Countless individuals and brands step into the virtual world every year, seeking to build in a corner of the internet and establish an active presence. For some, this may be simply to provide their thoughts and opinions on specific issues; for others, it pertains to starting or expanding an entrepreneurial passion.
Regardless of the motivation, growth is essential to a website’s viability. While it might be easy to eyeball a simple traffic report to determine whether or not more people are looking at your content, there are a variety of factors that impact true growth. To determine whether or not your website is expanding its reach in a way that’s meaningful, you’ll want to assess these specific metrics.
Assess Your Marketing Results
Every blog or website that wishes to grow needs a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Most strategies consist of both organic forms of marketing (such as a regular stream of posts on social media, email marketing and search engine optimization) and paid forms of marketing (most commonly comprised of PPC campaigns).
Collecting data about how effective these marketing efforts are – and whether results are improving over time – will unveil precisely how much true growth your brand is generating and how much room for growth there is in the future.
Most dedicated brands use one or more marketing dashboards to keep track of their marketing campaign progress. There are many available marketing dashboard solutions as outlined by The Ecommerce Manager, so give each one a look.
Dive into Detailed Traffic Data
Simply looking at the number of visitors landing on your pages each week or month might provide one snapshot of broader trends, but it is not enough to assess actual growth. Several metrics are needed to determine sustainable growth.
One such example is traffic source: from where are your visitors originating? Are they all coming from one channel (i.e. search results) or is the traffic more distributed?
Other metrics to inspect include bounce rates (which show how many people are actually staying on your pages once arriving), conversion rates and specific pages that are driving traffic. You might find that only one page is driving traffic to your website – even if the overall traffic is growing, such a situation is not sustainable long-term.
Look at User Engagement
If your traffic has doubled in the past three months but you are not generating any additional sales, social media shares or links, can you really consider your website a growing one? Ultimately, growth is centered around user engagement (click here to read about methods that increase user engagement). You want those visitors to convert into loyal customers and/or followers, so analyzing this data is absolutely crucial.
Some metrics to consider for businesses include the raw number of sales, the average spend per customer, and the number of leads generated. For websites regardless of background, user actions such as social shares, comments, backlinks and mailing list growth are all important. If you see consistent growth in these metrics, then you can take pride in knowing that your website or blog is on a positive trajectory.
With something as important as your website, you don’t want to take a simplistic measurement of its potential. To ensure growth is occurring (or not), you need to assess marketing analytics, user engagement metrics and detailed traffic data. With these variables combined, you will paint an accurate picture of the current trends for your blog or website.
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