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Marketers rely on a plethora of information, the primary ones being about their customers: they want to know who their customers are, what they do, what they like, and how they behave. Social media has helped a lot in understanding the wants and needs of the customer, but the company’s website remains an essential source of data intelligence. It’s the foundation on which marketers can build data strategies that will take their marketing efforts to new levels.
But it’s vital to get the basics right. That means having the ability to monitor and analyze your most important website metrics, and potentially combine them with data from other sources, to get the complete picture. Get the fundamentals right, and you’ll be able to build more effective marketing campaigns. Here’s a rundown of the 10 most important website metrics you as marketers need to watch closely, on a daily basis.
Website traffic is a fundamental measure of activity that marketers – as well as other business decision makers – need to follow. A high-level overview will tell you, in simple terms, how effective your website is in attracting customers. Although this seems logical, any disturbance in the arrival of new website visitors can point to many potential issues affecting the success of your company and its go-to-market strategy.
Generally, this number should rise steadily over time, particularly as you increase promotional activities. If you use an intelligent data analytics platform, such as Adverity, you can create effective visualizations organized in dashboards to show your overall website traffic, but also in detail through segments. This allows marketers to quickly see which initiatives are or aren’t working, and remain agile.
The number of Unique Visitors (or Users, as noted in Google Analytics) is another important metric that marketers need to follow with interest and caution, as it represents how many individual potential customers you have. The term visitor denotes a unique individual visiting a website during a certain period of time.
You can identify your visitors via cookies that are placed in their browsers, linked to a tracking code installed on your company website. This is the first step in building a profile of each individual user and developing customer micro-segments that enable you to target specific customer types, categories and demographics.
As well as tracking unique visitors, it’s also important to note which ones return to your website as an indication of customer loyalty, site value, or marketing campaign success. Rarely the customers decide to purchase something on the first visit, so an actual conversion requires several visits – keeping an eye on this metric shows you how well your website is performing in this area.
Returning users could be coming back because of a blog post they read, due to an email marketing campaign, or because they are ready to buy your products or services (again). By analyzing the structure of returning visitors you can identify more successful customer segments and areas for improvement of your marketing campaigns.
A session constitutes the activities that a particular user takes on your website during a certain timeframe. Sessions traditionally continue until there is 30 minutes of inactivity, although this can be altered. A reporting tool such as Google Analytics will create multiple sessions for the same user if their 30 minute session expires, if they re-enter the site via another campaign, or maybe leave the browser page open overnight.
If you take that information from Google and other web reporting tools, and aggregate and analyze it in an analytics platform, this can help you to understand all your visitor and campaign data in order to make your marketing activities even more effective.
On the subject of sessions, another datapoint that marketers find useful is the average session duration per visitor, or the average for a specific category of users. It displays the time a potential customer takes to read and take in your messaging, brand and product content, or interact in a meaningful way with your company through its website.
However, longer sessions indicate more engaged visits, and, combined with other metrics, will enable you to hone your marketing strategy. As with this and all the other metrics and KPIs mentioned here, Adverity uses a range of clear and colorful data visualization charts to illustrate data points, percentages and so on. This makes it easier for marketing and other business professionals to digest the information quickly and identify and respond to emerging trends.
Marketers need to know which of their website pages are performing the best, and how they compare with other pages on the site. Identifying your best-performing pages will show you where your users are spending their time, which pages are holding peoples’ attention, and where your best conversion opportunities are.
You can experiment with different types of content on your best performing pages, and analyze what works and what doesn’t, giving your visitors more of what they like. Keep in mind that traffic numbers are not the only indication of the success of your top pages. Other factors can include newsletter signups, social media shares, and transactions, which are often more valuable than merely getting eyeballs on your site.
Bounce rate is another essential metric which indicates how many visitors abandon your website immediately after arrival. This is shown as a percentage, which you should aim to improve over time.
Worth remembering: your bounce rate measurement doesn’t tell you why people are leaving, which they do for numerous reasons. These include slow load times, poorly-targeted keywords that have brought them somewhere unexpected, a bad first impression, and technical issues on the site.
It’s very useful for marketers to know where website visitors are coming from. For example, if your traffic is coming mostly via search engines and organic search, your SEO efforts are working well, but you might also consider investing more in search ad campaigns. Users may be coming from other websites as referrals, giving your site a needed level of confidence (and link juice). They may be arriving from a social media share, or could be typing your brand name directly into their browser.
A well set up dashboard can display your main traffic sources clearly, laying them out side-by-side in table form, and color-coding them. That way, you can easily see what works best, and where you maybe need to boost your marketing spend.
Nowadays, visitors view your website through a huge range of platforms and devices with varying screen sizes, so marketers and designers need to keep this in mind. By noting the volumes and percentages of visitors on particular devices, you can ensure that your content and campaigns are optimized for particular device form factors, whether that’s a TV, laptop, or mobile phone, and take into account the average length of time users spend looking at screen and exploring.
As a marketer, one of your core goals is to increase the number of conversions you make from your marketing campaigns or web visits. The conversion rate is a good indicator of profitability, and if you can increase your rate from 2% to 4%, for example, you will double your company’s revenue, and that’s a remarkable success.
However, conversion goals range from making a sale to adding a subscriber to your email list, encouraging visitors to share social posts, or review a product. Whatever your objective, you need a reliable tool that will help you to monitor, visualize and analyze this information over time, and give you the ammunition you need to improve your conversion rates, campaign ROI and overall marketing success.
Find out more how the Adverity platform can help you with that!