02 Dec Top 10 Metrics To Know If Your Website Is Performing
So you think you have a stellar website….maybe you are thinking about the design, or technical capabilities, or the kittens with chainsaws that are amazing. When we are talking about an effective website, we mean how are you tracking performance? By what metrics are you (or should you) give high value.
Why Track Website Metrics
Tracking key metrics over time will give you valuable insights and allow you to capitalize on opportunities and track improvements. Let’s discuss the 10 top metrics we use every single day in Google Analytics when evaluating a new website, or even a campaign performance. It’s fast, it’s free, and it keeps you on track.
1. Overall Website Traffic
From the Google Analytics home screen, this really is the first place to start when determining the overall effectiveness of your website. You might start with a benchmark number of let’s say 200, but over time, you are looking for improvement and want that to grow to 400. That’s the same improvement as starting with 5,000 and jumping to 10,000. Each number is relative and as a percentage over time, you should see an upward trend in overall traffic.
2. Organic Website Traffic
This is one that is important to Hundred Rubys when working on any monthly project. Each piece of content, social post, and other marketing efforts serve dual purposes including the ability to have you be found in search results and cause someone to click to learn more about you. Organic traffic comes to your site through unpaid search results (Facebook advertising and other PPC programs do not count here). This traffic is extremely important because it is not only basically free, but also indicates your site is ranking well in search results. Tracking organic traffic will allow you to see how effective your SEO efforts are.
3. A Low Bounce Rate
A bounce is counted when one comes to your site, stays for a very brief period of time, and leaves. This is thought to mimic someone who is disinterested in what they see or otherwise meant to find a different business altogether. Bounce rates are relative to the type of client we have – if you are photography-heavy, your bounce rate will be higher than if you are relying on content in your site. Photos are easy to understand and people will leave sooner, whereas text takes time to read and they will stay longer. However, some of the most satisfied users are drawn to photos. When this happens, you must rely also on the number of pages per session. If you have a low bounce rate and high pages per session, you know they are interested.
4. Average Time on Site
This is a great indicator of the engagement on your website. The longer they spend, the more interested they are in the content and website as a whole.
5. Average Page Views Per Visit
As previously mentioned, when average page views are paired with time on site and bounce rates, you start to develop a better picture of how people are using your website. Visitors viewing multiple pages means your website is engaging and has a good flow.
6. Website Conversions
Conversions might be measured in Google Analytics and may include the number of contact forms submitted, but other conversion metrics to track are phone calls, chats started, and more. A variety of conversions exist and they can be set up easily.
7. Organic Keyword Rankings
This is perhaps the most important metric we use. Again over time, rankings should increase and using a tool to track that is “proof” you are doing your job and the investment in your work is valuable to the client.
8. Website Speed
Google Analytics has Page Speed Insights built into the platform and can highlight problem areas. A common thing we see is a score of 70% – which is technically a C. However, if you are running WordPress, you can’t ever reach a 100. Besides a score of 70% will force the end-user to load the website in no more than 2-3 seconds so there really isn’t an issue in that case. You can test various pages or navigate to this section in Google Analytics to see issues with the size of media and make adjustments as needed. This will, in turn, reduce bounce rates, increase conversions, increase pages per session, and more. Anything above 5 seconds will likely result in an unfavorable experience.
9. Broken Links
Broken links are said to not impact SEO but from a user perspective, you should redirect his page to the closest matched content so you don’t give the end-user a 404 error – no one likes that and it can absolutely be prevented. If your site is performing well and getting clicks, one of the worst things it can do is bring users to an invalid page via a broken link.
Backlinking strategies have changed throughout the years. One use to hire a blogger to write content and link to your website. Today, this is spam and will get you on the naughty list. Old school backlinking has been replaced with social media, review sites linking back to your website, guest blogging in an educational topically driven way, local news outlets writing about your business, and more. Backlinks are a measurement of your success but they are certainly not the ultimate sign of credibility.
Contact Hundred Rubys
Hundred Rubys recommends tracking each of these ten metrics every month and it will give you a complete picture of your website performance over time. These metrics are evaluated as we plan content strategies for all clients, marketing tactics are executed, and we again evaluate and track progress. Simply put, there is no other way to see improvements over time and also alert you of any anomalies. What worked for high effective websites five years ago isn’t the same as what’s working today. Even still, what’s working today will eventually be outdated as well.