As a small business owner, you spend at least a portion of your limited time and resources on marketing your products and services. You’re busy creating content, posting it on social networks and finding other creative ways to attract customers online, but how do you know if your efforts are paying off? To figure out how well your marketing campaigns are performing, you need to understand, track and analyze web metrics.
Understanding what metrics are and how they work will give you insight into the way your visitors behave online, help you identify problems with your marketing efforts, and most importantly, help you avoid wasting time and money creating poorly-executed online campaigns.
Are you targeting audiences that aren’t responding? Are you successfully converting site visitors into paying customers? Are you using the right keyword phrases so that your business shows up in search engine results? What pages on your website get the most clicks? Are people opening the marketing emails you send? A working knowledge of web metrics will empower you with the information and tools you need to achieve success online.
To help, here is a compiled glossary of basic terms to help you effectively measure your marketing efforts. Remember to review your web metrics at least once a week to monitor, gauge and tweak the performance of your online marketing campaigns.
Abandonment: This happens when a visitor to your website exits or leaves a process, such as buying a product or filling out a survey, and does not return later to complete the action.
Bounce rate: This metric is the percentage of people who logged on to your website and immediately exited, spending no actual time on any of the pages. In email marketing, the term bounce rate refers to the number of emails that were sent, but did not reach the intended recipients.
Conversion rate: This metric is the percentage of visitors that were converted into buyers on your site by either completing a purchase or filling out a contact form requesting more information.
Forwards: In email marketing, this is a metric that tells you how many people forwarded your email to another person.
Inbound links: These are links from other websites that point to specific pages on your website.
Keywords: These are words and phrases people use to search the Internet in an effort to find specific information. Online tools like WordTracker allow you to find the most searched keywords and phrases related to the product or service you’re selling. This gives you the ability to tailor marketing campaigns to the specific terms being typed into search engines in real-time.
Landing page: This is the page your visitors land on after clicking a link in an email, an ad or on another site. Your landing page could be your homepage or any other page of your site.
Leads: This term identifies the number of visitors who filled out a form on your site or downloaded an offer.
Opens: In email marketing, this metric represents the number of people who opened an email that you sent.
Page views per visit: This represents the average number of web pages visited on a site during a specified time period.
Referring websites: This metric refers to websites, other than search engines, that referred visitors to your site.
Unique visitor: People who visit your website for the first time.
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