Thursday, January 5, 2012

Website Performance Metrics

Performance image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
One of the things about Music 3.0 is that we can finally measure exactly what the buzz is. Here's a way to interpret your Google Analytics data to see just how successful you website really is. Thanks to Hubspot for the definitions.

1. Unique Visitors - That's the total number of individual visitors to your site during a specific period of time, not counting repeat visits by the same individual. Obviously, if this number continues to increase, you're doing well.

2. New versus Repeat Visitors - This is a comparison of your unique visitors vs. the number of visitors who came back more than once. Although it's great to have repeat visitors (and you really need them), a rate higher than 30% means that you're probably not growing your audience quickly enough.

3. Traffic Sources - This is a breakdown of the specific sources of traffic to your website. There are two - Organic traffic comes from a link found on a search engine results page. Referral traffic comes from a link on another website. This tells you how well your search engine optimization is doing. A referral level of about 30% is what you're looking for.

4. Referring URLs - This is the specific, non-search engine URLs that send traffic directly to your site. They represent the inbound links that are crucial for boosting your site’s search engine rankings and tells you which  sites or bloggers are linking to your site and what type of content they tend to like.

5. Most/Least Popular Pages - This is a comparison of the pages on your site that receive the most and least traffic that tells you which kind of content your visitors prefers.

6. Conversion Rate - This is the percentage of visitors to your site who take a desired action, such as purchasing a product or filling out a lead generation form. This tells you how well you're converting leads into fans or customers.

7. Bounce Rate - This is the percentage of new visitors who leave your site almost immediately after arriving, with no other interactions. A high bounce rate means that your visitors don't find your pages particularly compelling.

Interpreting the above metrics should give you some idea of just how well your site is performing. Hubspot has a bit more on all of these points, plus a few more, if you're interested.
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