The Real Story Behind Website Traffic Statistics. Shedding Light on Online Customer
What Web Stats and Metrics Really Tell You...
While website traffic statistics are important in measuring performance, they're also a great tool in helping
you understand the experiences customers have as a result of their interaction with your internet business...
The experience of value, overall performance, and financial health aren't disassociated elements... performance
is directly related to experiences and what customers perceive of them.
Now, metrics fall into two fundamental categories... business metrics and experience metrics.
Business metrics... or website traffic statistics, include such traditional measures like gross sales, net
sales, cost of goods sold, net profit margin, average order amount, etc.
But they also provide additional measures that are unique to internet businesses... average sales per visit,
cost per visit, and of course, conversion rate.
As the name implies, business metrics shed light upon "commercial and monetary" aspects... they deal directly in
your internet business's finances.
Experience metrics however, deal with the operational well-being.
They're purely e-business measures... number of unique visitors per time period, repeat visits, page views,
average time per visit, top access pages, success rates, etc.
A Link Between Experiences and Traffic Metrics.
Experience metrics are crucial in helping you understand how visitors respond to your websites and their overall
They give an accurate glimpse as far as visitors' reactions to content, level of engagement, etc.
They also hint at problems in functionality like erratic navigation and ineffective landing pages.
But by looking at experience metrics alone, it's difficult to take actions that directly influence financial
For that, you need business metrics...
It's about creating a working link between your customers' experiences and total conversions.
Business metrics validate that whatever actions you take to improve your customers' experiences end in positive
results in your financial numbers.
Vital Measures of Internet Business Performance.
Let's start with the "input" measures for all metrics...
Page views. Three measures are important when looking at page views... number of pages viewed per visit, time
spent per page view, and most often visited pages.
Access pages. Also known as entry pages, they're the pages of a website that most often are the access points of
incoming traffic. You'll find that although a particular page within your website may be the most frequent entry
point, other pages may still be important in this regard.
Visits. Also often referred to as "visit session", or just "session", the length of a visit per unique visitor
and the quantity of visits per visitor are important measures to keep track of.
Visitors. This refers to the general flow of traffic... quantity of visitors per time period is important, as is
the number repeat visitors.
Success scenarios. Any particular actions leading to hard conversions that you wish visitors take while engaging
your websites... clicks on specific links, bookmarks, subscriptions, etc.
The Experience Metrics of Internet Business.
Just so you know, the experience metrics described below aren't listed in any particular order of
Success rate. This compares total number of scenario successes to total number of visits and is used to estimate
how effectively your websites produces "non-sales" conversions.
Engagement capacity. A comparison of repeat visitors versus unique visitors that helps you understand how
capable your websites are in generating interest in visitors.
Engagement intensity. When you compare the number of visits with high page views or lengthy sessions to the
total number of total visits, you can get a glimpse of how strong or "intense" the engagement is.
There are many more...
These are just three examples of some fundamental experience metrics. It's easy to see how these metrics really
aim at understanding customer experiences and how responsive they are in them.
You can certainly mix and match these inputs to make your own experience metrics.
Look for useful information and don't get hooked on useless data...
Remember to focus on the processes, not on the numbers...
Business Metrics for Financial Performance.
Conversion rate. For most internet businesses this refers to "monetary conversion"... the hardest conversion of
all, sales. Of course, this depends on what your main objective is. But since most internet businesses sell
something, the conversion rate is a comparison of your total number of orders versus total number of visits.
Rate of revenue. This is similar to conversion rate, but by comparing total revenue to total number of visits
you're "assigning" each visit an average value... such as "every visit generates an average of 13 dollars of
Cost ratios. Here you're comparing total costs (or whatever segment of costs) to your total visits.
Business metrics also include your traditional measures like...
Average revenue per order...
Average cost per order...
Costs of total goods sold...
Return on investment...
The list goes on and on.
As with your experience metrics, don't look at data... find the useful information within!