In the age of instant updates and high customer expectations, website performance should always be a top priority for all online businesses, from large brands to startups. There are a number of reasons you should be monitoring and optimising your website after all a well performing website often enjoys a higher visitor count, more engagement, a better user experience and most importantly often has much higher conversions, offering a great website all round.
KPIs, or key performance indicators, are a type of metric used by many to evaluate the significant factors that can have an impact on the performance of a business or website, helping provide a bigger picture that can be analysed in order to work out what is going wrong and how it can be improved and can be a great tool for those looking to gain an insight into their website performance.
Website performance is a growing science and often requires plenty of research in order to understand what it is that can make a real difference in how your visitors behave and how they convert. If you’re looking for more of an insight into how you measure your website performance and improve your website accordingly, this article highlights everything you need to know to do so.
What Should Be Measured?
When it comes to measuring your website performance there are several KPIs that can be used and by closely monitoring some of these key performance metrics you can determine which parts of your website are doing well and which elements may need some improvement.
Measuring Your Audience
By using an analytics tool such as Google analytics you can find a way to track your visitors, letting you monitor your audience and the reach your website has. Tracking your audience allows you to monitor the number of visitors your website gets, including tracking whether visitors are returning or if they are completely new to your site. Measuring your audience is a great way to determine how many people your website is managing to retain as well as how many people are viewing your site a day.
Measuring your user sessions and comparing your numbers allows you to determine if your audience is growing and how quickly it is doing so, letting you determine whether or not you need to make any changes in order to change your site and grow your numbers.
Analyse Your Traffic Sources
As well as monitoring who is visiting your website, it’s also a good idea to gain some insight into how your visitors are getting there. Analytics tools can also let you determine whether your audience have come from Google, email marketing, social media or even your paid ads, helping you work out which is the most effective traffic source and giving you the opportunity to optimise this traffic source in order to increase the amount or visitors coming to your website.
Through analytics you can discover new things about your audience demographic, including their traffic channels, referrals and even their interests, all of which can play a huge part in your marketing strategies when looking to reach new audiences.
Average Session Time
The general consensus is that the longer a visitor spends on your website the more likely they are to get in touch, make a sale or convert in some way, meaning that if a person visits your site and then leaves within seconds, it’s unlikely they’ll come back to find out more. This is why it’s important to monitor your average session time and bounce rate, if people aren’t staying around then they obviously don’t like your content or don’t find it relevant, something that should be looked into if brands are looking to increase conversions as well as improve website performance.
A well designed, easy to navigate website will likely cause audiences to stay around for longer, encouraging them to check out more of what you have to offer, leading to potentially more sales and more leads.
Measure Conversion Rates
Getting people to your website is only half the battle, from there it’s important to measure just how many people are converting. Are they buying your products? Signing up for your newsletter? or getting in contact? By monitoring how many conversions your website is making and what is or isn’t causing people to convert, you can determine what changes need to be made, such as adding more calls to actions or updated product photography that can encourage audiences to buy.
Conversions matter, without a steady flow of conversions it’s possible that your website and your business as a whole could be in trouble. If you aren’t measuring your conversions then you have no idea how well you’re doing and whether or not it can be improved.
KPIs allow for developers and business owners to monitoring a website’s performance without having to deal with more technical elements such as website speed and code, letting them use KPIs as a guide before considering many more, in depth insights that come with site testing and monitoring. Using KPIs you can measure a number of important aspects of visitor behaviour, letting you segment it and compare it to your data and your business plan for a view into how well your website is doing.
For a clearer picture on who your audience really are and how exactly they interact with your brand, monitoring your website is a necessity and something that shouldn’t be avoided!