3 Website Traffic Metrics You MUST Be Analysing Regularly

A screenshot of the Google Analytics home pageAnalysing your website’s visitor data is a vital part of ensuring you see the most success with any of your digital strategies.  You can be implementing any number of techniques or tactics, but if you don’t have an understanding of whether it’s impacting on your visitors (and their behaviour on your website), how can you be confident they’re having the desired effect?

With there a whole host of different metrics you should be considering, it’s difficult to know where to start.  With the total number of visitors an obvious indication as to whether everything’s going to plan, the following are three that will give you a greater insight into the success of your strategies.

1.  Average visit duration

You could be getting thousands upon thousands of visitors to your website, but this is only one indication of success and may in fact be a red herring to what’s actually taking place.

The reality is, it doesn’t matter how many people are visiting your website if they’re only staying for two or three seconds.  Sure, this may be enough if they’re just wanting to find your phone number and it’s displayed prominently at the top of each page, but not if they’re looking to find out more information about your services or make a purchase of one of your products.

What your average visit duration should be really does depend on what your focus as an organisation is and whether you’re looking at individual pages or not (people are more likely to spend a few minutes on a blog post than they are a contact page, for instance).  However, we’d recommend you time yourself carrying out a certain process on your website – it won’t give you an accurate figure, but it should give you an idea of how long your visitors should ideally be spending with you.

2.  Percentage of new visits

An important metric, it’s not one that many people look at at first.  However, it can give a great indication as to whether your website is seeing not only instant success, but will continue seeing it in the future.

Now of course, any increase in traffic is good, but if you’re only getting return visitors (or the majority are return visitors), you may want to look at how you can increase new visitors – unfortunately, at some point in the future your return visitors may stop coming and as a result, if you aren’t reaching out to new visitors, your bottom line could eventually suffer.

3.  Visitor sources

One of our favourite traffic metrics to analyse, it’s great because it shows just where your visitors are coming from, be it social media, a website referral or search engines, amongst others.

And by knowing where your visitors are coming from, you know, for example, where to invest more time and money and where you may have to reduce any such investment.

Website visitor analysis is a vital part of any digital strategy.  With various metrics to consider, you really should be taking as many as you possibly can into consideration, but these three should allow you to build solid foundations upon which your digital success can be built.

Image: Christopher Penn (Flickr)