“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen” – John ‘the wizard of Westwood’ Wooden. Coach John was on to something here. It’s often the little things in life that form the bigger picture for us… And so it is with websites.
Running a well-performing website involves lots of many small moving parts, all working web. We’re talking more than just web development alone here. One of the most important rules to remember is to: ‘monitor the metrics’. We monitor data on a day-to-day basis, and most of our real-world decisions are based on experiences (or in other words); data that we assess to make the best choices.
When considering the metrics of your website, tracking even the most elementary parameters relating to your website will provide an advantage over a competitor who doesn’t bother to even look at them. You can use real-time data to affirm positive actions and cease those that aren’t performing. This exercise can help you identify weak spots where improvement is necessary and determine any abnormalities. This is why high-performance websites allocate resources to track insight and convert data into net monetary gain.
Monitoring website metrics allows owners to visualize day to day, month to month, and year on year growth. This exercise is integral for new websites, and companies with recently upgraded websites. For those of you not fully aware of how this exercise is conducted, here are 7 key parameters to track on your website:
Before we get right into the thick of it, please note that Google Analytics is probably the most critical instrument you will need to measure the performance of your website. This brilliant tool makes it incredibly easy to understand the performance of your website more intimately. It also lets you assess how users engage with content on your site, so you know what is working and what is not. It visualizes how people are interacting with your website and the role different channels play in your journey to success. This tool is especially useful for those investing in paid promotions and actively deploying digital marketing campaigns. Good quality analytics will give you the clarity required to determine if your campaigns are functional or not.
Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s get to the meat of the subject:
Traffic volume is a parameter that most marketers value extremely high and it’s a definitive indicator of the popularity of your website. Traffic is the central point of focus for any successful website, and it’s relatively easy to track with Google Analytics. Your website’s traffic is an accurate gauge to assess if your website is growing, shrinking, or stagnating. It’s also a useful tool to track the progress of recent online marketing activities.
Whilst collating and assessing traffic numbers is important, another crucial parameter is to know where your traffic is coming from. Again, Google Analytics will simplify this exercise for you. Each source of traffic reflects important snippets about your website.
Traffic sources can be broken down into the following categories:
- Organic SEO
This reflects the volume of visitors to your website that have not been influenced by paid promotions.
- Social media platforms
This includes traffic redirected to your website by platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, etc. Social media platforms offer business paid advertising solutions that can be effective in boosting brand visibility.
- Google Ads
As with social media platforms, Google Ads is a tool that offers businesses advertising solutions by placing an ad on any of their affiliate websites. You may have seen advertisements online, on websites, and on blogs – these ads are created by Google to help boost sales and visibility.
- Email marketing
This is a staple exercise of digital campaigns. Traffic generated through email marketing has the potential of being regenerative.
- Direct Traffic
This is the number of users that are familiar with your website and directly visit it without using a search engine.
Your website’s bounce rate is an important parameter when monitoring website success. A ‘bounce’ is essentially a user that visits your website and then leaves again, without making a purchase or sending you a message.
The bounce rate shows you the number of visitors leaving your website immediately after arriving. Google prefers the term “single-page sessions’’ to bounce rate, but they mean the same thing. A low bounce rate is what you’re aiming for!
Often slow page loading speeds, paired with disorganized content and confusing navigation, can lead to high bounce rates. Working with a reputed web development company can help reduce your bounce rate.
Average session time
Following the bounce rate, monitoring the average session time will help you to assess how engaging, or interactive your website really is. This parameter gauges the amount of time a visitor spends on your webpage. It’s understood that if visitors like what they see, they’ll spend more time with you. More time spent on your website results in more conversions.
Average session time can be improved by reworking website design, user experience, content quality, and placement, among other things.
Mobile vs Desktop
Research tells us that nearly 66% of all searches are performed from a mobile device. The general population is slowly migrating from using desktops to more user-friendly experiences on mobile phones. This is why most websites that are created today are responsive, or adaptive. This parameter measures the responsiveness of a website which is a key factor when determining the potential success of a website.
85% of consumers in the UK shop from their mobile devices. If your website does not enable a seamless experience on mobile, it will negatively impact the site’s Google ranking, and damage any attempts made towards SEO enhancement.
It may seem like we’re stating the obvious here, but there are millions of live websites at this very moment that are ignoring the fundamental concept of audience targeting. Google analytics shows where the majority of your audience is coming from. This helps further divide the demographic for more penetrative targeting.
If you’re selling a service or product ideal for Germans, but a large segment of your audience is from Canada, you need to target your audience more effectively.
This is another critical factor. If your website is not doing what it’s supposed to, you’re wasting your time and money on it.
Monitoring conversing is a conclusive way to determine the effectiveness of your website, and the ROI of the marketing campaigns you’ve been running.
For example – If you own an eCommerce website, you’ll want to track the number of goods being purchased. In addition, you may also want to track the goods being ‘added to the cart’, as well as other intricacies of the purchase funnel.
Similarly, other websites can monitor the number of users fulfilling the ‘call to action’ – whether completing an online form, participating in a survey, or subscribing to a newsletter. Conversions are what matter at the end of the engagement. It is the final decision on the success or failure of your endeavors.
If you don’t have any experience in tracking website parameters — or if maths and statistics really aren’t your forte, you should consider working with a professional web development company that’s ready to help you get to the next level.
WebChoice has a team of experienced professionals that deliver value-driven, high-performance web development services that will take you where you want to go.