I bet you check your bank account regularly. For that matter, some of you may even check certain account activities on a daily basis. If you have a business website of any size, you should be checking your web analytics reports a bare minimum of once daily based on your level of traffic and the nature of your site. Furthermore, there are certain metrics that you should be certain to watch carefully that may indicate a need for changes to be made to your existing internet marketing efforts. Below I will briefly cover a few important metrics to watch daily. They are, in no particular order: Bounce rate, conversion rates, conversion paths, assisted conversions, and every web marketer’s sworn enemy, the conversion abandonment.
Finding the most valuable metrics for your small business website is the first step in using web analytics to help you reach your goals.
Conversion rates are probably the only metric that your boss wants to hear, right? Go deep into this metric. This is one of the first metrics, along with bounce rate, that can provide you with “instant” actionable data as to what is working and what’s not. Conversion rates can be used to make immediate changes, without the need for extensive data collection and analytics mining. Make sure that you use your conversion rate data to test multiple landing pages, ads, traffic sources, and content. Keeping your entire sales funnel optimized is a major part of keeping conversion rates on the rise.
Since we are on the topic of bounce rates, let’s take a quick look at why monitoring your bounce rate is vital to your daily analytics mining. As you know, your bounce rate lets you know the rate at which visitors “bounce” off of your site shortly after landing on it. In many cases this can be caused by PPC campaigns that are poorly targeted or by implementing negative keywords. Be sure to watch your bounce rate and make swift changes to any referring traffic source that is producing a high bounce rate. Make sure that all of your content, ads, and keywords are optimized to bring you the most qualified leads possible. This will save you time, money, and give your conversion rate a boost!
Traffic Source Data
Traffic Source Datais your indicator for what sources are providing the highest volume traffic to your site which allows you to determine More importantly, they give insight into strategic planning regarding your paid search budget and your content strategies within the traffic sources themselves. If you find that Google ads are providing you with a higher marketing ROI than Yahoo, it doesn’t take a business guru to consider that it may be worth it to reallocate a part of the Yahoo budget over to Google. This is strictly an example and I’m in no way suggesting that Google will work better in your case. Conversely, if you find that you doing better with traffic from organic sources, you may want to spend more time on organic search optimization and content marketing.
Understanding and regularly monitoring your visitor’s conversion path is also important to your daily analytics regimen. I preach the “3 Click Rule” when designing a landing page. This simply means that visitors to your site should reach a conversion point within 3 clicks of the landing page on which they entered the website. Studies have indicated that visitors who move more rapidly through the funnel are more likely to convert. Keeping your conversion path optimized and lowering the path time lag, you will start to see an increase in conversions rather quickly. Keep in mind that the actual optimization and UX testing are often more challenging than spotting the problem.
Extra nugget: Decrease conversion abandonments. Generally, abandonment occurs when a customer decides to exit the page during the final stages of the conversion. For example: bouncing from your checkout page or form fill. What’s more difficult is finding what is causing the last-minute bounce. Be sure to perform A/B testing and ensure that your conversion process is as user friendly as possible and is optimized for a “greased slide through funnel”, as I like to say. Common sense tells us that solving our abandonment issues (web-marketing/psych joke gone awry), will generally lead to an increase in conversions and a subsequent decrease in bottom-of-the-funnel bounce rates.