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Website Metrics That Matter
Though the definition of website success will vary from business to business depending on goals, everyone can measure the performance of their website using analytics software. The factors that you measure with analytics are called metrics. According to the Content Marketing Institute, all metrics fall into four categories: Consumption, Sharing, Lead Generation, and Sales. Keep an eye on these key metrics to get a good idea of your website’s performance.
Consumption refers to the content that your visitors see and consume when visiting your website. Examples of these metrics include:
- Page Views: Page view metrics track how many people have seen the pages and content on your website. These are the easiest metrics to find and record.
- Video Views: Video view metrics track how many people have seen your videos. You can measure these using YouTube Insights, or its equivalent if you use another video host (Vimeo, Wistia, Magisto, Etc.).
- Document Views: Document view metrics track the number of views for any documents embedded on your site. You can measure these views through document sharing websites like Paper.li and Slideshare.
- Downloads: Download metrics track the number of times people download your downloadable content.
- Consumption metrics are important because they help you understand how your content is viewed
These metrics measure how many people are sharing your content across the web. Content sharing has become a common indicator of content usefulness and popularity, so these metrics are good indicators of your website’s performance. They include:
- Social signals that people give by clicking social share buttons on your website. They come from sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+.
- Backlinks. A backlink is created whenever another website links to your site. You can measure this through Google Analytics (or any other analytics software), and through Pingbacks on your blog.
- Email open rate and forwards. You can measure these through a list management provider like Aweber or MailChimp.
- You can encourage content sharing by using share buttons on your blog posts, articles, and other content. If your blog doesn’t have them already, check out websites like AddThis and ShareThis.
Lead Generation Metrics
Lead generation is a critical goal for businesses. The goal of providing rich content is ultimately to move website visitors down your sales funnel, transforming them from passive viewers to active and loyal followers (and customers). Examples of the metrics you should be paying attention to:
- Conversion rates: The number of unique site visitors measured against the number of conversions.
- Form completions and call-to-action downloads: The number of times a visitor signs up for your newsletter, downloads a special report, etc.
- Blog subscribers: You can measure this via your blog account or through your email marketing provider like Constant Contact
If you use your website to sell products and services, then this one probably matters the most to you. Tracking sales metrics usually involves analyzing data within the CRM system you have in place for your business and customers. In order to effectively track sales metrics, you must include trackable components on your website (like a call-to-action to a product landing page). You can also include call-to-actions at the end of blog posts. By doing so, you will be able to track which content on your site is actually driving visitors to purchase your products or services.
If you are not currently tracking each step in your digital sales cycle we recommend signing up for a no-cost website evaluation.