For small to medium-sized business owners, a well-designed, content rich website is key to the overall success of your business. But how can you tell what is working well on your website and what needs some fine-tuning? There are a number of great website analytics reporting tools out there. If you use IvyPress, you can simply log in as an admin user and click the Reports navigation item to see important data. Regardless of which tool you are using, here are seven website metrics you should be tracking to help you get the best results from your business website:

1. Number of Unique & Return Visitors—Use this data to determine how many new and return visitors are coming to your site. Unique visitors are first-time visitors. Once they have been on the site, their IP address is saved in the site’s cookies. Any subsequent visits would track them as “return visitors.” This gives you an accurate picture of how many new sets of eyes you are getting to your website on a daily/monthly basis. If your unique visit count is stagnant for a while, it is time to look at your content and search engine optimization tactics to see how you can boost traffic.

2. Visitor Engagement—Check the number of daily, monthly, or other filtered visits and page views to determine visitor engagement. The wider the gap between visits and page views, the more your website visitors are interacting with your site. For example, if you have 200 visits in a day and 400 pageviews, your website visitors are averaging about two pages per visit. If your visitor engagement is too low, analyze your web pages and be sure that you include internal links on those pages, when relevant, to guide readers to other helpful information on your site or products/services they might be interested in. Also, be sure you have a clear call-to-action (CTA) present to guide visitors through the conversion process.

3. Traffic Sources—Do you know where your website traffic is coming from? Use your web analytics to see how much of your website traffic is coming from referrals (such as other websites), how much of it is direct (when visitor types in your URL), and how much of it is organic (from search engines). If your percentage of organic referrals are low, it is time to look at on-page and off-page search engine optimization strategies to help you get more traction in search engine results pages.

4. Social Media Channels—Many analytics programs, like Google Analytics, can show you how much web traffic is coming to your site from various social media channels. Over time, these numbers can help determine which social media sites are the most effective for your business’s content and social media marketing.

5. Website Content Trends—Measure the performance of web pages by tracking your entry and exit pages each month. Analyze your top exit pages to see why visitors are deciding to leave your site. Is the content relevant to the page title? Are there images, and if so, do they complement your brand, products, or services? Is the content engaging and concise? Do you have internal links or a call-to-action guiding visitors along to the next step of the sales process? These are just some of the questions to consider to pinpoint possible page issues.

6. Bounce Rates—Use these numbers to determine which pages are engaging and which ones aren’t. For pages with a very high bounce rate (over 60%; this will be higher for blog posts), it might be time to examine the design, content, and other elements on those low performing web pages that may be turning visitors off.

7. Top Keywords/Search Phrases—Depending on the analytics reporting tool you are using, there should be an option to see your top keywords and/or search phrases. Google Analytics is rather elusive and gives a “not provided” message for your top keyword(s). However, they do provide many of your top search terms under Channels->Organic Search Option. If you use IvyPress or some other form of Business Catalyst like we do, you will see “Top Search Phrases” in your weekly reports or you can access them any time you log into the backend of your website under Reports->Traffic Sources->Search Phrases. Regardless of your reporting tool, these keywords/search phrases give you valuable insight into what visitors are typing into search engine search bars to find you. You can then modify your written content to include more of these keywords throughout your site or make a concerted effort to create new content which includes your most popular search phrases.

Hopefully this helps you determine which website metrics to track as well as how to improve upon poorly performing areas of your site. If you use IvyPress, most of these analytics are at your fingertips. Simply log into the administrative features of your site. Then click on Reports to see your website data.

Too busy to decipher data? We realize that you have a lot on your plate. OpenVine Solutions offers detailed analytics reporting options to give you the insights you need to take your website to the next level. Contact us today to find out more about our monthly and quarterly reporting options.