The Top Website Metrics You Must Be Monitoring!
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The Top Website Metrics You Must Be Monitoring!

Today we decided to take a look at the top website metrics that you should be monitoring. Explaining how to calculate them, where to find them and what they’re good for.

These website metrics should form the cornerstones of your digital marketing strategy and will help you to understand precisely where you are making gains and losses.

Website Metrics

Unique Users

    \[ {\textrm{Unique User}}=\sum_{}{}{\text{Individual Website Visitors}} \]

What is it?

Unique Users are the total amount of visitors that you have had to your website, as distinguished from ‘session’ by the fact that the ‘user’ is registered to an IP address, and typically an individual browser.

When would you use it?

This will give you an understanding of whether your website is reaching a greater audience or not. This is one of the most important website metrics to measure if you are looking to sell advertising space on your website.

Data Sources?

Many eCommerce shops will contain this data. Google Analytics will track each session on your website and you can manually install plugins or cookies yourself if you desire.

Benchmarking?

The higher the unique visitors the better, however, you need to pay attention to the stats to see whether they are giving you the full picture. Often traffic reported by Google Analytics comes from fake or spam referrers. As we are now ‘multi-screen’ browsers, this KPI could also be providing further false information – a unique user may in fact be the same person using a tablet one time and a desktop the next, for instance.

 

Total Visits

 

    \[ {\textrm{Total Visits}}=\sum_{}{}{\text{Traffic To Website}} \]

 

What is it?

This is the total amount of traffic or sessions on your website, regardless of unique visits.

When would you use it?

Total Visits gives you a fair understanding of how many times adverts on your site will be delivered for your Cost Per Impression clients. This will also give you an understanding of whether your website’s popularity is increasing.

Data Sources?

Online stores like Magento and Shopify have these stats built into the dashboard. Other analytics tools will also give you these stats. Likewise, you can track visits to your site via plugins or employing your own tracking cookies.

Benchmarking?

A higher amount of visits is important for growth, however you need to verify the veracity of this statistic in your analytics. Spam referrers need to be omitted from your reports in order to provide a proper understanding of how much traffic your website is receiving.

Page Impressions

 

    \[ {\textrm{Page Impressions}}=\sum_{}{}{\text{Visits To Individual Pages}} \]

 

What is it?

This is the total amount of traffic that a certain webpage or webpages have received. This can be described as a total number, or as a fraction of your total website traffic using the following equation:

    \[{\textrm{Percentage}}=\frac{\text{Page Impressions}}{\textrm{Total Visits}} \]

 

When would you use it?

Page impressions gives you an insight into which are your most popular posts/pages/products. This will highlight which subjects you are getting most attention for, and where you might need to improve upon your content strategy. This is most beneficial when it comes to selling advertising, offering you an expectation of how much advertising revenue one might expect.

Page impressions will also give conversion optimisation experts the opportunity to see whether the changes they make are increasing the amount of impressions a page is receiving.

Data Sources?

Your analytics accounts will contain this information.

Benchmarking?

Increasing your page impressions is imperative if you want to increase your advertising revenue. You can benchmark pages on your website against one another and then investigate whether changes to the structure/positioning on your website increases or decreases views in order to optimise.

Advert Impressions

    \[ {\textrm{Advert Impressions}}=\sum_{}{}{\text{Individual Adverts Views By Users}} \]

What is it?

Advert Impressions is the total amount of views that your adverts have received. This is not defined as unique views but by total, and the term impression is qualified as “a minimum of 50 percent of advert pixels in view for a minimum of 1 second.” However, this is defined individually by the ad server, so if you’re looking at Google Adwords, for instance, an advert impression can mean that your advert has been displayed in search results, even though it may not have been seen by the user.

When would you use it?

Any display advertising campaigns demands that you use this KPI. Without it, you would have no data all with which to judge your ROI.

Data Sources?

All ad services will give you impression statistics.

Benchmarking?

Depending upon your industry the cost per advert impression will vary. eCommerce advertisers tend to spend more than most other industries, paying around 7.27 for 1,000 impressions compared to the5.24 gaming companies will pay for the same impressions on Facebook. There is no general benchmark for advertising impression costs, with different platforms charging different amounts and charging more or less depending upon your target audience. The focus here should be on your ROI and achieving a return of at least the money spent. However, this will vary depending upon whether your advertising campaign is simply designed to promote brand or event awareness, or to increase product sales.

Pages per Visit

    \[ {\textrm{Advert Impressions}}=\sum_{}{}{\text{Pages viewed per user session}} \]

What is it?

These website metrics tells you the average amount of pages your users are clicking through when they visit your website.

When would you use it?

This metric would be used to determine whether your website is well structured, whether your content is engaging, whether your CTA’s are working. In conjunction with other data, such as viewer session recording, you can determine where there are bottlenecks in your content strategy, sales process or website design.

Data Sources?

Google Analytics and other analytics programmes installed in your backend will be able to give you this information.

Benchmarking?

This will completely depend upon the amount of pages on your website, and the amount of pages in your sales process. And as such, it will completely depend upon what you are doing with your website. You are best benchmarking pages per visit from before and after any structural or content changes you have made to your website.

Time on Site

    \[ {\textrm{Advert Impressions}}=\sum_{}{}{\text{Time between first page view and last}} \]

What is it?

This is the total amount of time that a visitor will spend on your website from first page view until the last.

When would you use it?

You can use this metric to understand how engaged users are with your content. This is especially important for the following:

Understanding the effectiveness of recent advertising campaigns.

Understanding the length of time it takes for users to make a purchase.

Data Sources?

Web analytics tools.

Benchmarking?

It is worth noting that this metric does not include the actual time spent on the last webpage and is therefore not precise in its estimations of time spent on your website. However, by increasing time spent on site, you are increasing retention and ensuring that your content is engaging. Conversely, reducing time on site when purchases are concerned can denote a better user experience.

Top [x] referral sites

What is it?

This is a list of the websites that send you traffic ranked from highest to lowest. It is split into the following further subcategories:

[organic] indicates visitors referred by an unpaid search engine listing

[referral] indicates visitors referred by links which were not tagged with any campaign variables

[not set] indicates visitors referred by links which were tagged with campaign variables but for which the medium variable was not set.

(direct)[(none)] indicates visitors who typed the URL directly into their browser.

When would you use it?

This is one of the most important website metrics and will show you where you are getting your best ROI on your advertising efforts. It will also tell you which websites are picking up your content and potentially show you where you can gain further traffic through increased advertising spend.

Data Sources?

Website analytics tools. Google Webmasters.

Benchmarking?

Increasing referral traffic from top sites might not be doable, but an increase advertising spend (if possible) is your best option. Additionally, it will help you understand where your advertising spend is not matching your average ROI.

Top [x] exit destination sites

What is it?

This is the list of website which visitors exit your website to visit.

When would you use it?

This is most beneficial for websites which sell advertising space, and especially directories.

Data Sources?

Web analytics tools.

Benchmarking?

By being able to demonstrate to your clients that you are sending a good amount of traffic through to your advertisers, you can explain why it is worth using your services. Additionally, by investing in increasing your own website traffic and producing better results for your top clients, you can increase the cost of your services.

Become a master of website metrics!

by:

Philip Likos-Corbett

Information Architect

The smartest, best looking and most captivating guy at Spot Studio, Philip also writes these biographies.