With so much data now available in real-time and at the touch of a button, it is essential that this information is measured in order to identify different levels of performance on any digital platform. With an ever growing number of tools available, there are numerous ways to measure key performance indicators through various metrics. The following article will give a little more information on some of the basic metrics that are worth tracking.

User Behaviour

One of the main ways to measure the performance of your website is through monitoring usage by your audience. Using the various metrics available through Google Analytics, you will be able to gain better insights into the more successful areas of your website, and other areas that could do with improvement. The following are a few metrics featured on Google Analytics that can help you gain a understanding of your users and their behaviour.

Bounce Rate
Bounce rates can be a little bit hit and miss as a high bounce rate can sometimes be viewed as a good thing, and other times it can mean that improvement is needed. It all depends on the type of page you are looking at. If it is a page filled with lots of information, then the reason for high bounce rate may imply that users have found the information they are looking for so have then left the website. For example, a contact page may have a high bounce rate as users would not need to go any further.

Referrals
This will help you identify inbound links from external sources, giving you more of an insight into popular online sources that can help promote your content. If you know that you are getting a good amount of traffic from a website, it will help you to find other, similar areas for marketing and distributing your content efficiently.

Page Views
Page views are a metric that helps identify the best performing pages on a website. It will give you a good indication of the pages that are performing well and attracting a lot of traffic, while also identifying pages that are not doing so well. The amount of page views can give an indication of the overall amount of traffic you receive and how good your site is in general for attracting traffic.

Time on Page
The time that a user spends on a page is usually a clear indication of whether or not they are interested in reading through the content. If the average is is higher, this would mean that they are taking the time to read through the content and digest the information, rather than having a quick glance.

SEO

Search engine optimisation is a key part of any website creation process. Without it, users will struggle to find the website.

Organic Search
This is a metric that can be found on Google Analytics under Acquisition. It allows you to see all of the search terms that have been typed into a search engine and shows that you are one of the listings that a user has clicked on. This can also give you a good indication of keywords you should be working on to develop further in your SEO strategy. The only issue with this is that Google only gives access to a relatively small percentage of keywords, unless you are spending a large amount of money with them through adwords for example.

Backlinks
These are the number of external sites that are linking back to your website. These external websites are providing a link to your website that can more often than not help boost your SEO. You only want credible websites linking back to your website, as others can have a negative effect on the rankings. Google have started cracking down on low quality links a few years ago so you want to ensure that all backlinks are of high quality.

Search engine rankings
Regular analysis should be conducted on the search engine rankings to gauge where your website is ranking against competitors. Type one of your main keywords into Google to see where your website ranks. Ideally, you want to be ranking on the first page. If there is a particular keyword that you are not ranking for, then you can identify areas of SEO that need to be improved before you can start ranking on the first page of the search engine results.

Engagement

Monitoring the amount of engagement is a crucial part of content marketing. This gives you an indication of how popular your content is and if you should produce more similar pieces in the future.

Shares
These could be social shares or website referrals from external sources. Either way, they are providing links back to your website and promoting content for free. Shares are a key part of marketing and can help in the process of making content go ‘viral’. You ideally want your content to receive both social shares and links to ensure it is being distributed to a wider audience.

Comments
Many people choose to turn off the option to comment on their content as they are afraid of spam and negative responses that might be received. But if you moderate each of the comments before they are put live, it gives you the chance to read real and often thoughtful responses to your content. It is also a direct way of gaining a better understanding of what your audience wants to see more of, which can give you inspiration to produce new content in the future.

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