The importance of tracking your website metrics as a small business owner cannot be underestimated. I regularly track my own website metrics here at Steph Corrigan Design. I do this to make sure that my business is progressing; that more potential leads are hearing about me, visiting my website, clicking through the pages, and ultimately, converting into real customers.
Metrics and analytics can be a lot to wrap your head around, particularly if you’re new to business. However, the sooner you know what to look for and how to measure important analytics, the sooner you can start tracking your progress.
There are several website metrics that I recommend tracking as a small business owner, which I will explore in this blog. I’ll also go through and define several key terms as they come up so that you can understand the ins and outs of metrics!
Before I begin, I want to quickly deep dive into a fundamental term that I will use throughout this blog: Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What is SEO?
SEO is basically how a search engine ranks your site. The higher the SEO, the higher up your ranking. Think of it in terms of Google pages: how often do you click through to pages 10, 11, 12? Not very often, right? So, we want to be high up in these rankings so that we feature on page 1!
The higher the SEO ranking, the higher amount of organic traffic.
SEO is a key part of my marketing strategy, especially when it comes to my blog. Chances are, it was SEO that brought you here today! There are three types of SEO that can be measured and optimized, which are:
- On-Page: optimizing web pages through specific keywords, title tags, headings, and internal links.
- Off-page: Items outside of your website that can affect your SEO ranking. For example, if someone retweets this blog and is in my niche, it’ll be a great off-page optimization for my website SEO.
- Technical: Technical aspects of a website that increase the ranking of its pages in search engines, like site indexing, for example.
When you’re starting your small business and building out your website, keep SEO in mind. If you can, see if you can hire someone specializing in SEO to help give you a solid start to organic traffic. Or, look at sites like Moz that will help you as you go. As you grow and expand your website and business, update your blog regularly as a way of continually promoting organic traffic to your site.
5 important website metrics
1. Organic Traffic
So, organic traffic is one of the most essential website metrics for small businesses. This is because it is the measurement of how many people are finding your business online organically. They do this through website searches.
One way that you can improve your organic traffic is through SEO.
Organic traffic is the perfect metric to see how well your SEO efforts are doing. You’ll be able to track how many people are coming to your site through search engines, like Google.
You’ll find that with the internet, everything is linked. And, we can monitor it all using the metrics explained in this blog.
But, one thing is for sure, if you want to improve your organic traffic and SEO, everything helps!
Click here to learn 7 easy ways to improve SEO on your website.
2. Visitor Engagement
A great way to additionally monitor your organic traffic metrics is to also look at how engaged this traffic is. You want a higher number of page views versus visitors to your website, as this shows that your website traffic is interacting with what’s on your site, whether that’s services, your blog, or something else.
I’ll break it down a bit more for you.
Say you get 200 website visitors in a day and 400 page views; this means that there’s an average rate of about 2 page views per website visit. The higher the difference between page views and website visits, the more time and engagement these visitors are giving your site.
A great way to improve visitor engagement is to have plenty of CTA’s on your website to encourage them to click through the sections of your site, learn more about your services, and hopefully, buy a service or product from you.
3. Conversion Rates
Conversion rates are a crucial metric to analyze and understand. These metrics will help you determine how many website visitors are taking the important step of becoming a lead by taking some kind of action on your site.
Now, don’t stress, because this action doesn’t always have to be a purchase (although that is important!) It could be a download, a trial, or a sign-up to an offering. Whatever you offer to your audience, you want them to read your site and convert into some kind of lead.
Now, why are these conversion rates so important? Because it lets you know that your content on your site is engaging and that your audience either wants to hear more from you or invest in your services.
Don’t worry if your conversion rate isn’t high at first. This just gives you an indication that your content needs to be tailored to suit your ideal client. And, if it stalls or diminishes over time, it could be an indication for a pivot in your service offerings.
Data and metrics like conversion rates are amazing at telling us what we need to hear when it comes to our small business and content. I always try and look at it positively, because I know that I can always take reasonable action to help my business more – and without these metrics, I’d be clueless!
4. Bounce Rates
So far we’ve covered the importance of measuring organic traffic, visitor engagement, and conversion rates. Now, let’s look at bounce rates.
Bounce rates indicate how many users left your website without visiting another page. So, say I was visiting a website: I’d view the homepage, lose interest, and exit the website without looking any further. This behavior increases the website’s bounce rate.
This metric rate can be viewed on both ends of the scale – do you want your visitors to visit multiple pages? Or, do you want them to get all the information they need on just one page?
Chances are, you want them to at least click through to the ‘About Us’, or ‘Services’ page, so they can learn more about your offers, right?
So, how do you lower your bounce rate? Well, I can explain that in the next section!
5. Average Page Load Time
This is a great metric to measure for your small business. I totally understand that building a website for your small business can be a frustrating task, but it’s vital to get it right, especially if your business is online.
Now, average page load time is fairly self-explanatory – it’s how long your webpage takes to load on either desktop or mobile. So, why does this matter?
Think With Google states that: “[When] page load time goes from one second to 10 seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing increases 123%.”
People are impatient. We, as consumers, know that! How often do you lose patience with your internet when it’s loading slow? So, our goal is to have a faster load time so that our website visitors don’t lose patience and leave.
And, another bonus for having a lower load time and bounce rate is a better SEO score. The higher the SEO, the higher your site ranks on search engines and the more relevant traffic your website will get.
It’s all linked, so relax and be confident knowing that once you’ve cracked the metrics and made any necessary changes, your site will be so powerful!
Click here for tips on speeding up your page load time.
How to Measure Your Website Metrics
There are some fantastic tools online to measure your website metrics. Personally, I use Google Analytics to track and measure all of the items listed throughout this blog. I find that this tool creates a really easy way to understand what visitors are doing on your website. Not only is this tool a great way to measure their behavior data, but also transaction data, geographic data, the type of internet browser being used, and even the size of their computer monitor! They also have great educational insights to help you understand how to make the most of the tools available. Google Analytics is a must-have for every small business website (it’s free and fairly easy to install)!
An easy way to install Google Analytics on your WordPress site is to use a plugin called MonsterInsights. Without a plugin, you’ll have to manually install the tracking code on your site. I personally love using MonsterInsights because it provides an overview of my traffic and analytics directly in my WordPress dashboard. In other words, I don’t have to log into Google Analytics every time I want to check my analytics. Click here to learn more about MonsterInsights.
While it might seem like a lot of work, knowing and understanding the different metrics for your website is so important. It’ll not only help your website be discovered online, but it will directly impact your business growth.
The metrics listed in this blog are all vital ones for any small business owner that’s wanting to grow their online presence, improve their SEO, and generate more traffic, leads and conversion to their business.
But, remember that we all start somewhere. So, don’t panic if it seems like there’s a lot to do now that you’ve been exposed to these analytics! There are so many tools nowadays to help you work out how to crack the online space. Be patient, trust the process, and learn everything there is to learn about the metrics of your online website. It’s the best way to help your small business grow!
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