Once your new website is live, you may start looking at your website’s metrics to see how it’s performing.
If you’re trying to make sense of a screen full of confusing numbers and charts, fear not. Here’s how to make sense of the website metrics that matter most, and how you can use those metrics to make performance improvements.
Before analyzing the trees, make sure you see the forest by answering these two questions:
1. Who is your target audience?
Understand who exactly you’re trying to reach with your website content. This includes:
- Demographic information such as their location, age, gender, education, and income level
- Psychographic information such as interests, lifestyle, and values
2. What is your ultimate conversion goal?
A conversion goal measures visitors’ actions on your website. Examples include:
- Submitting an online form or call for a price estimate;
- Buying a product or service.
It’s important that you’ve thoughtfully created your website sales funnel.
Once you’ve answered the two questions above, it’s time to analyze your website metrics.
Which metrics matter, and how do you find them?
If you have a WordPress.com website, you already have built-in stats that provide the basic metrics you need to know. To take a deeper dive, you can upgrade to a WordPress.com Business plan and install the Google Analytics plugin.
Here’s a list of the top six website metrics that matter the most to your success:
1. Total traffic
How many total pageviews does your website receive? Is the number trending upward? Are there any seasonal fluctuations? What geographic location(s) is your traffic coming from? Within that data, be sure you distinguish between pageviews, users, and sessions, since those distinct stats can provide you with valuable information.
2. Traffic source
What sources are driving your traffic? “Organic” Google searches? Inbound links from other sites? Paid traffic from digital ads? Social media?
3. Time on site
How much time are people spending on your site? The more time they’re spending, the more engaging your content is to your target audience, and the more likely you are to create a customer.
4. Bounce rate
What percentage of people leave your site after viewing one page? If 100 people come to your homepage, and 90 of them leave the site without clicking on another page, your homepage has a 90 percent “bounce rate.” However, if your Product Tour page has a 50 percent bounce rate, you might test whether paid ads that direct traffic to your Tour page perform better compared to ads that link to your homepage. You might also try to make design improvements to your site’s homepage. Be sure not to confuse bounce rates with exit rates.
5. Top performers (pages and posts)
What pages or blog posts on your site generate the most traffic? If specific types of blog posts are generating more traffic than others, you should create more of those posts.
6. Conversion by traffic source
Is traffic generated by your promoted pins on Pinterest converting to sales at a much higher rate than traffic from your Facebook ads? If so, you might want to allocate more of your ad budget to Pinterest. Just be sure you know your customer lifetime value (CLV), or else you risk spending more money to make a new customer than a new customer is actually worth to your business. (HubSpot has a good CLV calculator.)
Now you know who your target customers are, what you want them to do on your website, and how to measure your site’s performance relative to your goals. Use the data obtained from your website’s metrics to make continual improvements to your website and your business’s bottom line.