Website metrics you should be tracking (but you’re not): Part I
We all know that Web analytics are the best way to track the overall health of your site and marketing campaigns. If you’re an analyst or stakeholder, you’re all too familiar with monthly spreadsheet reports and charts showing month-over month online sales, page views, and search engine page rankings.
But in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, tracking the month-over-month metrics are often less important than being able to react in real-time to events happening on your site. If even a small percentage of your users are abandoning the funnel, it will eventually mean big revenue losses. All over an issue that likely could have been identified using real-time analytics.
This Web analytics series is dedicated to the “low hanging fruit” metrics — identifying the seemingly small (but easily fixed) user issues that can, over time, mean big differences in your numbers. FoxMetrics gives you a much clearer picture of any issues users are encountering, because we give you all of your data (instead of just a small sample).
Without further ado, here’s the first in our series of what website metrics to track.
#1: You should be looking at site speed.
Users have little patience for a slow-loading page. Since these issues can usually be resolved easily, it’s important to constantly monitor your homepage and other key pages to make sure they’re loading at an acceptable speed (no more than a few seconds).
Some more tactical tips:
- Start by analyzing the pages where you’re sending a lot of paid media. Is there a landing page you’re using for a particular ad campaign, or a category of product pages where you’re focusing your PPC efforts? If these pages are slow to load for some reason, you may be throwing money out the window.
- Are you noticing pages with suspiciously high bounce rates? Load time may be the culprit, and should be one of the first things you rule out.
- Considering that 47% of consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less (according to a study by Akamai), consider optimizing pages that take more than 3 seconds to load.
- Services like GT Metrix offer free scans of your site, with tips on how to optimize for load speed.
- Be sure to check out our earlier post on tracking load times as an attribute to events.
Today’s retail sites are larger and more complex than ever, and the average load speed for many is actually increasing. Don’t let your site be among these! Keeping a close eye on site speed in your analytics dashboard will help make sure you’re not losing visitors due to something that’s easily fixed.