Interpreting Your Website’s Statistics

The most valuable piece of information you get from an analytics program or SEO service is your website’s monthly statistics. While appearing to be a confusing jumble of numbers, it is important to be able to understand these measures to gauge your own progress. Some basic knowledge about SEO is the key to making sense of it all.

1. Visits and Bounce Rate

First, the number of visits is the most self-explanatory statistic. This is a measure of how many times your site was clicked on. This number includes repeat visits by the same user, whereas another statistic, the number of unique visitors, only counts each IP address one time. To go further in depth, bounce rate is a percentage of single-page visits, meaning the percentages of people who left the site without going further than the landing page. Bounce rate is the best “quality of traffic” metric that every website owner should understand because it indicates the quality of the landing page and its relevance to the user who clicked on it. A low bounce rate means that visitors are exploring your website in greater detail. The more relevant and compelling the landing page is, the more likely the user will stay on the site and convert into a paying customer. An important thing to note is that bounce rates can and will vary depending on the traffic source (Google Organic, AdWords Campaigns, Direct Traffic, etc.) and can change significantly from month to month.

2. Page Views Per Visit

Another important measure to look at is page views per visit. This indicates how many different pages within your site that the users navigate to. This is a good indicator of the how compelling the site is once the user has decided to stay and take a look around. The benefit is that you can see which pages are the weakest and make changes based on that. You can also use this to identify the most popular pages and focus on them for marketing purposes. The more pages that are viewed on average per visit, the greater the increase in your website’s ranking on Google.

3. Average Time on Site

Average time on site indicates how long a user is spending on your website per visit. If visitors are spending less than 5 seconds on the site before leaving, a content change would definitely be in order because you are not capturing your audience. This is especially important for e-commerce websites because if you know that your checkout process takes longer than 3 minutes but your average time on site is lower than that, you most likely have some work to do. It can be difficult to attract users to a site as it is so once they get there; you want them to stay as long as possible.

Besides helping you learn how to improve your website content, statistics can also help you set goals for yourself. After you’ve learned what your website has been doing, you can look at the trending to focus on weak spots to improve the overall site going forward. There are a lot of statistics out there to look at but these are just some of the basics that every site owner should understand.