Measure the success of your website with #analytics - Don't play pin the tail on the donkey with your marketing!

Measure and Improve the Success of Your Website with Analytics – It’s Easy!

Measure the success of your website with #analytics - Don't play pin the tail on the donkey with your marketing!If you’re not using analytics to measure your website’s success and to inform your online marketing strategy, you’re playing the online marketing version of pin the tail on the donkey – aimlessly drifting about, hoping something will stick, and in the right place! Everything you do, everywhere on the web, should be with the aim of driving visitors to your website and landing pages. To that end, it’s time to get comfortable with analytics.

If your website isn’t already using Google Analytics, HubSpot, or some other software to measure your results, get in touch with your website manager and ask them to set it up before you go any further. All set? Good.

What do all those Numbers Mean?

It can be tempting to just pick one number, maybe unique visitors or pageviews and just compare that month to month. However, if you do that you’re missing out on a lot of valuable data that can help you see how you’re doing and, even more importantly, how to improve. Let’s look at eight major metrics, what to aim for, what they mean, and lastly – how to improve.

Measuring Website Success – 1. Unique Visitors

The number of people who visited your site.  This does not count repeat visits by the same person.

What You Want to See

Look for an upward trend over time and for spikes that coincide with marketing campaigns.

What it means & How to Improve

This means that your content and marketing efforts are driving visitors to your site. Also, check for trends during specific marketing campaigns to see what resonates best. If your count isn’t rising, or you see no spikes during concentrated periods of marketing, it’s time to reassess the type of content you are sharing. It may not be what your potential buyers are interested in. Time to take another look at your buyer personas.

Measuring Website Success – 2. New Visitors Vs. Returning Visitors

Compares how many of your unique visitors are new and how many are coming back.

What you Want to See

About 15% repeat visitors.

What it means & How to Improve

Up to a certain point, more repeat visitors mean your website contains valuable content that keeps people coming back. A repeat visitor rate around 30% means you are probably not getting enough new visitors to generate new leads and customers. Concentrate on continually offering valuable content. Share it on social media and remind people about your site by sending targeted email campaigns.

Measuring Website Success – 3. Traffic Sources

How people found your site – either directly (by entering your URL in a browser), organic search engine traffic or referral traffic from another website.

What to Look For

Organic traffic around 40-50%. Referral traffic at about 20-30%

What it means & How to Improve

Those healthy numbers mean your SEO and link building efforts are working. Anything else means you need to refocus some of your time and effort (or budget) on SEO and link building – which may simply mean creating more relevant, sharable content.

Measuring Website Success – 4. Referring URLs

Sites other than search engines that send traffic to your site. These are also known as “inbound links” and they give your site a boost in search engine rankings.

What to Look For

Watch for your list of referring URLs to grow steadily over time.

What it means & How to Improve

Your content is deemed worthy of a share by others. Look at what they’re sharing so you’ll know what kinds of content you should focus on.

Understanding website analytics can help you reach your online marketing goals!Page 2: What your most/least popular pages, number of indexed pages, landing page conversions and bounce rate mean…

About the Author Alisa Meredith (311 Posts)

As co-owner and chief inbound marketing consultant at Scalable Social Media, Alisa Meredith spends a lot of time keeping up with online marketing trends for the benefit of our customers. Computers have been a passion of hers since her first T1-99, so inbound and social media marketing is a natural fit.


  1. I totally agree Alisa. If you’re not reviewing your site’s analytics, the recommendations you’re making are just random and blind guesses of what might work. I’m not sure people realize how much insightful data they have available to them.

  2. Alisa Meredith

    Thanks for stopping by, Josh! I can completely relate to the person who prefers to just be creative and do what feels right, but it pays to just sit down and make yourself look – even if it’s just at these few numbers.

  3. Agreed. Being on the creative side myself, I’m all for what feels right. But I’ve learned that it’s a heck of a lot easier to get clients to spend money on new projects when you have tangible proof that your recommendations work. Until everyone else understands what we already know, we won’t have to worry about job security.

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