Only what is measured gets managed. The challenge for many businesses is determining which statistics they should monitor and work to improve. For example, business owners understand the importance of earning a profit and maintaining a healthy profit margin. However, they’re less familiar with website metrics, much less how they relate to their financial goals. Here are the 4 most crucial pieces of data you should monitor on your website.
Total Site Traffic
You want to know how many people are visiting the website and track this metric over time. This will ultimately allow you to understand how people use the website. You also want to know when traffic peaks so you can display ads accordingly or know when to coordinate specials and limited-time promotions.
This metric is also the basis of other critical statistics like bounce rates and conversion rates. However, you can instantly tell if there is a problem if site traffic suddenly drops. If the bounce rate is high, then you need to adjust your SEO strategy to better align with your customer base or alter your website design so that it is clearly a fit for would-be visitors.
Traffic sources tell you where your visitors are coming from, and these can be divided into three main groups. The first group is direct visitors, people who enter your website into their browser. The second course of traffic is search visitors, those landing on your page through a search engine query. The third group is referral visitors. A prime example of referral would be someone who clicked a link posted on social media or embedded in a marketing email.
Knowing where your website traffic is coming from allows you to gauge the effectiveness of marketing channels. However, this data should be combined with sales data so that you don’t waste time and money driving more traffic to your website when it rarely results in more sales.
Value Per Visit
Businesses need to know how much each website visitor and the potential customer is worth. This metric is a rough estimate, since someone may visit your website several times before buying while other customers may not use your website at all. The simplest version of this metric is dividing all revenue from the website by the total number of visitors.
A good way to gauge the value per visit is to determine how much each customer demographic spends on average and compare this to your website visitor demographic profile. This information can help you optimize your website to attract your most valuable customers and reduce the number of visitors unlikely to buy anything.
The conversion rate is a simple metric, but so essential. To calculate it, all you have to do is divide the number of paying customers by the number of visitors to the website.
One thing people often don’t realize is that it can be far cheaper to take steps to improve your conversion rate over increasing your overall website traffic. Sending tons of traffic to a site that doesn’t convert is a bad strategy anyway.
There are tons of ways that you can improve conversions. You can add clear calls to action wherever you can, or you can dramatically improve conversion rates by streamlining your purchasing process and improving the user experience. For instance, your verification process might be too intrusive and scaring some of your customers away.
If they have to go through too many account verification steps, they may give up. A tool like Cognito HQ allows you to verify identities with a phone number. Their ID verification service only needs a telephone number. This type of authentication reduces fraud without requiring customers to jump through multiple hoops like answering personal questions.
Your website metrics can give you a wealth of information you can use to improve your online sales. The key to success is knowing which pieces of data to track and developing a plan to improve them.