Top 10 Website Metrics to Measure to Improve Conversions
The only way to know for sure how effective your website is at converting visitors into customers is through analyzing website metrics. There’s no denying that data analytics is now on the rise. As a matter of fact, more than 70 million websites are now using analytics tools. Google Analytics tops the list with 40% of usage rate.
Without website metrics, your website marketing strategy becomes more of a guessing game, which can lead you to waste time and money on tactics that just aren’t working. However, with the right website metrics, you can determine what’s working and what isn’t and use this information to adjust and adapt your digital marketing strategy.
If you don’t know what you should be measuring – don’t worry! We’ve got you. Below, we’ll discuss which website metrics you need to use to accurately measure conversions. We’ll also provide a few tips for how to improve your website to increase conversion rates.
Top 10 Website Metrics for Conversion
Before you can start making changes to your website for improved conversions, you need to know what it is you’re measuring. Here are the top 10 website metrics for conversion that every company should measure:
1. Value Per Visit
The total value per visit is a website metric that helps you better understand how much value you are actually getting out of the traffic that you bring to your site. Many visitors won’t convert during the first visit, which makes tracking the value or revenue per visit a bit tricky.
If you own an e-commerce business, it’s easy to track the revenue from different transactions. Using a custom code embedded in your shopping cart, you can track which pages are leading to the most conversions and how people arrive at these pages. After getting this information, you can then assign value for different pages and better understand which pages need to be better optimized for conversions.
Even if you don’t have an e-commerce business where you are selling physical products, you can track the revenue per conversion or lead by assigning a value to each lead based on what they are worth to your company. Google Analytics makes this simple with its Goals feature. You can set up event goals, which are not tied to a specific URL but rather track different circumstances that you define.
Goals in Google Analytics help you evaluate visitors that come to your site by dividing the amount of money you make by the number of unique visitors that come to your site. This helps you understand what each visitor is worth. Knowing the estimated value per visit can help you when you are prioritizing different campaigns or working to make changes to different elements of your site in an effort to boost conversions.
Be sure to install Google Analytics to assess and take advantage of critical website metrics.
2. Cost Per Conversion
Cost per conversion tends to get overlooked, but it is one of the most important website metrics to measure over time as it helps you understand how much you are paying for each conversion. Even if you have high conversion rates, if your cost per conversion is also high, you may find that your net income may not be favorable. With high cost per conversion rates, sometimes your net income can even be zero or in the negative, indicating that you are spending more to convert customers than you are actually making based on the value of the conversions.
If you find that your cost per conversion is higher than you would like, take a look at your conversion strategy to see where there may be opportunities to improve. Are there other, more affordable strategies that you might use to bring people to your site and influence conversions? Keep these costs in mind as you work on improving conversion rates over time.
3. Conversion Rate
The conversion rate of each page represents the percentage of people who have converted on that page. Whether it’s filling out a lead form or making a purchase, the conversion is based on what you want your audience to do on that particular page. Pages with high conversion rates indicate that the page is performing well and effective at encouraging the desired action.
You can compare the conversion rates of different landing pages to better understand what tactics are effective in converting your target audience. For instance, if you find that one particular landing page has a high conversion rate, you can revisit this page to see what types of design elements or content may be most appealing to your target audience. Similarly, if you find that certain pages have low conversion rates, you’ll want to revisit those pages to see how you might improve elements to increase conversions.
4. Total Number of Sessions or Visits
It’s important to know how many people are coming to your site overall. Whether they enter on your home page, a unique landing page, or even a blog post, knowing how many people visit each page helps give you a big picture understanding of how well certain campaigns are helping to drive traffic to your site. You can use the total number of sessions or visits to your page to help you better understand what percentage of your visitors are converting.
For most healthy and effective campaigns, you will see steady growth in the number of sessions from each referral source. If you notice that the number of sessions starts to drop, then you can revisit the referral source to identify issues. For example, if you see that sessions from Facebook start to drop off, you might consider adjusting your approach.
5. Top Pages
Under the “Behavior” section of Google Analytics, you will be able to see what your top site pages when it comes to traffic volume. Looking at the page views allows you to identify which of your pages are most popular, which can ultimately help you better understand which topics your audience finds important or responds to.
Below are is a screenshot example of Buffer’s top pages.
In addition to page views, you can also look at what your top pages are in terms of social shares. This information will also provide valuable insight as to what types of content your audience enjoys and finds most valuable. Though Google Analytics will not provide this information, you can find it using a WordPress plugin or other social media analytics platform.
Once you know which pages are most popular and have identified the types of content that your audience likes most, you can then make changes to your website based on this information. You can create additional content on these topics or go into more detail on existing pages that have high search traffic.
6. Traffic Sources
Looking at traffic sources helps you understand where your site traffic is coming from when visitors first arrive at your site. On our list of website metrics, this one is extremely important. Especially, if you are spending money on advertising campaigns.
The three main sources of traffic are direct visitors, search visitors, and referral visitors. Direct visitors are those that arrive at your site by typing the URL directly into their browser. While search visitors come to your site through the search engines, and referral visitors visit your site from another blog or site that’s mentioned your brand.
It’s important to aim for a mix of different types of sources when driving incoming traffic. By looking at the different traffic sources, you can better understand which of your campaigns is working well to bring more traffic to your site. For instance, if you have been focusing on creating new SEO content for your website and blog, you can then keep an eye on organic search volume to see if this content has improved traffic to your site.
This image shows the Google Analytics dashboard with pertinent information about traffic sources and conversion rates.
Since each traffic source works a bit differently, you’ll want to look at each separately when identifying areas of improvement. If you find that certain traffic sources are bringing in higher bounce rates, this can indicate that the traffic coming to your site is irrelevant. If this is the case, revisit your strategy to see how you can attract more qualified leads to your site.
7. Time Spent on Site
The time on site website metric tells you how long visitors have spent on your site on a per visit basis. You can also find out how much time visitors spend on average on each site page. The time spent on site helps you better understand how engaging or effective your content is. A poorly written page may cause visitors to leave immediately while a page with well-written content can keep visitors engaged and nudge them toward conversion. As a matter of fact, according to recent research, most users only spend less than 15 seconds in a page right after they click it. If you don’t catch their attention within that time span, they will leave your website and go to another one.
It’s also important to note that search engines like Google use this website metric to help them determine how good your website is. While Google bots have no way of understanding if your site content is well-written or relevant, they can look to your visitors for some indication of how effective your site content is based on how long visitors are staying on the page.
When it comes to conversion, the time spent on page can help reveal certain areas of your site that might need some work to improve conversion rates. If you notice that certain pages seem to be turning visitors away rather quickly, this is a good sign that you need to revisit these pages and your digital marketing strategy to make adjustments if you want to improve conversions.
8. Interactions Per Visit
If your visitors aren’t converting on their first visit, it’s important to understand what actions they are taking on your site. Every time a visitor views a new page, comments on a blog post, or spends a significant amount of time looking at certain content, this is considered an important interaction that will help you better understand visitor behavior. The better you understand how visitors interact with your site, the more likely you will be able to make changes and adjustments that improve conversion rates.
The interactions per visit metric gives you a better idea of how many interactions people make on your site in one visit. By looking at how many interactions visitors take and what these interactions are, you can better understand their path to purchase. The goal is to not only increase the number of interactions per visit but also to figure out which of these interactions helps lead to conversions. For example, if downloading a certain content asset tends to lead to higher conversions, then you can identify ways to drive more visitors to this content download in an effort to improve conversion rates.
9. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is one of the most important website metrics. The bounce rate for a website page is the percentage of people who left your website immediately after looking at the page. For example, if someone comes to the homepage of your website from the search engine or a social media post and leaves quickly before clicking on any other pages, this will be considered a bounce. The goal is to keep your bounce rate as low as possible.
If a certain web page has a high bounce rate, then you’ll want to revisit that page to try to determine what’s happening. A high bounce rate can indicate a number of issues. One of the most common issues is that the page is not optimized for conversions. If this is the case, you may need to redesign the page or refresh the content to help decrease the bounce rate and keep people on the page to get them closer to conversion.
As we mentioned earlier, another common issue that could be impacting your bounce rates is the traffic source. If you find that certain sources such as Facebook traffic or referral sources are bringing in traffic with high bounce rates, this may mean that the traffic is irrelevant. If this is the case, you’ll want to revisit these sources to help ensure that traffic coming to your site is more relevant.
10. Exit Pages
For many brand websites, visitors need to go beyond the home page or landing page to complete a conversion. If you want to improve conversions, it’s important to understand which page your visitors are leaving on. Identifying the exit pages can often help you understand where the visitor may be having challenges that prevent them from completing their conversion.
For instance, let’s say that you notice that many of your visitors are exiting during the checkout process. Though this could just be typical cart abandonment behavior, it could also signal something more serious like a difficult checkout process or something that may not be working right. This would indicate that it might be time to revisit your checkout process to make sure it’s optimized for buyer checkout.
Understanding exit rate percentages may also be an indication that the design or copy on the page just isn’t effective. When looking at exit pages, if you find that many visitors are leaving on the same page that they entered on, it may be time to revisit that page. For landing pages, you can compare those with the highest conversion rates to those with the highest exit percentages and adjust your strategy for lower performing pages.
How to Improve Your Website for Conversions
Now that you have a better understanding of which website metrics help you improve conversions, let’s talk about a few changes that you can make to boost website conversions based on the insight that you gain from analytics.
1. Include more CTAs.
The call-to-action or CTA plays an important role in helping you turn your site visitors into customers. If your site pages don’t have a CTA or the CTA is not in an area that’s easy to spot, you may be missing out on opportunities to convert. For pages with low conversion rates, check to ensure that you have included CTAs on the page in areas that make sense based on the visitor’s site experience. Then, look for other areas on your site where you might include another call-to-action.
2. Optimize your checkout process.
If you find that visitors are making it to the checkout page but not following through with conversion, this could be a sign that there is something wrong with your checkout process. Keep the path to conversion simple by requiring the least number of steps possible for checkout. You may also want to look at the page itself to ensure that load times or issues with shopping carts are not what is holding visitors back from making a final purchase.
3. Reduce the number of distractions.
One of the main reasons why visitors may not convert is that they are distracted by something else. Though you have no control over the external distractions that visitors might face, you can eliminate the on-page distractions that may be holding visitors back from conversion. For instance, if you have CTAs leading to multiple pages at the end of your blog, this can lessen your chances of getting visitors to the page you want them to go to. Similarly, if your sign-up form is in the side bar of your site next to another CTA or ad, this can also be distracting. Eliminate these distractions to improve your chances of conversion.
4. Review your headlines.
You only have a few moments to grab your visitor’s attention and keep them on the page. The headline plays a vital role in making the right first impression and grabbing the visitor’s attention so that they keep reading. Though writing an attention-grabbing headline is easier said than done, it is worthwhile to test different headlines to see what works for your target audience.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Zinora Media.