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Online Business Metrics That Tell the Whole Story

Online Business Metrics That Tell the Whole Story
December 29, 2015 shouse

Deeper analysis reveals measurements that tell a more complete story of success

In our last article Why Keyword Rankings Are Poor Measures of Success we discussed how an often cited measurement of SEO success has little to no real business value.  There are much better indicators, and each business has its own unique formulas. Though the formulas are different many of the same variables can be tracked and utilized for all online businesses.

What to measure

The core of your online presence is in conversions. Your website wants to have a purpose – a reason for being. All businesses that have online presence should have a purpose for that presence. What action do you want your visitor to take? What did that visitor come to your website for? There are multiple answers to these questions of course as not every customer is in the same stage of the cycle when they visit your site, so you will likely have multiple conversion measures.

During the discovery phase of any website design or online marketing campaign we answer the question of what we want the potential customers to be doing. What are they thinking when they are on the website and what do we want that visitor to do to get them to be closer to being a customer?

Common Types of online conversions

Site visit
A website visit is just a count of a person coming into your online store front. Depending on your business model it may be important to get more “Unique” visits or more “Returning” visits.

Length of visit
In most cases the length of time a visitor stays on your website coupled with the amount of pages that person visits is a measure of success. Engagement is a very traditional marketing , measurement and the combination of these two online metrics helps measure site engagement.

Form Submission
Filling up a form and sending it off for further information is a common conversion, especially for businesses where the actual transaction is offline. The form is an important step toward a sale, and has the added benefit of collecting customer contact information for re-marketing efforts if the lead is not turned to a sale right away.

Live Chat
Having an active live chat system on a website is commonplace and can add a lot to the customer experience. We have often seen 25-30% more responses from customers when live chat is available. There are many data points that can be tracked within a live chat system, but tracking a live chat as a conversion is the easiest way to measure success.

Phone Call
Some of our best clients are in industries where the sale is made on the phone. Our methods of conversion tracking for phone calls go way beyond just counting the numbers of calls that came in via a phone number. We can track phone calls to the keyword level with PPC programs, and also have very deep tracking capabilities with organic phone and offline campaign calls as well.

The core of the online world is e-commerce.  Tracking transactions as conversions is pretty simple to set up, as well as tracking other important metrics including cart abandons, geographic transactions and product views.

Social Shares
How many people shared your product or your latest blog post? Do people use the email to friend features on your site? Do people love to share the fact that they purchased from your brand, or are the holding back?

Sign up/Registration
Newsletter sign ups and site registrations may be important for you. They can be traced back to the exact paid query that sent the visitor, or the search engine they used, or the device type.

Other action(s)
This is a list of some of the most common conversion metrics we have helped companies set up. There are an infinite number of conversion metrics that we can track. It all depends on what actions are important for your business.

Of course data alone is useless, in our next article we will discuss interpretations of these conversions and how we can utilize testing and optimization to get better results.


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