5 Website Traffic Metrics You Need To Know

Website traffic metrics are often an afterthought. What most people don't think about is how critical these metrics are in helping you understand the effectiveness of the marketing strategies you have in place.

One of the main goals of inbound marketing is to drive high quality traffic to your website. The more (quality) traffic your site receives, the more potential leads there are to convert. There are many marketing tactics that can help you achieve this goal; however, you can't know if your tactics are effective if you haven't identified the website traffic metrics to track that will help you prove the effectiveness of what you are doing.

Today, we're going to identify 5 website traffic metrics you need to monitor to help you track and optimize your marketing strategies.   

5 Website Traffic Metrics You Need To Know

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Top 5 Website Traffic Metrics You Need To Make Money Online

While basic website traffic metrics can tell you how many people visited your website each day (or week or month, or even who is on the site in real-time), this information is too general for you to take action, even though it can tell you if your traffic is down, flat or up. Here are five website traffic metrics that you can actually use to take action.     

1. Traffic Sources List  

5 website traffic metrics you need to know

Traffic sources are more useful to track than overall traffic because they tell you where your traffic is coming from. You can track traffic source metrics using Google Analytics.

Path: Google Analytics > Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels

Basically, this tells you how many of your visitors are coming to your site via organic search, referrals, direct visits (typing your URL into the browser), or social media. This means that if the majority of your visitors are coming from organic search, you probably have an effective SEO strategy in place; however, your social media marketing strategy may need some work if the number of visitors from social channels is low.

It is beneficial to have a balanced number of visitors from each source. A well-rounded content strategy that uses effective messaging and calls to action will encourage engagement from all of your sources. It's important to pay attention and notice if you see a sharp drop or stagnation in growth. This may be a sign that your strategy needs to change.

2. New vs. Returning Visitors In Google Analytics

5 website traffic metrics you need to know

The New vs. Returning Visitors report identifies new and returning users to your site (obviously). It is useful to understand how many people you could potentially attract back to your site.

The report tracks the customer ID of a user on your website. It assigns a random ID number that tags the user's browser and device when they visit your site. When they return later, it can recognize them and track their information. However, not all new visitors are new to your site. If someone visits you in a different browser or from a different device, they will be assigned a new customer ID and will appear as a second visitor in this report.

Path: Google Analytics > Audience > Behavior > New vs. Returning

The New vs. Returning Visitors metric is very useful. Getting a lot of new visitors is good because it means you are increasing your brand exposure. If you're not getting many new visitors, you may need to work on things like SEO or social media marketing. However, even more, important are returning visitors. This is because a returning visitor is much more likely to convert, as they are clearly interested enough to return to your site.

If you don't have many returning visitors, that means you need to work on your content strategy. It's good content that keeps visitors coming back. You should aim for 25-50% of your total visitors to come back.

3. Bounce Rate of Website

5 website traffic metrics you need to know

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website almost immediately after arriving. These are essentially visitors who arrive on a web page but don't engage at all, i.e., they don't click on any links and simply leave the site soon after. The less time a visitor spends on your site and the less engagement they have, the less likely you are to convert them. In other words, a high bounce rate is a bad thing. Not only does it indicate that you are missing out on potential conversions, but it can also hurt your SEO. Bounce rates are traditionally lower for visitors who return to your website.

Google Analytics starts tracking a user as soon as they arrive on your site. Bounce rate identifies users who leave your website from the landing page they arrived at, without any action. For example, if a user was directed to your website from an advertisement but clicked on the landing page or went back without taking any action, they have bounced.

Path: Google Analytics > Audience > Behavior > Session Quality

Bounce rates won't tell you why visitors are leaving, but they will tell you that something is wrong with the marketing effort that brings them to that specific page. For example, the external link that takes them to that page may not be using an accurate description, which means visitors aren't finding what they expect to find once they get to your site.

Similarly, you may not be using relevant keywords for the content on that page. If the content is not relevant to the keywords your visitors are using, they will likely leave immediately.

4. Average Time On Site Google analytics

5 website traffic metrics you need to know

While bounce rate indicates where you are failing to engage visitors, average time on site gives you a good idea of how well you are engaging your visitors across your site. It can help identify some issues that need to be addressed, such as poor navigation or poor (or insufficient) content. Keep in mind that visitors behave differently on desktops than on mobile devices. They are more likely to spend more time exploring a website from their phone than from their desktop or laptop.

How: Path: Google Analytics > Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

Mobile use is an increasingly popular way for users to access your content. Even traditional professionals are using their phones to connect with organizations. 58% of site visits are made from mobile apps. Your content MUST be mobile-friendly. Whether it's short content, long content, or video, it will be viewed from a mobile device or tablet. If you don't optimize it, you're missing out.

5. Conversion Rate Google Analytics

5 website traffic metrics you need to know

The conversion rate gives you an idea of the quality of your leads as well as the effectiveness of your website as a whole. A low conversion rate and a high traffic rate mean that your off-site marketing efforts may be working well, but your on-site marketing efforts are not.

With Google Analytics, you can set a wide variety of goals and track the conversion rate through them, and it doesn't have to be the "percentage of users reaching the order confirmation page from the ad campaign." Your conversion rate is calculated by the percentage of users who follow a path to reach a goal.

A goal might look like this: the percentage of users who sign up for a newsletter from an organic search. Your conversion goal could be something like 2%. Google would then track users who arrived at the site through organic search and ended up on some sort of confirmation page thanking them for signing up for a newsletter. The percentage of people who followed the path will be counted and will constitute your rate.

Path: Google Analytics > Conversion > Overview

Use the conversion rate in conjunction with the traffic metric to get an overall picture of your website's performance, then go back and use the metrics listed above to identify your problems.

By tracking these five website Traffic metrics, you should be able to identify which tactics are helping you drive more traffic to your website and which are underperforming. This allows you to adjust your marketing strategy if necessary, so you don't waste your resources on tactics that are failing.   


These 5 website traffic metrics will help your marketing team determine which strategies are working well and which ones need to be adjusted. Identifying your traffic sources will help you understand where your visitors are coming from. By identifying returning and new users, your team will be able to differentiate between areas that need more focus, such as SEO or social media. Additionally, analyzing the number of time users spend on your site and the bounce rate will help you identify problem areas when sending traffic to the site.

Website traffic metrics help your team determine which areas are performing well and which parts of your website need help. Website Traffic metrics are important and provide valuable information, but to uncover them, you need to evaluate the data to see what you need to focus on.

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