There are multiple well-known metrics that are both easy to understand and to gather; from bounce rate to page ranking and page views. A website owner should have a basic understanding of analytic fundamentals to gauge the performance of their online strategy.
In this article, we’ll look at how reacting to the lesser-known and more obscure metrics can impact the success of your website.
1. Visitors from Search Engines
Google’s web crawlers actively gather information from hundreds of billions of webpages and organize it in the search index. The crawlers play a huge role in the number of visitors your website can attract, and sometimes you may see a big boost in visitor numbers despite not doing anything different.
We place value on the standard of our chosen keywords and the ranking of our pages in SERPs – both of which are directly correlated to the number of visitors a website can attract. However, sometimes Google’s crawlers simply dive deeper into your website and index more pages despite no previous action being taken. The reverse can also happen; whereby, fresh content is added only for the pages to be ignored by the crawlers and not indexed at all. It’s important to understand why.
If you have recently made a change to your website navigation and notice an increase in visitors then you should make a note of the positive change for future reference. Google crawlers are very specific about what they like and don’t like, so keep note of what’s working and implement it into your strategy.
- Keyword Type – Branded
- Terms that contain direct reference to your company or product name
- Used to increase pure conversions, as people searching will already have an affinity with your brand
- Keyword Type – Non-Branded
- Terms that are related to your company or industry as a whole
- Used to attract new customers and website visitors through industry related words and phrases
2. Branded vs. Non-Branded Traffic
It’s important to delineate between branded and non-branded traffic to define the value of your selected keywords. Take a look at your web analytics for an in-depth comparison between the two types, this will give your SEO strategy some much-needed direction as you’ll be able to accurately compare the two forms. After looking at the numbers, you should decide whether you desire new users, visitors and potential customers or if you want to increase your pure conversion rate through your previous customers.
3. Crawl Errors
Crawl errors occur when a search engine fails at its attempt to reach a page on your website. Every link on your site should lead to working page – returning a 200 OK server response. There are two types of crawl errors: Site errors and URL errors. The former means your website as a working entity can’t be crawled; whereas the latter means specific URL links contain errors. Needless to say, site errors could be fatal if they aren’t immediately fixed.
You’ll be able to find crawl errors by using the Google Search Console. It should be part of your site’s maintenance schedule to search for and fix any that you find. Crawl errors can result in a loss of potential traffic as the broken links are leading to nowhere.
4. Final Conversions
Okay we must confess, measuring your final conversion rate isn’t a lesser-known metric, but it’s arguably the most important metric available to measure.
First and foremost, your final conversion rate is a quantifiable result that physically puts money into your bank account. Whether this is the sale of a product or a paid subscription – your final conversion is the metric that really counts.
There are times when – to make us feel better about our business – we classify speculative or ambiguous filler metrics towards our final conversions such as likes, shares, email sign-ups and free business content etc. These don’t directly contribute to our bottom line, so shouldn’t be included in the category. You should clearly characterise the different forms of conversions to give you an accurate and up-to-date account of your strategy.
5. Backlink Profile
Backlinks are incoming links to a webpage. In other words, when a webpage contains links to any other page, it’s a backlink. These were previously valued as effective SEO metrics and in the past, more backlinks would result in an improved page ranking.
The same can’t be said today. Nowadays, the quality of backlinks is valued much higher than the quantity. For example, more value will be placed on a website containing a single backlink from an industry-leading and authoritative business, compared to another website that contains multiple backlinks of poor quality. Search engines even take steps to punish websites that abuse the backlink system.
Producing high-quality content for businesses and visitors can result in high-quality backlinks. Keep this in mind when you look at this metric.
A competent website owner should know that It’s important to leverage every available tool to maximize the potential of their business online. Relying on easy-to-measure metrics is understandable for those who are inexperienced, but crossing the threshold and taking a look into the lesser-known is advantageous in the long run.