...life is about taking action, and if your work is not driving action, you need to stop and reboot...hits and pageviews don't mean anything except that someone came to your site and consumed some content...metrics are a dime a dozen, so how do you know which ones to use? They should have the following four attributes...
Your business is different than everyone else's, so why would you look at the same measurements of success as everyone else? Everyone looks at visitors to their site, but what does that tell you about how your business is doing? If you sell a high-end product and the only people coming to your site are those looking for a cheap solution, it doesn't matter how far up and to the right that blue line goes for visitors, your business isn't growing. You want to look at the metrics that will tell you if you are progressing with growth. That's why the most important step you can take toward success is identifying the metrics that will tell you if what you really want to happen for your business is happening or not.
What actions do you need your customers in order to achieve the site outcomes you desire? Do they need to consume more content? Do more of them need to make it to your product detail pages instead of bouncing off your home page? Do you need to increase visitors from a certain website that sends high-converting traffic? Do you need more conversions from PPC traffic? What needs to happen on your site to get your business to where you want it to be? Once you've got this down, you can now find out what metric will tell you if it's happening or not.
If I need visitors to consume more content so that they can learn about how my product or service benefits them, my metrics for success might be Time on Site or Pageviews/Visit. If more visitors need to make it to my product detail pages, I might make Product Detail Page Entrances on my site my chosen metric and ramp up my PPC and SEO to those pages. If I need more conversions from PPC, I might use clicks and conversion rate as my primary metrics. Bottom line: what you spend your time looking at and trying to improve should align with the outcomes that will grow your business.
Mike Fleming specializes in Analytics and Paid Search for Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @SEMFlem. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.
Mike and the team at Pole Position are available to help clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Contact them via their site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
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