Measuring Inbound Traffic: 6 Data Points You Should Examine Today

Posted by on September 13, 2013 in Internet Marketing, Marketing [ 0 Comments ]

site traffic bounce rateUsing an analytics program to identify the successes, failures and needed improvements for your website is a key part of staying competitive online today. Many key performance indicators (KPIs) should be identified by any business owner or marketing department. Have you identified what indicators are important for your business’s site?

RelatedBlog Traffic: Why 40 Unique Visitors Is Nothing to Complain About

An example KPI for an online shop that sells ink & toner might be final sales and website conversion rate. Ultimately, their business model is to sell ink & toner online. Monitoring final sales will help identify if they are successful online or need improvements to their inbound marketing strategy. Below are 6 KPIs that might be important to pay attention to for your site. Pay attention on a regular basis to these KPIs and measure the effectiveness of inbound traffic.

#1 Visits

How many users visit your site on a monthly basis? By examining total visits and unique visits you’re able to identify which inbound marketing efforts are working effectively. Take a baseline of what an average week, month, quarter or year looks like for your site. Growth stagnation or decline will help you understand when a problem with your inbound marketing exists. Extreme growth can help you discover what’s working correctly as well. Examine:

  • Direct visitors
  • Search engine traffic
  • Social media traffic
  • Referral traffic from specific marketing sources
  • Highest visited pages on your site

Related4 Keyword Research Tips for Business Owners

#2 Time on Site

How long are visitors staying on your website? Looking at average time on site can help identify areas where a page might not be performing to baselines and require some refreshing. It can also indicate a page that may be too complex for users if they are spending an extensive amount of time on the page. Start examining time on site to evaluate if an issue exists with content on your site.

#3 Pages Per Visit

Are visitors clicking around on your site? As a web visitor engages with your services or products they will often visit multiple pages on your site. In the ink & toner example, visitors might browse many different products before choosing the best for their needs. It’s not often that someone decides to purchase after simply viewing one page. Examine pages per visit to help you understand the effective use of existing content and how the average visitor interacts with your site.

#4 Sales Funnel

Understanding your sales funnel – the steps prospective customers take to convert into a sale – is something that can be monitored using your website analytics program. Start looking at certain sales funnel steps as opportunities to monitor. Have a lot of visitors falling out of the funnel at one step? Look to make improvements, set goals and work toward improvement. Understand how visitors from certain marketing tactics utilize the sales funnel as well.

#5 Total Conversions & Conversion Rate

At the end of the day your site is likely there to sell something. If you sell product and services offsite, you can still look to identify areas of your site that act as conversions. Whether it’s filling out a lead form, requesting more information or staying on your site longer these areas can be seen as goals and/or conversions. Set up goals, track conversions and examine your conversion rate. Conversion data can help you establish which traffic is the most profitable for you, determine how much of your marketing dollars should be spent on certain activities and products that are more popular than others.

Related: Designing Your Most Effective Landing Page

#6 Bounce Rate

Visitors who come to your site and within a very short window click the “back” button or click out of your site are registered as a bounce. Often, visitors who bounce from your site do so for lack of a compelling enough reason to stay on the site. A high bounce rate on a certain page may indicate a need to improve the page, provide what the visitor is looking for, or evaluate other reasons.

These are just a few examples of the data you can examine and understand inbound marketing performance. Also check out this article, “Google Analytics 101: Best Practices for eCommerce Websites” to learn more about installing analytics, determining metrics important to your site and what you can infer from the data you analyze. Start measuring your inbound traffic today!

About the Author: Kaila Strong is the Director of Client Strategy at Vertical Measures, an internet marketing agency based in Phoenix. Vertical Measures focuses on search, social and content marketing to achieve client goals of more traffic, more leads and more business. Follow her on twitter @cliquekaila or on Google+.

(Image: mapichai via

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