Website Metrics Every Marketing Manager Needs to know
- By Ismail Aly | Reading Time: 7 minutes
Every area of your business has specific metrics that should be measured and monitored, and your website is no different, as they say, you can't improve what you don't measure. So if you are working hard on your website to increase traffic and convert this traffic to leads, then moving the traffic through the buyer journey, you need to know what’s working so you can double-down on the lead generation strategies that work best.
In this post I will explain the different website metrics you should be tracking to measure your website marketing ROI, and figure out which channels (Search engines, email marketing, social media) are attracting and engaging high-quality inbound leads?
Understanding and monitoring these metrics will turn marketing from an expense only when the budget can accommodate it, into an investment that you can measure ROI.
1- Average Time on Site
This metric is self-explanatory. It is the average of the amount of time all visitors to a page spend on that particular page. This is a good metric to see if visitors are actually reading the content on your pages, or if they are skimming through it. Knowing that the average adult reads 200-250 words in one minute, it is safe to assume that if the average time on a blog post page is less than 1 minute that most visitors are not reading the post.
2. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of visits that go only to one page before exiting a site. This means that a visitor is landing on one of your pages and doesn’t go anywhere else on your site - for example, visitors who reach a blog post on your website via a search engine or a tweet. Bounce rate is a good indicator on how visitors are interacting with your website. A high bounce rate suggests that, although you are succeeding in driving visitors to your site, your are failing to guide them to other areas of your website with related and valuable content for them to engage with. This could be due to poor site architecture and unclear or irrelevant call to actions and content.
3. Channel-Specific Traffic.
If you are using Google Analytics you can access this report under the Acquisition Menu. This report offers channel-specific metrics that segments your website traffic based on the source it originated from, be it an email campaign, direct traffic, social media posts or organic search.
These metrics give you an indication on how many people visited your website directly, how many came from links on other websites, how many came as a result of your website appearing in search results, and how many came from your social media campaigns. It gives you the ability to calculate ROI per channel and measure the effectiveness of your campaigns across different channels.
4. Direct Traffic
This number represents visitors who came to your website directly by typing your URL into their browser, or bookmarked your website, or came to your website via clicking an untagged link in an email or any other content.
Visitors to your website from direct traffic are one of the most important visitors as they have chosen to visit your site specifically and not a result of a marketing campaign. They are warm leads. They will be the most responsive to whatever you are offering. To attract repeat and direct traffic visitors, your website should be memorable in a good way. This includes easy to remember URL, easy navigation, and good design.
5. Drop off Rate
If you are using Google Analytics you can view your website drop-off rate by selecting the behavior flow report under the behavior section. The number of visitors "Drop off" indicates where on your website (what page) a person left the "Visitors Flow" and went down another path, either by clicking a link on your website that doesn't correspond with your Visitors Flow or by leaving your site altogether.
This report indicates where your Visitor’s Flow has holes through which people are “dropping off”. The business value depends on how the site content is arranged. You may have some content on a page that visitors are not reaching because they exit the site before reaching it. So if a large percentage of visitors is dropping off at a specific page, you need to look into your website visitor flow and rearrange the navigation or page layout to make important information more visible.
6. Inbound Links
These are the links back to your website from other referral sites. Inbound Links are not only important for increasing the number of visitors to your website, but it affects your ranking in search engine results. The more inbound links you have, the more traffic and authority your website has. Saying this, not all Inbound Links are created equal. Google and the other search engines have their own algorithm giving weight to each inbound link, based on the relevance and authority of the linking site.
What this means, is you need to check your inbound links or the competition inbound links, and determine or grade who is linking to you or them. Then shortlist the sites that have high authority, and are related to your industry with links to you or the competition. This will helo you figure out what type of content they are linking to, so you can develop more of that content, resulting in an increase in inbound links.
7. Keyword Performance
The keywords that are bringing organic traffic to your site. You need to continuously track the performance of your website keywords, and generate more content for the relevant keywords you want your website to rank for.
8. Landing Page Conversion
This is the percentage of prospects who arrive at a landing page and filled out a form and converted to a lead. To analyze the performance of your marketing funnel for a specific campaign you should monitor:
- The visitor to lead conversion ratio
- The lead to customer conversion ratio
- Visitors to customer conversion ratio
9. New Sessions
If you are using Google Analytics this metric will show as a percentage in the tables of most Google Analytics reports. It indicates the percentage of your website visitors that are new visitors. It is a good metric to understand and use it to assess how effective your website content in attracting repeat and new visits.
10. Organic Search Conversion Rates
The percentage of prospects who arrive at your website through an organic search and convert by taking a desired action, for example filling a landing page form or registering for a webinar. You should monitor the 3 types of conversions, including visitor to lead, lead to customer, and visitor to customer. This will give you a better idea about any adjustments you need to make to your marketing funnel to overcome any bottle necks.
11. Organic Traffic
Traffic arriving through search engine results. Organic traffic is free traffic that comes to your website. You can increase organic traffic to your website by constantly adding new, relevant and remarkable content, and implementing on page SEO best practices to rank higher on search engine for specific search terms related to your industry.
12. Page Rank
PageRank is a link analysis algorithm used by Google to help determine the relative importance of a website. Every website is given a Google PageRank score between 0 and 10 on an exponential scale.
Page rank is determined by factors like domain name age, keywords appears in top level domain, domain registration length, keyword in subdomains, domain history, keywords in title tag, title tag starts with a keyword, content length keyword density. Check this blog post Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: for the complete list of ranking factors.
13. Page Views
A page view is triggered when any page is loaded by any visitor to your site. Each individual page a visitor views is tracked as a page view. However if the user clicks on a link and reloads a page 20 times this will be counted as 20 page views.
14. Repeat Visitors
Unlike the Unique Visitors metric which gives you the number of first time prospects, Repeat Visitors gives you the number of website visitors who are coming back to learn more and to engage. The higher percentage of repeat visitors is an indication that your website visitors are finding your content useful. However if this percentage is too high it could also mean that your website is failing to attract new visitors.
15. Total Conversions
Conversions can be defined in many different ways; it could be filling a form to download an eBook, registering for a webinar, signing up for a demo, or checkout on an eCommerce website. Total conversions metrics help you measure the ROI of your overall marketing efforts.
16. Total Visits
Total visits is the sum of both unique visits and repeat visits. This is a good metric to measure the overall performance of your website in attracting visitors. In general you want to see this number growing month after month.
17. Unique Visits
This metric gives you the number of individual visitors to your site during a defined period of time, This metric helps you determine if your content or campaigns are succeeding to attract new visitors to your website or not.
So these are what I consider as the website metrics every marketing manager needs to know about and track. If you are serious about your online marketing success, you need to monitor and track your website metrics, however which metrics you should be focusing on really depends on your goals and objectives. So my advice would be to first setup your SMART goals for your website and it will be clear to you which metrics to track, and refine your content and campaigns to achieve your desired results.I would like to hear your thoughts and experience in measuring your website metrics or if there are any other metrics that you feel are important to track? Please do so by leaving me a comment below. I'll take your comments and update the list.