Thousands of business decisions are made every single day. What product to sell, where to sell it, what to advertise and when. These decisions aren’t typically made on a whim or a gut feeling—they are made based on data. Data is the currency of the modern age, and every company should be taking advantage of the wealth of data available to anyone that knows how to track it.
We will get into the specifics on what metrics to keep an eye out for and why they are important.
First, let’s talk about HOW you track metrics on your website.
The best way to track digital data nowadays is Google Analytics. They’ve made everything simple, easy, intuitive, and fleshed out. Anyone can sign up for Google Analytics, and as long as you have ownership of your website, you can install the tracker code to bring google analytics to your website. If someone else is managing your website and you don’t have Google Analytics installed…well, you should find another web developer.
Click Here to view a guide to get started.
Next, let’s walk through some of the core metrics and what each of them mean and why they are important.
This is anyone who visits your site. From users, you can branch out towards the other metrics and see user’s paths to other areas within your site.
When a user visits your site, that starts their session. That single session is active until the user leaves the site.
Represented as a percentage. Bounce Rate is the percentage of users that have zero interactions with a page. That means they don’t click on any tools, fill out a form, click on a video, etc.
The percentage of users that exit your website completely from that specific page
These are your four main metrics to allow you to start measuring and making assumptions based off data. With these four you can see how your pages are performing on your website. Does one page have a much higher Exit % than the others? If so, you should do some Quality testing on that page to see what issues users may be having.
Some pages may have a high Exit % and be working as intended. Pages like “order has been placed,” “Thank You for Visiting,” “Thanks for contacting us” will typically have high exit rates as people have converted and completed their session on your site. Always look at metrics in context, but typically you will want Exit% to be low on a majority of your pages.
Is there a page that you want users interacting with? If that Bounce Rate seems high, you may want to consider changing some things around to increase user interaction.
If you have a shop on your website, you will want to track Cart Abandonment and Exit % for your products. This is a good way to see what products are performing well and which ones may need some help getting people through the buying process. You will have to integrate your e-commerce store with your google analytics page to get access to your store metrics. Click Here to learn how to set that up.
The conclusions you can draw from any metric can vary in cause and effect. One of the things many owners don’t consider is the design of their website or of a specific page. Many times, the design elements have a large factor in how successful your website is. How easy is it to navigate? Are there a lot of bugs that cause user’s headaches? Is there an easy flow from their initial visit to conversion?
These are all things to consider when designing your website, or when adjusting things based off the metrics you are tracking.
Some additional metrics to track:
The percentage of users that complete a “conversion” or a “goal” on your website. This could be filling out a form, buying a product, or visiting a certain page. You can set up conversion goals to track any number of conversions as well as tracking ROI and revenue from the conversions.
Time On Page
How long a user stays on a selected page or the site as a whole
This tells you how people are coming to your website. You can set up a tracking link within any ad you make or any post you make on social media outlets that will tell you when a user visits your site from each separate instance. This is great for seeing what ads are performing well for you to maximize the efficiency of your marketing budget.