6 Online Metrics Every Business Should Check Weekly
For many people, there are no two words more intimidating than “quantitative analysis”. However, in any and all industries, measuring how well your business is doing is essential to understanding consumer interest and how that interest will help your business grow. Within the digital industry, the most obvious and useful tool to measure is your online presence, particularly your website.
Regardless of your excitement about data, there are several metrics good digital marketers track on at least a weekly basis to gauge interest and measure potential growth. Programs like HubSpot and Google Analytics offer businesses specific packages to break down these measurements. These programs even offer graphs, pie charts, and visual tools for those of us that are easily overwhelmed by numbers.
Top Six Metrics For Your Website:
1. Traffic Visits. Traffic, or “views”, simply means how many times your site has been visited within a specific time frame. These are typically tracked monthly, weekly and daily. While it would be fantastic if your site generated 1,000 views per day, it is important to keep these, and all, metrics in perspective. If your site just launched yesterday, 1,000 visits per day is somewhat unreasonable; perhaps five or ten views per day is a better goal. Also, you want the right traffic so 1,000 eyeballs that won’t convert to leads are obviously worse than 100 qualified visitors.
2. Average Page Views Per Visit. This tracks the general interest in the different pages of your site and how engaged prospects are with your content. As we’ve mentioned before in “30 Blog Post Ideas for 30 Days”, consistently writing blog posts, in addition to web pages, gives the visitor more page options as they search around your site.
If you notice a trend in which visitors are coming to the site and immediately leaving after only looking at one page (also called your “bounce rate”), that is an indication that you need to spruce up the home page to pique visitor interest. On the other hand, this might mean that you are attracting the wrong kind of traffic as those who are finding your site are looking for something that your company does not offer. In this case, speak with an SEO expert and look at your keywords. These metrics are more than numbers-- they can even help your website to run more smoothly!
3. Average Time on Site. This measurement, much like the page views per visit metric, indicates the general interest in your site content. If a visitor is willing to dedicate ten minutes of his or her day to reading your blog posts, it means you have effectively caught their attention.
The more distinct pages accessible to the visitors and the more valuable content you offer, the more time they will need to peruse the site and get a feel for what your business has to offer. The hope is that the longer someone spends on your site, the more they will learn about your business and the better positioned you will be to nurture this lead into a potential client.
4. Visitors: New vs. Returning. Visitors come to your site in search of something (hopefully something you can offer them). However, as any business owner will tell you, the most central goal to any business plan is the opportunity for growth (whether profit or revenue). While every business values its loyal customers that continue to come back for their service, exponential growth typically occurs through garnering new interest and new clients.
If you notice a lack in new visitors, that indicates a need for a more proactive marketing campaign. New visitors come through maximizing on digital outlets and properly utilizing traffic sources for your benefit (see #5).
5. Traffic Sources. Traffic source indicates how people are getting to your site. These are typically grouped into three major categories-- direct traffic, referring sites, and search engines. Direct traffic means that the individual has gone to their web browser and typed in your site address specifically. Referral sites--such as online directories, your Facebook page and your LinkedIn profile--offer links to your website which then redirect the visitor from that site to yours. Referral sites also come from off-page SEO, where another site, whether it be a blog or business website, has offered a referring link to your site. (This is an example of a referring link to one of our sister companies).
The greater number of referring links your site has from quality sources, the more likely it is to be recognized by Google, Yahoo and other search engines when a visitor tries to find it through keyword search. This gives us another metric to monitor- keywords.
6. Keywords. Keywords help marketers to determine the effectiveness of their strategies. For instance, if a company is using radio announcements to advertise its services and a listener is able to type the name of the business properly into a keyword search, the marketer should assume its ad was clear and effective. If this is not the case, however, and the spelling and order of the business name are incorrect in the keyword search, this indicates a need to adjust marketing campaigns and perhaps seek out a different medium other than radio.
What metrics do you think are important to check weekly?