A robust website analytics program is becoming a must-have, not just a "nice to have," for businesses around the world. To fully understand how well a company website functions, who's trafficking the page and where gaps exist in the code or content, organizations need a process for regularly measuring and reporting on a handful of factors.

There are an endless amount of metrics businesses can track within their website analytics, and some are more useful—and telling—than others. Understanding which metrics will be most valuable to your site visitors and bottom line is the first step to rolling out or growing your analytics program.

Four Metrics to Track in Your Website Analytics Program

Navigating the volume of metrics that gauge a website's performance is a daunting task. Over time, businesses can edit and add different indicators to their analytics mix, but here are four that serve as a strong starting point for any analytics program:

  • Search Engine Optimization: Many factors contribute to an SEO program's performance, including backlinks, technical infrastructure, search terms and content. To understand how well your site performs from an SEO perspective, keep track of how many of your pages Google indexes and which search terms drive the most traffic.
  • Website Speed Time: Once an end user finds and decides to visit your site, speed and load time are two elements that influence whether she’ll stay. Search engines, including Google, penalize slow loading sites, and users have increasingly strict standards too. Almost half of visitors will abandon websites that take more than three seconds to load. Measuring factors such as time to render, time to first byte and document complete time are quick ways to see whether your website falls within these thresholds.
  • Homepage Performance: Often, your website homepage is the first chance your business has at making a lasting, positive impression on visitors. Aside from how fast it loads, a homepage should include clear calls to action and engaging copy that compels readers to dig deeper into the site. A great metric to track is the sequence in which visitors view content on your homepage. With insight into what's catching users' attention, you can prioritize content accordingly.
  • Aesthetic Appearance: Measuring website functionality and search engine performance are top priorities in the analytics world, but the visual impact of a site is equally important. By creating heat maps, businesses can track precisely how visitors engage with different parts of their website and which content is the most impactful. This data informs your site architecture and uncovers ways to rearrange assets or calls to action to encourage the most interaction.

Making the Most Out of Your Website Analytics

If you feel like you're lacking visibility into your company's website performance or don't know where to start with website reporting, it may be time to pursue a formal website analytics program.

At Walker Sands Digital, our team of website design, development and SEO experts can help you understand which metrics you should be tracking for your website and how to derive the most value from those analytics. We can even create a free, custom website analytics report that shows how your website is performing and which areas need improving. Contact us today at (312) 267-0066 to get started.