Panning for data: how to track even more metrics

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 1, 2015 8:30:00 AM / by MEDiAHEAD

Measuring the right dataTwo weeks ago, we published a short blog about measuring and analyzing specific metrics for your website. The article focused on measuring total page visits, new and recurring visitors, and bounce and exit rates. But with so many important data points to measure, it’s necessary to expand on the original topic with an additional blog post.

The following is a continuation of the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) to watch when evaluating the performance of your website:

Traffic sources

Tracking the sources of your traffic (i.e. where your visitors come from) can help you determine the effectiveness of several factors in your overall marketing efforts. Google Analytics categorizes your traffic into four measurable sources: organic search, referral, social, and direct:

  1. Incoming traffic — Visitors who find your page naturally through search engines like Google. Organic search indicates the success of your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy.
  2. Referral traffic — Visitors who come from other websites. High referral traffic might be the result of inbound links from other websites or blogs, and is usually a sign that your content is relevant, informative, and trustworthy (or sometimes entertaining). Your referral metrics can also reveal the source of the inbound link, which is useful because you can identify spam sites and filter them out of your data reports.
  3. Social traffic — The number of visitors who are linked from social media such as Facebook and Twitter. If your content is engaging and easy to share, your website will enjoy a great number of visits from social traffic.
  4. Direct traffic — The number of visitors who type your website URL directly into their browser. A high proportion of direct traffic suggests that your website receives numerous return visits, and caters well to loyal followers.

Interactions per visit

Even if your visitors don’t always lead to a conversion, it’s a good idea to monitor their behavior on your website. If a high volume of visitors are taking specific actions on your website, there may be a way to channel this behavior into a conversion. Closely observe trends in the way your visitors interact with your website. Determine ways to encourage and increase these actions. Once you’ve figured out what your visitors are doing and why, you can more easily leverage action patterns into conversions (whether it’s sales, subscribers, sign-ups, etc.).

CTA click through rate

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are a critical factor to the success of any web-based business. Attracting visitors won’t account for much if you can’t get them to take the next step. Your CTAs should clearly define what your visitors should do next; use phrases such as download, subscribe, add to cart, or read more. If your CTAs are not being clicked, you may need to make some changes to entice visitors to become customers. Maybe your CTA could use a color change, or maybe the wording doesn’t appeal to visitors. Ensure that your CTA appears to provide value to the customer. Don’t make more than one change at a time, though — by tweaking multiple different aspects of your CTA, you will be unable to pinpoint which changes lead to increased activity.

You don’t need to spend hours poring over every minute bit of data. Hopefully, this simple breakdown of important KPIs will help you determine which data are relevant and useful to your bottom line.

Need help crunching the numbers? MEDiAHEAD offers everything you need to fully communicate and measure the impact of your message over print, online, and other new media outlets. See for yourself just how awesome our marketing portal is, and sign up to try our free demo!

Topics: Marketing, Branding, Technology, Web portal, Data, Cross media

Written by MEDiAHEAD