Know Where You Stand
When you take a look at your website analytics from your dashboard, or any of the numerous site analysis tools out there, it can be, well, a bit overwhelming.
There is so much information that you can collect and track on your website. It’s great! Unless you don’t really know what any of it means or how it applies to your strategies.
While successful marketing is both creative and data-driven, you can’t expect to get where you’re trying to go without knowing where you’ve been. You need to keep track of your progress to know what’s working and what you might want to change moving forward.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common statistics and what they really mean to your business.
Site Specific Metrics
The confusion with traffic usually occurs when people think that more traffic means more money. Could that be the case? Sure, but the measure of traffic in and of itself only represents how many people are coming to your website; not what they’re doing there.
Traffic is probably the easiest and most powerful metric to track when you’re looking at your site’s analytical data. By assessing traffic statistics, you can see how many people are coming to your site, where they’re coming from, how many pages they’re viewing, what pages they’re viewing most, and how long they’re there.
What are the most viewed pages on your website? How are people coming to view those pages? The answer to these questions can really help you make decisions about what kind of marketing tactics you should be focusing on.
When should you pay attention to site traffic? Today’s full digital marketing strategies involve different landing pages, blog posts, social media posts, videos, etc. It’s impossible to run a successful digital marketing campaign without knowing which pages and platforms are driving the most traffic. You need to know where your audience is engaging you so that you can communicate best in that space.
Organic Vs. Paid Traffic
It’s important to differentiate organic and paid traffic. Paid traffic measures the amount of traffic that comes from the paid advertisements that you’re running. This could include things like search ads using Google Adwords, YouTube ads, or Facebook ads.
Organic traffic represents traffic that is coming from search results, links to your website, and social media posts. This traffic is free of charge!
If you’re getting a significant amount of paid traffic, but not so much organic traffic, it could be a sign that your page content isn’t quite where it needs to be. The best way to get more traffic, free of charge, is to have relevant and search engine friendly content on your pages that provide users high-quality, valuable information. That’s why it’s crucial to develop a solid content marketing strategy before you spend a lot on buying ads for your website.
I previously mentioned that you could see how long people are visiting your website and pages. The bounce rate is a measurement of how much people are “bouncing” off your site (only viewing one page and then leaving). A low bounce rate would assume that people are sticking around and engaging in your content. A high bounce rate would indicate that people are clicking on a link to your website, not liking what they see, and then leaving right away.
What does a high bounce rate typically mean? The biggest cause for a high bounce rate is irrelevant information. The content of the page does not provide the information that they were searching for or is not related to the ad they clicked on. Other factors that affect bounce rate are site speed and design.
Ad Specific Metrics
Impressions are probably one of the most frequent and easily confused statistics. You might get 2,356 impressions on one ad and say “Woah! I must be doing something right!” Well, perhaps you are, but impressions aren’t necessarily the measure of that. An impression occurs when your ad is shown on a web page or in an app. It doesn’t mean that your ad impressed someone, though maybe it could have. It simply means that someone had the opportunity to view it. Some ads are based upon impressions.
So what is the use of an impression? Well, if you’re trying to just make people aware, then getting a whole lot of impressions is great. It means your brand is being put in front of a very large group of targeted individuals who might think of your brand next time they need your product or service.
You probably know that a high click-through-rate is good, but what is it? The click-through rate is the percentage of clicks an advertisement gets compared to the number of impressions it earns. In other words, out of the people that saw your ad, how many of them clicked on it.
If your ads have a high click-through rate, it means they’re relevant to their placement and keywords. They’ve been put in locations that caused a lot of people to click on them, and they are relevant to people searching for what you’re advertising.
Metrics for Both Ads and Website Success
As I stated before, traffic doesn’t equal money. That’s where conversions come in. Conversions don’t always measure money, but they do represent your goals. If your goal is to sell a product, then the sale is your conversion. Conversions can be anything from contact form submissions to email newsletter subscriptions.
The conversion rate is defined by the percentage of conversions an advertisement gets compared to the number of clicks it receives. So an ad that is clicked a lot, but doesn’t yield a lot of conversions would have a low conversion rate.
The definition of a successful conversion rate depends on the nature of your business. If you’re getting a whole lot of traffic, but not getting any conversions, it could be a sign you need to reassess your strategy. That being said, high-quality traffic is still very important to most brand marketing strategies. High-quality content the drives traffic helps build an audience, trust, and authority. With all that in place, you’re put in a position where it’s much easier to sell to your audience.
Conversions are important for measuring both ad and website success. You can measure the conversion rate from different sources. If your ads are generating 50% of your traffic, but social media posts are generating 90% of your conversions, you might want to rethink your strategy.
Keywords and Rankings
Keywords tell the search engine what your web page is about. They’re the words that you put in your content and advertise to match people’s searches.
Keywords can vary from very broad 1-2 word phrases like “accident attorney”, to 3-5 word long tail phrases such as “car accident attorney Harrisonburg, VA”.
When it comes to keywords, it’s all about what people are searching to find you.
Your search engine ranking represents your website or ad placement on search engine results pages (SERPs). While many factors play into your search engine ranking, you get placed based on the keywords being searched. You may rank really high on the SERP for one keyword, but really low for another that’s important to your business.
With 80% of Google searches ending in the first 5 search results, you’ve got to make sure you’re ranking well for the keywords important to your business.
Know Your Stats
While this is a very broad overview of site analytics, hopefully, it tells you a little more about what the numbers in your analytics reports and website dashboard mean to the success of your business.
There are so many ways that you can break down site statistics, but the statistics highlighted above are the big picture numbers that really matter.
When you’re confident about your data, you can be confident about your future marketing decisions.
Promote With Confidence
At Immerge, we build digital marketing strategies for success, and that means we pay attention to the numbers. We’ll make sure you know what your website metrics are and how they are impacting your business.