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November 22, 2022

Determining & Measuring KPIs For Your Website

How do you know how well your website is performing? While broad measurements such as sales volume over time or the number of products sold within a specific period provide some insight, making the most of your digital potential means digging down into the nitty gritty of what’s happening on your site, when, and — […]


How do you know how well your website is performing? While broad measurements such as sales volume over time or the number of products sold within a specific period provide some insight, making the most of your digital potential means digging down into the nitty gritty of what’s happening on your site, when, and — most importantly — why.

This is the role of key performance indicators (KPIs). In this piece we’ll break down key KPI components, consider how to pinpoint your ideal KPIs, examine potential measurement methods and explore eight of the most common KPIs. 

What is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)?

A key performance indicator is a quantifiable indicator that helps measure progress towards (or away from) the intended result.

Consider a company’s social media account. If the goal is to increase its reach over time, one KPI worth measuring is the number of new followers over a set period. By defining a goal, such as gaining X new followers in Y amount of time, regular measurements of this KPI can help companies determine if they’re on the right track. 

Website key performance indicators, meanwhile, might include the number of visitors over a set period (and where they’re coming from), or how long users stay on your site before leaving.

How to Determine Key Performance Indicators

When it comes to determining website goals and KPIs, there’s no “right” answer. Instead, it’s all about finding metrics that matter for your site.

For example, if you’re looking to increase the impact of your company’s blog, you might want to measure KPIs such as how long users are staying on your site, which articles are read the most and how many people are signing up for emails about new blog posts. 

If you’re running an e-commerce site, meanwhile, your focus may be on the amount of time users spend interacting with product pages, or how many digital shopping carts are abandoned before purchases are made. 

Put simply, the goal of any KPI is to track and measure data that’s relevant to a specific goal and timely enough to help achieve that goal.

How to Measure Website KPIs

Once you’ve determined your website KPIs, how do you measure and manage them? One of the most popular tools for this purpose is Google Analytics. Integration with this service makes it possible to discover most KPIs used to measure website performance and then act on this data to achieve specific outcomes.

Getting started with Google Analytics is easy. First, website owners make a Google Analytics account, then tie their website to this account so Google can accurately measure and report key data. Once accounts are active, owners can download KPI reports from the platform to measure performance and set up custom goals or events to help measure goal progress over time.

It’s also worth noting that while Google Analytics is one of the most popular KPI platforms, it’s not the only one. There are now a host of applications — both free and paid — that can help companies track website performance and impact. 

Looking to dive into the impact of KPIs with Google? Check out our beginner’s guide to Google Analytics.

Top Website KPIs to Track

As noted above, the specific metrics that matter to your site will differ based on business goals. Regardless of your primary KPI purpose, however, eight common indicators are always worth tracking.

Traffic

Traffic refers to the number of people reaching your site. In general, the higher this number the better, but the goal is to attract “quality traffic” — visitors who spend time on the site, interact with multiple features or pages and ultimately spend money.

Some of the top sources of traffic include:

  • Organic: Organic traffic is traffic that comes to your site through unpaid search listings after users type in keyword-based search queries. 
  • Referral: Referral traffic comes from web page links on other sites. These pages could be blog posts, articles or sponsored posts that link back to your site.
  • Direct: Direct traffic happens when users arrive at your site after entering your URL directly or clicking through from links in browser bookmarks. 
  • Social: Social traffic comes to your site from links on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  • Paid: Paid traffic comes from links or ads that you’ve paid for and are displayed via search engines or on other sites. 
  • Email: Email traffic comes from links in emails that you’ve sent to customers after they sign up on your website.

Top Landing Page

The top landing page is the page that most users land on when they arrive at your site. While this could be your homepage, it could also be a specific blog post or product page that has generated traction via social interactions or referrals. Once you know which page is your most popular, you can ensure it is optimized for user visits.

Average Session Duration

Average session duration in Google Analytics refers to the average length of time users spend on your website from when they first arrive until they finally leave. Sessions include all actions, from reading blogs to viewing product pages to creating e-commerce carts and checking out. While higher session durations can indicate more engagement, average durations that are extremely high may suggest challenges with site features or functions.

Pages per Session

The number of pages per session is the total number of site pages a user visits before leaving. These could include your homepage, product pages, newsletter signup pages, FAQ pages — any page connected to your site counts as part of this KPI.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that stayed on a single page and then left. While this metric isn’t worrisome in and of itself, it can indicate a problem if Google Analytics also reports low average session duration. 

Page Load Speed

The faster your site loads, the better. Page load speed measures the average time it takes your site to display a webpage to visitors — the shorter, the better. Make users wait more than a few seconds and they may go somewhere else.

Conversions

Conversions are the number of users that “convert” from visitors to paying customers. More conversions mean more sales, which means improved website ROI.

Goals/Events Completion

It’s also worth measuring specific goals or events. For example, you could track how often users click through to a new page, or how many users are signing up for your newsletter.

Keeping Up With KPIs

Using KPIs for website performance is critical to drive sustained success. Used well, these indicators can help you understand where your site is working, where it needs improvement, and what specific areas need to change to help drive that improvement.

So how do you keep up with website KPIs? Start by identifying the metrics that matter most to your business. Then, use the right tools to help measure and manage these metrics and keep your site on track for success.

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