Key website metrics and how to use them effectively


Key website metrics

So you’ve got a new website design, but how do you know if users are engaging with it correctly? A good place to start is with your website analytics. There are lots of elements that can help you get a better understanding of user intent. In this article, we’re looking at key website metrics and how to use them effectively.

Website design

When planning a new website, there are lots of elements to consider. For example, you’ll need to decide how many pages you need and the type of imagery you plan to use, all while keeping up with the latest website trends.

Your website’s design can have a significant impact on the way that people use your site. For example, if your website is difficult to navigate or information is not clear, users may end up leaving and heading over to your competitor’s website instead.

Creating an aesthetically pleasing website is important, but ensuring a good user experience is even more crucial. Our expert developers use WordPress website design to create impressive websites that meet the user’s needs.

Key website metrics

As a business, one of your goals might be to increase website traffic or rank higher on search engines. Whatever your goals, you’ll need to carefully track a range of essential metrics to understand how to reach them.

Pages per session

Pages per session is the number of pages that a user visits during one time on your website. The aim is to keep users on your website, as this is an indication that your content is engaging. The average number of pages per session for a website is between 1.7 and 4. This means a user will visit this number of individual pages before leaving your site.

How to improve pages per session

  • Keep your website simple
  • Use call to actions
  • Make your site more engaging
  • Lower page load time

Conversion rate

Your conversion rate highlights how many users took the action you wanted them to take. These actions vary widely depending on your business but can include purchasing a product, contacting your business, completing a form or just generally engaging with your website.

The ideal conversion rate range is between 2% and 5%. However, these may vary depending on your sector and the products or services you offer.

How to improve the conversion rate

  • Identify your audience and what they want to achieve
  • Make things easy for your audience
  • Complete testing

In Google Analytics 4, conversions are labelled as events taken by a user on a website.

Unique visitors

The unique visitors metric is concerned with users who visit your website for the first time. When they visit following this time, they are not included in the number of unique visitors. Some tools use cookies to track new visitors, but other elements can be used.

Unique visitors vary widely based on your industry. Therefore, it’s difficult to provide an ideal number of visitors. Measuring this metric can provide valuable insights into how effective your marketing strategy is at engaging brand-new website visitors rather than those who may already have brand loyalty.

Average time on page

The average time a user spends on a web page involves when they visited and when they left. Remember that this metric won’t track a person’s time on a page if they left the website on it.

These are referred to as exit pages and might be worth looking at if one clear page is responsible for this. Some of the top exit pages are contact pages or thank you pages.

Ideally, your users would spend longer on a page, as this highlights that the content is engaging and fulfilling their search intent. However, this all depends on the page they are spending time on. For example, users may spend less time on landing pages or contact pages.

You can also look at time on-site, which will give you an insight into the average session duration of a user. The introduction of Google Analytics 4 means that the average time on a page will be replaced by the average engagement time.

business keyword ranking

Traffic sources

Website traffic can come from many places. It may come from the search engine, social media platforms, an email, referral traffic or elsewhere. Direct traffic is when users specifically search for your business or URL.

Traffic that comes from the search engine can be either organic (more on that soon) or paid. Paid search traffic typically comes from users visiting an advert on the search results page.

Every business will have a most common traffic source. The key aspect is to consider what you currently do to promote that. How much traffic would you like? Does the current strategy work? How could it be improved?

Organic search traffic results

Organic traffic is anyone who visits your website via free search results. For example, they may have searched for a query relevant to your industry, and your website has appeared on the search engine results page. This is mainly achieved by investing in search engine optimisation (SEO). Without an SEO strategy, your business might struggle to appear on the first page, meaning you’ll receive fewer clicks.

Different SEO methods can be used to improve website rankings, such as on-page SEO and off-page SEO. The success of these can be measured by assessing key metrics, such as how many visitors you had and other website engagement metrics.

How to increase organic traffic

Engagement rates (previously bounce rate)

One key metric that has been important for businesses is the bounce rate. Your bounce rate measures the percentage of users that visit your website and leave without visiting another page. In Google Analytics 4, the bounce rate is being replaced by engagement rates.

Bounce rate – what is a good number?

Most websites have a bounce rate between 26% and 70%, with the ideal range being the lower end of that. It’s very unlikely that you’d have a bounce rate of less than 26%, so there’s not much point in aiming for it.

How can I improve engagement rates?

There could be many reasons why your website is failing to engage users; perhaps it’s not very easy to use or is failing to display content properly. So how can you fix it?

  • Use the site yourself – you may find that there’s an apparent reason why people aren’t sticking around for longer. For example, maybe they’re hitting a 404 page due to an incorrect URL.
  • Optimise your site for mobile – this is one of Google’s ranking factors, so you may find that your visibility improves too.
  • Ensure your content meets the user’s needs – conduct keyword research and create quality content.

With the introduction of Google Analytics 4, the bounce rate will no longer be a metric. These will be replaced by several new metrics, including engaged session, average engagement time per session and engagement rates.

web metrics Google Analytics

How to measure website performance metrics – Google Analytics

Measuring your performance is important if you want to understand exactly what works and what doesn’t. Of course, this will vary widely from business to business, so it’s important that you relate it to your own.

There are lots of tools available to help you measure these metrics. Google Analytics is very popular due to its ease of use and ability to outline each metric clearly.

Google Analytics gives you access to all these metrics for your entire website. With a clear understanding of the scores, you can identify the elements that work and those that need improvement.

Depending on when you started using Google Analytics, you may have already been using its latest interface. Google Analytics 4 will completely replace Google’s Universal Analytics by July 2023.

If you haven’t yet switched to Google Analytics 4, they recommend doing so as soon as possible. This allows you to have some time to understand the changes before the old version is replaced. We’ve written a handy guide to Google Analytics 4 if you need any more information.

There are some vital changes to web metrics in Google Analytics 4, so make sure you don’t get caught out. Those already using GA4 have reported the missing bounce rate being the most significant metric change.

Why do website metrics matter?

By tracking these important web metrics, you’re allowing yourself to understand how users behave on your website. These key website metrics don’t define success, but they are a good indicator of what works and what could be improved.

Having access to these metrics means you can make better decisions for your business and focus on providing your target audience with what they want.

We hope this article has been helpful on some of the most important website metrics. Our friendly team are always happy to help, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding key website metrics.