Using a service like Google Analytics, you could drown in site data if given the opportunity. What if you just want to know if your website is doing better than it was before? Here are 5 easy things to measure.
You can look Year on Year, Monthly or Quarterly, whatever works best for you. Just be sure to give yourself enough time elapsed for some good data and trends to appear. To compare past data to current, drop down the date range and click on Compare to Past (as pictured).
- Time on Site UP – How much time are people spending on your website? Are they spending a few moments or are they sticking around to learn more about you, your company or your products or services? Longer time on site typically means that the user is more engaged. They could be researching you for an upcoming buy or enjoying your content.
- Multiple pages UP – Like above, seeing users visit more than one page on your website shows that your website content is engaging them. Keep an eye on the average amount of pages people are viewing. Maybe even take a look at the page they exit on and make sure that page is up to snuff. You could be losing an opportunity by not optimizing that top exit page better for conversion.
- Sharing of your content UP – Where is your website content going? Keep tabs on where your content is being shared. You can do this in a variety of different ways: set up Google Alerts to see when your name is mentioned on the internet, keep an eye on Inbound Traffic Sources and take a look at sites that are unfamiliar to you, monitor social media sites for your links and name mentions, etc.
- Links back to your website UP – As mentioned above, keep an eye on Inbound Traffic to your site. Look at all unfamiliar sites to see if someone has blogged about you or mentioned you on their website. You can also use a tool like Yahoo Site Explorer to see who is linking to you. Search Engines love inbound links so make sure your website is fostering these linking relationships.
- Bounce Rate DOWN – Your Bounce Rate is when someone comes to your website and only views a single page or leaves quickly. Generally speaking, it means they got to your website and did not find what they were looking for. Keep an eye out for pages with a high bounce rate and see if they need a tune-up. Remember though, blog posts may have higher bounce rates because people come for that single post and then move on.
There you go! That should get you enough data to feel like you have a grip on if your site is performing better than it was before. Putting together a simple report with this information is great to show your CEO, Board or even your staff. Even if you don’t have to report site data to anyone, it is good to have on hand just in case the question comes up. You don’t want to miss an opportunity because you don’t have data to back you up.