If you have ever taken a good look at Google Analytics, or any other analytics software for that matter, you have probably noticed that there are literally hundreds of different things you can track. From how many people are visiting, to more obscure items like their viewing platform, you are going to be awash in statistics.
Instead of getting overwhelmed, it’s helpful to drill it down to the five metrics you really need to care about. Sure, the other things you can track are important too, but these five metrics are the key to making your business succeed. If nothing else, these are the five things you cannot ignore.
They will give you insight into how well you’re doing with your growth funnel and help point out potential issues that may be keeping everything from running smoothly. They are also the best indicator as to how your business is doing right now and whether or not your growth is going to continue in the future.
Let’s take a look at each of these five metrics and how you can put them to work for you.
How are You Attracting Visitors?
This is key knowledge that you must have. It will impact the way you market your site, how much you spend and how much time you invest. It is absolutely vital to understand how people are coming to your site. You also need to know your average visitor rate so that you can set some actionable growth goals.
Typically, the average site is going to get what is called organic traffic, or visits from people looking up keywords on search engines as well as traffic from a myriad of other sources. Pay attention to where the majority of your traffic is centering.
This is particularly true when you’re trying to determine which social media outlet is performing the best for your particular audience. If you see that you’re getting a ton of traffic from Facebook, but next to none from Google+, you’ll know that you need to concentrate your efforts on Facebook. This is very helpful for those who are still trying to determine their exact audience and how best to reach them.
You can also use this information to assist you during campaigns. Narrow down your results by date range and track how many people responded to a new campaign. If you’re using Google Analytics, you can simply set it up to show you the response you are getting from your different campaigns.
So, what do you do with all this new information? You can now begin to formulate marketing strategies that will center on the sites from which you get the most traffic, and you can also learn where you might need to be spending more or less time marketing.
How Often Are You Converting Visitors?
The next step in the process is tracking how well you are converting visitors into actual paying customers. If you want to know what your Return on Investment (ROI) is, you cannot ignore these statistics. For example, you may be getting a lot of steady traffic and your social media profiles are popular.
However, all the traffic in the world isn’t going to do much for you unless you are converting those people into paying customers. These are the stats that will help you test the effectiveness of landing pages, your calls to action and how compelling your content is on the whole.
By keeping track of these statistics, you’re also going to see the tipping point of when a campaign begins to lose effectiveness and you need to try something new. A tiny and temporary downturn in conversions isn’t cause for panic, but a steady, downward trend is a can’t miss indicator that you need to do something quickly.
How Long Do They Keep Visiting?
Customer retention is the ultimate key to running a successful business. You’ve spent a lot of time and a lot of money to turn your visitors into customers. It costs a lot less to keep them happy and retain them than it does to go out and find new customers all over again. While you should never let your growth funnel run dry, you cannot neglect keeping your customers happy.
Pay attention to the amount of renewals or repeat business you have. Look at the stats from your email lists; these are the indicators that tell you how well you’re nurturing your customers and if you are giving them what they want.
How Often Do They Refer Other People To You?
Word of mouth advertising is priceless, you already know that. But how do you know if you are getting referrals from your existing customers? Running a referral contest is one way to see how many people send you paying customers, but it won’t give you a good idea of just how much traffic each person is sending your way.
For example, let’s say you have a great customer who blogs about you and sends you quite a few people. Unless each person buys, you’re never going to know the true impact that those referrals are having. And, you won’t know what you need to do to bring those referred visitors on board. Pay attention to referrals from other sites and find which ones are doing you the most good. These are the people you may want to contact about setting up a partnership that is rewarding to both parties.
How Much Revenue Do They Bring You?
It’s pretty basic, and most of us understand that if we are spending $800 to acquire a new customer, and they only purchase one thing at $500, you are not going to make any profits. However, you need to look at both now and in the future. If you can keep that customer buying over the course of several years, they’re going to bring in much more than that original purchase. They also have the potential to bring you even more business through referrals.
Pay attention to your statistics and calculate how much each customer costs and what they’re buying from you. While you will probably never break even on 100% of your customers, you should be at least making a profit. If you find that your costs just aren’t being covered by the sales, it’s time to take a hard look at your marketing strategy and see how to either cut costs or increase sales (or preferably both).
Looking at these stats is going to give you a better idea of the value of a customer in the long term. It will also help you craft new strategies that are going to keep your customers coming back for more.
Putting it All Together
Now that you know to what you need to pay attention, it’s time to get to work. Start tracking your data and see what you can learn from it. Remember, if something is not working, don’t be afraid to test out a few new approaches. It can take a little time, but you will be able to get on the right track.
These five metrics can help you test out new strategies and hone your existing strategies. Make it a habit to continually check these stats at least once a week. Print out your reports and analyze them carefully. The more you pay attention to these metrics, the more you will start to notice trends. You will be able to spot changes almost before they happen and this will give you the inside track into keeping your business profitable.
We may not be able to use a crystal ball in our marketing campaigns, but at least we have metrics. Thanks to providers like Google, we have access to the information that could change the way we shape our futures. You owe it to yourself to pay attention to at least these five metrics. Once you do, you will be able to see the value for yourself and the impact they will have on your overall growth strategy.