Calling all website owners! Do you know the “who, what, when, where, how, and why” of your website consumers? These critical questions can be answered by analytic tools that provide direct insight into the performance of your site and what your customers are saying about your business or product. Analytics can determine the best way to reach your audience and to measure your success for continual improvement. While the setup of web analytics may take some technical knowledge, the data revealed about user behavior is significant. Whatever analytics tool you’re using, whether it’s Google Analytics, AWStats, Clickly, or others, there are common metrics that you can use to measure your success on the web.
- Visits – Tracking of the number of visitors to your site is a great way to measure your overall site health. When conducting a website re-design, overall visits will show the impact of how your users are experiencing your site.
- Traffic Sources – Many tools break down where your traffic originated, such as a referral link from another site, an internet search engine, social media, or a direct link. Though it’s likely one of these will be your primary source of traffic, it’s a best practice to have a variety of traffic sources in case your main source dries up due to uncontrollable circumstances.
- Bounce / Exit Rate – These metrics are especially important for websites that aim to walk their users through a process, like creating an account or checking out your purchases. Knowing when the user comes to your site and leaves without completing the process, may help to indicate a problem or point of confusion. Google Analytics and several other analytics software, can also track “conversion goals,” which can give even more insight about the complications of the processes.
- Landing Pages – Most analytics software can show what page the user first entered your website at. This will determine the pages that aren’t commonly found by a search, and where adjustments can be made to existing content to be more easily found by search engines.
- User Flow – The path in which users are navigating through your site, where they left your site, and where the traffic originated provides a valuable understanding of traffic sources, patterns, and troubleshooting efficacy of the site.
These are just a handful of the metrics available to help measure your success on the web. If you have a website and aren’t tracking these metrics yet, it might be time to discuss with your web host or IT contact to see how you can take your business to the next level. If you are using an analytics tool, we’d love to know what metrics you’ve found most useful.