Gain actionable insights: 3 key areas you need to track and measure

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Your website metrics are one of the most powerful insights you have into your buyers’ behaviour. If you have a strong understanding of how to effectively track and measure your website data, you’re able to piece together a powerful story that tells you where your visitors are coming from, how they’re interacting with your business online, how those actions are feeding into your overarching goals, and how you can better your results in relation to those goals.

In this section, we’ve highlighted the key areas you’ll want to keep an eye on so that you can start leveraging your analytics data to start making more informed marketing decisions.


Behaviour

Knowing how your website visitors navigate your pages gives you valuable insight into what they’re looking for and the paths they’re taking to find it. Although, piles of data can be overwhelming to interpret and even more difficult to take back to your team. Let’s look at how you’d track this data and what you’d do with those insights.

Where to start

To get an idea of exactly how buyers are clicking around your website, we suggest looking at behaviour maps based on click coordinates and scrolling patterns. This provides tangible representations of the actions visitors are taking on your site and allows you to visually analyze how visitors are engaging with your content.  

A Heat Map is a great way to aggregate the click coordinates of all visitors to a specific page. It maps the visitor’s attention by marking the page with coloured spots ranging from dark (cold; little attention) to bright (warm; much attention).

A heatmap

It can also be valuable to not just look at how visitors are interacting with your pages on an individual level, but analyzing how they’re getting from page to page as well. To do this, you’ll want to look at the paths users are taking to get from a starting point (your homepage, for example) and look at the various routes that lead them to keypages—like your pricing information or demo request page.

How to action on what you find

Having a better understanding of the way visitors navigate your pages will allow you to make more data-driven decisions about the layout of your site. So the first thing you need to do is set upbenchmarks that relate to your business’ bottom line and track your website’s performance against them. Whether you set up reports in your analytics tool or do this manually in a document on your own, it’s important to be able to aggregate and evaluate data over time.

Once you have a clearer idea of how visitors are behaving on your site in relation to your end goals, it opens the door for more testing and optimization against those goals—which will ultimately lead to more effective digital user journeys and website as a whole.

Actioning on behaviour insights typically looks like this:

  1. Evaluate how visitors interact with your website when it comes to your end goals, then target distinct visitor groups based on behaviour and goal trends.
  2. By rooting content and designin data, you can build your site’s structure based on how visitors navigate between key pages and remove any guesswork.
  3. Verify that visitors navigate your site as you intend them to, and continue to monitor and optimize accordingly through automated reporting.

Key metrics

The challenging thing about website analytics is that there’s no one-size-fits all performance report—every business has unique metrics to track based on their goals. While there are some insights that hold weight across the board, at the end of the day, it’s up to you to define what you need to measure in order to connect your website reporting to your bottom line.

You know better than anyone which reports will help you to stay on track. Keep reading to find out how you can determine your own key metrics and attach those to key performance indicators (KPIs) on your website.

Where to start

To determine your key metrics, you’ll want to take a step back and think about the overall purpose of your website. Is the goal to generate leads? To highlight your product offering? To help users find information? All of the above? These questions will help you gauge how exactly your website supports your business. Typically, a business’ KPIs include things like lead generation, sales, and self-help.

Next, you’ll want to identify your key metrics that will help you achieve those KPIs. This might include things like newsletter signups, demo requests, or views of particular pages. Take a look at the chart below for an example of this exercise in action.

Table with four header columns: metrics/KPIs, lead generation, sales and self-help

What you’ll want to do next is determine the triggers for each key metric. This will help you understand and track exactly what users need to do in order to complete an action that feeds into your key metrics. We’ve provided an example of what that might look like in the next chart.

Table with two columns indicating Metrics and their respective trigger.

While it’s certainly easier to have ananalytics tool that will keep track of all of this automatically, it is still possible to monitor your key metrics and how you’re tracking against them using a spreadsheet. You just have to make sure you’re consistent with your documentation and updating it at least weekly!

How to action on what you find

After you define your own key metrics and KPIs and begin tracking them, the next step is to take those insights and measure them against your overall business goals. This will give you an idea of exactly how your website is performing and will highlight any areas where you may be falling short and have an opportunity to improve.

Measuring key metrics and KPIs gives you concrete, quantifiable data that you can easily report on to show the value your website is bringing to your business. This is particularly valuable when it comes to justifying your investment in website optimization to your C-suite. Page visits and views are great, but they’re called vanity metrics for a reason—they don’t truly show your website’s value. If you had 4,000 visitors on your website last month, how many signed up for your newsletter? How many downloaded your latest eBook? How many requested a free trial of your product? With an established set of KPIs and key metrics in place, you’ll be able to clearly show the impact your web activity is having on your bottom line.


Traffic

Traffic is one of the most commonly-tracked website metrics for a reason—it provides a baseline for your overall performance. Digging deeper into your web traffic will reveal insights like the referral sources your visitors are coming from, the most commonly-viewed pages, the days or times your website is busiest—and the list goes on.

But basic traffic metrics can also be very misleading for marketers when it comes to evaluating their investment in acquisition channels and understanding what’s driving on-site conversions. That’s because pure traffic metrics rarely reflect your true bottom line. So, what should you be doing to ensure you’re tracking and measuring your website traffic in the best and most relevant way?

Where to start

When it comes to traffic, the amount of data points you can look at are endless. That’s why you want to make sure you’re focusing on the key metrics that you can easily tie to your broader marketing efforts. Below we’ve outlined a few key areas to monitor.

Campaign traffic: Being able to observe exactly where visitors come from (including what type of link they clicked and what campaign it was attached to), helps you understand which sources are driving the most traffic. But tying those traffic metrics to your end goals (or key metrics) allows you to see which sources drive better quality traffic. It’s about quality over quantity, after all!

For example, you have 1000 visitors from a marketing email and 100 visitors from a LinkedIn ad. However, only 10 conversions came from the marketing email while 50 conversions came from that LinkedIn ad. Where would you want to invest more of your marketing resources next time?

This approach also gives you a clear idea of whether or not your marketing efforts are actually working in relation to your bottom line and which acquisition channels are performing best.

Some high-level campaign-specific traffic metrics to avoid include:

Drive growth

Visits (and percentage of total visits)

The percentage of all visitors to your site during this period who arrived from a particular campaign

Visitor profiles

Unique visitors

The number of unique visitors arriving on your site via this campaign


Some high-level campaign-specific traffic metrics our team swears by are:

Key metrics

Key metric completions

This ties into the KPIs and key metrics we mentioned earlier,and refers to the number of key metrics completed by visitors through a particularcampaign during the selected period.

Analytics funnels

Conversion rate

This refers to the percentage of all visitors who arrived on yoursite through a particular campaign who completed a key metric, like filled outa form or requested a demo

How to action on what you find

By getting more granular about how you track and measure your website traffic, you’re able to see exactly what drives engagement and conversions, and it allows you to make more strategic choices about the acquisition channels you’re investing in. For example, if you notice that you’re seeing a lot of conversions coming from LinkedIn, it’s probably worth doubling down on your efforts there in order to attract more engaged traffic from that source.

The same goes for channels that are resulting in poor website engagement. Perhaps you’re seeing a high bounce rate from traffic that’s coming to your landing environments from your display advertising. This could be an indicator that your ad and website experience don’t quite match up—and visitors are getting confused and leaving. In this case, you’ll want to ensure the webpage you’re sending people to mirrors your ad in terms of both branding and messaging. The fix could be as simple as that!

Low traffic from a particular channel can also indicate that your creative, messaging, or calls-to-action are not resonating with your audience.  So before you nix a channel for failing to deliver you the traffic and leads you’re looking for, do some testing, then keep a close eye on your website metrics to see if you’ve made improvements to traffic and conversions.