No matter your industry, websites and a digital footprint are becoming essential to all businesses. Whether you are a local small business owner or work at a large company, your website is your company’s first impression. If you are unable to pitch your business to your target audience face to face, you have to make sure your website is advocating for you.
When explaining your brand in person, you are most likely using expressions and body language cues to understand how interested a person is in what you are saying. Similarly, marketers use key performance indicators (KPIs) to understand a person’s interest online. Key performance indicators can be defined as specific data points that measure your website’s success.
Key performance indicators can be defined as specific data points that measure your website’s success.
When it comes to analyzing website data, there are some essential KPIs that can help you better understand how a user is interacting with your site. These KPIs will provide you with valuable information and allow you to make necessary changes to improve site performance, which can help your business reach its goals.
Below are the top website KPIs you should be tracking to better understand your users and how they interact with your business online.
Acquisition data is like the doorman, or bouncer, of a website. This data tracks who is on the site, and how frequently they are there. Tracking acquisition data provides marketers with essential data on their top customers and how they are acquired. Below, we break down the top data points to track acquisition for your website:
Also known as people in real life. This data point shows how many people came to your site during a selected time period.
First-time visitors! This KPI shows you how many of your users are brand new and have never visited your website before. This is important if you’re growing or trying to find new customers.
This KPI gives you data on how many times a user has visited your site during a selected time period. This can provide helpful data to understand how many returning visitors you are driving to your site.
Bakery Example: Acquisition Data Simplified
Say you own a bakery and want to track monthly foot traffic (acquisition) data. Your users KPI is a running tab of unique visitors who come into your store over the course of a month and your new users are all visitors who visit your store for the first time ever. These visitors also are included in your overall user count. Sessions would correlate to any visitor who comes into your store at any time. For example, one store visit is equivalent to one session. If a regular customer comes in every day for 30 days to get a donut, they would be tracked for 30 sessions.
Behavior data is valuable information on how a website is working once users are there. This helps marketers gauge how engaging websites are for their users. Listed below are the top behavior metrics to track:
This data point is the percentage of users that visit just one page on the site and then leave. This KPI can teach us how important website first impressions are. If you have a high bounce rate, it may be the case that our landing page isn’t engaging enough to encourage users to click on other pages and learn more about your business.
The pages per session data point teaches marketers the number of pages a user visits during a specific session. This metric is valuable to learn how interested your users are in your content. The higher the number of pages, the more engaged users are on your site.
Another way to measure user behavior is through average session duration. This is the amount of time a user spends on our site per visit. If we have a high average session duration, that can indicate that users are interested in the content on our website.
Bakery Example: Behavior Data Simplified
Similar to our last example, we want to better understand visitor behavior for your bakery. Your bounce rate is how many people come into your store to look at a donut special you had on the sign outside. They check out the donuts but then realize they are uninterested and leave. Pages per session can be compared to how many of your display cases did they look at during their time at your bakery. Lastly, the average session duration tracks how long the typical visitor is in your store.
Conversion data is the holy grail of marketing data to most business owners. It allows us to track when users take valuable action on our site. Conversions normally represent the bottom of the funnel or end goal of their marketing efforts. In most cases, they also represent value ($$$) to a business. Below, we break down the top ways to track these metrics:
Goal completions, also known as conversions, track whenever a user takes a valuable action on a website. Most of the time, goal completions represent new leads or customers via site contact form submissions, online scheduling, online purchases, phone calls button clicks, or direction button clicks.
This data point is the percentage of sessions that include goal completions. Marketers find this information valuable to get a good understanding of how many visitors to the site are completing the desired action.
Bakery Example: Goal Completion Data Simplified
Let’s say your bakery is running a monthly special for chocolate pastries and you are interested in how many people are purchasing these pastries. Goal completions would represent each pastry sold during that month and goal completion rates would track what percentage of visitors (those who came to your store) bought a chocolate pastry. If there were 50 pastries sold during the month and you had 500 people come to your store, then 10% of visitors purchased a pastry.
Equipped with the foundational knowledge of KPIs, it’s now time to go out and track your website’s data to better understand: 1) how you acquire users and 2) how those users interact with your business. All of this knowledge will help you make improvements to your site to better fit your customers and their needs.
To begin, set up a Google Analytics account for your site to track all of the metrics we discussed above (don’t worry, it’s free). With the help of Google Analytics and this blog, you will be able to collect and analyze your website data!
If you have questions about these terms or want to dive deeper into how to interpret data to better your website strategy, give us a call! We’re a team of marketers passionate about what we do and want to help businesses thrive. Contact us today!