Website Traffic Analytics: 6 Key Metrics to Watch
by Andrew Millar
Website traffic analytics are not just a term web designers and marketers throw around to pound their chest with importance. They are vital to optimizing your website and maximizing your return on investment (ROI). But, in the same way you need to be able to read an expense report to understand how your business is performing, you need to understand the key metrics of website traffic analytics.
These analytics will tell you what’s working and what isn’t. They’ll give you the necessary insight to tweak and improve your site so it becomes a conversion machine.
Website Traffic Analytic Key Metric #1: Visitors
Your website’s visitor count is the total number of people (aka sets of eyeballs) who are coming to your site. When it comes to website traffic analytics this is the very first figure at which you should look. Has it gone up? Has it gone down? When have you seen peaks in your traffic?
Website Traffic Analytic Key Metric #2: Unique Visitors
While you most definitely want to grow a loyal online following, your website should also be a way to generate new leads and grow your customer base. Unique visitors represent new prospects who have visited your page once in a pre-determined span of time. This number’s growth indicates your website is attracting new leads.
Website Traffic Analytic Key Metric #3: Bounce Rate
Your website’s bounce rate is the number of people who access your site and leave from the same page without any click-throughs (viewing another page). Typically, a high bounce rate is not a great sign for a website. It indicates prospects are leaving before opting in. However, high bounce rates can be deceiving. While it is important to keep an eye on your website’s bounce rate, you need to also take into account the goals of your website and your website’s design functionality. For example, if the landing page (the page though which visitors initially enter the site) contains all the information they need, there is a good chance they will leave immediately. Or, if you are operating an older website with multiple plugins or alternate domains, it can appear these visitors are “bouncing away” when in fact they are following your desired path.
Website Traffic Analytic Key Metric #4: Mobile Traffic
Smartphones and tablets are taking over. 3G and 4G networks are expanding, bringing faster load times and better user experiences. Users not only expect a responsive site when surfing the web on their mobile devices, they demand it. What happens if they get to your site and it is not responsive? They leave. Plain and simple.
Monitoring your mobile traffic is important because it tells you how much time, energy and financial investment you should put into your responsive design. Additionally, you can track which type of devices are accessing your site to give you a better picture of your target customers.
Website Traffic Analytic Key Metric #5: Referral Sites
Keeping an eye on referral sites tells you where your visitors are coming from. Who is directing these folks to you? How can you continue to foster relationships with these websites; what are the ways you can serve them to create a win/win situation?
Website Traffic Analytic Key Metric #6: Keywords
By taking a look at which keywords visitors have used to find your site, you can get a better grasp on how Google is interpreting your website and what are effective topics to discuss. What is it your target audience is looking for? Are you making that the most prominent theme?