Metrics For Your Website
Today’s guest blog is from Mets Kramer, sharing knowledge about the metrics you need for your website, and understanding your digital traffic to better engage your audience.
You use metrics for every other part of your business, so it’s time to learn more about them for your digital marketing, specifically your website. This is a continuation of my previous blog on Engagement Digital Marketing.
Growing up and working in the equipment business, we are all familiar with metrics. My first experience with them was the measurement of invoice days, or rather days between last labour and invoice date. As service supervisor, I learned it was a good indication of one aspect of our operational efficiency. Later, I would learn invoice days was one of several metrics which would provide a complete picture of the efficiency of the operation. For example, I found receivables days was a complement to invoice days, and if we invoiced too fast, with poor quality, receivables lingered.
Your digital marketing work is no different from your other business operations. Metrics, or measurements, help you understand what is happening with you digital marketing efforts. What each of us need to do, is understand what the metrics mean, how they relate, and how you can affect them. It is also important to pick a set of metrics that drive to something valuable for your business, not just target numbers that seem good.
In this blog I would like to look at a few common metrics for your dealership website. They are Visitors, Bounce Rate, Average time per page/session and Conversions.
Visitors are great! Of course, we want traffic to our websites, if no one visits, does it really exist? But what does it mean? Think of Visitor traffic as the top of your funnel (or crusher if you prefer). It tells us how many people have visited the website and had a look at the pages they landed on. Visitors can enter the site through the main page, or directly to specific pages using links on other sites. Either way, it is the starting measurement. Having high traffic levels sounds great, and is certainly better than very low, but the other metrics will tell us more about what happened when those visitors viewed the site.
Bounce rate: this is a very common metric used by internet people, partially because it sounds fun. Bounce rate measures the number of people who landed on your site and then left without looking at any other pages. This means bounce rate, on its own, is not a great measure of success, or of a good website. A very high bounce rate is generally an indication that people have low engagement with your site, and so warrants investigation. However, if you are bringing people directly to your site, targeting specific pages, a high bounce rate needs to be viewed alongside a metric such as Average time on page to understand what it means. For now, consider bounce rate a measure of “are people clicking to other pages on my site before they leave”
So that’s the first two, we have people coming to the site, and we know if they are clicking around or not.
The next measure is average time per page or per session. How long are people spending on each page, and how long is each session. For Bounce rate, a high rate is often considered bad, but if you are driving traffic directly to a page, like this blog, and the visitors are spending enough time on the page to read it, average time on page can be a measure of success, even if they bounce after reading. Remember our Digital Marketing strategy is a strategy of engagement, so more time spent on your site means higher engagement, even if they only visit one page. For other visitors, look at how long they spend on the site or pages, it should match the content on the page to determine what a good metric target is.
Finally, Conversion Rate. In the end, for equipment dealers, your websites should be more than just information sites. Our sites should be designed for action. This is often called a “call to action” when reading about website performance. Just like we talk about a complete set of metrics for other business areas, Conversion Rate is important final goal for measuring website engagement. Conversion Rate can be determined using a contact form, a button to call your dealership or generating a lead in your CRM. Typically, an average conversion rate is 2%, but as with all these metrics, it depends on numerous other factors of your site. It is important to see your engagement digital marketing efforts in relation to conversion rate, a tangible result.
Collecting these measurements can be done with numerous tools. The most obvious is Google Analytics, but there are WordPress plugins that do the same, and other content systems have their own dashboards as well. The important thing is to get them set up and use them.
Obviously, this topic is extensive, and I can not provide a comprehensive explanation in one blog. I hope each of you understands a little more about what website metrics mean, how they relate and how they can guide your digital marketing efforts. If your dealership has a website, and you are investing money in your digital marketing, it is important to understand the value you are getting for your investment.
All these metrics apply to all forms of traffic, including referrals, organic and paid. In my next blog I will look at these topics from the perspective of paid traffic.
If you would like to learn more, or want to get some help with these topics, please contact me and I would be happy to explain or put your in touch with some trusted people that can help you execute.