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VOL. 42 | NO. 20 | Friday, May 18, 2018

Five metrics for keeping website on target

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Engaging videos, impactful testimonials and beautiful graphics can all be parts of an efficient website. Although it may look and function seamlessly, you cannot judge the success of your website simply on the aesthetics or mechanics. You’ll have to consult the hard numbers to judge the success of a website and, if necessary, determine how to alter that success.

There are a plethora of data points and metrics to consult for your website, however there are some foundational metrics to watch. Pay careful attention to the following five metrics to maximize your website’s return on investment:

Unique and Returning Visitors. You’ll definitely want to know the amount of visitors coming to your website. Monitoring the number on a regular basis will allow you to notice any major spikes or dips in traffic. Not only will you need to know if people are visiting your site, you’ll want to know if this is their first time or if they are a returning visitor.

Bounce Rate. The bounce rate is comprised of the number of people visiting your website that quickly leave without progressing further. Often referred to as abandonment rate, a high bounce rate indicates people are coming to your website by mistake or not finding the appropriate content they seek quickly enough.

Traffic Sources. Gain increased perspective by understanding how users are finding your website. There are four main traffic sources: organic, driven by search engines; direct, those that enter your URL directly into the browser; social, driven by social media; and referral, driven from another website linking to your website. Knowing where your traffic is and isn’t coming from can help you fine-tune your marketing efforts. For example, if a large portion of your organic traffic is included in your bounce rate, it’s likely that your website is targeting the wrong search keywords.

Conversion Rate. Some consider the conversion rate to be the most important of all of metrics. You have a website because you have an end goal – an action that you want visitors to take. This goal could be a purchase, form completion or direct contact. Conversion rates measure the percent of visitors who actually meet your uniquely defined goal.

Heat Map. Heat maps, also known as hover maps, will show you where people are looking and what they are clicking. For example, if you have an image at the top of the page, people may be trying to click it, but it could lead nowhere. A heat map would give you the data you need to know if you should adjust the strategy on this page.

By monitoring these five metrics, you gain an increased understanding of your target market, thereby allowing you to catapult your website’s success.

Emily Cupples, marketing strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at redrovercompany.com.