The Importance of Tracking Your Website Metrics

Website Metrics

People are well versed in proclaiming website metrics to be scarily complex numbers destined to cause a headache. However, it’s really not that complicated, and tracking them is hugely important for your business. Here’s why.

Tracking is for adventure groups or geeks. If it’s not the full-on Indiana Jones experience, or a venture into dense amounts of code, then tracking isn’t worth paying attention to. Right?

Well, at least, that’s how some ill-guided business people view things.

It’s an easy solution to follow this mantra, as sticking your head in the sand is always quicker than accepting reality. However, it’s now time to drop that notion and look at things differently. Your business literally depends on it.

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Some say that compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character. It is suggested that anyone who remains cruel to animals cannot be a ‘good’ person. In the same vein, anyone who ignores their website metrics cannot be a ‘good’ business owner.

Perhaps that’s a harsh comparison, but let me explain – before you grab a flaming pitchfork and chase me out of town.

Like being compassionate towards members of the animal kingdom, to aid growth and understanding, every business owner needs to pay attention to recorded website metrics. Tracking the likes of ‘time on page’, ‘bounce rate’, and ‘session duration’ can become make or break for footfall and revenue.

We can hear your brain screaming. Numbers and formulas. ARRRGHH.

However, you would be approaching the tracking metrics incorrectly with such a knee-jerk reaction. Those numbers aren’t headache-inducing digits and graphs; it’s a signal of how your digital stall is performing. It’s a window into how things are running. That’s really exciting!

There seems to be two conflicting schools of thought about website metrics.
1. Measure everything granularly, scrutinize and interpret / adjust activity based on data.
2. Zoom right out for a bigger picture and don’t focus on the detail – only focus on the results.

Which one is correct? There’s an argument for both. Yet, I lean more towards the first option.

Still brandishing that pitchfork in confusion? Let me explain.

Tracking Website Metrics: Measure Everything!

Website Tracking Metrics

When sitting down to scrutinize your finances, do you pick and choose sections at your leisure? Of course not – because it doesn’t give the full picture.

The same story applies to website metrics. There’s an old phrase that goes: you can’t see the wood for the trees.

To anyone not familiar with the origins, it basically means that a person is so involved in the details of something that they cannot notice what is important about the situation as a whole.

And, in a nutshell (another woodland reference, don’t say I’m not good to you), that’s what you’d be achieving by looking at all the data for a transparent view of your digital topography. You’d see the whole picture, instead of only a small segment.

After all, you need to constantly tweak your website to accommodate changes that bring leads – and the greatest tell-tale signs come from your website metrics as a whole package.

From a personal standpoint, we have a really great lead tracking system which can track website forms (and phone calls) and show which referral sources are generating the most (and best) leads. I am therefore all in favour of measuring everything!

By expanding your view into widescreen, and away from the standard 4:3, you will be able to steer your business in the right direction. And this isn’t just our view. Oh no, there’s Pearson’s Law to back it all up.

Pearson’s Law

Pearson's Law for Tracking Metrics

Never heard of Pearson’s Law? It outlines how, when performance is measured, performance improves.

I can hear the thought process in your head. Oh, boy. Yet another business jargon term laced with self-importance. Well, stop the presses! This is one that really is worth paying attention to.

Anything termed ‘law’ is truth. We all have to abide by the law, even if we choose not to believe it. In terms of law, your belief has no effect on the outcome. Unless you are Judge Dredd.

For example, some people don’t believe that speeding offences are law. But that doesn’t stop the tickets coming through from the Police. Then there’s the law of gravity. Good luck disproving that one.

Pearson’s Law can officially bear the L-word without contest as, like gravity, it can never be disproven. The law is absolute in its effect upon success – when performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates to anywhere between 300% and 1200%.

If you don’t wish to implement Pearson’s Law for tracking website metrics, then you cannot measure and improve performance. Without tracking those metrics, there is simply no way to gain full transparency and comprehend whether you are being successful or not.

How can you make progress without having all the information required? Quite simply – you can’t. Unless performance is tracked and reported, you are effectively stumbling in the dark.

This is Pearson’s Law. And you should abide by it, should you wish to keep your contemporary business growing.

In The Real World

Tracking Website Metrics

Ok, that’s all great in theory. But what about in the real world?

As a business owner, you’ll need to know which aspects of marketing deliver results. If you are spending thousands of hard-earned dollars on Pay-Per-Click advertising, you’d kinda like to know. Especially if it wasn’t generating any high-quality leads.

You’d want to be made aware, to make an informed decision about whether or not to reduce spending, and pay more attention to how the ad campaigns are configured.

That’s where your website metrics come in.

However, there’s a problem with granular tracking. How do you know for sure which referral source led to the conversion?

The answer is, you don’t!
You can’t.
Why?

Someone could arrive on your website from a Facebook ad and take no action. Then, two weeks later, they might come back again from a Google search and – this time – they might fill out a form on the website.

Would you say that the referral source was Facebook or Google? Or both? Our system uses “first touch attribution”, giving a clear-cut answer that avoids confusion and false lead tracking.

What Can Metrics Actually Tell You?

Website Metrics

How much knowledge/data is useful? Can referral data really help people make better decisions about their marketing spending?

It’s all very good to repeatedly scream about the success that metric tracking can facilitate. But what exactly do they bring to the party?

There’s a goldmine of information if you spend some time with your metrics.

For starters, you’ll be presented with the number of visitors your website has received. If this number is low, then you won’t be gaining many leads, unless you have perfected the art of attracting a qualified audience.

It might seem simple, but getting your audience onto your website is the foundation for continued growth. If this metric isn’t tracking many visitors, then you need to create some fresh content and follow the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) guidelines.

Second, you can gauge the proficiency of your website’s navigation, content, and structure, by recording the bounce rate. If the bounce rate is high (say, more than 70%), then this can have an impact on the SEO aspects of your site.

There are loads of ways to counteract a high bounce rate, but it all takes time as it’s ultimately based on human behaviour. The bounce rate effectively declares the mismatch between visitor interest and the content on your site, which can lead to an overhaul of content or refining the stance to attract and target a different audience.

Then, delving deeper, you can determine the ‘average pageviews per session’, and the ‘session duration’, alongside the ‘average time on page’, the top source of traffic, which devices the audience are using, and where they left the website – also known as ‘exit pages’.

Granted, that’s a lot to take in. The trick is to identify which tracked metrics speak the loudest, and therefore implement website changes in a prioritised order for the greatest impact.

A proper plan will work, but only if you take the necessity of tracking metrics seriously. If you try to measure the tracked metrics all at once, but without a purpose, you’ll fast become overwhelmed with information overload.

When this happens, it’s common to find that people focus only on the digits and trying to improve the numbers, rather than bringing in leads.

What the metrics should be feeding you is actionable knowledge on ensuring content relevancy, keeping SEO aspects healthy and within Google/Bing’s guidelines, adhering to the necessary core web vitals, and applying a user-friendly design to your web pages.

Finding Time To Do This

Finding time for website metrics

We know how it can be. When you are juggling dozens of tasks in the running of your business, it can feel impossible to find time for tracking metrics amid the other technical duties you undertake – social media posts, new blogs, landing page content, and the like.

Not only that, but you need to understand what you are looking at. And taking the time to brush up on your knowledge can be intense.

That’s where we can help.

Don’t miss out on precious family time or the good weather. Don’t give up your weekends and national holidays – speak with us.

We can bring you up to speed, or track your metrics and present them to you in a report, which we can discuss with you and help you plan for moving forward.

Don’t feel apprehensive about tracking your website metrics. It’s not that scary when you get to know them!

Flemming Arnott

Flemming Arnott

Flemming helps PT business owners all around the world to acquire more new patients by building websites that educate prospects, establish trust and ultimately generate leads. He has worked with Paul Gough for over 10 years and has more than 20 years experience in the industry. Flemming is the "go to" expert for PTs who no longer want to rely on doctor's referrals and who put the patient experience first, with a desire to succeed in the new healthcare world.

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About The Author

Flemming Arnott

Flemming helps PT business owners all around the world to acquire more new patients by building websites that educate prospects, establish trust and ultimately generate leads. He has worked with Paul Gough for over 10 years and has more than 20 years experience in the industry. Flemming is the "go to" expert for PTs who no longer want to rely on doctor's referrals and who put the patient experience first, with a desire to succeed in the new healthcare world.