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11 website metrics to track the performance on your client sites

Updated: May 17

Are your clients meeting their goals? One of the best ways to know is by tracking their site traffic and conversions. You can do this by using website metrics, the digital record of everything that happens on their websites.

According to Google Analytics, more than 70 million websites are using analytics tools to collect, measure and evaluate site performance. If your clients aren’t leveraging these metrics, they’re at a serious competitive disadvantage.

What are website metrics, and why are they important?

Web metrics are the measurements of actions taken on a website, such as page views or conversions. Analyzing those metrics can uncover issues and trends that can be used to improve the effectiveness of your client websites.

Web metrics are also a key factor when tracking your clients’ goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). There’s a wide variety of web metrics you can use in order to measure your client’s success. You can collect data analytics for their blog, site bookings and stores. That’s why it’s important for you and your clients to set quantitative KPIs with defined numbers. For example, increase your client’s revenue by 15% by 2021.

Defining your client’s objective and strategy

One great advantage of online marketing is that almost all site actions can be tracked and measured. From sales to social shares, there’s an abundance of metrics you can collect. So how do you and your clients decide which metrics to measure?

Industry experts recommend starting with your client’s and primary goals they aim to achieve. Most businesses measure success by defining an objective, setting their goals and measuring KPIs for their websites.

For example, this could be your client’s strategy broken down into these 3 categories:

1. Business objective: Increase revenue

2. Website goal: Generate more leads

3. Website KPIs: Increase content downloads and newsletter subscriptions

Over time, the business would take their website metrics and compare them to their set goals to see if they’ve achieved them. By focusing on your client’s objectives, you can work together to create attainable goals and work toward them using metrics to track your progress.

11 website metrics you should track for your clients

Choosing which metrics to track on your client sites can be overwhelming. Often times many of them can be used together to confirm findings and lead you to new ones. That’s why we created a list of 11 important website metrics you should measure.

1. Site visits

2. Top pages

3. Traffic sources

4. Exit pages

5. Bounce rates

6. Conversion rates

7. Cost per conversion

8. Time on site

9. Interactions per visit

10. Value per visit

11. New vs. returning visitors

1. Site visits

How much traffic is your client’s site attracting? This web metric tracks how many unique visitors are on the site at a certain time, whether they enter on the site’s home page, inner page or a blog article. To better understand your client’s audience behavior, you should measure the amount of traffic in a specific time frame. For example, you can track the site's activity in the last 7 days, 3 weeks or the past 2 months.

Site visits can indicate if visitors find site content relevant and engaging, and if a campaign is driving traffic to the site. A successful campaign will show steady growth in unique visitors to the site. When that number starts dropping, it may be time to adjust your campaign.

2. Top 10 pages

Digging a little deeper, what are the most popular pages on your client’s site? Knowing this information provides a more detailed view of which topics and content connect with site visitors. To find out which pages have the best performance you can use tools like Google Search Console to help you measure your client’s search traffic.

Your client’s top 10 pages may be ranking high for SEO. Tracking your client’s SEO will give you insights on what’s working and help you adjust content on less popular pages. That way you’ll make informed decisions on how to grow and evolve your client’s content. This web metric can also show the site’s top pages in social shares, which you and your client can use to fine-tune the social media strategy.

3. Traffic sources

Knowing the sources of your client’s website traffic is important. It tells you where you should invest your time, energy and budget. So, how do visitors land on your client’s site in the first place?

There are 3 main traffic sources:

· Direct (URL): Visitors typed the web address into their browser

· Search: Visitors discovered in the search engine results

· Referral: Visitors who arrived from another website (Facebook or Instagram) found on a page that had a link to the site

It’s also important to know what device a visitor is using when browsing your client’s site. You can track and collect metrics to see which devices visitors are using, whether it’s mobile, tablet or desktop.

By looking at the different traffic sources, you can better understand which campaign is on target and driving more traffic to your client’s site. If the amount of traffic from a certain source happens to be low, then it’s time to make adjustments.

Here are some key indicators to look out for when measuring traffic:

  • A jump in search traffic shows your new white paper is a success

  • An increase of just 3% in direct traffic indicates your new email campaign needs adjustments, such as reviewing content and expanding lists.

  • A boost in referral visitors is traced to mentions of your client’s business in blogs and social posts. A good tip is to strengthen relationships with those brands and bloggers to get even more traffic.

4. Bounce rates

A “bounce” is when someone visits your site and immediately clicks out of it. High bounce rates should be addressed immediately, because each one represents a lost opportunity.

Remember, studies show that most visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a page right after they open it. If you don’t catch their attention within that time span, they’ll leave your client’s website and go to a competitor’s.

If your client’s site has a high number of bounce rates, you should pinpoint what’s causing them. Some common causes for high bounce rates include:

  1. Weak or irrelevant traffic sources

  2. Overcomplicated checkout processes

  3. Landing pages with low usability

  4. Poor website design

  5. Slow loading times

Once you’ve identified what’s causing the bounce rate on a page, you should make changes for a better user experience.

5. Exit pages

An exit page is the last page visited before a user leaves the site. This website metric measures visitors who visit multiple website pages and leave without converting, subscribing or completing any call to action.

It’s important to know which pages visitors choose to exit the site. Once you’ve found those pages, you’ll know where you need to make modifications and in turn get more conversions.

For example, you can compare landing pages with high exit rates to pages with high conversion rates. This will help you identify areas to improve, such as content, graphics and navigation.

If visitors are exiting during the buying process, make sure it’s optimized for a fast checkout. You can do this by cutting down the number of steps and pages required to complete a purchase.

6. Conversion rates

Conversion rates measure the percentage of people who take your client’s desired action. This could be completing an online purchase or filling out a lead form. This website metric is the ultimate measurement of your client goals.

You’ll gain even more insights when you measure conversion rates for each page as well as the entire site. This will give you a better understanding of which strategies are working, and give you the opportunity to improve pages with lower conversion rates.

Low conversion rates usually mean your client's site is attracting the wrong traffic or the content isn’t engaging enough for visitors. With that in mind, try updating the content, design and other elements on low-conversion pages. You can also build a strategic Martech stack to improve your client sites and track the effectiveness of those changes.

7. Cost per conversion

Cost per conversion (CPC) is the amount it costs for each converting customer. It measures the ratio of ad views to the number of successful conversions. This critical website metric can be used to track the success of an ad campaign.

It’s important to note that high conversion rates don’t exactly mean the campaign is a success. Your client could potentially be losing money if the cost per conversion is more than what the conversion earns.

To reduce cost per conversion, consider less-expensive strategies for attracting visitors and convincing them to convert.

8. Average visit duration

This website metric measures the average length of time (right down to the second) that a visitor spends per visit and on specific web pages.

Average visit duration helps you understand two key factors:

  1. Content quality Long page visits indicate visitors find the content relevant and engaging. Short visits mean it’s time to re-examine the page's content.

  1. SEO ranking Long page visits strengthen SEO rankings. Google and other search engines use this website metric to determine a site’s content quality and where it ranks on the page.

For a sharper view of the content quality, compare the time duration metric to the visitor interactions on a specific page. If a page’s time duration is high and interactions per visit is low, the content might be a dead end for the user. This will be a good indicator of which pages need to be optimized.

9. Interactions per visit

Interaction per visit shows the number and type of actions a user makes while on a webpage. This website metric is valuable, because you and your client can gain new insights into user behavior each time they interact with the site.

The goal is to use that data to better understand the user journey and make site adjustments to increase conversion rates. For example, let’s say you discover that the downloads of your client’s new eBook leads to more conversions. This means you should find more ways to drive traffic to that content and see if you’ll boost your client’s conversions.

10. Value per visit

This website metric shows how much value your client is actually getting out of the traffic that you bring to their site. Value per visit can help you prioritize your campaigns and make changes to those that need improvement.

However, defining value for each website will vary. The simplest approach is to divide the number of unique visitors by the amount of revenue. But what about measuring other types of value, such as email subscriptions, content downloads and comments on a blog?

One way is to embed custom codes in shopping carts to show which website pages lead to the most conversions and how people arrive at those pages. Using that data will assign values for different pages. Tracking those values over time will show which pages are working and which need reworking to get more conversions.

11. New vs. returning visitors

Websites have 2 different types of visitors: new and returning. Pretty obvious, right? Each audience has its own ways of interacting with a website. To give each one the best experience, use web metrics to look closely at the conversion rates of returning visitors. This is important because returning visitors indicate stronger interest in your site. Plus, they’re much more likely to become paying customers in comparison to new visitors.

To provide a returning visitor with a great experience, use website metrics to find out if that visitor converted on previous visits. If you find they didn’t, try to find ways you can influence them into converting when they come back.

Here are some ways to nurture relationships with returning visitors:

  • Offer exclusive deals or coupons

  • Send invitations to download content, complete a survey or join a mailing list

  • Email newsletters with links back to your client’s website

For first-time visitors, focus on improving their first impressions. Imagine being in their place and analyze what they see when they land on your client’s site.

Ask yourself these questions when looking at your client’s site:

  • Is the site’s design engaging?

  • Is the content relevant to your client’s target audience?

  • Is the navigation user friendly?

  • Do the pages load slowly?

Get ahead of the game and resolve these issues now, so your clients can start meeting their goals.

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