Sunday, November 6, 2011

5 Analytic Metrics To Watch

Metrics To Watch image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blogWhether you're using StatCounter or Google Analytics or some other measurement tool, the different metrics that are measured can be daunting. If you want to know how your website or blog is doing at a glance, here are some measurements to zero in on.

Unique Visitors: This is the number of unique visitors to your site. It doesn't include people who have reloaded your page multiple times. I like to check this number for daily visitors, monthly visitors and against the previous month.

Visits or Pageloads: Don't be fooled, this is different from unique visitors. Some visitors will come back multiple times, while others will load different pages on your site, so this number will always be higher than Unique Visitors. Still, this does give an indication as to how useful your site is to your visitors in that a lot of page loads means your site is fairly sticky.

Source or Came From: This tells you how your visitors got to your site. It may have been through a link or through a search engine, but it's good to know, especially if one link is generating a lot of traffic.

Time On Site or Visit Length: This one is sort of a moving target because I'm not sure how accurate it is. Usually there will be a big number with a visit length of 5 seconds or less, and these can be attributed to people who found you from a search engine but determined that your page wasn't what they were looking for when they reached your site. The other numbers are much more telling though. If you have visitors that are staying on your site for 5 minutes or more that's a good thing, and if they're staying more than an hour, it tells you that you're offering a lot of great content.

Popular Pages: This is another metric that I like, especially if your site is fairly large with a lot of content, because it tells you exactly how many visits each page receives. This gives you an indication of how popular each piece of content is.

Once again, to really get a feel for how your blog or site is doing, compare it daily and monthly. This will tell you whether you're gaining more visitors or losing them. For more on this subject that's aimed more at Google Analytics, take a look at this article from
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