Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Data collection metrics for Web sites

Description of metric
Average time on page Provides the average time spent on a Web page by a visitor. It tells you how long a visitor stayed on a page within a given visit duration (usually 30 minutes).

If the goal of your Web page is to provide information, the time spent on your page will likely be greater than if the goal of your Web page is to send people to other sites.

You should compare the time spent on your page with the average time spent on the Web site, to get a sense of how much time a visitor may be spending on average during a given site visit.
Average time on site Provides the average time spent on your site by a visitor. It tells you how long a visitor stayed on your site within a given visit duration (usually 30 minutes).
Exit rate Helps you determine the number of visitors who exit the site from a given page. A high exit rate from your page would be an indicator of a few things:

  • your page contains links to external sites and hence visitors exit here;
  • the visitor was able to complete their task and therefore left the page or;
  • the visitor was not able to complete their task and hence left the page.
    Conversely, a low exit rate would be an indicator that visitors spend more time on your page while completing their task and depending on the content on your page, it can be good for your site/page(s).
Number of visits Provides the total amount of traffic your site gets during a given period of time. Trending the visits over time will provide patterns on amount of traffic that your site gets.
Search analytics Provides data related to search engine behavior on your site and on the Web. It is important since search engines play a key role in enabling visitors to get to your content through Web search engines and site search engines. The types of data to look for are:

  • Web search keywords: keywords visitors search for on Web search engines (through which they get to your content);
  • number of visits with searches: provides an understanding of how many of your visitors use search to find something on your site vs. browsing or landing on the page they are looking for;
  • site search keywords: gives you a representation of content that visitors look for once they are on your site. It provides good insights on understanding what visitors look for in your site;
  • search engine referrals: the number of visits and visitors to your site sent through search engines.
Top exit pages Helps determine the pages from which visitors leave/exit from your site. Knowing the exit page will help you enhance content on those pages to retain visitors or increase engagement.

Exit rate is calculated separately for each page because it is the property of an individual page independent of any other page on the site.
Top visited pages (by number of page views) Provides trends on the most visited (most popular) content on your site/section. It enables you to see which pages visitors visit most frequently when visiting your site. This data will help you understand which content should be prioritized in your site's content strategy.

Comparing the page views per visit will give you an estimate of how many times your page was viewed during a visit.
Traffic sources Provides a view of the sources from where visitors come to your site/section. It is usually representative of sources such as direct traffic, referring sites, and search engines.

By knowing which sources work best at directing traffic to your page, you can work on strategies to improve ways to get more visitors to your page.
Visitor loyalty (number of returning visitors) Provides trends on unique and return visitors that can inform how frequently site/page content needs to change.

If the goal of your site/section is to have visitors return for new information, this metric will help provide insight into whether your site is doing a good job at getting users back to the site or not.

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