Is your new website performing for your company? These six easy metrics will help you monitor and interpret how customers are using your business website every day.
You’ve recently launched a fresh website design and are working hard to promote the products and services. But is the website successful?
Understanding the effectiveness of your new website requires dipping your toes into the exciting seas of website analytics! Web analytics is defined as the measurement and analysis of data so you can glean insight and understand customer behavior in various ways. The more you know, the better.
Using these insights to create an improved experience for your customers translates into more sales. Here is why analytics matter and a rundown of the six metrics to watch if you want to measure site success.
The Importance of Web Analytics
Here’s a not-so-secret secret: online sales success is extremely predictable. And the reason for that is because everything—all movements, actions, and behaviors—can be collected as data. It’s this data that makes web analytics so important for a small business.
After a website redesign, your new site is a blank slate. Everything that is measured will be directly related to how well your website performs for your company. With analytics—entrepreneurs have a way to analyze this website data!
Using web analytics tools, comb your data for insights and opportunities. Depending on what you find—good or bad—use these results to drive online sales and improve the impact of your marketing campaigns. Data becomes the key to on-going improvement.
Measuring Web Analytics Helps to:
- Understand customer behavior in real-time.
- Improve online conversions.
- Customize content for your current audience.
- Research your ideal audience.
- Establish numerical goals for achievement.
- See what your customers like, want, and appreciate.
With analytics, the data reveals which parts of the website work and which parts need to be worked on. An underperforming call-to-action button, for example, can be increased in size for improved conversions. By making such a simple change, you may find more people will click on that button.
The site owner would never know the button was not getting clicks without a closer look at the data. Reviewing the data and running tests like these will help you determine how to sell more efficiently to customers.
6 Success Metrics Worth Measuring
Six important metrics should be measured when starting out with web analytics. Here is what they are and what information they can help you understand.
#1: Number of Visitors
This metric describes how many visitors the site has received at a given time. These visitors can be new or returning, and what you’re looking for are increases or spikes in trend data.
Marketing should increase traffic over time, so the number of visitors should rise.
- New visitors means new people are visiting the site for the first time. They use a specific device, which registers as a recent visit (unless they are logged into Google Chrome). New visitors expire after two years, so anyone returning within that timeframe would be a returning visitor.
- Returning visitors are people who have visited the site before and are back again. This metric confirms that the site is bringing people back to it.
Learn more about new vs. returning visitors here.
The next metric is a vanity metric known as pageviews. This metric gives you insight into how many people are visiting your total or individual website pages. Total pageviews show you how many pages on your website have been visited within a certain time period (day, week, month, and year).
Knowing where website traffic is flowing provides context on where customers like to go on the site. After a few months, chart this data to find content and sales opportunities for your small business.
#3: Traffic Sources
The traffic sources metric on the new website outlines the kind of traffic that is received. These sources include referral, search, or social traffic. Referral traffic comes from sources that aren’t from search engines or social media. In other words, people find the site through other websites.
This information is useful if you’ve recently launched a social media campaign and want to see if it’s working (an increase in social traffic) or if site SEO is improving (search ranking). Guest blogging, being on directory websites, and other dynamic content-centric techniques will raise referral traffic.
#4: Top Visited Pages
This metric is also known as top content because it refers to which pages on the site attract the most traffic. Usually, pages with the most engaging content are at the top of the list.
Use this data to improve underperforming web or blog pages or ensure important pages are getting the lion’s share of web traffic. Find out what customers are looking for and which products or services they want so you can base future promotions on real data.
It’s up to the page content to convert visitors into buyers—which won’t happen if there isn’t enough traffic running through the page itself.
#5: Device Type
One of the most interesting metrics is the device type, which shows what device customers are using to browse the website. Metrics like this one can be used to launch successful marketing campaigns for a specific device (if you discover, for example, 90% of customers shop on mobile).
These days it’s not uncommon to see a connection between sales and mobile users. Other device types include desktop, tablets, and the “others” designation, including smartwatches and smart cars. Make sure your website is fully responsive on all of these devices.
#6: Demographic Data
Demographic data is the last foundation metric that you should be aware of and is particularly useful for targeted marketing strategies and rollouts. This refers to where customers come from, which can be helpful if they are concentrated around a particular city, state, or country.
Also known as the “visitor location” metric, this one is handy for spotting new markets and expanding on old ones. Use this metric to segment campaigns, invest wisely, and track expansion into new areas. It’s also great for local SEO and tracking location-centric pages on the website.
Using Insights for Improvement
To gain a clear picture of how this data impacts the site, tracking and measuring these metrics is best done over a few months or within a “testing” window. Typically, overall insights are drawn over three or more months so that historical comparisons can act as a baseline for progress. Active testing should happen within a specific timeframe or window.
A small business can significantly change these metrics over time using various marketing techniques coupled with quality content creation and promotion. Start with testing one page, and see if positive progress can be made using a particular marketing strategy (like an ad linked to a landing page).
Ensure that your initial page metrics are recorded (the benchmark), and goals are set before starting. Each test must have a time limit to be able to analyze the results properly. For example, run an ad linked to the landing page for a few days. Change the ad headline. Rerun the promotion to see if there is an increase or decrease in your page metrics. Tweak elements for the highest possible conversions.
Data tells you the most when compared with historical data or data from competitors in the same niche. Look for opportunities to escalate traffic, increase sales, and stand out from the competition!