Most people who own or run a business of any kind spend more than a little time working on their website. From design, to onsite SEO, to content creation, to offsite promotion of the site, it is fair to say that a business webmaster’s work is never done (nor should it be in this day and age). What many neglect to do however is to properly monitor the results of all that hard work.
Measuring website metrics is not hard. The ability to do so is offered free of charge to any webmaster who signs up for Google Analytics and if that admittedly sometimes rather confusing offering offers a little bit too much information for you to digest quickly then there are other platforms (although most of those are not free) that can simplify the most important information for you.
In reality, there are dozens of different metrics that can be tracked even for the smallest website – which is why Google Analytics can become overwhelming because you can track them all there – but which ones, on a day to day basis, are the most important to keep track of in order to make sure that your website is doing the very best ‘job’ it can? Here are some suggestions:
Visits and Unique Visits
Visits are possibly the most basic of all metrics; the number of visits your page has received in a certain time period. Unique visits are different – that figure shows a webmaster how many people have visited the site before rather than just hitting it once and clicking away.
Both of these figures should not be confused with hits. Hits are a pretty useless metric to track as they can be rather misleading. That is because this figure refers to how many times a page is downloaded into a browser so a visitor can view it. If you have ten images on a page that would could as ten hits for just a single visitor which is rather misleading.
Page Impressions tells a webmaster how many pages of their site visitors navigated to in a single visit. Most people are delighted if this is a big figure but beware, page impressions mean very little if no one is buying or otherwise following through on the intended conversion.
This measures how many users are coming to your site and then leaving right away. If this is high, there is obviously a problem somewhere whether it is because the content is not compelling, the site is hard to navigate or perhaps even the impression your site is giving to searchers in the SERPs is the wrong one and your page is not meeting visitors’ expectations when they arrive.
This will show you where users are leaving your site from. This can be especially useful for e-commerce concerns as it can identify a problem in the purchase cycle navigation that is turning visitors off.
Most website owners do a lot of off page promotion and this metric will show you what is and is not working. For example, many businesses use Facebook as a matter of course these days but if all of your hard work there is only bringing you a handful of visitors to your site every day, it is probably time to rethink your strategies.