It is impossible to succeed in online marketing without an effective website. How do you tell if your site is doing its job? Proper website performance metrics are key. Metrics are like the nosy neighbors of the business world, always peering into our performance and measuring our success with a raised eyebrow. There are a variety of platforms available, like Google Analytics 4 (GA4), and it can feel overwhelming to find the right option for your business. From bounce rate to page views, the metrics that form the shape of your site's traffic can be challenging to discern. How do you know which metrics matter? In this blog post, we will share ten website performance metrics that help you understand your site's overall performance.
Why Is It Important to Track Website Performance Metrics?
Tracking website performance metrics will help you understand how users behave on your pages. As you identify actions and movements, you can see if they follow your pre-planned path. If they're not, you can adjust and optimize your pages to drive visitors through the sales funnel toward the conversion you're aiming for. Website metrics can also help you track and diagnose issues, including:
- Effectiveness of your content strategy
- Conversion rates
- The best traffic sources
- Keyword ranking
- Paid ad success
How to Identify Which Website Performance Metrics to Track
It is important to identify the metrics that are most important to your business before tracking them. The metrics you track should directly relate to your goals. Remember, actual change and opportunity come from identifying areas for improvement. Taking the time to pinpoint appropriate metrics will improve your business over time.
Top 10 Website Performance Metrics to Track
You can use the following ten website performance metrics to see a 360-degree performance review, regardless of business benchmarks.
1. Website Speed
This metric is about more than load time. Attention spans are short, and you have to determine how your site performs in speed-related functions. Make sure to include things like time to title, time to interact, and time to start rendering.
2. Number of Assets
Assets are the materials that compose your page. Behind the pages, each element takes time to load. The more assets on your page, the slower it becomes. If you find your assets are slow to load, consider hosting them on an external site to speed up an on-page load.
3. Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is the number of users who leave your site shortly after arriving. In addition to impacting conversions and overall performance, a high bounce rate can have a negative impact on SEO since it can serve as an indicator that your site isn't delivering what it promised.
4. Engagement Rate
Engagement rate and bounce rate are both important metrics. They allow you to measure and analyze user engagement. Both metrics are defined in terms of engaged sessions.
- A session is a period during which a user is engaged with your website or app.
- A session is engaged when it lasts longer than ten seconds, has a conversion event, or has at least two pageviews or screenviews.
Your engagement rate is the percentage of engaged sessions on your website or app.
5. Traffic Source
It is critical to monitor traffic sources to determine where your traffic is coming from — rather than just using volume alone. This metric stat is significant as it allows you to learn where your visitors come from; organic search, social media, or referrals.
6. New or Unique Visitors
This metric is valuable as it can indicate growth. It refers to a single browser that accessed your site over a specified timeframe. While repeat visitors and active users are beneficial, when you focus on brand growth, you want your number of distinct visitors to rise steadily.
7. Conversion Rate
A common marketing mantra is convert, convert, convert! Tracking conversion rates gives you valuable insight into lead quality and website effectiveness. This metric provides insights for marketer reporting and helps with Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Conversion rate isn't just getting a sale but includes any beneficial user action valuable to your business, including blog subscriptions or eBook downloads.
8. Lead Generation
Lead generation is vital to organizational growth. By measuring three key website performance metrics, you can gain a more analytical view of your site. Remember to look at bounce rate, average session duration, and click-through rate (CTR).
We unpacked the bounce rate above, so let's discuss why you should track CTR and average session duration.
This metric identifies the percentage of site users who interacted with a specific Call to Action (CTA) and is key to determining overall lead success.
Average Session Duration
This metric tracks how long a user spends on your site. A longer duration indicates highly engaged users, while the opposite signals room for improvement.
9. Top Pages
You always want to know which pages on your site perform best. You can do this by watching which pages convert and which don't. Once you identify what works, you can replicate that success on other pages across your site. Don't forget to track both the landing and exit pages as we explore both below.
These are the pages users land on when entering your site. Remember, there is no second chance at a first impression, so ensure these pages are optimized and perform seamlessly. You can read our previous post about landing pages here.
Exit pages are the last page a user visits before ending their session. By identifying these pages, you can better optimize them, encouraging visitors to stay longer.
10. Keyword Ranking
Keyword ranking should be at the top of your SEO metrics list. Keyword rankings are in constant flux, but a sudden, deep drop can be worrying. Keywords matter because they allow you to double-check your SEO strategy for effectiveness while measuring your progress. Be sure to get the edge you need, and read our other posts on SEO to learn more.
Website Performance Metrics Conclusion
Whether you're building your site or optimizing it for performance, the above ten website performance metrics will give a clear view of your site's behavior. It also provides a general overview of how well your site functions.
Building a website is challenging enough, and getting people to it is even tougher. After all the work and effort, it's crucial to see the work pay off — namely, conversions and sales. Website engagement metrics help you determine the website's success and help guide you forward. These analytics are simple and actionable and direct you to where engagement issues could be so you can address them. A web strategy is nothing without engagement metrics!
If you haven't started crunching the numbers, now is the time. If you have questions about metrics or want to start taking your business to the next level, contact the experts at Alley Kat Web Consulting today for your free needs assessment!