There is no single magic number that will tell you if your website is succeeding or not. However, there are a handful of metrics that have consistently proven to be extremely helpful in measuring how well your website is doing – and understanding what steps you need to take to improve it.
These ten KPIs are the most important indicators for web performance, which will help you know how your website is doing and what can be improved.
First off, what are KPIs?
What is a KPI?
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are the numbers and figures you monitor regularly to determine how your website is performing. With enough data, it’s possible to make good predictions about where your site will be in the future – as well as predict why certain areas need to change.
So, what are the 10 essential website KPIs and how to measure them?
1. Bounce Rate
What is the bounce rate?
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your website who only view one page, and then leave. This means they aren’t interested in what you have to offer, whether that’s a product or a service – and it costs you money.
A high bounce rate will cost you money, as you invest in website traffic that never converts. It’s important to keep a high quality score for this metric – which you can do by looking at your user demographics and improving site usability.
How to measure bounce rate?
A quick way to monitor the bounce rate on your website is with Google Analytics. This will tell you what percentage of total visits bounced and give you a score from 1-100.
Another option is to look at the number of people that only visit one page before leaving your website, then divide this by your overall pageviews. This will give you a similar percentage.
2. Time on Site
What is time on site?
Time on site is the average time that a visitor spends on your website. This is an extremely important KPI, as you need to spend enough time on making your content engaging – but not so long that it becomes tedious.
This is tricky to measure, but there are two main ways you can do this. The first is through Google Analytics, which will show you the average time on page for each post – or how long someone stays on your website if they read multiple posts.
Another option is to ask a question at the end of a blog post, which will reveal how long someone spent reading it for. For example: “How long did you spend reading this article?”
In general, the longer a visitor spends on your website, the better. However, if they’re spending too long without finding what they’re looking for – or without becoming engaged in your content – you may need to tighten things up a bit.
3. Traffic Sources
What are traffic sources?
This is one of the most important KPIs to track, as you need to know where your website traffic is coming from. If your main traffic source suddenly disappeared, how would you find out?
How to measure traffic sources?
There are two main ways to monitor this KPI – using Google Analytics and Search Console. Both will tell you all about where your web traffic comes from, including organic traffic that comes from SEO and other sources.That will help you measure the effectiveness of your SEO strategy.
If you use Google Analytics, click on Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Channels to show this information. You’ll be able to see if your traffic is coming from social media, organic search, or direct visits – as well as where they’re located in the world.
Search Console will display similar data – but it’s only available to those with AdWords accounts. Just click on the Keywords tab, then Traffic Sources -> Search -> Organic, to see how your traffic is found.
4. Conversion Rate
What is a conversion rate?
Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your website that take the desired action. This could be anything from buying a product to filling in an inquiry form or signing up for something.
How to measure conversion rate?
Monitoring your conversion rate is straightforward – with Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, and the Facebook Pixel.
Google Analytics will show you how many people have taken the desired action on your site, based on goals you set up in advance. Simply go to Conversions -> Goals -> Overview, then select the Goal Set that you want to review. You’ll be able to see how each post or page on your website contributes towards the overall goal.
It’s also possible to monitor conversion rate through Kissmetrics, which visualizes this metric for you – along with how it changes over time.
Facebook Pixel works in a similar way, allowing you to track user interactions with your brand across different platforms. You can set up a Facebook Pixel through Ads Manager or Power Editor, and it will track conversions on your website so you can see the most effective social media ads.
5. Pages per Session
What are pages per session?
A page per session KPI measures the average number of pages viewed by each visitor. This is another important metric, and it tells you how engaged your visitors are – and whether they’re finding what they’re looking for.
How to measure pages per session?
Google Analytics will automatically calculate this for you, and display it in the Audience Overview section. Just click on Users -> Sessions -> Page Views per Session, then select a time frame. You’ll be able to see how many pages your visitors are viewing when they land on your website, which is useful if you have high bounce rates.
6. Sessions per User
What are sessions per user?
Sessions per user is another important KPI that tells you how long visitors stay on your website. The longer they stay, the better – because it means they’re interested in what your content has to offer.
How to measure sessions per user?
It’s easy to monitor this metric with Kissmetrics and Google Analytics.
Kissmetrics will show you the average number of sessions, along with their total duration. You can view this data in Real-Time, over a certain time period – or compared to other metrics such as traffic sources and conversion rate.
Google Analytics will display this KPI on the Sessions -> Overview page, which you can find under the Audience section. It will also show you how this metric changes over time, along with where your sessions are coming from and what devices they’re using to access your site.
7. Page Load Time
What is page load time?
Page load time is the average amount of seconds it takes for your website to finish loading. If this KPI increases, visitors will become frustrated and leave – so it’s important to keep track of this metric.
How to measure page load time?
You can measure page load time using Google Analytics. Simply go to Real-Time -> Behavior -> Site Speed, then select a timeframe and the content that you want to track. You’ll be able to see how long it takes for your website pages to load, compared to previous months – which is useful if page load time has increased recently.
What are acquisition metrics?
Acquisition metrics are the most common KPIs – they measure how many new visitors you’re attracting. The acquisition will give you an idea of how effective your content is, and whether it’s working to attract new audiences.
How to measure acquisition?
As well as Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, and Facebook Pixel can also measure how many visitors you’re attracting.
Google Analytics will display this KPI on the Acquisition -> Overview page, which you can find under the Audience section – it shows you your website traffic sources and breaks them down by referral websites, campaigns, keywords, etc.
Kissmetrics will show you similar data in Real-Time – you’ll be able to compare the number of new sessions with other KPIs, which is useful if you’re seeing a drop in referrals.
Facebook Pixel will display this KPI on the Customization -> Overview page, allowing you to track conversions and how many users are completing different tasks – such as clicking ads or making purchases.
What are retention metrics?
Retention metrics measure how many people are returning to your website. It’s also useful if you’re running a blog – as it tells you whether your content is engaging enough to keep users coming back for more.
How to measure retention?
Kissmetrics will show this KPI in Real-Time, allowing you to break it down by traffic sources and compare it with other metrics such as page loads or sessions per user.
Google Analytics will display this KPI on the Audience -> Overview page, under the Behavior section – it breaks down your website visitors by loyalty and retention rates.
Facebook Pixel can also measure your website’s retention rate, so you can watch how new visitors are engaging with your website over time.
10. Average Session Duration
What is the average session duration?
Average session duration is the average amount of time that each visitor spends on your website. This metric usually increases if you’re receiving more traffic, or if there are fewer new visitors – so it’s important to keep track of this figure.
How to measure average session duration?
You can use Kissmetrics to measure this KPI in Real-Time, allowing you to compare it with other metrics such as page views or visitor devices.
Google Analytics will display this metric on the Audience -> Overview page, under the Behavior section – just select a website from the list and scroll down to check out your average session duration.
KPIs are a great way of tracking your website’s performance and showing whether it’s achieving its goals. It can be tough to stay on top of everything, but using the right tools such as Google Analytics and Kissmetrics is a good place to start.