5 Best Website Key Performance Indicators To Pay Attention To

by Sep 19, 2018Content Strategy

It’s all down to numbers. As much as you would probably like to ignore your website’s numbers and analytics, this really isn’t an option. Whether you run a blog, an e-commerce site, or just your average lead generating site, paying attention to your website analytics and KPIs are important.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are measurable data points or values that give a company understanding into whether they are achieving their business objectives or not. KPIs can be set for every aspect of a business, from marketing, to sales, to website performance. Website KPIs can be slightly different depending on what kind of website you have and what your particular goals are. But overall, there are some KPIs that are universally important across most websites. Here are five of the most common and important KPIs for your lead generating website.

Bounce Rate

As defined by Neil Patel, a “bounce” is when someone visits your website and leaves without going further on your site. This is shown as a percentage of people that leave your site, giving you a bounce rate. In Google Analytics you get an overall bounce rate, which is the bounce rate for your site as a whole, as well as a bounce rate for each page. For your average lead generating website, mostly paying attention to the overall bounce rate is probably fine, but if you have a website with two different main functions (ex. News site and an e-commerce shop), you would want to look at the bounce rate for each of these separately, as they are both very different parts of your business and therefore will probably have very different user interactions from viewers.

Bounce rate is usually painted in a very negative way but it’s important to remember that a bounce rate is just a number and it isn’t necessarily good or bad. An example would be if you run a clothing retail site and a viewer went on your site to look at a dress, left the site without going further, and then went to your physical store to by the dress. This is good because the viewer answered the call-to-action (in this case to buy something), but since they left the site, Google Analytics would consider this a bounce.

A “good” bounce rate varies from industry to industry and from company to company. However, if you bounce rate is very high this might indict a problem, such as poor or irrelevant content on your site based on the user’s search, or slow page loads. Either way, bounce rate is something to be aware of and a persisting high bounce rate could signal a red flag for your website. To learn more about bounce rates and SEO, check out this post from Neil Patel.

Unique Website Visitors

When analytics software looks at website visitors, it defines every view as a visitor, even if it is the same small audience over and over again. You definitely want repeat customers on your site, but a great way to see if you business is growing is to look at the number of unique website visitors. Whether a website visitor is unique or not is determined by their specific device and cookies on their browser, so if someone looks on your website multiple times from the same laptop, then they will only be counted as one unique visitor (although if they come from a different device then they will be counted again).

This metric is important because it allows you to see how the number of returning visitors and new visitors ebbs and flows throughout the year and during different events. For example, if you’re have a big sale or are launching a new product, it is likely that the number of unique visitors would spike during that time, while at other points in the year it might slow down. Either way, it is a good KPI to be aware of to see what kind of audience you are reaching with your site.

To see unique visitors in Google Analytics, go to the left hand column and select Audience > Overview. This will give you an overview of the users on your site and lower down will give you both total users (i.e. website visitors) and new users.

Top Landing Pages

A landing page is defined as the first page your viewer “lands on” on your website. But this isn’t necessarily your home page. Maybe you have a blog post on your website that has great SEO and gets a lot of traction. Either way, you need to pay attention to HOW your viewers and potential leads get to your website, as it is the main force that drives people to your site. This then indicates where you need to put your effort in.

If people are finding you through your blog, then focus on optimizing that blog as much as possible. You would also want to design the blog so that it keeps viewers on the site or gets them to respond to a call-to-action. Maybe you want them to look throughout the blog and read more articles, or maybe you want them to sign up for an email newsletter you send out once a week. Either way, top landing pages is an important metric as it shows where the real interest in your business lies for your potential customers.

In Google Analytics, you can view your top landing pages by going to the left sidebar and clicking Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages. This also gives you individual statistics for each of your top landing pages, painting you an even clearer picture of how viewers interact with your website.

Pages Per Session

Do people just go to one or two pages of your site and then leave, or do they actually explore multiple pages on your site? A session is the time in which a viewer visits your site and leaves, but this could include just looking at the home page as well as reading half of the case studies on your site. To analyze what people are actually doing on your site, you need to look at pages per session, which is, as it states, how many pages a viewer looks at before ending their session on your website.

Why is this important? Well, again, it indicates how a user interacts with your site and what about your company interests them, but it also can tell you how compelling your content is to potential leads. This metric gauges curiosity in your company, and also gives good insight into where to place call-to-actions on your site. The more pages a potential lead views on your site, the more likely they are to answer a well-placed call-to-action. This metric is very important for blogs as viewer engagement is a top priority for such sites.

Something to note is that having a high page per session statistic can be very good, but it isn’t always positive. It could be the case that potential leads are having a hard time finding the content they need and want. Usually if this is the case the high page per session will be paired with low session duration and a high bounce rate. Overall, pages per session is a great statistic to look at, but you need to view it with other metrics to get a full picture.

Goal Conversion Rate

No matter what type of website you have, your goal is to create contacts, leads, and make sales. This is true for blogs, small businesses, retailers, consulting agencies, etc. Luckily, tracking the completion of your goal is easy enough, though it is a bit more complicated if you have more than one goal on a site. For example, let’s say you have a website that sells products but you also want people to sign up for your email newsletter. In Google Analytics can set up goals under the Conversion tab at are based on people completing different forms or actions. This way you can see the rate at which people make a conversion on different parts of your site.

Tracking the different conversion rate for different parts of your site gives you a much more accurate view of leads on your site and what people actually want out of your business. You can truly see if people are coming to your site to buy or engage with you, or if they just want a free product offering you have (very specific example, by it holds). But no matter what, conversion rate is extremely important when looking at website performance. To learn about conversion rate optimization, check out this blog post from HubSpot.

Final Thoughts

When designing websites, we tend to focus mainly on functionality and aesthetic quality, but you also have to remember the overall goal of your website. That goal can be different depending on what type of site and business you have, but there is a goal. To know whether you are meeting that goal or not, you need to use KPIs. Although KPIs seem very overwhelming at first, they are very easy to measure and analyze, giving you a broad and accurate picture of the performance of your website. Google Analytics in particular makes it more than easy for you to understand your websites strengths and weaknesses, giving you the information you need to adjust and move forward with your digital presence.

Make sure to download Google Analytics here. For help with your web design project, or for hosting and maintenance service on your website, make sure to check out DC Dev Shop’s service page here.

Download our Inbound Marketing Playbook

Take a PDF copy of our Inbound Marketing Playbook with you to read on the go.

Let's Work Together

We are the leading  WordPress development and HubSpot Inbound Consulting agency in the D.C. area, working with brands to attract and retain clients by leveraging web technologies and inbound marketing methodologies.

Don't be shy, drop us a line. Whether you are aiming to launch a new website yourself or want to hire a team of experts to build a custom site, we'd love to hear from you.