Congratulations, you are now officially a business! You have dreamed the dream, wrote it down, engaged others, sold it to investors, organized your business plan, put aside some budget for a website, and started marketing yourself.
That’s one of the most stressful parts about growing a business. What else is stressful? Watching how and if it succeeds. How do you know whether what you are doing to drive traffic to your website is actually working? Well, you need to measure. Data. Measurements. Metrics. Statistics. Numbers. These might be words you didn’t want to hear when you were starting your business (especially if you work in design, art, or any other right-brained field). Alas, you’re now a business owner and you are responsible for all areas of the business.
Now that you are driving traffic to your website, you should know what kind of traffic, how much traffic, who are they, where are they coming from, and what are they doing on your website. Thanks to Social Media Today for laying out some of the most important web metrics that you should know and understand in order to grow your business.
1. Website Visits: How many people are coming to your website in total? This is a pretty simple and standard metric to understand.
2. Unique Visits: This measures the number of new people coming to your website. It calculates this through the user’s IP address. Are you growing your unique visits month over month?
3. Page Views: This is the number of times someone views one page on your website. It registers as an impression. If your website has a great user experience, your number of views should correlate with your conversions or sales. If it doesn’t, then you should delve deeper into the statistics of which pages they are going to and why aren’t they converting.
4. Duration on Site: How long are people visiting your website for? Again, this should correlate to your conversions. If someone is on your website for a long time, but isn’t converting, then you need to figure out where they dropped off and what’s going on. If you website is informational and they are not on it for a very long time, then you need to consider the user experience of your website.
5. Bounce Rate: This is how many people are coming to your website and then leaving it, immediately. This could have to do with an ad that you are running to drive traffic to your website (whether it is an AdWords ad or display advertising)
6. Referral Traffic: This is the website that the user has come from to find your website. It could be from a search engine (organic or paid), an e-mail, a social media website, or just another website that links to your website. If you aren’t getting referral traffic, then someone is typing in your website directly.
7. Conversion Rate: The conversion rate is the most important metric you should be keeping track of (if possible, somehow). This is the ratio of how many people are coming to your website to how many people are converting into a sale / lead / info / whatever it is you are trying to keep track of. If you are an e-commerce site, then it’s how many people are coming to your site and how many are buying something. If you are a service company and you have people coming to your website, how many of them are feeling out contact information forms or calling you? There are different ways you can measure this…we will go into this next week.
What other website metrics are you keeping track of to ensure that you are growing your business strategically and pinpointing where you strengths and weaknesses are.