10 Crucial Metrics That You Can’t Ignore

Note: This was a guest post by Sushant Ajmani – Web Analytics professional, from Online Marketing Blog, which has since been migrated to this site. This post was first published on July 2012.

1. Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is among the most popular engagement metrics in the digital world, and is often used in context of visitor entries on the key landing pages of the website. The general formula for calculating the Bounce Rate is “Single Page Visits/Total Landings on the Page”.  Currently, majority of the web analytics solutions in the market doesn’t factor in to engagement with AJAX and FLASH COMPONENTS on the landing page in the Bounce Rate calculation, which makes the number quite overstated with respect to high interactive pages.

If you are an ecommerce player in industry, you should strive for following benchmarks at the Page Level:

  • Home Page <18%
  • Category Pages < 27-30%
  • Product Pages < 27-30%
  • Brand/Shop Pages < 27-30%

On a site level, keep the BOUNCE RATE under 37-40%.

Whenever you use BOUNCE RATE as a metric in the report, make sure to choose VISITS and ENTRY RATE (Entries or Landings/Visits) as the companion metrics with the BOUNCE RATE, and SORT the data based on WEIGHTED BOUNCE RATE ([Single Page Visits/Total Landings on the Page]*[Page Views/Total Page Views]) in order to move relevant pages on the top. Before you pick any page for landing page optimization, always evaluate the context of the page and its objective. To be on the safer side, start with those pages first, which have a Bounce Rate of > 40%.

2. Average Time Spent/Visit

Average Time Spent/Visit is the second most popular engagement metrics in the digital world. Approx. 72-76% of the online visitors don’t spend over 5 minutes on the website. In order to get the most out of this metric, combine this metric with the following key metrics:

  • Visits
  • Email Sign-up for Newsletters (Approx. 75-80% of the Email Sign-ups are done by those visitors who spent less than 5 minutes on the website)
  • % of Keyword Searches (Approx. 68-72% of Keyword Searches are performed by visitors, who spent less than 5 minutes on the website)
  • Revenue (Approx. 80% of the revenue is generated by those visitors who spent over 5 minutes and less than 30 minutes on the website)
  • Store Locator Searches (Approx. 80-85% of Store Locator searches are performed by those visitors who spent less than 5 minutes on the website)
  • Lead Generation
  • Catalog Request
  • Form Completion

3. Page Views/Visit

Page Views/Visit is the third most popular engagement metric in the digital world. Approx. 72-75% of the online visitors don’t view more than 5 pages per visit. Page Views/Visit has a strong correlation with your key macro conversion metrics on the website. Higher Page Views/Visit doesn’t often correlate to higher % of orders and revenue on the website because, besides the number of page views, it’s also important to determine the type of page views and in what order.

 4. Exit Rate

Exit Rate is defined as the % of Page Visits resulted in a Site Exit. This is again a very powerful metric at the Page Level. If you are an ecommerce player, you should strive for <27% on the key catalog pages on the web site. This metric is generally used along with the VISITS metric, and in order to move relevant data on the top; sort the data based on WEIGHTED EXIT RATE ([Exits/Visits]*[Page Views/Total Page Views]) as a metric.

 5. % Keyword Searches

% Keyword Searches is defined as the % of total visits on the website that resulted in keyword search. Approx. less than 10% of the site visits are Site Search visits while, atleast 25-27% of the searches are FAILED. Over 65-70% of the keyword searches are performed by those visitors who spend less than 5 minutes on the website. This metric should be used along with Product Views, Add to Cart, Orders and Revenue.  There is another important aspect to look at in regards to this metric is that, what are those popular pages on the website from where, the keyword search usually gets originated. After Home Page, Category Page is the second most popular page from where the keyword search gets originated.

6. Category to Product Conversion

This is a very powerful conversion metric for an ecommerce store. There is a significant % of drop-outs occurs from Category and Sub-Category Pages, and it’s very important to keep an eye on this metric on a regular basis. Below mentioned are the 3 major reasons behind higher drop-out rate:

  • Poor Merchandise Assortment
  • Absence of Guided Navigation and Sort Filters
  • Non-Resonating Destination Page for the PPC Traffic

7. Product to Shopping Cart Conversion

This conversion metric is generally used in continuation with Category to Product Conversion. Among the Catalog Pages, Product Page is the second most popular Exit Page on the website, and it’s very important to keep an eye on this conversion metric on a weekly basis. Below mentioned are the major reasons behind higher drop-out rate:

  • Poor Quality Standard Image and absence of Enlarge Image Views
  • Non-Standard and Non-Intuitive Product Titles and Description
  • Absence of Return & Shipping Policy if, you are an online marketplace
  • Product with No Ratings and Reviews

 

8. Cart Abandonment Rate

The most talked about metric in the ecommerce world. This metric is usually defined as, the % of shopping cart dropouts after adding at least 1 item in the shopping cart. The industry average is 68-70%. Most of the online players with annual revenue less than $25 Million have a Cart Abandonment rate between 78 to 85%. This metric should be used along with Lost Revenue metric in order to assess the potential loss in revenue due to cart abandonment. Below mentioned are the major reasons behind the drop-out:

  • No Transparency on the Shipping Charges. Usually, people expect FREE SHIPPING promo to start with.
  • Ridiculous Product Delivery Window (Greater than 7 Business Days)
  • Unclear Promotion Terms & Conditions
  • Mini Shopping Cart and Cost Summary not apparent during Checkout Process
  • No International Shipping
  • Lack of Security Badges and Secured Checkout Experience

9. Checkout Conversion Rate

The % of site visitors fall-out during the checkout process. It is usually defined as, Orders/Checkout Initiation. If you are among those retailers or brands, who have the Units per Transaction greater than 1 then, your Checkout Initiation  number could be overstated so; it’s very important to serialize this number prior to calculate the conversion.

10. Cost per Acquisition

The amount of dollars spent to acquire single customer. This is one of the most important digital marketing metric to have control on because, it directly impacts the ROI. As the number of marketing channels are increasing and resulting in a longer sales cycle, the cost per acquisition to rising at a significant rate, and it’s quite a daunting task for the digital marketing to control on.

8 years experience in SEO & Content Strategy, with half of that time working in agency startups (or newly created divisions), developing and improving SEO and content marketing service processes. Being an SEO is who I am, digital (content and/or media) publishing is where I want to be.

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