After reading our blog on how to build a dynamic website, you now have one of your own. Congratulations! Your next step towards your business’ success is to learn how to best monitor your website’s performance, on its own and against competitors – especially with more than 1.8 billion websites on the Internet.
When you’re ready to understand how your website is performing, you must first look at your SEO (search engine optimization) and build a solid ranking on Google. Next, gauge the performance by measuring and quantifying the specific KPIs (Key Performance Index) on a weekly, monthly, and annual basis.
Tracking key metrics over a specific time period will give you valuable insights, help you understand your audience behavior, and allow you to capitalize on opportunities while tracking improvements.
Where are your visitors coming from? What content are they engaging with? Who are these visitors? How many visitors are they? When you use data to start to answer these questions, you can start to make informed decisions about how to effectively market to your audience and ultimately, convert your audience.
– Andima Umoren, Digital Director
Everyone measures success in their lives differently, but if you have a website, knowing what you should measure and monitor can mean the difference between growth and failure. Here are some fundamental metrics and how they help you improve your website.
Unique visitors indicates the number of individuals who visited your website at least once during the reporting period. If the visitor comes to your site multiple times during the reporting period, it is only counted once. However, if they visit your site again using a different device or browser, they will be considered a new visitor.
This metric gives you an idea of your website’s audience size during the period under review and is most accurate for pure visits, yet more accurate than page views. In the unique visitor metric, no matter the action taken, a person only represents one potential customer.
The metric “keywords” tells you the specific words that visitors type into search engines to lead them to your website. This is a great way to learn to target a specific audience. You can also identify which keywords visitors type into the search box on your website, which helps your SEO, helps to determine your most popular content, and helps you understand the content visitors are looking for that might not yet be available on your website.
Pro-tip: To check which keywords you’re ranking for, you can use the Google Search Console. Just log in using your Google account and click performance on the left sidebar. This shows your ranking and specific keywords for your website.
Time on Website
Time spent on the website is one of the major keys to the success of your content. It gives you the average time visitors spend on your website, and you can learn which pages are most popular (people spent the most time on) to help you identify content that your target audience is interested in. Addressing the content on these pages can help improve conversions and help you build a community of brand supporters.
The Referral Websites metric tells you where your website visitors came from, in other words, were they referred from a search engine, social media, or another business site for example. Knowing the referral pathways can help you target your marketing campaigns to these pathways (which is great for SEO) or even to the types of consumers who frequent those referral sites.
Conversion Rate is the percentage of people who landed on your website and then took action. The action could either be by the visitor purchasing your products or services, donating money, or subscribing to your e-newsletter. Whatever the goal of your website, the conversion rate tells you the percentage of consumers who performed this action. Low conversion rates can indicate that the offer you provide is not compelling enough, the content may not be resonating, or the visitors you’re attracting is not the right traffic.
The Bounce Rate metric tells you the number of people who land on your website and then leave before investigating further. For example, instead of clicking on another page or blog post, users return to search engine results pages or proceed to another website.
This can mean that the page they land on does not engage them sufficiently or is not informative enough for them to bother remaining on your website. A high bounce rate is a content opportunity area that is critical to the success of your website.
The Exit Page, just as it sounds, is the page visited last before leaving your site. Pages with high exit rates can help identify weaknesses in your site. Users are leaving these pages for a specific reason. Whether they’ve read something they don’t like or there simply wasn’t a clear next step for them to take, reviewing and updating these exit pages can help increase your business’ conversions.
Keep in mind that the trick to using these metrics properly is identifying which ones can help you specifically assess whether your website is meeting the needs of your business. It’s a good idea to focus on generating insights from the metrics you’re measuring—insights that you can convert into actionable knowledge for improving the user experience on your site. Now that you’ve got the tools, implement the practices that help you build a successful website!