open Rates
It might seem like a great metric to track the rate your emails are being opened. You want people to open your email blasts and newsletters. It looks good when your open rate percentage is high. Sadly, this only tells you whether your email subject line was compelling enough to get someone to open your email, and those someones are already your email subscribers. Beyond that, it tells you nothing. You have no idea if they’ve read the entire email.
It’s worth noting – If your email service allows for you to track your email click-through rate, meaning it gives you the ability to track whether or not your anchor link in the email was clicked – track this. And if your email service doesn’t offer this to you – find one that does. It’s nice to know when your emails are being clicked through – especially if it lands visitors on your website.
Putting it All Together
As you can see, website metrics are essential to help you build your business.
You can use metrics to:
- Get to know your visitors well.
- Enhance the user experience.
- Know your best content.
- Focus on your best work.
- Help your SEO.
- Track referrals.
- Build strategies.
- Gain more traffic.
- Turn your metrics into conversions.
- Grow your business!
Are you ready to grow your business by tracking your website metrics and not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place.
BHirst Media is a U.S. based digital agency that offers web design and development, and we’re here to help with your website metrics. Contact us today, and we’ll get you started — walking with you every step of the way, so you don’t have to get bogged down by the hard stuff.