Basic Indicators – What are Visitors, Sessions and Page Views?
Which captain arrives with his ship at the destination port? A captain who simply goes out sailing with the best hopes and endeavours, or one who regularly checks their position on the map, uses radar and an echo sounder and all the safety equipment?In all probability it will be the latter and it is exactly the same with websites. If you just publish content, incorporate affiliate links and hope for the best then that would be a mistake. It is always better to publish content and then analyse the metrics as well. This helps a lot when it comes to making decisions and implementing measures.
- Only with the evaluation of metrics can you make informed decisions.
- What are the most important key metrics you should know and understand how you have to interpret them
Why are indicators important?
Only informed decisions are good decisions. For this you need key figures. Everything else is a guessing game and a shot in the dark. With the help of indicators you can assess the development of your website and accurately implement the measures that will bring you closer to your goals.
More good reasons to look at the metrics of your website, are the comparison with other sites and the early identification of problems.
General Blog Metrics
First let’s look at the general indicators. These are interesting and useful for just about any website. These include in particular statistical data, you can get with Google Analytics or another statistic tool.
Under the measure ‘visitors’ you can find out how many people are visiting your website. The term individual visitors are those who have visited your website one or more times. There are basically two types of visitors which are new visitors and returning visitors. The bigger this number the better it is for your website.
Sessions refers to individual user visits. If a visitor has been on 3 different days in the month on your website, this is recorded as 1 visitor but with three sessions. This can be seen, for example, by how many repeat visitors you have.
Page views show you how many pages a visitor has looked at when they come to your website. The more pages they have been to then the more interesting the visitors found the website and have discovered other interesting content. For advertisers, the page views are often interesting because this value indicates how often an optionally built-in banner has been displayed.
Of increasing important is a measurement called the ‘residence’. This is the average time that visitors spent on your website in one session. The longer this dwell time is, the more interesting and better fit the contents appear to be. However, an evaluation of the total value does not make much sense. Instead, one should look at how long the visitors were on particularly important pages.
Pages per session
When articles on your website are linked internally there is a bigger chance that your visitors will find more interesting and appropriate content. As such visitors stay longer and view more pages. The value ‘pages per session’ gives you an idea of the value of your content to readers.
The ‘bounce rate’ indicates how many visitors leave your website having visited just one page. The general thought is that a low bounce rate is good, but there are exceptions. The search engines like to see this as it is an indicator that your website is interesting. However, and especially with an Amazon Affiliate website, a visitor may quickly read a product review, decide to buy it, and quickly click over to Amazon.
In that case the bounce rate would be high, but they have done what you want them to do.
Other indicators are not as easily detected with a statistical tool, but nevertheless important:
This is mainly used on social websites and measures user interaction. What is the Share Rate (Social shares per 100 page views)? The number of shares can be analyzed with haretally.co.
The more active the users are, the better they seem to like the content.
Website Loading Time / Performance
An important point is the performance of your website. The faster your website loads the better is the user experience. There are even studies that show clearly that fraction of a second can bring or cost a lot of money when you load a website.
Using Google Insights or Pingdom.com can analyse your website and improve the loading time.
In addition, there are many specific indicators, which are important when you want to measure a particular source of income. These metrics help to improve the income and are therefore also very important.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
This denotes the frequency with which visitors click on a specific link, or on certain banners and such like. Here we calculate as follows:
Number of clicks / number of impressions the banner or the links * 100 = CTR
The higher the CTR, the better it is as a rule.
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
The higher the conversion rate, the better.
If you use affiliate marketing you should also look at the amount of ‘commission’. The more you get per conversion, the better.
You should also look for affiliate products in your market that generate recurring commissions (Lifetime remuneration).
Also a key figure to which one should look at for affiliate programmes. It does not help when you have a large number of conversions, but 80% of them are canceled for various reasons. The ‘cancellation rate’ percentage is specified with most affiliate programmes.
Earning Per Click (EPC)
This is the average average revenue earned per click. The metrics given, may differ from affiliate to affiliate. But you should take the opportunity to analyse and compare these values.
Evaluate and Use Metrics
It is important for the key figures that you not only collect those that are appropriate to your type of website but that you really use them. You have to evaluate the indicators and determine your own conclusions. Based on that you can then perform optimisations that can bring a lot of value to your website.
You should make sure that these meet your own goals. It makes a big difference whether one focuses on the traditional banner ads or affiliate marketing.
With banners we are of course concerned with maximising the number of pageviews and the pages per visitor. By contrast, in affiliate marketing, it depends on CTR and conversion rate.
Optimisation can pay well, as shown in the following calculation example:
Assume the conversion rate of 3% is increased to 4%.
Before: 5,000 meetings * 3% Conversion Rate * £5 commission = £750
After: 5,000 meetings * 4% Conversion Rate * £5 commission = £1,000
There are other factors of course that also can have a big impact. If you can improve all of the factors a little, it affects the sum heavily from
Example: 7,000 meetings * 4% Conversion Rate * £6 commission = £1,680
Therefore it is important to make all of the adjustments to optimise the financial earnings of your website.