If you own a website or blog then naturally you should be monitoring whether it is accomplishing your goals or not. Of course, that’s easier said than done in today’s world of endless numbers.
Do you monitor your bounce rate, number of page views, sites referring your traffic, views on mobile, inbound links, outbound links, page rank? Well yes, but not necessarily every day. There are just too many numbers to consistently watch if you’re only one person. Even a team can have trouble distinguishing the nice-to-have from the need-to-have.
What’s important about these metrics is that they aren’t the end game. I don’t look at them and say “Oh, that’s nice.” They are a starting point and are worthless if you don’t use them to take a step deeper by asking questions. What was this number yesterday? Why is it so much higher or lower? What caused the spike or drop? Was their one or many causes?
The purpose of watching these numbers allows you to dive deeper and gain some real learnings. These metrics below allow you to do that.
Below are 3 key website metrics that I watch every day:
- Daily Visits (Google Analytics) – Although you’re thinking this is an obvious choice, you’d be surprised at how it’s overlooked. This metric will tell you a lot about the trends of the people visiting your site. You’ll see what days your visitors primarily focus on. Some retail sites tend to see an uptick on the weekends. B2B companies have a skew towards the workdays. Dive in deeper to see what hours of your most popular days cause the most transactions or leads. Use this information to target your content to people on specific days or focus your advertising during those core purchase hours. Longer term, are your daily visits going up or down? If you’re consistently publishing new content and your visits are going down then you may be losing traction. Figure out which of these visits are new versus returning and gauge whether you’re being successful.
- Search Queries (Google Webmaster Tools) – If you’re making an effort to increase your search engine rank in Google, Bing, or any other major search engine then you need to pay attention to your “Search Queries”. This metric showcases the most common search queries pointing to your site, as identified by Google. It allows you to see how many times your site is being found, being clicked on, and your average position. You can compare the queries driving to your site with the list of keywords you’re actually trying to rank against. This is a quick and easy way to judge the success of your SEO efforts.
- Links to Your Site (Google Webmaster Tools) – The currency on the web is valuable outbound links to websites you value. With that in mind, you should be measuring how many websites are “voting” for you. Quality is much more important than quantity but this number should continuously be going up nevertheless. You should consistently be creating and promoting your content on relevant blogs, partner websites, and associations. Leverage your industry expertise in news articles and press releases. Promote your deals and discounts on social media sites like Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Always link back to your site. Even better, link back to specific pages and deeper URLs.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of metrics that should be analyzed when optimizing a website and a business. Spend time to quarterly or yearly pull together a full analysis and competitive review of how you’re doing. Look into the path your visitors are taking, the pages that cause the biggest bounce rates, and the browsers most used by your local customers. But don’t get overwhelmed and ignore the key metrics that you should be focusing on daily. Keep yourself informed quickly and easily by only looking a few.