If you have an online business, there are several key statistics you should be checking regularly.
Not only am I about to detail the top 7 reports I recommend keeping tabs on, but also a few extra ones for those who have retail websites AND, I’ve also got a fab freebie for you!
This is the most basic of figures you should be tracking. A simple count of how many people are visiting your website.
Look at the figures by month and by day. Maybe some days of the week are better than others. You might even find that time of day has an impact – maybe you have lots of activity and visitors at lunchtime or just after the kids have gone to bed. Use the information you find to determine when you focus your marketing activity.
- Traffic Sources
As well as the number of visitors, you also need to understand where they’ve come from. Find out which channel or source brought your visitors to your website. Was is organic? (that’s the free traffic in search engines like Google). Maybe it was from social channels or even other websites (referrals).
It’s important to understand where someone came from so you know whether activity you may be doing to support that channel is working or not.
For instance, if you are paying to appear in a directory or similar website, you need to know that they’re sending you traffic. Otherwise, it’s a waste of money.
If you find that your organic traffic is low, then you may need to work harder on your SEO (search engine optimisation).
- Landing Pages
A landing page is as the name suggests – a page where a visitor first lands when they visit your website. It might not always be the homepage. If you run a blog, it might be a blog post that draws the traffic.
Use this information to evaluate the pages people land on to ensure you have appropriate ‘calls to action’ (CTAs) – things that prompt for an action such as a click, sign up or purchase.
- Bounce Rate
To understand exactly what this is so take a look at my blog post – What is a bounce rate? We’re looking specifically at a website bounce here.
Once a visitor lands on your site, do they click to view another page, or do they leave straight away? If they leave straight away, this will result in a bounce – otherwise explained as a ‘single page visit’.
Use this metric to assess the quality of your content – as an overall website figure and on individual pages, especially when they’re landing pages (see no. 3 above).
Obviously you want to have as low a rate as possible and to see what an average website bounce rate is and to see what you can do about a high rate, check out this blog post.
Do your visitors view your site on a mobile? A tablet? A regular desktop computer?
If you find that a lot of your visitors view your site on a mobile, then you need to make sure that your website is properly set up for that format.
I still get calls for website redesigns from business owners whose websites are not responsive – that is, that is doesn’t reformat according to the device someone uses to view it. Mostly, it’s the mobile view that hasn’t been designed properly – which is pretty bad when you discover how many of your visitors view your site on a mobile! It means that they’ll likely be unable to use your website properly and inevitably will result in a bounce (see point no. 4 above).
This provides a view of who uses your website according to gender and age. It’s a very useful metric that simply enables you to understand your audience and help you answer a question – are you reaching your target market?
You’ll likely already be looking at social engagement – likes, follows etc. from Facebook, Instagram and all the others.
Got 600 likes on your last Instagram post? Great!
But,… did anyone visit your website? Any leads generated?
This metric can show you which social channels send traffic to your website but what individual bounce rates are too.
It’ll help you to work out which channels to focus your time on – the channels that actually send you traffic – good quality, low bounce rate kind of traffic.
Are you selling online?
If you have a website where you sell stuff, simply looking at traffic isn’t enough. You need to take it a step further and understand the traffic that actually buys stuff and where they come from.
Here are some additional reports you absolutely must be looking at.
- Ecommerce overview
- Metrics by Channel
- Average Order Values
And in order to view all these key statistics, I recommend nothing more than Google Analytics, which is a completely free tool that easily integrates with your website. It’s very sophisticated and very powerful and can provide a lot of insight into how well your website and marketing is working.
And more good news is that you don’t have to plough your way through Google Analytics looking for all these reports and the key statistics. I’ve mapped it for you and put it in a handy ‘cheat sheet’ for you to download and keep.