I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that you should be measuring your website analytics. So instead of telling you why you should be measuring it, I’m going to break down what we consider to be the most important data points with regard to engagement and what they mean.
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” - Peter Drucker
Something to note before we get started. For each of these numbers below, the 'goal range' will vary based on the type of business. A simple Google will be able to tell you your specific industry goal range.
#1 Bounce Rate
No, the number 1 engagement analytic you should be tracking is not website traffic. It’s bounce rate. What is a bounce rate? Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website before clicking to a different page. Aka they bounce.
For most B2B services, a good bounce rate is between 25-55%. That means 55% of visitors may only visit the first page they land on and that is still in the good range. For most websites, the homepage is going to be the most visited first page which is why the information on your homepage is so important.
A high bounce rate can mean a few different things but they all tie back to content and customer experience:
The content on your website isn’t adequately explaining your service or value proposition
The design of your website isn’t appealing or is confusing to your customers
You are not getting in front of the right customers
There is no tell-tale sign as to which combination of these is attributing to your high bounce rate other than creating a hypothesis, making changes, and measuring the effects.
Tip #1: Make sure you have plenty of links to other parts of your website on your homepage. This means having the most relevant blogs on the front page. Make sure you are linking to your ‘About’, ‘Services, and ‘Contact’ pages to make it as easy as possible for your visitor to move around your site and learn more about your business.
Average Session Duration
Average session duration will likely go up and down with your bounce rate as it has to do with how long people actually spend on your site.
You have built a website to have people engage with it. You want them to read your blogs, meet your team, understand the problem you are solving, how you are solving it, etc. As a rule of thumb, you want your average session duration to be at least 2-4 minutes. If your average session duration is only 30 seconds, that means people are exiting before they can get to everything you want them to learn. Additionally, remember these are averages which means if your average session is 30 seconds, some people are exiting almost immediately and others are only staying for a couple of minutes.
In addition to being an SEO tool, blogs are helpful for increasing site sessions and decreasing bounce rates. This is because well-written and interesting blogs are engagement flavor bombs. They are opportunities to showcase deeper knowledge at points in time when your customers are seeking it. This helps you build trust with potential customers, and Google, and increases website engagement.
Tip: Do you have your main value propositions near the top of your homepage? Do you clearly explain the problem you are solving, how you solve it, and for who? Visitors decide quickly if a product or service is for them. If this is not on your homepage, you may not be explaining your business quickly enough which can cause visitors to leave before they understand what you do.
Most Popular Page to Navigate to
As we’ve mentioned above, for most websites, your homepage is going to be your most popular page which is why we’ve put such emphasis on what things to include to help your engagement. But your homepage is not typically the page where you’ll close the deal. This is where the ‘most popular page to navigate to’ comes in handy.
This is the page you want people to visit, the page where you’re able to make your final best case for why the visitor should either schedule a call, send an email, or make a purchase. Once you’ve sorted out which page you want visitors to navigate to, the goal is to ensure you have multiple opportunities for visitors to navigate to that page.
Example: We really wanted to get visitors to engage with our portfolio. We had spent a lot of time building out our case studies and thought that if we could get people to see our past work, potential clients would understand the kinds of services we offered. The problem was our portfolio was one of our least visited pages.
Upon reflection, we realized the only place on our homepage that actually pointed to our portfolio was a single button that said ‘Our Work’. That then took you to a page that only featured the logos of the project and a brief description of the services for that project. This meant for visitors to engage with our portfolio they had to click through two different pages to see the actual projects.
To remedy this we did a couple of things. First, we kept the button that linked to our portfolio but we changed the text to explicitly say ‘Our Portfolio’ to make it clearer what visitors were engaging with. Second, we added a gallery of images from different projects on our homepage that linked back to their specific project in order to offer another opportunity for people to engage.
These homepage edits plus adding more links throughout our website had the intended outcome of making our portfolio our Most Popular Page to Navigate to.
Tip: If you can’t find ‘Most Popular Page to Navigate to’ explicitly stated in your analytics dashboard, your second most popular page is a good approximation excluding.
Remember, your website should be one of your biggest marketing, sales, and branding assets. But in order for that to be the case, you need to make sure your website is engaging and people who are visiting your website are learning what you need them to learn. So add these analytics to your other top-line data points to make sure the content you’re creating is actually getting seen.
Interested in getting help to improve your website engagement? Schedule a complimentary discovery meeting to learn more or contact UnderBelly Creative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Author
Olivia Wisden is the Founder + CEO of UnderBelly Creative. She has worked with dozens of brands over the years ranging from city initiatives to product launches and beyond. When she’s not fan-girling over the design team’s illustrations she can probably be found reading a novel or attending a boxing class.