The metrics that matter - how you should be measuring the performance of your website

Every business with an online presence should be utilising their website to convert customers – from making an online purchase to submitting a form or picking up the phone.

Whatever the end goal of your website, metrics can help you to determine whether your site is reaching its potential, or needs some work to encourage conversions.

Metrics, simply put, are any measurements against your website such as traffic statistics or events that are happening on your site (for example the actions being completed). Metrics can tell you a lot of things about your visitors, but it is important to focus your attention on those that really matter for growing your online business.

All of the metrics discussed in this post are examples of data you can find on Google Analytics, Google’s free programme for analysing website performance.


Vanity Metrics

The types of metrics to avoid are called “vanity” because they might look good, but they have little effect on your bottom line.

For example, you may have a large number of visits or individual page views to your site, but if those users are then bouncing straight off or not engaging in any way with the content available to them, then this metric is of no use.


Useful Metrics

Instead of focusing on the big numbers that have no effect on your bottom line, it’s important to determine the metrics that are of value in assessing if your website is performing as it should, or whether there is a barrier to conversion.

A few examples of this are:

Average time on site/page: This gives you an indication as to how engaged your users are with your website. If they are not engaging with the content, your average time on site is going to be pretty low.

This particular metric is great for looking at individual pages on your site – if a page has a fair amount of content but the average time on that page is low, then you can see that the content is not being read.

Pages per session: As above, this particular metric is great for gauging how engaged users are with your site. It gives you a good idea as to whether visitors are navigating multiple pages or are landing on one page and then leaving the site.

If your pages per session are quite low, this can be an indication that the user experience could be improved by linking to other relevant pages on the site.

Bounce rate: Although you can view the overall Bounce Rate of your site (% sessions where the user leaves the site after only visiting one page), Bounce Rate is even more useful on a granular level. By looking at the Bounce Rate of particular pages, you can take a closer look at the sort of content that is driving people away. This may be that their question isn’t being answered, so this content could be revamped to provide better value.

Goal completions: Within Google Analytics, you are able to set up Goals of key actions on your site. For example, if a user submits a form, you can set this up as a goal and track the conversion rate.

You are also able to track the pages where the goal was completed, as well as follow the user’s journey that led them to complete that Goal. You can even assign a monetary value to a Goal, allowing you to have a truer measure of ROI.


Want to find out more about how to measure the success of your website? Contact us today.