What to measure for Website Metrics

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“If you are new to web analytics, the key is to start with tracking some basic numbers. These numbers are important for a business because they represent the size of the audience that you are reaching,” – Blog.Kissmetrics.com

Corporate and business websites became a mainstream presence on the Internet at the turn of the century. These cyber presences are critical in modern business because they enable clients, consumers, customers, suppliers, associates, and business prospects to connect with a business. Websites enable a business enterprise to announce its presence to online audiences, collect customer information, boost customer engagement, highlight new products, test customer reactions, and drive business development initiatives, etc. The analysis of website metrics affords businesses an opportunity to dive into the health of corporate organizations; these metrics also enable marketers to fine tune business offerings. However, many businesses remain confused about the utilities that can be gained from a modern website. We shall examine some of the important website metrics in the paragraphs below.

Online traffic remains one of the key website metrics in the modern world. Brands and businesses can use an analytics dashboard to monitor and assess the volumes of online traffic landing at a website. Online traffic metrics must be viewed in the context of traffic channels and visitor location. This generates a more granular picture of traffic. Businesses can use advanced analytics to sample seasonal fluctuations in traffic patterns, compare year-over-year performance numbers, and track progressive growth in traffic volumes. These metrics enable businesses to access insights into consumer behavior and emerging trends in the markets.

Search engine ranking represents one of the key website metrics of a business enterprise. This metric is connected with the behavior of surfers and online audiences. Businesses can gain a high ranking on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS) by publishing relevant content, posting regular content updates, creating relevant web-links within website content, inserting metadata and keywords, and streamlining the website’s back-end design. These actions enable a website to rise steadily through the ranks and attain the top of SERPS. A high ranking on SERPS is coveted among website metrics because it ensures high visibility in the public domain. This visibility automatically transforms into greater exposure to online audiences and multiple opportunities to pursue and execute commercial transactions.

Bounce rates and the duration of each visit from online audiences rank high among modern website metrics. Brands and businesses must measure these actions because it tells them about the public perception of a corporate website. Visit duration indicates the length of time a visitor spends and the number of pages he or she navigates while surfing on a particular website. Bounce rates indicate the number of users that leave immediately after landing on any one page of a website. The bounce rate metric is useful because it indicates the level of user engagement and the current quality of content hosted on a website. Therefore, longer visit durations and low bounce rates indicate that visitors find a certain website very useful.

Businesses can track user engagement by measuring the number of pages navigated by online visitors. One of the key requirements of a website is to keep visitors engaged, cater to their interests, and encourage them to navigate deeper into online offerings. This metric is critical among website metrics and can help forecast the long-term success of a flagship website. The ‘click trail’ of a particular visitor is instructive in that it tells businesses which aspect of website design and content is attracting the maximum visitor interest. Subsequent iterations of website design and content can be premised on user engagement metrics. In light of the above, businesses must drive visitor engagement as a strategy to drive greater interaction with a range of stakeholders.

Conversions represent the “quantifiable measurement of expected or desired site outcomes, reported as goal completions and conversion rate.” Conversion rates create a high-level picture of the efficacy of a website. High conversion rates generally indicate that a brand or business is succeeding in its corporate mission of harvesting a significant number of customers from the flow of web traffic. The conversion rate ties directly to sales opportunities generated by a website; therefore, this holds a high position among website metrics. Website operators must bear in mind that a low conversion rate indicates issues with website accessibility, inadequate calls to actions, the prevalence of low quality content, and general disinterest among online audiences.

A website’s ‘click through rate’ indicates the number of visitors that land on said website by clicking on links in search engine result pages. This is a ranking factor among website metrics that also indicates the attractiveness of a digital advertisement, while pointing to the quantum of potential conversions. The metric also illuminates whether a company is meeting with success through its online marketing activities. High click through rates indicate smooth and consistent volumes of online traffic. In addition, businesses can position interesting headlines for their online content in a bid to attract attention from larger numbers of online audiences. The measurement of this metric empowers website operators to boost website performance.

The connection time of a website is important in framing end-user experiences. This metric has enduring significance among website metrics because it denotes the time taken for a website to appear on the browsers of online audiences. A brief connection time indicates the legitimacy of a website and justifies a high ranking on search engine result pages. This also ensures a positive user experience because research indicates modern audiences do not relish the prospect of long connection times. However, users in remote geographic regions may experience a lag in connection time; this scenario ideally should be an exception, not the rule. Faster connection times also spur user engagement; therefore, businesses can elect to upgrade website infrastructure to enable speedy responses.

Return visitor conversion is a significant metric because it indicates, inter alia, buyer intent, elevated customer engagement levels, smooth online traffic, and priceless potential for business transactions. Industry experts note that return visitors spell success for an online marketing strategy and this confers additional importance on this metric. In a scenario where return visitors represent the majority of website traffic, brands and businesses must respond by optimizing website content for this constituency. This is important because frequent visitors present higher chances of conversion, thus boosting transaction opportunities for an online business. In addition, companies can woo returning visitors by offering them token gifts and privileged treatment.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have discussed some of the website metrics critical to modern businesses. Every business operator must realize that the modern website represents an important selling opportunity to customers and consumers from different geographies. The scope of conducting business through websites remains immense; brands and businesses must acknowledge the opportunity and invest time and resources in website optimization. Analytics dashboards and data science can help website operators to draw inferences and apply insights to business practices. Senior management personnel must regularly monitor the outputs of said dashboards and effect course corrections as required. These actions when combined to business can consistently refine the end-user experience. A combination of such tactics can help modern enterprises to realize true business value and perform consistently in modern markets.

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