There are so many free and paid tools available that allow you to track the hard metrics related to your website and content marketing efforts. Every tool offers the same information, although some require you to pay more for certain features.
Using a website analytics tool to measure and track your progress online can be overwhelming and confusing. There are so many metrics available to measure—how do you know which ones are the most important? Which metrics really reveal the bottom line?
If you do nothing else related to your marketing efforts, measure and track these 5 website analytics metrics. We use Google Analytics to track our website and content marketing efforts, but any tool you decide to use will be fine.
What words are people searching for that lead them to your page? You need to know the keywords that are leading people to your website. Keywords are among the most valuable and revealing website metrics.
Once you’re aware of the most popular keywords for your website, you can tailor and customize your content and site to be more inclusive of these words and better fit the topics your audience is searching for. This will give your website leverage in search engine rankings, helping more people see your site and content.
Where were people browsing before they were referred to your website? It’s wise to know and track the top referrers to your website so you can begin building relationships with them and further leverage the amount of referrals they send to your website. Your top referrers might allow you to do a guest post for them, cross-promote your brand’s content, give shout outs on social media, or help promote your upcoming events.
Sometimes, a business finds that their top referrer is describing their business in a negative light, and that the resulting clicks to their website are by people that aren’t interested in doing business. Always track your top referrers and ensure they’re saying things that benefit your business rather than chip away at your reputation.
3. Traffic sources
Find out where your website visitors came from in a broader scope than tracking referrers by looking at your traffic sources. Traffic sources are broad categories that depict whether a person landed on your website via a search engine, website, or direct traffic (someone typed in your website URL).
Once you know how much traffic you’re receiving from each category, you can tailor your content plan to mirror the results you’d like to get.
For example, if you want more direct traffic, you might run an advertising or marketing campaign that includes your website URL (extra points if it’s spoken, as people tend to remember what they’ve heard better than what they’ve read).
A well-known example of this is FreeCreditReport.com. The commercials were popular for years and everyone knew the jingle and website name. When you wanted to find out your credit score for free, you simply typed it in as the commercial said. By choosing a “generic” keyword-laden domain name, they ensured from the start that they would receive a lot of direct traffic and search engine traffic.
Your visitors are your potential customers. You’ve brought them to your site using marketing and ad campaigns, specific keywords, targeted content, and engaging social media posts. Your visitors are important to understand so you can better tailor your site to them. This is one of the most critical website metrics to measure and track over time. You should track:
- The total number of visitors each day
- The total number of unique visitors each day
- The total number of repeat visitors each day
If you’re winning loyal customers, you’ll start to see the number of repeat visitors creep up. That’s a great sign and means you’re on the right track!
5. Best performing content
The pages on your website that get visited most often are your best performing content. When you discover what your best performing content is, you can closely analyze that content to find what’s unique about it. What engages visitors when they see this blog post, video, or infographic? And more importantly, how can you improve it and make it even more engaging next time?
By finding your best performing content, you can also take a look at your lowest performing content. Analyze it—what’s different about this and your top content? Try to define the traits that aren’t appealing to your audience and avoid including those in your future content.
This is the heart of marketing—finding what’s working best and making sure that even your least effective efforts are always getting better.
So, if you only measure 5 website metrics, make it these: Keywords, referrers, traffic sources, visitors, and best performing content. You’ll get a solid sense of where your content marketing efforts are leading you.