The more you know about who is coming to your site and their behaviour, the more you can refine and improve the experience your site offers to these visitors – to maximise the performance of your Affiliate Links.
‘Metrics’ are simply the data about your site’s visitors and performance, and a wide range of easy-to-use tools exist to measure them. Here’s a rundown of the most important key metrics to know, along with ways to interpret and use them.
- About Basic Indicators – visitors, sessions, page views and more
- How to find out more about who’s visiting your site
- How to measure and improve site performance for more conversions
General Blog Metrics
These are interesting and useful for just about any website. They include statistical data which you can find out by using a statistical tool such as Google Analytics, which will offer insight into all of the following areas:
How many people are visiting your website? There are basically two types of visitors – new and returning.
‘Sessions’ are individual user visits. If a visitor has been back to your website on three different days in the month, this is recorded as one visitor but with three sessions – helping you work out how many repeat visitors you have.
Page views reveals how many pages a visitor has looked at in a session on your website.
This is the average time visitors spend on your website in one session. The longer this ‘dwell time’ is, the more interesting and better a fit the contents appear to be. However, an evaluation of the total value can be misleading, so instead look at how long visitors dwelt on particularly important pages.
Pages per session
The value ‘pages per session’ is a strong indicator of the value of your content to readers. Linking pages of your website together via internal links can encourage visitors to stay longer and view more pages.
The ‘bounce rate’ means how many visitors leave your website having visited just one page. Generally, of course, a low bounce rate is good, but there are exceptions. So, with an Amazon Associates website, a visitor may quickly read a product review, decide to buy the product, and quickly click over to Amazon.
In this case, the bounce rate is high, but the visitor has done what you want them to do.
Some other indicators aren’t as easy to detect with a statistical tool, but are still important. These include:
This is mainly measures social-media behaviour and user interaction. What is the Share Rate (Social shares per 100 page views)? The number of Shares can be analysed with sharetally.co.
Website Loading Time/Performance
The performance of your website can be critical: the faster it loads, the better the user experience. Studies show that delays of even a fraction of a second in loading time can cost businesses a lot of money.
Using Google Insights or pingdom.com will help you analyse your website and improve loading times.
In addition, there are many specific indicators that come in to play when measuring a particular source of income:
Click Through Rate (CTR)
This shows how often visitors click on a specific link, or on certain banners. Here’s a typical CTR formula:
Number of clicks / Number of impressions of the banner or the link * 100 = CTR
As a general rule, the higher the CTR, the better the link.
This is about the concrete actions of the visitors. This may be the purchase of a product or subscribing to a newsletter. The calculation is as follows:
Number of actions / Number of sessions * 100 = Conversion Rate
Affiliate marketeers should also keep track of ‘commission’ – ie, how much you receive per conversion. You should keep an eye out for affiliate products in your market which generate recurring commissions (lifetime remuneration).
Also a key figure for affiliate programmes – it’s no use having a large number of conversions if 80% of them are cancelled for various reasons. The ‘cancellation rate’ percentage or ‘lapse rate’ info is provided by most affiliate programmes.
Earning Per Click (EPC)
This is the average average revenue earned per click. Different affiliates offer different rates, but you should take the opportunity to analyse and compare these values.
Evaluate and Use Metrics
So that was an introduction to some key metrics and Basic Indicators. It’s important you not only collect the relevant data, but that you really use it to your advantage. Evaluating these indicators means you can perform optimisations that can bring a lot of value to your website.
You should make sure that these meet your own goals as an Amazon Associate: experiment with your blog and seek out guidance from other experienced bloggers, to find out how to make simple adjustments to optimise the financial earnings of your site.