Not all website metrics are created equal. SEO marketers make serious mistakes when measuring metrics with no business value. If your metrics aren’t driving insights that lead to success, you’re wasting time and money.
Websites rank first as marketing tools for small businesses. In fact, 56% of small businesses rank it above email, social media, and internet advertising. Meanwhile, 28% of small businesses aren’t doing any SEO at all.
This is an opportunity to differentiate your business. Measuring website performance can improve the user experience and keep customers coming back. You can also identify–and fix–problems your competitors won’t notice.
Metrics are indicators of how your website is performing. If you’re doing metrics right, they say a lot about business performance as well.
Too many companies measure performance that doesn’t align with marketing KPIs. You need to understand which metrics are smokescreens and which drive business success.
Understanding the Business Value of Website Metrics
There are common misconceptions about which metrics are important. Also, certain metrics are more important to some businesses than others.
Revenue is the most fundamental success metric. But websites have more than one metric associated with revenue. Cart size and conversions are two metrics offering different perceptions about website performance.
All businesses use these two metrics to a degree. But each is its own performance indicator. Each indicates–and doesn’t indicate–its own aspects of website performance.
Both can be reflective of a visitor’s user experiences. Both can suggest visitors found navigation easy. They can move between products, add them to their carts, and transition to check out.
But conversion rates don’t say much about product value or websites’ retention value. Average cart size doesn’t tell us how many visitors didn’t purchase. Depending on the initiative, stakeholders may not see the business insights they want.
Some campaigns have the sole purpose of website optimization. Web metrics that don’t help you improve the onsite customer experience have no value to the campaign. Despite being useful, they represent wasted effort in this particular case.
Your challenge is to understand metrics and how you can select the right ones. They might be different for each campaign. But as tools, you can use them to meet all your campaign objectives.
10 Web Metrics and How You Can Use Them to Succeed
The following are ten metrics you must know for your website. You’ll learn what each metric means within the context of your site. You’ll also learn how each can drive value for your future campaigns.
Time to Title
Time to Title is a simple but important performance metric. It tells you the time it takes your title to appear in your user’s browser. It indicates how part of your websites’ gateway is performing.
This metric contributes to all other metrics on your site. It overarches the performance of all SEO initiatives. Organic traffic will experience Time to Title before all website elements come into play.
Measure this in real time. Consider it a contributor to all campaigns that drive traffic to your site. Interested users will leave if they lose sight of your value proposition.
Number of Visitors
Measuring traffic in real time is critical to all campaigns. High traffic periods allow more meaningful readings from all other metrics. It also reflects campaign performance.
Don’t be quick to align visitor numbers with specific initiatives or events. This metric may reflect overall campaign effectiveness. It’s a starting point for seeking further insights into performance.
Like number of visitors, bounce rates should be measured in real time. Bounce rates are indicative of user experience issues on each user’s first page visited. They also might be related to poor alignment with SEO campaigns.
Bounce rates are more definitive than number of visitors. It calculates visitor numbers against those who abruptly left. You can use simple web tools like CalcuNation to gauge the ‘staying power’ of your site.
Pageviews are directly related to website performance. They tell marketers how appealing users find their sites. But pageviews shouldn’t be attributed to a single site element.
Pageviews can indicate successful navigation. They can also suggest content and product value. Experts should consider recent changes and events to understand pageview results.
Time on Page
Time on page is similar to pageviews. However, time on page indicates the success of a single page. This is more directly related to content or the performance of a related campaign.
High return visitor numbers are often attributed to retention. But not all return visitors are active customers. This metric is more indicative of purchasing intent.
Marketers should look at SEO or campaign elements to understand the cause. They should look at specific page content as well. Most importantly, they should capitalize on frequent returns with appropriate campaigns.
Conversion rates indicate the success of visitors’ ‘pathway to purchase.’ It directly reflects site performance in terms of guiding visitors to conversions. This is one of the most powerful metrics for displaying business value.
Average Cart Size
This metric looks beyond conversion rates to how much customers are spending. Measuring cart size provides insights into campaign performance. This could include special offers or sales.
Marketers should also consider navigation elements when looking at cart sizes. Visitors that easily navigate to related products are more likely to buy. Cart size also gives signals about changes to how products are represented.
Business stakeholders will identify needs for each campaign. The metrics for these campaigns should alight with those business goals. Marketers don’t always observe metrics aligned with campaign success.
Some campaigns might serve only to drive visitors to the site. Others might encourage customers to buy multiple sales items. In this case, cart size or page views are fitting metrics.
Revenue is the ‘most important’ metric. It’s not always the most useful one. Stakeholders look at revenue from specific campaigns and to measure overall performance.
Choose your metrics wisely. They can help you reduce inefficiencies and develop better campaigns. Used correctly, they will help you drive overall revenue as well.
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