If you’re running a business, you know you should be analyzing every part of your marketing funnel (online or offline) to determine what is working for you and what is not. One of the greatest advantages of online marketing is the fact that most, if not all, of your online marketing efforts can be tracked extensively…as opposed to offline marketing. The trick is to figure out what statistics are significant to your business, and how to weed through the metrics being thrown at you on a daily basis. The following metrics are what we’ve found to be the most important when analyzing your website statistics. We, of course, work extensively with Google Analytics metrics software, but you should be able to retrieve these metrics from any decent metric analysis software.
BOUNCE RATE – The bounce rate signifies the number or percentage of people who land on your website and then leave after viewing that page. You’ll want to have a low bounce rate in order to have an effective website. The last thing you want is to have people land on your site and then leave. That’s the antithesis of conversion. You can find the total bounce rate for your overall site, and you can break it down further to bounce rates per page. This way, you can analyze how your overall website is doing, and break it down to see if certain pages are contributing to high bounce rates. Start doing some testing to see how you can improve pages with high bounce rates, and analyze (at bare minimum) weekly, to see if the changes are helping. Compare pages with low bounce rates to those with high bounce rates and see if there’s something you’re doing on those pages that could be beneficial to those with high rates.
CONVERSION RATE – The conversion rate is the rate of people who have completed a desired action on your page/website. You can set up conversion rates on a page-by-page basis if you desire. The action can be whatever you tell it to be…for example, downloading your free e-book, entering their information into your opt-in form, or completing a purchase. Obviously, the higher the conversion rates, the better. You should always be working to get these rates higher and higher. Never settle for a “decent” conversion rate and leave it alone.
TRAFFIC SOURCES – This metric is extremely important, because it will tell you where you need to focus your time when it comes to your marketing efforts. What percentage of your visitors are coming from search engines (i.e. organic)? What percentage are coming from referral sites? What percentage are coming from Pay-Per-Click? What percentage is direct traffic (i.e. they typed in your specific URL or they have it bookmarked)? If you’ve been focusing a lot of time on your SEO efforts, you should see your percentage of organic search engine traffic increasing. Conversely, if you’re seeing low traffic rates from your Adwords (PPC) campaign, you may want to tweak your ads, kewyords, and bids to see if you can increase that rate to be effective for you.
KEYWORDS – You’ll want to monitor what keywords are driving traffic to your site. The majority of the time the top five positions will be taken up by variations of your company name, but the other results will tell you what people typed in to eventually land on your site. You can use this data to see if you’re getting any irrelevant searches. For example, if you own a dog grooming company and you’re getting a lot of traffic for keywords like “veterinarians”, you may want to do a little more work on your SEO strategies to see if you can lower the irrelevant traffic. You can also use this data to find extremely useful keywords that you hadn’t thought of before and begin tailoring your PPC and SEO towards those keywords. You’ll also want to make sure that if you’ve been working your SEO efforts towards specific keywords, people are finding you while searching those keyword phrases.
VISITORS – This metric tells you the amount of unique individuals who have visited your site. This metric is important in that it is the metric that all other metrics are based off of. Meaning, it is needed in order to calculate other metrics. While it’s important in that aspect, do not put too much emphasis on this metric for other reasons. While it’s very helpful to tell you how many people are reaching your site, it is not a reflection of your website itself…rather it is a reflection of your off-site marketing strategies.