When you’re first setting up your website or completely redesigning it, that’s a great time to ensure that you’re accurately assessing how well it’s serving you. You may think your website is doing well, but you won’t know if that’s true, or if it could be doing better, without consistently tracking key performance indicators (KPI) and measuring how tweaks enhance or detract based on benchmarks.
Here are five KPIs to track on your website, why they’re important and what to look for.
#1 Site Visits and Unique Visitors
These two numbers are interrelated and informative when looked at together. Site visits is simply the quantity of traffic your website gets in a given period. This will count external customers, internal users, anyone working on your website, etc. You’ll get a cleaner number if you exclude IP addresses for employees and web service personnel so that you’re (mostly) looking at customers and potential customers. Unique visitors tells you how many different IP addresses touched your site (assuming each of these is a unique human). So if you have 10,000 visits and 5,000 visitors, that means each was there, on average, twice.
#2 Click Through Rate
Known as CTR, this relates to advertising and marketing efforts intended to get customers to your site. By using unique links for different promotions, you can track which activity is driving more visitors to your site. Google AdWords ads will have a CTR that lets you know how many clicks to your site a particular ad is driving. You can also track a link that you give to a promotion partner, for an external ad campaign or in a particular article or blog. An important KPI to consider looking at alongside CTR is the bounce rate. A bounce is when someone lands on your site then leaves from that same page. This is a sign that though the ad got them there, they weren’t engaged enough to stay.
#3 Conversion Rate
Getting someone to come to your site is great whether it’s from organic traffic, a Google AdWords ad or another marketing effort. And engaging them so they don’t bounce back out is even better. But if they’re not going to transact with you (whatever service you provide or thing you sell), then it’s not the high quality traffic you want and your marketing dollars may be better spent elsewhere. Conversion rate tells you what percentage of visitors transact with you. Also important is how much they’re spending with you in dollars and cents. If you have a high conversion rate but the dollar amounts are low, you can do better. A lower conversion rate with higher dollars may be just as good.
#4 Elapsed Time to Purchase
Many potential customers won’t transact with you the first time they’re on your website. Depending on what you’re selling, your customers may want to comparison shop on other sites, read reviews about your company or product on independent sites, mull it all over and then come back to buy. Google e-commerce tracking shows you days to purchase and visits to purchase which inform you about your online sales cycle in a way that no other analytic can. This report is essentially a KPI that tells you how many times you need to get a customer back to your site to seal the deal or how long the sales cycle is in days. This can inform your efforts to shorten the sales cycle or induce faster buying decisions.
#5 Assisted Conversions
This is an important KPI because it can let you know how your various marketing channels are truly performing – get this analysis with the Google report on multi-channel contribution. You likely have many different channels in play – organic search, AdWords and may have blogs, affiliates and other activities all at work. You may think of these as unique roads that lead to a destination – a sale. But in fact, they’re more like a multi-lane highway where the customer may change lanes (channels) more than once before they buy from you. This KPI tells you which channels touched a conversion so you know where your marketing efforts (and dollars) are having impact.
Tracking key performance indicators is the only way to know how effective your website design, keyword choices, AdWord design and other marketing efforts are. If you’re not sure how to get started tracking KPIs on your website or which KPIs will be most informative for your business and marketing model, contact Fingerprint Marketing for a free consultation on making your website the best it can be.
Photo By Rexhep-bunjaku (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons