Having a website is already a big step towards success, having a great website is a leap towards it! Tracking your website performance is crucial, as it allows you to see what is positive and what could be improved. It is relatively easy to access your website performance analytics, thanks to, tools like Google Analytics. However, they may require a little bit of time to understand and interpret their metrics. In this post, we want to provide you with some of the most important metrics and what they mean.
This is kind of straightforward, but to assess how your website is performing, you want to know if it generates traffic. Traffic is crucial on the website, as it not only grows sales opportunities but also expansion opportunities. Indeed, if more people see your website, more people will also know about your business.
To evaluate traffic, you can start by looking at the users. One user is one person who began a session –user interaction with the website during a given timeframe. The more users, the better, but be mindful: users are clustered into two categories: new visitors and returning visitors. If your website generates lots of traffic from new users, it might be the case that something is not working smoothly enough for the users. It discourages them from coming back. A lot of small to medium businesses struggle with traffic creation on their website, but by regularly updating it, you can increase traffic.
The Click-Through Rate (CTR) is also a good way to evaluate whether your website is generating traffic. The CTR metrics will help you understand how well your website is performing on the search engines. It measures how many people are clicking on the website listings when they see it (either through organic searches or through ads).
In Google Analytics, you can also access more information about your users such as from where they are viewing your website to the device they are using. However, they must be analyzed with a pinch of salt. Indeed, if users block or empty cookies, join from another device, or use a VPN, such analytics will be misleading. Still, it can give you a broad idea of the traffic generated on your website.
If your website generates traffic, it’s a good sign that you are doing something right, keep going! However, it is not only important to generate traffic but also to foster the users’ interest. To know whether they are interested in your business content, look at the sessions, and more specifically, have a look at the session duration and the number of pages per session. The session duration shows, on average, how long one session lasts. The longer it is, the better the interest is. This metric should be analyzed in combination with the average number of pages per session. If users open numerous pages on your website, you can assume that they are interested in your business.
Another way of assessing the interest is by looking at the bounce rate, which is the percentage of users that leave without interacting with the website (clicking on links, making a purchase, filling out a form). Although the conventional bounce rate level varies according to the industry, a high bounce rate might influence the website’s referencing on search engines. It also indicates a problem with the website’s design, content, load time, or copywriting.
On Google Analytics, you can also determine which pages are the most viewed, how long, on average, is spent on each page, and then exit and landing pages. It is crucial to keep track of those metrics to know what content users like, what page performs best, etc.
When setting up the website, you assuredly had goals in mind, be it increasing sales, registration to the newsletter, campaign awareness, or downloads of your app by x%. The best way to keep track of those goals is with the conversions. Before seeing the results, you have to set up the goals on your account. Monitor those conversion levels, and adjust your strategy depending on the website performance.
Keeping an eye on those metrics will give you a fair idea of how well your website is performing.
It is always a good habit to set specific website goals as a way of letting you measure your return on investment. Your goals will determine which metrics are most important to you, and as a result, you will concentrate more there. However as a baseline requirement, always pay attention to how relevant your website content is to the target user. They will not only come back for more but will even reference your work to others. Now the first step is out of the way, get to work and see how your website efforts measure up.
Now that you know how to track your website performance, it’s time to improve it!