You invest in a strong web presence for your product or service. A website is an incredibly important part of this strategy. How important? In an age where customers predominantly use search engines to research before buying, an attractive, informative destination tells potential customers your product or service should be taken seriously.
Once you’ve built a website, it’s important to track how well your investment is engaging audiences and bringing in new sales. In this age of data analysis, it can be confusing to know which statistics to pay attention to when scrutinizing the performance of your website.
Looking Past “Vanity Metrics”
Too often, website owners focus on statistics that may paint a positive picture at first glance but fail in showing the big picture. These are known as “vanity metrics.”
For example, a business may have gained 1,000 website views over a six month period. While this statistic may seem important, this number alone isn’t actionable. How much time have they spent? Have they downloaded a piece of content? Spoken to a member of your sales team? That’s what really matters.
Website Statistics to Actually Pay Attention To
Marketers and small business owners have to know what to look for when measuring meaningful website growth. But not all statistics are created equal. Most marketing platforms provide statistics dashboard to let you know how your site is performing, making regular analysis simple – if you know what to look for.
Let’s break down which website stats you should actually pay attention to when growing your business.
1. Website Traffic
Looking at page views alone isn’t enough. This category contains a broad amount of information, so it’s important to drill down and look at where website traffic is actually coming from. Pay attention to:
- Organic: People who visit your site as a result of their own research (usually from search engines).
- Direct: Those who typed in the URL to get directly to your site.
- Referral: Those who came from another website via a link.
- Social: Those who were directed from social media to your site.
- Paid: Those that have clicked on a paid ad or promoted piece of content.
Separating out your traffic by source can help identify other opportunities for your company, like whether you should focus more on paid ads or on increasing social engagement.
2. Site Load Speed
We’ve all given up and left a site that took too long to load. According to Kissmetrics, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Don’t let your website be one too.
So what’s an optimal load time to shoot for? Google says 3 seconds. The faster the better.
After 10 seconds is where studies show people move on to other sites.
This means you’re not only losing your current visitors and decreasing conversion rates, but you run the risk of your site losing traffic from those customers who may have referred your website to others.
In this day, seconds make the difference. You can no longer allow your website to be bogged down by unoptimized images and files. Users expect web pages to load fast, and they won’t stick around if they don’t.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at ways to optimize your website for the best possible performance.
3. Bounce Rate
It’s not only important to drive visitors to your site – it’s also important to keep them there! The bounce rate is shown as a percentage breakdown of how long visitors remain on a webpage. The higher the percentage, the less amount of time.
For example, if you have a blog post with a bounce rate of 98%, that indicates visitors aren’t taking the time to read the entire article. In most cases, you’ll want the bounce rate for a web page to be as low as possible.
There are some exceptions to this rule though. For instance, a landing page containing an offer is quick to read and contains a call to action! If the bounce rate is high for this page, that would be a non-factor, considering the page is meant to push for a quick click. For blog posts or other text-intensive pages, content sometimes needs reworking. Monitoring the bounce rate is important in making sure pages on your website are performing as intended.
4. Visitor-to-Contact Rate
While a website’s main function is to create a compelling digital presence for new and returning customers, your site should also be moving people along the buyer’s journey. After engaging with the content on your site, visitors should be well on their way to becoming loyal customers. This is the goal!
Assessing your website’s success in achieving a high visitor-to-contact ratio is important to do on a regular basis. How do you calculate this percentage? While some platforms generate VCR automatically, the manual formula is simple to remember. Just divide the contacts/leads you’ve gained by the total website traffic in the same given period.
For example, if your site acquires 20 contacts and had 100 website visitors last month, your visitor-to-contact rate would be 0.2, or 20%.
Conducting this audit every 90 days is a good habit to adopt.
5. Contact-to-Customer Rate
With the same goal in mind as the previous metric, website content should help turn visitors into contacts, then contacts into customers. As a second step in your content audits, take time to see how successful your website is by completing the entire process of converting visitors into loyal consumers.
Simply use the same formula as before to determine your contact-to-customer rate. Divide the customers you’ve gained by the total contacts/leads acquired in the same given period. As an example, if you gained 20 contacts and converted 5 of them, that’s a 25% metric.
Conduct this audit alongside your visitor-to-contact ratio every 90 days.
Creation and Critique Make an Excellent Pairing
Creating a website is incredibly important to the success of your product or service. Having a visible, active digital presence signals to customers that your brand is constantly evolving and listening to it’s audience.
Keep your website constantly stocked with new, valuable content to help customers recognize and solve problems in their lives. Invest in training your and your staff on content marketing strategies that appeal to the modern consumer. By putting a polished, valuable presence in front of an audience searching for answers, you’ll reap the rewards of attentive, responsive marketing.
William Avila is the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Rizen Inbound. With more than a decade of experience in business management, William has founded two companies and served in C-level positions on two others. His industry experience and attention to detail has helped Rizen scale quickly and grow to new heights, just like he’s done for his past clients.