3 Ways To Be Smarter With Your Web Data
The world of digital marketing is chock full of numbers and fancy industry jargon. With this deluge of data at our fingertips, it's easy to misread the numbers and draw the wrong conclusions.
Imagine you own a tire shop. Let's say 300 people come into your store, but only 50 of them own a car. Out of those 50, 10 have bald tires and are due for a state inspection. Wouldn't you want to concentrate your efforts on those who have a car, and especially those who are immediately in need of your business? This is how you should think of traffic to your website and why it's so extremely important to know the right way to read the data.
You'll often hear the number of overall sessions cited in a review of your website's performance. This number is frequently meant to impress. "You had 500,000 sessions last year" sure sounds exciting.
The reality is this number is easily inflated with poor quality traffic that is uninterested in your service or product and has been "tricked" into visiting your site. It is much more important to have qualified visitors vs. an absorbent amount.
This is not to say you shouldn't look at your sites overall traffic, just be sure to take the quality of that traffic into consideration.
By definition, the bounce rate of your website measures how often someone comes to your site and leaves before visiting a second page. At first glance, this seems like a great way to measure how interested users are in your product or service.
The truth is, the bounce rate must be taken with quite a few grains of salt. A website can have a relatively high bounce rate and be effective if users are landing on exactly the right page, finding the information they need, filling out a form, and leaving the website. This type of interaction would be considered a win by almost any business but would result in a high bounce rate if it all happened on one page.
The conversion rate of a website measures how many of the visitors do something you decide to measure. This could be completing a contact form, making a purchase, downloading a file, or any other action you consider a success.
The beauty of focusing on conversion rates is that they help sniff-out misleading numbers in other categories. A huge number of sessions and a low conversion rate means you are getting lots of unqualified traffic (customers who don't own cars are shopping in a tire store). High bounce rates coupled with high conversions rates is a great sign meaning your landing your customers on the right page and giving them all the information they need.
One word of warning here; when you look at conversion rates, be sure you're only measuring conversions that really matter. Is it really a "win" if someone visits a specific page? Bad conversion tracking leads to inaccurate conversion rates.