What’s REALLY important when measuring website metrics and analytics?
Now that Google has officially announced
that they will no longer accept any automation tools scanning their search engine for website rankings, some SEO firms and SEO webmasters are wondering what can they use for their Website Metrics and Analytics? Honestly, they should have been using other measurements way before today! But for SEO newbies here are some website metrics and analytics that you should be following, for yourself and your clients.
1) ROI (Return On Investment) - possibly the most important website metric to follow. Your report should show how much was spent on Internet marketing for the month and how much was made. Of course, you’ll have to know the average profit per sale and then track the sales.
2) Unique Visitors - how many unique (or new) visitors have come to the website that month? This number should increase from the beginning of the campaign. Of course, there will be dips but in general, the trend should be upwards. The more new pages and new keyword phrases the website adds, the more unique visitors will be coming to the website.
3) Leads - every website should have a way to measure leads. Measuring these through website metrics and analytics is fairly easy and I’m always surprised at how many websites do not take advantage of it. First, the website should have a form (not an email link) for every possible reason a user would need to contact. For example: If we’re talking about a dentist’s website, that site should have a standard “contact us” form, an “appointment” form, a “ask the dentist” form and an “insurance information” form. Of course, each form would then go to a separate “thank you” page. The SEO webmaster would then track these “thank you” pages. The idea here is to see which of these forms is being used the most. What is the target audience looking for and how can the site owner build on that?
4) Conversions - Yes, if the website generated 50 thank you pages in one month (that would be 50 leads) then of those 50, how many converted into sales? The average is 1% - 3%. These are a bit tricker to track since some conversions will take place via a phone call (can’t track that with website metrics and analytics) but you can ask the site owner to ask the caller “How did you hear about us?”.
5) Time on Page - Depending on the type of website you have, you may want to measure the time spent on your website pages. After all, if your website page is filled with information that you want to user to read but yet the average amount of time spent on that page is 5 seconds, well, they’re not reading that information. So, what do you (as an SEO webmaster) need to do to make that page more “reader friendly?”
6) Call to Action - every website page should have at least 1 call to action. Measuring this through website metrics and analytics is easy. The call to action (something that you want the viewer to do) can be measured through forms and click throughs. Maybe a call to action is “email us today” - how many visitors clicked on that specific link? If it’s a small number? Why? What can you do to improve that number?
7) Bounce Rate - this is one of my favorite website metrics to follow. A bounce rate is the percentage of people who came to a website page and left the website entirely. In other words, these visitors never ventured to other pages on the website. This is usually an indication that the website attracted the wrong kind of visitor. If your website was a storefront and you put books in your store window but your store sold shirts, the majority of visitors coming into the store would leave because they “thought” your store was selling books. If you have a high bounce rate (I consider anything over 50% to be high) then your website is essentially doing this very same thing.
8) Backlinks - how many more websites are linking to you this month than last month? What websites? What anchor text linking are they using? A very important website metric to know.
9) Social Media - your website metrics and analytics program should be able to tell you how many referrals you received from any of the social media programs such as stumbleupon, twitter, linkedin, facebook, etc. Is your social media marketing working for you? Test it!
Website rankings are just a very small part website metrics and analytics. Give yourself and your clients the best possible measurement of their website success! Be an internet marketing firm
your clients will be proud to be part of.