March 25, 2016

Eight Key Website Metrics You Should Track


Hostway Team

Today's e-commerce industry is more competitive than ever, but when retailers have a few key elements in place, they can better position their brand for success. Hostway partner CurveCommerce is an eCommerce Online Marketing and Strategic Consulting Company focused on developing powerful Magento websites with superior selling techniques and consolidated email services. CurveCommerce Chief Marketing Officer Tom Ziter is sharing some of that expertise in a three-part blog series beginning today.
Various analytics packages, including Google Analytics, give you the opportunity to easily track visitor performance on your website – information that can help you grow your business if regularly monitored. Here are a few tips on what to watch and how to react:

Read & React

Once a month, analyze your results both from an overall perspective and dig deeper on the various traffic sources. Check the current month and compare it to the same month last year. Compare stats quarterly in the same manner. This will help you compare key trends.
Make sure your analytics package is properly set up so the information you get will be accurate. Among the items to use are analytics page tagging, remarketing tagging, eCommerce funnels and “Thank You” page tagging for conversion. Each checkout stage should also be tagged, as well as each item and category property.

Key Metrics to Track

Here are some high-priority items from an overall and source perspective:
Traffic – Look at the unique traffic by various sources (such as SEM, Direct, Email, Referral, and Social). Find your most productive sources based on orders and sales, and test ways to improve performance. Then invest resources in what’s working.
Orders & Sales – Among the first things you’ll check, view orders and sales also in terms of traffic source. Separate new and returning traffic to refine this metric.
Conversion – This is your most important metric – increasing it leads directly to growth. It’s displayed as a percent of unique traffic. Parsing this by various traffic sources may reveal variances based on the quality of traffic coming to the site. Improving conversion rates requires serious effort, relating to improving the top product pages on your website. Top product page views also indicate the products that visitors want most – which may not align with the top sales pages. Consider testing promotional incentives to get visitors to complete transactions immediately.
Cart Adoption – Getting visitors to put something in their shopping cart ups the game in terms of qualification. This calculation represents unique carts as a percent of unique traffic. To improve click action on the site, provide product details with compelling reasons for considering selecting an item.
Abandoned Cart Rate – Qualified visitors put items in the cart, then leave the site before finalizing the checkout process. Pursuing these abandons can capture more sales, and more repeat customers. Do this by testing ordering incentives on the view cart page, streamlining the checkout process and setting up an abandoned cart follow-up email program.
Checkout Conversion Funnel – Measure the abandon rate of each step of your checkout process, then fix whatever may prevent users from ordering. Simplify checkout pages that are creating abandons to combat buyer remorse and procrastination.
Channel Performance – Analyze all the major channels (report in Google Analytics) by traffic, order, sales and conversion to identify the most viable sources of traffic. Attack sources that combine to represent 80 percent of sales or orders by improving the offering and overall website conversion. Use the Source report for a further breakdown of top channels.
Source Performance – Identify the channels so you can learn more about the top performing sources. If a single channel represents most of your sales, identify the sources within that channel to improve by looking at key metrics.
While those are eight key metrics to monitor, here are a few more to also consider:
AOV – Average order will vary but it can make a big difference from a sales perspective. Ways to increase this measure include boosting the focus on top products, and improving cross-sells and upsells.
Time on Site/Pages per Visit – These indicate the stickiness of your site. The more time spent and pages viewed, the more they will buy – so generate more clicks and keep them involved.
Bounce Rate – How frequently do visitors leave your site from each entry page? To reduce your bounce rate, refine the most frequented entry pages with clearer calls to action. Announce what you’re selling and show why visitors should investigate. Give yourself a better chance to sell.
Mobile Performance – Having a mobile-optimized site has become very important. Monitor such traffic, orders and sales as a percentage of the total. To capitalize on this traffic, the most frequented entry pages must be mobile-friendly. Ensure the top items of each page are very clear and actionable.
Category and Sub-Category Page Views – Identify your top 25 pages in terms of views, and focus on improving these with top product orientation and strong click action.
Products Purchased – See what people are buying – again monitor and improve the top 25 initially.  Make sure these top products are in prime positions throughout your website.

More Sophisticated Stuff

Once you have ample data from consistently reporting on the items above, then you can move on to more sophisticated reports:

  • Segmenting the reporting into more defined and actionable segments
  • Taking a deep dive into SEM and viable, scalable keywords
  • Email reporting

Top, Top, Top

If you report on and focus on improving the top areas of opportunity, you will definitely improve your online business. Your website is way too big to not have a strong focus.

Dig Deeper

Your overall metrics will change based on the type of traffic driven to your site. A focus on generating new customers may yield poor metrics initially, whereas driving returning customers can seem easier. But both are important to do. These details get you the real insight as to how you are doing.

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