10 Website Metrics Every Landscaping and Home Building Company Should Track
Website analytics are not a-learn-it-overnight kind of topic. From selecting the right tools, to understanding how to use them - you can invest hundreds of hours and still be in the dark about truly understanding how well your website is doing online. There are a few that are more important than others and thankfully, we'll help you identify these top metrics to get you on the right track.
First, selecting the right tool isn't as important as always using the same tool. Every website tracking tool (e.g. Google Analytics is one) uses slightly different reasoning in their calculations. Some have more filters and some give you the raw data. So before you go on tracking a specific group of metrics, the first and most important thing you need to do is pick a source for your metrics and stick to it. Sure, you can compare results from different sources - but you should have only one ultimate source of truth for yourself. We here at Halstead Media recommend either Google Analytics (free) of HubSpot (paid and super user-friendly). Okay, now on to the most important ten metrics.
- Organic Traffic. This is the most important metric you can look at it. In fact, until you get this number above 10 a month (no kidding, this number can be this low for many local businesses), don't bother looking at anything else. This is FREE traffic to your site straight from search results. Your goal is to get more organic traffic than from any other source. Read this related article to learn how to get more of this traffic: Not All Blogs Are Made the Same
- Social Traffic. While you're bumping up your organic traffic, this is a good one to depend on. This metric includes visitors to your site from posts you've made on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media sites. A small percentage also can come from just having your website url listed in about sections. Related: 5 Facebook Myths Every Home Design & Build Pro Show Know.
- Email Traffic. How effective are those email campaigns you send? Yes, you should be tracking clicks directly from your email provider (e.g. Mailchimp). But you should also absolutely be looking at this volume from your ultimate source of truth (e.g. Google Analytics). How does this volume compare to other streams? Keep in mind that you won't see this source everyday or every week, so make sure when you're looking for it, your date range is set to includes dates in which you've sent emails. Related: Send Better Email to Your Prospects and Clients.
- Referral Traffic. This is usually bogus traffic. Unless you've done a superb job with connecting with other sites, most of the volume from this source is spam. If you click through it, you'll often find fake websites as a source. If you're not using Google Analytics, but other sources such as HubSpot, this kind of fake traffic is filtered out, so you can rest assured only real people traffic is calculated. This source, referral, is why we don't suggest you just track traffic volume as an overall number (unless you use a tool that filters this out).
- Bounce Rate. This is the percentage of folks who left your site after viewing the original page they landed on, without bothering to see other pages. A bounce rate is: A, how well the person connected with what you wrote. And B, if the content on the page was relevant to what the visitor searched for. If it's not, then they were misguided in your page title or you're using the wrong keywords. Lower bounce rate is better. Find which pages have the lowest percentages and start considering what that magic elements are so that you can implement those elements or adjustments on the pages that have high bounce rates. As with some other metrics, consider your date range. You don't want to look at this data for a weeks worth - you want at least a month.
- Pages Viewed (not to be confused with PageViews). This is tricky. Your oldest pages will often have the highest number of pageviews, but this doesn't make them your most successful pages. What's valuable here is to understand which pages were viewed and then look at the other metrics from this list.
- Leads. Okay, so this won't usually be found on Google Analytics. Here, you have to consider how many forms are filled out, how many emails you receive from visitors on your site, as well as how many calls you get from people on your site. Start with number of form completions if you're unsure about the rest, set a goal, and get more aggressive with forms!
- Queries. In its simplest definition, this is the phrase that people search in which your website comes up. Are these the keywords you want? What's missing? Then, get writing!
- CTR. This is the result of clicks divided by impressions. Found in the same place as queries (usually), it shows you how many clicks to your site were made from the times a searcher saw your website in search results. Low click through rate (CTR) means your website page description wasn't exciting enough or irrelevant to the search phrase. If your website or website page is stuffed with keywords rather than content that people would actually be interested in, you will have a low click through rate. What's worse is that Google tracks this and penalizes pages that continuously have low CTRs. Do yourself a favor and don't keyword stuff.
- New Visitor vs Returning Visitor. How many new people are you attracting to your site? Is anyone coming back? If your site is full of almost completely new visitors, time to evaluate why people aren't interested in returning. More forms could be the answer to bring them back (along with many other ways).
When looking at your website metrics, keep in mind that you want to group metrics together to create an overall story of what's happening. One metric alone will not help in making impactful changes!