Top 5 Metrics to Measure the Success of Your Website

While the common opinion on the best metric to define the success of your website will be the number of your monthly visitors, this is the not the only data point you should rely upon!

Why, if you ask.

There are more than 170 metrics Google takes into consideration while deciding your website’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking.

That’s a whole lot of data points!

Almost no one except big conglomerates like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn have the resources to keep up so many metrics in check, analyze them, and tweak their websites accordingly to keep improving.

What about small businesses and individual website owners, what should they do?

Small businesses and individual website owners have two options:

  • Hire an affordable web service that will do the work.
  • Learn the whats, whys, and hows of metrics and handle them on your own – For smaller businesses and individual website owners, there has to be a defined set of metrics to analyze and improve their website’s course of action, thus, increase their success.

The ‘whats’ and ‘whys’?

What’s a web metric?

A web metric is a set of parameters that define the success of a function by comparing it to the top performing websites and gives you concrete data points to analyze and improve upon.

Why web metrics are important?

Metrics are important because traffic is not the only thing you want ‘improving’. Let’s take a hypothetical example of XYZ.com.

XYZ.com has two pages – a content page and a product description page. The content is great, and their traffic is multiplying – both recurring and new users, but there is no increase in sales. Would you call it success? Because if you are looking at a single metric – traffic, it’s indicating improvement but sales target remains unachieved.

In scenarios like this, an ineluctable need to bring more metrics into action is required.

Top five metrics to measure the success of your website:

I. Acquisition Metrics

a) Website Traffic

It’s a cliché, but website traffic is the number one metric of measuring your site’s success; reason being, it offers a broad picture of your website. It’s like the heartbeat of a living being. If the heartbeat is okay, we can assume that there are no major issues that require immediate attention and can focus on the strategy of growth

b) Channel Specific

Taking website traffic one step further, channel specific metric allows you to look upon the source of your traffic, which is an equally important step. This metric will help you identify the major sources for your web traffic and will give you a platform from where you can recognize the channels you need to work upon and maintain the ones that are working good.

Major traffic channels are

  1. Direct: Traffic from this channel shows people who remember your website’s address or have bookmarked it and land on your website directly by entering your URL into the web browser.
  2. Referrals: Traffic from this channel indicates the number of people who come to your website from indirect sources such as other websites, inbound links, external links, etc.
  3. Organic: This is the channel you want to focus upon if you’re a new website or a business looking to make space for itself on the internet. Traffic in this channel is usually from people that have come to your website as a result of a search engine query. This is the most important source for new visitors. Good traffic in this channel indicates good overall site performance and good SEO.
  4. Social: Similar to organic, this channel covers the traffic received from different social media outlets. Good Traffic in this channel indicates good SMO and increasing popularity on Social media platforms

II. Engagement Metrics

c) Average time spent

Now that you have figured your traffic and its resource, it’s time to look on how this traffic is interacting with your website. This is a very crucial set of metrics that shed light on some of the most important areas of your website. You may have a traffic of millions, but it’s useless if it doesn’t interact with your website.

d) Page specific

Another one of the engagement metrics, page specific, gives you deeper insights on how your users are engaging with your website. Your website is a collection of different pages. This metrics allows to recognize the pages with the highest and the lowest traffic and modify them according to your needs. You can also study user behavior and look at their surfing patterns on different pages of your website.

III. Conversion Metrics

e) Rate of conversion

The rate of conversion is perhaps the most important metric of all.

Each business website has some fundamental goals, primary of which is the conversion of a visitor into a customer. This is what drives the business and the website. Conversion metrics allow you to have insight over the rate of conversion. You can study patterns of users that get converted into customers and the ones who don’t, and then take necessary steps to increase your conversion rate. Now this conversion doesn’t necessarily mean that your users have to buy something from you. For some sites, this could also mean registrations or other action as defined or desired by the website/business owner.

There are two ways of collecting data:

  1. The first is the traditional way of server log file analysis, which reads the log files in which requests from browsers are recorded on to the web server,
  2. The second is to get third party analytics services like Google Analytics, Alexa Analytics, etc. which is preferred these day owing to the brilliant accuracy and endless array of customization options. In this method, Page tagging uses JavaScript embedded in the webpage to make image requests to the analytics service providers. The details are stored on their server, and is later compiled by their software to give you web traffic reports with other functionality and metrics.

Contributed by http://www.ibaroody.com/

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