They say it’s the small details that define success over failure. Just as in life, the same can be said for the performance of your website. Thanks to tools like Google Analytics, learning what kind of impact your website is bringing doesn’t need to be a guessing game.
We’ve outlined 6 key performance indicators to regularly monitor, their benchmarks, and how you can use them to turn your analytics reports into a story that drives measurable action.
Broken down into users, sessions, and pageviews, your visitors represent the number of people that visited your site during a given time period (i.e., last week, last month, last year). Users is the number of unique visitors who accessed your site, sessions are how many times those users visited, and pageviews show how much of your site was trafficked by all sessions.
To give it more context, if User A visits your site once and views two pages and User B visits your site twice and views three pages, you end up with two users, three sessions, and five pageviews.
Users are broken out into two main categories: new and returning visitors. New visitors are the benchmark for growing brand awareness. If your number of repeat visitors is growing but new visitors has gone flat, that means you’ve achieved a nice following but not much for audience growth. If it’s the other way around, your site is gaining popularity but your focus should shift on converting users.
The next natural step after assessing your visitor numbers is learning where they came from. Understanding the source of your traffic is critical in seeing how your promotional efforts are paying off. This is where acquisition comes into play.
The acquisition section of analytics shows where your visitors originated from through the channels of organic search, PPC, social media, email, direct and referral traffic. This section gives you a snapshot of the top channels sending visitors your website, along with the associated acquisition, behavior, and conversions details for each one.
If you have a blog post that’s reaching a large pool of organic traffic from Google search, make sure you add a lead magnet to it to turn more of that traffic into leads.
Like someone walking into a store and immediately doing an about-face, the bounce rate refers to the percentage of visits where a user leaves your website without pursuing any further activity. On the site level, it’s a general indicator of user engagement and content quality.
If your average bounce rate is, say, 60%, this means that 60% of the people who come to your website leave after only viewing the page they entered on. People are either coming to your site and finding exactly what need, or leave to find it somewhere else. Either way, you want to make sure that once your visitors land on a page, they’re compelled to explore the rest of your website.
To get the most accurate reading of your site’s bounce rate, you’ll want to view it in conjunction with other engagement metrics, like pages per visit and average session duration. While there is no hard and fast rule on what makes a ‘good’ bounce rate, 50% is a healthy baseline.
Often confused with a “bounce,” an “exit” is the percentage of site exits that occurred from a specified page or set of pages. Simply put, it’s the page on your site that the visitor left from.
If your goal is to convert more visitors into buyers, it’s important to understand the navigation path visitors took through your site. Your exit rate can guide you to the areas on which your visitors leave your website before converting.
Some of your pages may inherently have a high exit rate, like a basic contact or order receipt page. However, if your products or services pages are tracking high exit numbers, you’re likely losing out on revenue. Take a closer look at these pages and consider tweaking the content or call-to-action so your visitors are clear on the next step of their journey through your site.
Arguably the most important metric of them all, your conversion rate can have a sizable impact on the profitability of your website. While total conversions are important, your conversion rate is what demonstrates your ability to drive traffic to a desired action (sign-up, purchase, share, etc.). Arriving to your conversion rate is done by calculating the number of people who converted on your website by the number of people who visited your website.
Your conversion rate correlates with the strength of your website. A low conversion rate means you’re generating the wrong traffic, your call to action isn’t compelling enough, or maybe you just have too many form fields.
The key to improving your conversion rate is to test, tweak, and test again. It may feel tedious, but even the smallest of changes can have an enormous impact on your bottom line.
Top 10 Pages
Your top ten pages report determines the kind of content you should focus on as you move forward with growing your site. To generate this report, head to the behavior tab, select content and all content. This will reveal what your top webpages were based on the visits and pageviews for each page, along with the average amount of time visitors spend on each page and the respective bounce rate.
Once you’ve identified your most popular pages, it’s important to optimize them for leads. Make sure these pages pass the “blink test,” which refers to the few seconds when a visitor lands on your webpage, judges it, and decides if they should stay or go. Test how long these pages take to load and make any necessary adjustments.
Plug the URLs into Google’s free Page Speed Testing tool and compress elements like images and video if the page takes longer than 3 seconds. Along with a CRM, you’ll want to incorporate lead capture tools to help make business out of the people visiting your site.
Let's Put It Into Action
The dive into data can be a daunting one. Now that you have the baseline performance metrics under your belt, it’s time to get to work. Find out how your site performs on all the metrics described with a free Imagewërks website health check.