Website metrics is often the missing piece to one’s online activity puzzle, particularly when it comes to really taking hold of the reigns and raising your search engine presence. Knowing your audience, the volume of traffic to your website and where that traffic is coming from is highly valuable information.
It isn’t just a case of setting up a Google Analytics account and leaving it be – how often do you really check your website’s metrics? In fact, research shows that the majority of people don’t even consider their website traffic reports more than once per month. Whilst this may be sufficient for a lot of the data, there are a number of specific metrics you should be monitoring very closely to ensure your online strategy is running smoothly.
Visitors and Pageviews
Keeping an eye on the number of unique visitors your website is receiving, and how many views each page gets, is a useful baseline to monitor in order to evaluate how your website is performing in general. If there are any significant peaks or troughs in the data, these will be easy to identify and act upon accordingly.
Whilst the above will tell you the overall quantity of your website visitors, your conversion rates will be an indication of the quality. This data is valuable for not only sales, but for newsletter signups, contact forms and other key pages. Google Analytics will provide you with this data using their Goal URLs tool, so it is important you have set up this feature in your account and that you keep an eye on it on a daily basis.
Knowing what pages are most popular on your website is crucial. Monitor the traffic to your pages and make a note of the top 10, for example, so that you can harness the traffic to these pages whilst they are trending.
Another valuable piece of information, referrers will give you an indication of where your website traffic is coming from. If there is a particular source that is generating most of your website traffic, you may want to utilise this further to maximise the potential.
Quite possibly one of the most important metrics to monitor, your bounce rates show the volume of visitors that only visit one page on your site, or spend very little time on it, before leaving. Knowing what particular pages have a high bounce rate allows you to take action and tweak your user experience to alleviate the problem.
There are a number of tools available that will give you the metrics listed above. Google Analytics is a great place to start!