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October 9, 2009

Key Performance Indicators Every Website Should Track

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Amazon Web Services

No matter what type of website you create, you should always monitor your website statistics. You can gain a wealth of knowledge about your site traffic, just by looking at a few key performance indicators (KPIs). Every sites KPIs will be a little bit different and certain data will be more important than others, however there is data that is worth monitoring all of the time.

Bounce Rate

Your bounce rate is simply when a visitor enters your site and does not go to any other page on your site. This data can help you identify certain pages that need improvement. For example, if you have 10 service pages on your site and 3 out of the 10 have an extremely high bounce rate compared to the rest, it may mean that you need to add/change content, replace images, or add an offer/call to action. If your bounce rate is not design related, it may be that you are driving the wrong type of traffic to the site. Organically, if you are optimizing your site for the wrong keywords/phrases you could be driving irrelevant traffic to your site. On the paid side of things, if you are bidding on the wrong keywords or that the keywords are too broad you may have to bid on more targeted keywords.

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Time On Site

The time on site indicator is very closely related to bounce rate. It is one of the best ways to see how engaged your visitors are on your site. If you notice that visitors are leaving within 30 seconds, you may not have content that is not compelling enough for a user to stay. Usually if your time on site is low, you will notice a higher bounce rate. Like bounce rate, if you drive the wrong type of traffic to the site you may have a low bounce rate.

Unique Visitors

Depending on the type of site you have, you may want to know how many new visitors you have compared to returning visitors. If you are managing a content-based site like a blog, forum, or wiki, you may want to take notice of visitors who return to your site. However, if you are a business trying to gain market share in your industry you may want to see what percentage of new users are visiting the site.

Top Keywords

It is always important to see what top keywords people are using to find your site. Your keyword list can help you see what keywords you are organically showing up for in the search results. Along with top keywords, pay close attention to each keyword as it correlates with time on site. You will notice that certain keywords/phrases will bring you higher time on site, lower bounce rates, and higher conversion rates.

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Track New Account Openings

Extremely important for e-commerce sites, monitoring your most visited pages can help generate more revenue. Analyzing to see what products people are looking for can help you determine which products to market and promote more. For blogs and content focused sites, seeing which articles or blog posts are most popular can help you figure out which content you should highlight on your site or re-purpose on other content sharing sites.

Goal Conversions

Ultimately your site conversions are what generates leads and sales. When monitoring conversion data you want to look at it from a few angles. From one side, you want to see where your conversions are coming from. Are they coming from Google? A site you are marketing on? Paid search? An email marketing campaign? From another side, you want to see what keywords people used to convert. You may see trends in certain keywords that convert better than others. Another angle to look at is geo-location. Are more people converting within your city? State? Country?

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