Google Analytics is probably the most popular tool for measuring the metrics within your site; and it’s free, too. Not only will Google Analytics measure things such as conversion rates, bounce rates, and keywords, it will also let you perform split testing. That’s the unique ability to find where the trouble is within your data, and use action steps to help correct it.
Piwik is another tool that’s also free and will help you measure the success of your website. The one benefit Piwik has over Google Analytics is that it’s hosted on the same web server as your website, which might consolidate the resources you use and give you total privacy when it comes to looking at the stats.
So what data should you be analyzing to determine the success of your website?
• Conversion rate: This will tell you how many people are simply visiting your site and then leaving, and how many are staying on the site and taking the action you want them to, whether that’s visiting pages further in than just the landing page, subscribing to a newsletter, or contacting you directly. This is given as a percentage, and the percentage you see is the number of people taking action.
• Exit pages: Unless the exit pages are natural (such as a thank you page,) you need to know where users lose their interest and leave your site. By seeing what pages are the biggest exit points for your readers, you can improve them so they don’t leave, but continue on.
• Page views: These are very simple; they’re the amount of times a page was viewed within one day. However, it won’t tell you whether that number was by the same person coming back to the same page, or if they were unique visitors.
• Unique visitors: This is where you’ll not only find out how many times a page was viewed, but how many different people came to look at that one page.
• Referrers: Are you listed on other websites? If so, the referrers metric is very important. This measuring tool will let you know where the most customers are coming from, and can either help you boost your efforts on that page, or improve other pages that may not be getting the same amount of referrers.
• Internal search keywords: Unlike search engine keywords, which tell you what words people are entering into search engines to find your site, internal search keywords will tell you what people are entering into the search box found on your site. This can help you see what pages are the most popular, and add other content like it.
• Bounce rate: This rate tells you how many people are visiting your site and leaving after only looking at the first page. It can be helpful to determine the success of your landing page, and your able to help users convert landing into an action taken.
These are a few of the different ways you can determine the success of your website. And if you’re not currently using any type of measuring system to determine the success of your site, they’re a very good place to start.