Users, visits, goals, bounce rate, there are so many metrics and data available about a website. A lot of details are recorded and available to webmasters and business owners for them to look at and interpret to make the best decision on their website. However, it can be too much. This is especially true for those who are not sure what they are looking for.

On top of that, a lot of business owners don’t have the time to dig into the data to make sure they understand what’s happening and how to react.  That being said, one of the most common questions you’d hear from this situation is: “If there is one piece of data I should look at, what should it be?”

Basically they are asking, what is the most important metric to look at when running a website?

Company Goals

Asking what available metric is the most important is actually a bit misleading. Because businesses should not rely on what the website analytics tool could be, but instead tweak the tool so that it gives data on what’s important to the business.

In other words, what are the KPIs or Key Performance Indicators of the company? This is the basis of what metrics should be followed and/or computed because sometimes the raw data is not enough.

Different businesses will need different types of websites. For example, a clothing retailer will need an e-commerce style of website where they can sell their products. An accounting firm will need a website that can showcase their services and allow potential clients to reach out to them. And the goal for each of these are different as well and usually would align with the company’s goals. Meeting the company’s goal through the website is called a conversion.

Going back to the example of a clothing retailer, the company’s main goal is to sell their products. So the main goal for the website is to help in selling more products through the site and each sale is considered a conversion. That in mind, the analytics should be setup in such a way that it tracks sales of each product. By seeing which product is selling the most, or the worst, the company can now make a decision to adjust the way they market.

For service oriented websites, the goal is to get leads. So the conversion metric here is how many people are contacting the company through the website.

How Conversions are Made

Of course the conversion is the most top level number to look at. Knowing if goals are met is one thing, but how they are met is where improvements can be made. And this is when the KPIs should be looked at.

Patterns can be discovered by tracing back how a conversion is made. Where did the traffic which became conversions come from? What are their age/gender? What time do most traffic become a conversion? All of these data can help in making the right marketing and business decision for the company.

If the clothing retailer is selling product ABC the most and that traffic is coming from Instagram, then there should be some consideration in using Instagram more. And maybe if other products are marketed more through Instagram, they can get more sales from there.

Should NOT End There

The most important metric is conversion. It showcases how the website is performing in terms of the company’s goals. But what to do if the conversions are low? That’s when deep diving into the data comes into play. At the same time, the website should be reviewed based from what the data is showing.

And this is where I can help as well. I have been looking through different websites and their data for years and finding interesting patterns that can help decision makers is something I’m used to doing. If you are in need of someone to consult in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.