3. Page Views and Average Page Views Per Visit
Your page views is a metric that fits somewhere between your views and your hits. This tells you how many individual pages have been viewed, regardless of who viewed them or how many times. Thus it might also be referred to as impressions.
Your page views are important because they tell you how many times the content on your site is being loaded up. And if you have a lot of CPM ads (pay cost per impression), then that tells you how much you’re going to earn from them. It’s also useful to consider aspects like your unique visits vs. page views when you look at factors like conversion rates (below). A useful metric because each new page view can be considered a new chance for you to impress your visitors.
This metric is closely related to another very useful one: that being the average page views per visit. Similar to your bounce rate, but provides a little more in-depth data that shows you how many different pages your visitor looked around on your site. Very useful to know because it can tell you whether you are successful in getting your visitors to not only interact with your site but also to keep reading.
If you think of your visitors in terms of leads, then the visitors who read the most pages on your site are the most engaged with your brand and are thus the ‘warmest leads.’ The more page views you get from each visitor, the more likely it is that they will eventually buy when they see your product.
Another related metric/term that you should keep an eye on is your average cost per page view. This tells you how much you are paying to get each hit on your page. If you aren’t doing any paid marketing, then, of course, this will likely be a very small number (the only cost being your hosting). But if you are spending money on AdWords and other things, then this is a useful way to look at your expenses.
Now, this is a metric that won’t be readily available in most dashboards. Keep in mind is that most of the most valuable metric in internet marketing aren’t; you need to calculate them yourself!
To work this one out, all you need to do is take the average spend on your website and then divide it by the number of page views. Don’t forget to include all your other costs too, to make this data as accurate as possible.
How do you increase your page views?
Other than by marketing your site to increase visits, the other thing you need to do is to keep your visitors on your page and to keep them reading. Remember how we said that content was the key to SEO and Social Media Marketing? Well, it’s also the key to engagement. It’s not enough for you to create a lot of content – you also need to make sure that your content is top quality and is unique, interesting and generally the sort of thing people want to read and stick around for longer.
You can also use plugins and other techniques to try and encourage people to stick around and go deeper down your rabbit hole. For example, WordPress plugins showing ‘related posts’ can be very helpful in this regard because they suggest similar content based on what the visitor is already enjoying.
Note: that advertising itself is actually bad for your page views.
Because when someone clicks on an advert, they invariably get taken away from your site! Even if the new page opens up in another window or tab, that can still be enough to break the engagement. (This is why you shouldn’t put AdSense on a sales page)!
4. Track Referrers
Not all of the data you’ll find in your Analytics or WordPress dashboards is going to be quantitative – some of it will be qualitative, meaning that it doesn’t show numbers but rather details.
And the most important of that qualitative data is the referrer. Your referrer section shows you where your traffic is coming from. Are more of your visits coming from Google? Or are they coming from your Facebook page?
Why is this important?
For starters, it lets you see which of your marketing efforts are paying off. And which money is well spent – which is something that looking at your profits can’t necessarily tell you. If you spend money on SEO service, for example, and your profits don’t go up, you might be tempted to think the company isn’t doing its job. But if you look closer and realize that your referrers from Google have gone up massively, then that might tell you that the problem isn’t with the SEO company but with your bounce rates, or your product.
Likewise, you can look at your referrers as a way to see what kind of person is coming to your site. If you have a product aimed at martial artists and all your traffic is coming from a martial arts forum, then this tells you a few things.
A) That forum is a good source for future links
B) you should look into getting more links from similar sites and
C) you might want to consider making a product for martial artists.
Pay careful attention to your referrers so that you can improve all the other metric and so that you can spot anomalies that could upset your data!
5. Track Conversion Rates
Your conversion rate tells you how many of your visitors are ‘converting’ in the way that you want them to. In most cases, that is going to mean that they are buying a product from you – but it could also mean that they’re signing up to a mailing list or even that they’re clicking on an advert on your website. Your site has achieved its end goal!
The way you track conversion rates is a little different, seeing as this is a flexible term that can mean very different things depending on the nature of your website and your business. The way you are normally going to do this is by using ‘goals.’
Goal tracking means that you place a script on your ‘goal page’ and this then leaves a cookie on the browsers of your visitors. That goal page will likely be the ‘Thank you for subscribing’ page, or perhaps your order confirmation page. You know that once a visitor reaches this page, they will have to have converted.
In turn, that also means that you can now track their trajectory through your website and you can see what proportion of your visitors make it to that page.
Tracking conversion rates is incredibly important for the majority of online businesses because this is what is going to have the biggest impact on your ‘bottom line’. A lot of people believe that they need to focus on increasing their views and engagement, but if you are looking at your website from a purely business perspective, then conversion rates are all that matter.
How do you know if your advertising expenses were a good investment? Only by tracking your goals and looking at your conversion rates.
And likewise, tracking your conversion rates is the only way that you get more people to buy your products. As with the previous metrics we’ve looked at, once you know your numbers in this area, you can then make changes to try and improve them and track whether or not your changes are making a positive impact.
How to Improve Your Conversion Rates
The great thing about your conversion rates is that you have full control over all of the factors influencing them.
When you’re looking at your visits, for example, this is partly going to be dictated by your search ranking. While you can do everything you can do to improve your search ranking, the final decision ultimately lies with Google. The algorithm they use is a secret, and thus no guarantees can be made. Sometimes you will see spikes or troughs in your number of views, hits or page views and be completely unable to do anything about it.
Your conversion rates might change inexplicably too, and they might seem mysterious sometimes. But you still control all the factors – from your product to the price, to the sales script, to the site design. Keep tweaking until you get the precise result you’re looking for.
And there’s a great strategy you can use to accomplish this, called ‘A/B Testing’ or ‘Split Testing.’ Here, you essentially create two identical versions of your website with just one slight change and then you compare them to each other while paying close attention to the metric.
So for example, if your conversion rates aren’t quite as high as you’d like them to be and you blame your ugly header font, then you can try to make two identical versions of your site with only the heading being different. You’ll then send a portion of your visitors to the new version with the new header, and you’ll be able to compare the conversion rates. If the new site is making far more sales from the same number of visitors, then you can adopt that new change across all your sites. If it isn’t, you reject the changes!