The best way to improve your site is by studying key website metrics.
Using Google Analytics
Google Analytics offers a wide range of metrics to help measure the performance of your website.
While you don’t have to track everything, tracking certain metrics are key to improving your site. Not only does it help with the site itself, but your marketing efforts.
Every site owner should pay attention to at least five specific metrics. These give you an overall view of how your site’s performing and what areas might need to be tweaked to perform better.
Number Of Visits
The one metric that most every site owner already tracks is the total number of visits. This helps you determine how well the site is growing. If the number rises or falls, you can usually tell if it’s as a result of a new marketing strategy, a recent blog post or a new feature on your site.
Two related metrics that give you a little more detail are unique and repeat visitors. Combining these three allows you to see how many new visitors you’re driving to your site along with how many loyal visitors you have.
Channel Specific Traffic
If you’re trying to increase visitors, it helps to know where the majority of your traffic comes from. Channel-specific traffic tells you exactly where visitors originate from. You have multiple channels to track, but a few of the most important ones include organic (from search engines), social (from social media) and referrals (from external links).
Weaker areas might be a sign you should focus more on those, such as social media. It could be something as simple as having a web maintenance company adjust your social media sharing buttons to increase social sharing.
Sessions And New Sessions
While technically two metrics, it’s vital to track both new sessions and sessions in general. The main difference is new sessions allows you to see how many new visitors you’re receiving versus repeat traffic. This is especially important when tracking how effective your marketing efforts are.
The sessions metric involves tracking how long a visitor interacts with your site and what they do during the session. A single visitor may have multiple sessions per day as long as there’s a 30 minute inactivity gap between them. This is useful for seeing how often visitors are interacting on the site.
Since the bounce rate is one of the many factors used to calculate a site’s search engine rank, it’s definitely a metric worth paying attention to. A bounce rate is the number of visitors who left a site quickly without engaging, such as clicking a link or visiting another page. Obviously, you’re shooting for a low bounce rate. A higher number could mean you need better content, the site’s loading slowly or certain features aren’t working correctly. Having a website support company check for performance errors could help reduce your number.
Conversions don’t just apply to someone making a purchase. While any ecommerce site should be tracking this one, all sites with email signups should track this as well. The object is to see how well your site is converting visitors into leads. For instance, if you’re wanting to increase your email signups, you could track current conversions with your existing signup form. If the results aren’t what you want, you could try a different type of form or offering something free in exchange for signing up.
Google Analytics is a powerful tool with all the metrics you could ever want for measuring your site’s performance. Make the most of the data available to you by starting with at least these main five. Remember, your site and your marketing strategies can always be tweaked to help you get the numbers you want.
Want to see better overall site performance? Contact FatLab today to help maintain and improve your site for happier visitors and improved performance data.
Image: Blue Fountain Media
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