The internet revolutionized how consumers make their purchases, which means your website is more important than ever. It’s not just online shopping, either. Studies show that when buying in-store, 82% of smartphone owners research on their devices. With so much riding on your online presence, you need to optimize your site. How can you tell what you’re going well and where you need to make changes?
Website metrics give you hard data on the number of visitors and their interactions with your content. With thoughtful analysis, these numbers can give you an objective picture of how effective your website is. So what information should you track? Here are eight important website metrics and what they can tell you about your site.
1. Exit Pages
Even if your website is well-designed overall, there may be one or two webpages that aren’t quite doing the job. Exit pages are the last webpages visitors view before leaving your site. It makes sense for some pages to have a high exit rate, such as purchase confirmation pages. However, a high rate on a landing or home page can indicate an issue.
Looking at exit pages helps you identify problems in the conversion process. Are customers getting frustrated at checkout? Are they struggling to find the information they want in FAQs? This kind of website tracking lets you better accommodate user needs.
2. Bounce Rate
One of the most important website metrics is the bounce rate. Similar to exit rates, the bounce rate shows how often users view only one page before exiting.
Users spend very little time on webpages when they’re searching. If they don’t see what they need in a few seconds, they’re gone. When visitors land on a webpage and immediately leave, they’re not finding what they’re looking for.
There are a few reasons this may be:
- The page doesn’t answer the visitor’s query
- The page represents a step in the purchasing journey that differs from the visitor’s
- The page takes too long to load
As you can see, there are both SEO and technical issues that can cause a high bounce rate.
3. Conversion Rate
Another essential metric is your conversion rate. While driving traffic to your site is a worthy goal, it goes to waste if visitors don’t take meaningful actions once there. The conversion rate shows you the percentage of site visitors who take that step.
What actions count as conversions? Conversions are meaningful to your business; in other words, you get to decide which actions qualify. Depending on your industry, you may consider the following as conversions:
- Purchasing goods or services
- Contacting your business
- Providing personal information for future contact, such as an email to receive a newsletter
Your conversion rate is one of the best website metrics for gauging your site’s effectiveness. Is the site easy to navigate? Do your pages give visitors enough engagement opportunities? You’ll likely see a difference in conversion rates between pages. If you have a page with a particularly high rate, look at the design and content to understand why. You may be able to apply those successful strategies elsewhere.
4. Cost Per Conversion
Once you’ve looked at conversion rates, it’s time to determine the cost. How many resources are you investing to get to that meaningful action? Unlike other website metrics, you have to do a little math to figure this one out.
To calculate cost per conversion, you can use this formula: Divide the amount you spent on driving traffic by the number of conversions. This should give you the cost of each individual conversion.
Next, you have to decide if the results are worth the cost. This is highly relative, as each business has its own budget and goals. Regardless, it’s a good way to see if your investment is paying off.
5. Interactions Per Visit
Not every visit turns into a conversion, and that’s normal. So what are users doing instead?
Analytics not only help you quantify your customers’ actions but also allow you to understand their intentions. Interactions per visit is one of the website metrics that focuses on this area. Looking at the data can answer some useful questions:
- What interactions do visitors take that usually precede a conversion?
- Is there a pattern of interactions that many visitors follow before exiting without a conversion?
- Is there a connection between the number of interactions and whether or not a conversion happens?
These considerations can help you learn how visitors use your site. The more thorough your understanding, the better you can optimize their experience for improved conversion rates.
6. Time on Site
If you’re wondering about the quality of your content, you should look at time on site. Web users — especially mobile users — tend to move quickly. If you don’t catch their eyes immediately, they click away.
To have a chance at converting visitors into customers, you have to offer them something worth sticking around for. In other words, you need quality content on every page of your site. What counts as quality? SEO experts are in constant debate about this, but everyone agrees on a few basics:
- Grammatically correct content
- Information readers find valuable
- Content that’s easy to skim, without big blocks of text
You should also consider visual components such as photos, graphics and videos. These not only break up text but also accommodate users looking for a multimedia experience.
Another major factor in keeping visitors on-site is web design. Web searchers looking for products and services expect a professional-looking site. If your webpages are poorly organized, lacking basic features or appear DIY, visitors are likely to search elsewhere.
Time on site also shows you which pages are the best at keeping visitors’ attention. If you want to improve content, look at the best-performing pages and try to emulate them on the rest of your site.
7. Traffic Sources
When you access analytics, you can also look at where visitors are coming from. Called traffic sources, these links show you how customers find your site. There are three major traffic sources:
- Search engines, including paid and organic traffic
- Referring URLs
- Direct traffic
If you’ve invested in email or direct marketing campaigns, you may also get traffic from those sources.
When looking at these website metrics, the most important thing is to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Which sources bring in the most traffic? Which brings in the least? Is it a matter of spending or effort? Are you not optimizing social media or other forms of online presence?
Sources with a low flow of traffic are an opportunity to improve. For example, if you don’t have many referring URLs, you can build links with blog content. It’s also important to recognize that the effectiveness of different traffic sources depends on your target audience. If you want to appeal to the younger, tech-savvy crowd, you should focus on building links with social media. On the other hand, if your primary audience doesn’t use those platforms, you should invest in paid advertising instead.
Are you interested in improving key website metrics? Boostability can help. Its team of SEO and web experts can assist businesses of any size with webpage optimization. With a custom Boostsite, you can offer a professional, SEO-friendly website. For more information or to get started, call (800) 261-1537 or go online.