DMA Solutions Team
Posted by DMA Solutions TeamDecember 18, 2012 6:26 AM

5 Basic Website Analytics You Should Be Tracking for Marketing Insights

Too often, marketers spend hours designing, tweaking and perfecting the “front end” of a beautiful website and neglect to evaluate its’ performance, or what’s happening on the back end. But, you don’t have to be an Excel-loving digital analyst who spends his days in spreadsheets and pivot tables to gather insight on your marketing efforts (although, loving Excel doesn’t hurt). With a few basic metrics tracked over time, it can be easy to identify trends, successes and areas of improvements. All of these key performance indicators (KPIs) and more can be found in Google Analytics, a web service that is completely free for the basic version.

1. Total Website Visits

The first time you look at this metric, it might not mean much as you won’t have a benchmark for comparison. But, over time, you’ll start to get an idea of your website’s normal traffic flow. As you gather data, look for correlations between peaks and valleys in traffic numbers and significant seasons for your company (i.e. traffic may spike around a tradeshow or press release and may fall when your company is laying low).

2. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that see only one page of your site during a visit. This metric can help determine the effectiveness of an entry page. Ideally, when a person visits one page of your website, they’ll be interested enough to keep browsing for more information. Sometimes though, a visitor may “bounce” out of your website after seeing one page. Shoot for an average bounce rate between 40 and 50 percent.

3. Top Viewed Pages

Knowing your top viewed pages can also help you know your audience. If your Food Safety page only has 500 pageviews but your Recipes page has 1,000 pageviews, you probably have more foodies visiting your website than people who care about food safety accreditations. When tracking this metric, look to see how each of your product or offer pages and blog articles fare compared to other pages to learn which topics are of most interest to your visitors.

4. Referral Sources

How are people finding your website? Look for sources like Google, which would indicate that people are searching for you or a company like you; Facebook or Twitter, which would indicate that your fans and followers are clicking on your link updates; or, a website where you’ve placed a digital ad, which would mean that your ad is working.

5. Percent New Visits

Are the same people visiting your website each month, or are you attracting new people? Depending on the goals of your website, you’ll probably want a balance of new and returning visitors. If you consistently have a high percentage of new visitors, it could mean that your site isn’t engaging enough to inspire return visits, or it could mean that you are doing a great job of spreading the word about your website!

Collect these five metrics on a regular basis (weekly, or at least monthly) and you might be surprised at what you learn about your website traffic. For those of you who are ready to get your feet wet, learn how to set up Google Analytics here. But, if this isn’t your first swim in the ocean of web analytics, stay tuned for a deeper dive in 2013!

Do you already collect analytics? What kind? Have a question? Feel free to ask in a comment below!

Topics: Websites & Blogs

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