Running your own website is a constant challenge.
Whether it’s a private passion project or an integral part of your business’ online presence, you’re likely spending a lot of time and money making sure that it looks great.
But how do you know if your efforts and investments are paying off? How can you tell whether your website is a success – or needs further improvements?
Here are five crucial website metrics that you need to track to assess your success – either through an analytics plugin on WordPress or an external SEO tool.
1 – The Number of Your Visitors – their Origins and Devices
To begin with, the most obvious metric for your website’s success is the number of people who actually visit and consume your content.
This is also a great place to start if you’re looking at your website metrics for the first time. If this number is too low, your first priority should be to attract traffic from different sources.
On the other hand, if you already have lots of people visiting your site, you can dive deeper into their characteristics. Where do they come from in terms of geographic locations? What devices are they using?
In the future, these insights can help you make decisions about aspects such as regional content or mobile optimization.
Similarly, you should dive deeper into how people came across your website. What are your most significant traffic sources? Organic search? Links from other sites? Social media?
If you see any patterns here, you’ll know whether your social strategy is working, if you need to work more on backlink building, or where to focus your SEO efforts.
2 – Your Bounce Rate
Next up, you need to take an in-depth look at your bounce rate. This number tells you how many people click on a link to your website, take a quick look, and then backtrack immediately.
Your bounce rate is an excellent indicator of whether your website visitors are convinced by your content. If they back out immediately, it’s because they don’t like what they find. Maybe it’s not what they expected based on previews and links. Or maybe they dislike your design.
In any case, your goals should be to have as low a bounce rate as possible.
If your bounce rate is too high, it will affect your SEO rankings. Consequently, your website will appear lower down in search results.
In order to improve your bounce rate, you need to make sure that your content meets visitors’ expectations. That could mean giving your website a makeover. Or it could mean adjusting your target audience.
3 – Session Duration
Another important element of measuring your website success is checking how long people spend on it.
That’s where session duration comes in. This metric describes how long a visitor was active on your site. It’s also a great indicator of how engaging visitors find your site.
For example, if your site is selling products and services, longer session durations indicate that people have clicked through a lot of your offer and found it interesting.
However, if your website contains long blog posts, or embedded videos that run to several minutes each, session duration as a whole may not be the best metric to show how engaged visitors are.
4 – Average Page views Per Session
Next, you ought to take a look at how many pages a visitor checked out on your site. That’s what the “average page views per session” metric is for.
The number of pages that a visitor browsed during their session tells you a lot about how effective your content is. If visitors like what they are seeing, it’s likely that they’ll follow internal links and any calls to action you might include. As they explore your page, the number of pages they look at climbs steadily.
If you run an ecommerce website, for example, you can assume that the number of page views is a fairly good proxy for the number of customers you’ll get.
5 – Average Time on Page
Finally, one essential metric you need to check out for each individual page on your site is average time on page.
This will give you some insights into where your website visitors spend most of their time. Is it on the fantastic long-form blog post you wrote last week? Browsing through your portfolio gallery? Or checking out your product pages?
Ultimately, time on page will tell you what type of content is most popular with visitors.
Keeping track of your website’s metrics ultimately helps you take it to the next level.
By keeping an eye on numbers like visitor counts, bounce rates, session duration, and average page views and time on page, you’ll be able to assess what aspects of your site are successful, and where you have some room for improvement.