How do you know whether your website works as intended? That it both attracts visitors and converts them to leads and customers? Metrics play a crucial part in any digital marketing efforts, and your website is no exception.
Of course, measuring your success is only possible if you know what to measure. Tools like Google Analytics give you plenty of numbers to analyse, but knowing what to focus in is necessary to most accurately determine the success of your website.
1) Total Unique Visits
This one is obvious. Your total visitor numbers give you a great idea of how successfully your website attracts your target audience. Looking at visitors over time allows you to understand the growth of your influence, while adding the sources to your reports helps you understand which of your marketing efforts is most successful.
For this metric, it's important to distinguish between total visitors and total unique visitors. The former does not account for visitors who may come back at a later time, compounding exposure based on visits rather than where the visits come from. Unique visitors, on the other hand, give you a better idea at the number of people who have seen your site.
2) Average Time on Page
While visitor numbers indicate the success of your efforts to get visitors to your website, this metric allows insight into the effectiveness of the site itself. An interesting website will naturally have a longer average time on page than one that does not engage visitors.
Average time on page also enables you to determine the consistency of your brand messaging. If your website does not hold the promise that your ads, emails, or social media efforts put forth, visitors will find out quickly and leave your site. A consistent message, on the other hand, results in longer attention spans and more time spent on your site.
3) Bounce Rates
Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website having viewed only a single page. In other words, they were not interested enough to go any deeper into your website for additional information.
High bounce rates can indicate a number of issues. For example, you may not offer a clear 'next step' or or call to action that your visitors can follow. A lack of consistency, as mentioned above, can also play into this metric. Measuring bounce rates for both your entire website and individual pages can help improve the problem areas over time.
4) Average Page Load Times
Another reasons your visitors may 'bounce' is the time it takes to load your page on average. Studies show that websites which take longer to load increase bounce rates and decrease conversions significantly. Especially visitors on mobile devices expect your website to load quickly, and if they have to wait, they'll leave without investigating further.
Load speed can depend on a number of factors, such as the images on your page and the reliability of your web hosting server. When the speed drops, investigate to find the issue and fix it as soon as possible.
5) Conversion Rates
Finally, tracking conversion rates can help you better understand the full marketing cycle for your brand. Visitors are great, but if none of them turn into customers, your website does little to help grow your business.
In addition, you can tie your conversions to the sources of your web visitors to better understand which of your marketing efforts have been most successful for your bottom line. Then, you can use that information to market more strategically based on conversions, not just brand reach.
Of course, a number of other metrics are important to measure both the technical and the marketing performance of your website. But the above five get you started in using your website more strategically to help grow your business and brand. For more information on how to track them, as well as building a website optimised to perform well in each of them, contact us.