Looking to measure how your ecommerce site is faring? Learn these 5 metrics to see if it’s on the right path to success.
While it’s easy for us to launch a website and hope that it’s performing well, it’s also a very bad idea to do so. Just like with a retail shop, you need to know where customers are coming from and what compels them to purchase.
Fortunately you can do so with a basic understanding of website metrics, also known as web analytics. Using a free tool like Google Analytics is a great start to better understanding website performance, which is the first step to optimizing your site to better meet customer needs. While the metrics presented in today’s episode are just the tip of the iceberg, they help paint a much clearer picture of what happens when visitors arrive to your online store.
-Matt Winn, Social Media Manager, Volusion
Here’s the transcript if you’d like to read along:
Hi, everybody! My name is Matt and I’m the Social Media Manager here at Volusion. Welcome to Two Minute Tuesdays, where we give you two minutes of ecommerce advice to bolster your online success.
You probably have a lot of objectives with your ecommerce site, including hitting certain traffic and sales numbers, but you really can’t have an objective unless you can measure how you’re performing. So with that in mind, I’ve got five basic website metrics that you and everyone else should know.
First on our list is the most basic website metric: your visits. Non-technically speaking, visits show how many people are coming to your website. Keep in mind that this includes new and returning visitors, but this is a great baseline metric so you can see how traffic ebbs and flows throughout time coming to your site.
Second on our list is a pretty closely related metric to the number of visits, and that is your page views. Now in a nutshell, page views really sum up the number of times people come to a specific web page on your site. Now this is a really helpful metric to track because then you can see over time which of your pages are most popular and which are least popular, and of course you can optimize accordingly.
Number three on our list is traffic sources. This metric tells you where traffic is coming from to get to your website. You can see what percentage is direct traffic,traffic that comes directly to your website, or you can see where the referral traffic is coming from. So are you getting traffic from Google, Yahoo, or Bing, or from other websites on the net that’s just sending people your way.
The fourth metric you really need to have in your tool belt are your referring keywords. In other words, what keywords are driving traffic to your site? This is a great way to help see how your SEO efforts are going and, more importantly, see which keywords you need to optimize for throughout content on various web pages of your site.
Last but not least, this metric is called your bounce rate. Now a bounce rate tells you how many people or what percentage of people are coming to your website, seeing one page and then leaving. Now bounce rates will vary across different pages of your website, but it can and will tell you if the information presented, especially on your homepage or landing page, is actually valuable and relevant, and if it’s not, feel free to go back, make changes, and see if that bounce rate goes down.
Keep these basic metrics in mind every time you log into your analytics tool. It’s a great way to have a high level idea of how your site is performing. If you have any questions, just leave me a comment in the box below and I’ll get right back with you.
From me to you, happy selling!