Website Metrics 101
When it comes to websites, gathering data on who visited, how long they stayed, what they looked at and the average session duration, the data can quickly get overwhelming. Tracking even the most basic of numbers relating to your website can give your business a big advantage over competitors. How, then, can you tell what data is meaningful for the success of your company and what data is extraneous? What scientific measurement, also known as web metrics, should you be most interested in? Here is a cheat sheet of sorts to help you make sense of your website metrics and hopefully make your company more successful due to them.
Metrics You Should Be Most Interested In
- Visitors or Traffic to your Site – How many visitors visited your site on a daily basis? The number of unique visitors should be of greatest interest to you. Unique visitors represents the count of individual people that visited your site regardless of the number of times they visited your site. So, if person A visits your site once and person B visits your site five times, you will have two unique visitors and six total visits. this number will give you an overall view of the health of your site.
- Sources of the Traffic – While it is important to know how many people are visiting your site, it is equally important to know where they came from or how they found you! Google Analytics breaks down your traffic sources into four broad categories: Organic Search: traffic coming via the search engines, Referral: traffic from another website, Direct: traffic typing your domain into the browser, or Social: traffic from social media. Each source of traffic will tell you a few important snippets of information about your website.
- Bounce Rate – How many people visit your site but then leave it immediately? This means that a visitor did not find what they were looking for on your site. This “bounce rate” is the equivalent of someone walking in the front door of a store, taking a quick look around, and immediately walking back out the door. The goal of understanding this web metric is to find ways to decrease this number.
- Conversion Rate – The conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action such as: the number of people who buy something, fill out a contact form, or view a certain page on your site. The reason conversion rate is so important is that it is the ultimate measure of how successful your site is.
Average Session Duration – This metric records the average length of a session in hours, minutes, and seconds. The more relevant your site is to the visitor, the longer the average session duration will be since a visitor will spend more time accessing information that interests him.