Every click, every scroll, even every minute spent on your digital content can be tracked online, giving you a complete picture of what’s happening.
The benefits of this are significant – with a clear understanding of how people are accessing your online presence, you can optimise accordingly.
Are you getting visitors to your landing page but they aren’t taking the next step? You know exactly at what point they’re falling away, and you can re-assess and test new options.
This same principle applies to almost any aspect of your digital presence – but a problem many businesses have is, with all this data, identifying which metrics are actually the most important.
Like all things marketing, the answer is, “it depends”.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the key metrics you should be looking at, and why they’re relevant.
1. Unique users
Unique users is obviously a key metric – it’s the number of people visiting your page within any given range. This is important because it shows that your website is providing relevant information, and that people are coming to your site – be that from your social media content, your guest-posting efforts, backlinks, etc.
But unique views are only as valuable as the viewer – if you’re getting a lot of visitors but they’re not converting into queries, you may be focusing on the wrong elements.
In addition to unique users, pageviews tell you how many of your actual pages your visitors are checking out, which can be a great indicator of whether your site is delivering on their interests.
The importance of this metric will be relative to your business – if you’re looking to monetise your website, then pageviews can be extremely relevant, as your site is delivering more impressions. But if your page is designed for selling, it may not matter so much how many pages people are looking at, as long as they’re checking out the right ones.
3. Bounce rate
The out-of-the-box definition of bounce rate is the percentage of your site visitors who have navigated away from your site after viewing a single page, which is generally considered a sign that your page did not deliver on what they wanted.
But the importance of bounce rate is relative – some websites might only need, even want, you to visit one page for them to be effective. User behaviour on some pages leads to higher bounce rate, but not necessarily worse performance.
It’s important with bounce rate, as with any metric, to understand what it actually means in the context of your process. And, while the out-of-the-box definition is relevant, it is worth considering measuring the engagement of that single page. If, for example, someone spends significant time on page and reads the content, they are a more valuable browser than someone who has “bounced” straight off the page after less than five seconds.
4. Click-through Rate (CTR)
Click-through rate is the number of clicks you’re getting on your online ads or social media posts – basically, how many people have clicked on your links.
CTR is another key measure for determining the effectiveness of your content – a low CTR likely means you’re not delivering the right message to drive response from your users.
The last key metric you need to understand and track is conversions – the point at which your efforts are really paying off (or not).
How you track conversions will depend on your final aim – if you’re looking to sell products online, then your point of conversion is your point of sale, but if you’re looking for sign-ups for a webinar or to get more email addresses, the point at which you achieve your campaign goal is when you’ve effectively ‘converted’ for that objective.
There are a lot of metrics to track, and most can be ascertained via your website hosting providers’ native analytics and via Google Analytics, after you’ve connected your website.
Before you do any of that, you need to first ascertain what your campaign goal is – what is it you’re actually trying to achieve with your online presence? Once you determine the end point, then you can work back to find the right metrics that relate to that goal, ensuring you stay focused on the right data points for your business.