The Top 6 Metrics You Should Be Tracking in 2016, As Explained By Cats

February 10th, 2016 by Search Influence University

According to Facebook, 1.01 billion people log on to the social platform daily. Google sees impressive traffic as well, with 3 billion search queries per day…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Everyone is online these days. So it’s no surprise that online marketing has become increasingly more important to the modern business. But how do you know if your campaign is working? First, you might want to check out this Search Influence blog on what Google Analytics is and how to set it up for your site.

After you’ve got your analytics set up, what exactly should you measure? And what does it mean?

Here are the six metrics you should be measuring in 2016 as explained by cats. Note: screenshots are from analytics on my own personal site, which was set up pretty recently and has no online marketing campaigns associated with it.

1. How many people are actually coming to your site?

Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. Measuring unique site visitors can give you big-picture insight into how well your campaign is performing.

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2. What device are they using?

Were they on a desktop computer or phone?

Knowing which device people are using when they look at your site can direct you to present the most useful information in the most useful way. For instance, if someone is on their phone looking for contact information and hours of operation, it would be helpful to have a click-to-call phone number front and center. Or a button that says “Call!”

You can also get as specific as screen resolution. This is especially helpful when dealing with any kind of graphic or visual representation on your site. Your information won’t be very helpful if people can’t even read it!

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3. Are they sticking around?

It’s simple enough: if visitors find a page unhelpful, irrelevant, or hard to read, they’ll go elsewhere. When a visitor comes to your site and immediately leaves, that’s called “bouncing.” You should measure each page’s bounce rate to make sure you are sending out the right signals, delivering the right information, and providing clear content. So how do you know you’re in the green?

“One thing that’s important is to be realistic about expectations with your bounce rate. High bounce rates are expected for certain pages (especially conversion capture points, such as checkout pages following a purchase) or on information-heavy landing pages. In these instances, high bounce rates can be taken to mean that the visitor came to your site, got what they wanted, and left. For average pages, an “average” bounce rate is much more preferable. It’s also important to be wary of very low bounce rates approaching or at 0%. This could be indicative of incorrectly installed Google Analytics and represents muddying of your data.” – Leigh Aucoin, Lead Web Developer at Search Influence

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4. How long are they staying?

Building off of #3, you obviously don’t want people to bounce; you want them to look around your site and convert (more on that in #5). So how long are they actually sticking around on your site? Short or long time-on-site can be good or bad, depending on the purpose of your site, what people are looking for, and how extensive the information is on your site.

For instance, it’s reasonable that someone researching plastic surgery would spend a long time reading information about the procedure they are interested in. Also, it might make sense for an online visitor to spend a long time on an ecommerce site; they might buy more! But if someone is just looking for quick information—a phone number or hours of operation—it’s bad news if they need to spend a long time to find it!

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5. Are they converting?

“Conversions” can mean many things, it really depends on your unique campaign and the specific page. A conversion could mean that a visitor fills out a form, makes a purchase, or calls a number.

“Be aware of your business and what matters to you as a business, and how it’s made present on your site. If you sell items online, of course you’d like to track what led users to a purchase (a conversion in a more general sense). However, if you don’t sell items directly on your website, a form contact can be the next best measurement of a conversion. This means that you’ve been placed into contact with a potential customer. Ultimately, Google Analytics is a tool by which you can track any actions that a visitor to your site takes on your site and what leads them to do what they do.” – Leigh Aucoin, Lead Web Developer at Search Influence

Search Influence has our own service called LeadSendr where we track conversions through a form on your site. You can find more information about that here.

6. Are you seeing a return on investment?

All these metrics are great, but they don’t mean much if you’re not seeing a return on investment. You want to make sure that your online marketing campaign works in tandem with your larger marketing goals, driving more customers to your business!

All these metrics are great, but they shouldn’t be used in a one-and-done fashion. Use Google Analytics to check the success of your campaign efforts and then adjust your approach. A marketing campaign should be ever evolving. Using the metrics, you can learn from past mistakes and continuously improve your methods.

Not sure where to get started with your site?

Sit back, relax, watch this calming cat GIF, and let our team of experts craft a campaign that meets your business’ unique needs. What’s more, we track all the metrics for you! This way, you can worry about what matters most: your business!

GIF Credits:

Cats at Work
Shark Cat
Slipping Cat
Cat in Box
Cat Breaking Glass
Money Glasses Cat
Dancing Cat Graphic