Measuring website effectiveness

Measuring website effectiveness

What are the goals we want our website to achieve? Making sales, driving traffic, attracting authors? How do we measure all this activity and then when we have measured it how do we put those improvements into action?  For most of us sales are the primary objective but it is more always more complex than that.

Why do metrics matter?

Analytics help you understand your community and whether you are meeting your overall goals.  They give you the information to tell you what is driving your sales, offering insight into everything ranging from who visited, the paths they took, the content they read, time spent on pages, where they live, how they found you, what they searched and the device they viewed your website.  With this data you can measure what is working and what isn’t,  and allocate your resources and efforts accordingly.

Where is your traffic coming from?

Traffic drivers tell us where our users are coming from, enabling you to make more informed decisions on what channels and campaigns to prioritize.

Organic search basically means traffic from the search engines – enriched metadata – product and landing pages have a huge role here improving search engine visibility.

Direct traffic is when a user arrives on your site with no previous browsing activity usually from your marketing activity - both on or offline.

Referral traffic represents links from other webpages.  A blog, a partner or third party might direct traffic to your website.

Social traffic lists how much traffic comes from social networks giving you an indication of what's popular on each platform; Facebook, Instagram Twitter, LinkedIn.

User behaviour analytics

How do users interact with your website content? Analysis into our users' behaviour and their engagement on our website can help us track the most successful paths to purchase and which aspect of your marketing is working best. Top pages entered are where visitors enter and exit your website and this is usually your home page, blog, landing pages and/or website search. The landing page report is great for identifying which pages have particularly high or low traffic and measures dwell time.

Key metrics:

What is the Bounce Rate?

This is where a user lands and leaves without clicking

30% is a good bounce rate

< 50% is OK

> 80% may be a problem with page

What is Dwell Time?

How long are users on my website? The longer a user stays usually illustrates user engagement - good content, fast relevant search keeps users browsing!

Website search

Our website search is a treasure trove of information about your visitors; what are they looking for? their search terms? how they search - is it keyword, or sentence searching? are they looking for an author, title, isbn  - or all of the above?  A good website search allows users to search across all your content, finding relevant results with a simple mechanism to browse. How good is your search? measure the time spent searching, the categories searched & number of searches per person.  

Key metrics:

Gathering the site-search data from Google Analytics and combining it with the other analytics discussed above such as user referral channels, pages visited or items purchased will give you valuable insight.

Tips to improve your effectiveness

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