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Website metrics are statistics that relate to websites and their visitors. Different types of data are useful for a website to track and analyze so that it can refine its operations and increase profits or progress toward its goals. Given the plethora of different metrics it is possible to monitor given today’s data tracking and analysis software, it pays to know which metrics are the most beneficial to focus on. The following are some of the most important metrics, and ones website owners should be giving their attention to if they are not already doing so. The science of webometrics (also cybermetrics) tries to measure the World Wide Web to get knowledge about the number and types of hyperlinks, structure of the World Wide Web and usage patterns.
The three main categories of sources of traffic for website visitors are: visitors that type in the URL of a site directly, visitors who find a site by way of a search, and visitors that are referred by back links from other sites. The latter could be social media sites, blogs, other websites, forum posts, or anywhere a link may be posted. Knowing the source of visitors is important in knowing which visitors convert the most or perform some other action on the website.
Tracking conversions is important for obvious reasons. You need to know how many times actual sales occur on your site, or a call to action is completed, and the proportion of site visits to conversions. This will allow you to work with increasing the amount of visitors that actually convert.
When someone visits a website and leaves after only viewing one page, this is considered a bounce. Knowing the bounce rate, or number of visitors per a certain time period that bounce, is important because high bounce rates mean that your site it not capturing people’s interest and making them want to spend more time. If bounce rates are high to begin with, or increase, it may be time to restructure your content so that it becomes more attractive and engaging to site visitors.
Goal Path and Abandonment
The goal path or funnel consists of the series of steps a visitor takes on your site that lead to a goal being accomplished. Much site tracking software has reverse goal path functionality that allows you to see what steps, in what order, customers took to complete a certain goal. This may be a conversion or some other goal such as registration or completing an opt-in page to receive email. Goal abandonment can also be tracked, allowing you to see who left the goal process and where and when they did so. Both of these are very useful metrics that can lead to a much better understanding of how to lead visitors to conversions.
Value per Visit
Value per visit in the basic sense is similar to conversion rate – it is simply the total value (i.e. sales or goal accomplishments of some other type) divided by the number of visits to a site. However there are other dimensions to value. Someone simply viewing a page or leaving a comment can add value simply because there is increased traffic and interest in a site. So estimate these along with the basic figure to get a better value per visit number and then try to increase the visit value if necessary.
Eric Wyatt writes on social media and internet marketing, focusing on conversion rate optimization and landing page design.