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The 10 Most Important Web Metrics to Monitor for Your Business Website


Your business website is your center of operations. As far as your customers are concerned, your site is a reflection of your brand as a whole. 

And when you use your site to not only engage your potential customers but to also create revenue, it’s incredibly important that you understand how people relate to it. 

When you tap into your website structure and the journey your visitors take on your website, it can help you identify weak points in public-facing areas of the business, holes in your funnel, and missed conversion opportunities. 

This is why identifying and measuring the right web metrics is so important. 

What Are Web Metrics?

Web metrics are numerical indicators of how well your website is performing and how it’s being used. 

Any data that can be measured and pertains to your website is a web metric. For example, the number of users your site receives in a given period is a web metric that can indicate the size of your customer base or the success of a marketing campaign. 

Web metrics are useful because they can help you to improve specific areas of your website that can, in turn,, impact your business in a larger way. For example, certain web metrics can help you uncover that a page on your site that isn’t converting is experiencing an error. By correcting the issue and making the page more user-friendly, you can not only improve conversions but keep customers coming back to that page to convert again and again. 

There are several ways you can collect web metrics, but the easiest and most efficient is to use your host’s inbuilt data collection abilities. If your site host doesn’t have these capabilities, there are options to purchase software that will collect this data for you. 

Top 10 Web Metrics to Monitor

There are many metrics for your website that you can collect, but choosing the right ones will save on time and labor costs. These ten web metrics are among the most useful for making practical and effective changes to your website and business. 

1. Average Time on Page

This metric will tell you the average time a customer spends on each page of your site. How useful this metric is will depend on which area of your site it’s referring to. 

For example, imagine taking this metric for a long-form blog post on “How to Run a Successful Instagram Campaign.” Through a quick test, you establish that it takes seven minutes to read the post in its entirety and roughly two or three to skim the important information. 

Users spending under a minute on this page are likely deciding that this isn’t helpful to them. Given the specific nature of the title, you may need to re-examine your content creation strategy. 

In contrast, users spending far longer than seven minutes on this page may be struggling to understand certain concepts. This may indicate that you need to add more practical tips to your content. 

2. Error Rate

This metric will help you improve the general useability of your website. 

Image source

Put simply; customers want a website that works. If your business page has a high error rate, you’ve likely got a lot of frustrated customers who may well be interested in your product or service but can’t access it. 

To lower your error rate, you need to look at possible causes. These can include:

  • Too much pressure on the server
  • Too many plugins
  • Too much content on a page

It’s always worth running useability tests on all pages of your site to reduce errors from the beginning. 

3. Conversion Rate

There are many ways to measure conversion rate, depending on what the desired customer action is. 

A conversion is when a site visitor completes a proscribed action, like making a purchase or signing up to a mailing list. 

The conversion rate of your site is the number of conversions compared to the total number of visitors. A high conversion rate indicates your brand messaging is effective and your sales funnel strong. 

If your analytics show a low conversion rate, consider why that might be. For example, the mailing list. Are you showing mailing list pop-ups at the appropriate point? Customers are more likely to sign up to a mailing list that they perceive as providing helpful advice or a reward of some kind. 

To improve your conversion rate, try using pop-ups on pages with the most useful information, like your blog page. 

4. Number of Visitors

This can seem like a vanity metric, but it’s anything but if you know how to use this data. 

The number of visitors to your site will tell you how large your active audience is. You can compare this to the size of your target audience generally to see how competitive you are in your niche. 

This metric is useful for determining the success of web or content marketing campaigns too. If your visitor numbers increase drastically after a campaign, it’s likely been successful. If visitor numbers increase but sales don’t, you can analyze which pages are common exit pages and examine these for weakness. 

Repeat visitors indicate your brand messaging is strong and you’re retaining customers. 

5. Device Used

It’s always a good idea to know what kind of device your customers are using to access your website. 

This is because desktop (accessed from a computer or laptop) and mobile (accessed from a tablet or smartphone) sites often have different layouts and won’t function on the other type of device. 

Mobile traffic as a percentage of total web traffic. Image source.

 

Most websites will have a functional desktop version because it will have been built using a desktop site. 

However, if you see that a lot of your customers are coming from mobile devices, consider investing resources into optimizing your mobile site. This includes making sure the layout is clear and any content loads quickly. 

You should also consider whether your customers are coming to you through a mobile browser or an app. Your app retention rate will be heavily affected by poor functionality.

6. Loading Speed

Related to error rate, a poor loading speed may affect whether your customers stay on your website for more than a few seconds. 

You could produce a great product or service, but you need to get customers to see it in the first place. They need to read about its benefits and see what industry advice you have. All of this involves making sure that website visitors have a positive first impression. 

To fix a slow-loading website, there are a few things you can do. Of course, it won’t always be a problem on your end, but it’s best to have your website at peak functionality. 

Plugins can often cause a slow website, particularly when they take up a lot of room in the server. You can disable these to see if it improves your loading speed. You should also make sure you don’t overload pages with large content files like videos or large images. 

A functional website is the bedrock of any customer nurturing campaign. If this is part of your strategy, you’ll want to pay particular attention to direct functionality metrics like loading speed. 

7. Exit Pages

These pages are the final pages your visitors are on before they leave your site. 

Some pages will have naturally high numbers of exits – a sales confirmation page or a stand-alone blog post – but others can indicate a problem. 

If you’re finding exit pages that aren’t at a natural endpoint, you should consider optimizing these pages to stop visitors from leaving in the middle of their visit. For example, test the pages for functionality and useful information. 

8. Session Duration

This metric differs from the average length of time on a page because session duration refers to a user’s time on your website as a whole. 

A very short session duration could indicate your sales funnel isn’t strong. Customers could be facing difficulty logging in, finding the right information, or the right page. 

You can use this metric to find weak points on your website. Ideally, you’ll know where customers are coming to your site from and which page is causing them to leave. 

9. Requests Per Second

This is the number of requests your server receives per second. A high number of requests indicates you have a lot of people trying to access a certain part of your website. 

Image source

The major benefit of this metric is being able to foresee and prevent future functionality issues. A high number of requests means you should work on making sure your server can cope with these to avoid time-outs and error messages. 

10. Bounce Rate

Finally, bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who enter your site and leave after a single-page session. 

A high bounce isn’t always a cause for concern. For example, if a helpful blog post is getting a lot of traffic, this may invite a higher bounce rate. 

However, if a page in your sales funnel has a high bounce rate, there may well be a fault on this. 

Final Thoughts

Tracking web metrics for your business website will help you optimize it for customer use, promoting good customer relationships and potentially increasing conversions. 

If testing for each of these metrics is a time pressure your business can’t afford, it’s possible to automate testing of certain elements of your site. Places where this might be beneficial include simple metrics like visitor numbers, the device used, and requests per second. 

You should act on these metrics if they indicate your business website is underperforming. This is a simple way of making your company more competitive.

Author Bio

Kate Passby is the Head of Marketing at Global App Testing, a trusted and leading end-to-end functional solution for challenges in testing in agile. Kate has over eight years of experience in the field of marketing, helping brands achieve exceptional growth. She has extensive knowledge of brand development, lead and demand generation, and marketing strategy — driving business impact at its best. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.





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