How Are Your Website Metrics Dumping You?


Nov 21, 2015


5 min read

Most of the successful marketing teams value the role of analytics and the metrics in deriving insights and strategy formulation. Available big data is crucial in understanding your consumer’s behavior, the context and the methods operating on them while they make a purchasing decision. Whether it is checking the change in your email response rate or understanding the variation in the leads, everything that impacts your online business is important data.Analyzing the data is crucial because it is both able to present a concise picture of things that happened in the past and can, to a great extent, predict the pattern of consumer behavior and how that might change in the future. That’s why Drucker remarks, “What gets measured, gets managed”.

But Can I Trust My Data?

Based on the sample size, the duration when the data is collected and other factors, you derive an interpretation from the available data. What I find out is that quite often, it is the interpretation and not the data that is to be doubted. At times, we put too much emphasis on a particular set of data while ignoring the rest and thus we build a prejudice. Consequently, the selected metrics might lead us to draw inaccurate and non-relevant conclusions that can cost us after a certain duration.

These data streams may indicate improvement, but it is not always that they have strong connection with your organization’s progress.Moreover, since these data are dynamic and have time-dependency, they do not always correlate with the figures that matter for your marketing strategy.

Some of these deceptive metrics are:

Web Traffic

Who does not like more attention? Especially in the digital marketing world, it seems that there is a race to get as much web traffic as one can acquire. But is getting more web traffic always a good thing? Let’s suppose that you decide to boost traffic on your website and spend a large amount of money on Google Adwords. You might get more traffic consequently, but will that be any good if none of those users convert into buyers or proceed to email sign ups? Certainly, in that case, the acquired traffic is not connected with your company’s mission.

Number of Downloads

Often, websites provide free resources such as e-books, brochures, and other PDFs to attract a particular segment of the audience. Tracking the number of downloads is not very helpful because it does not reveal who is downloading those resource nor does it tell you how these users found it. Due to the lack of a proper context, this metric can not be used to derive any actionable.

Time Spent On Your Site

Most of the marketers consider the time by the users on the website as an important metric. Unless this data point is used along with other available data point to make a comparison, it is no good to analyze the time. Though considered as a behavioral metric, it does not suggest you any much on how to improve the content.

To make this metric work better, you will need to find out more about the users who download your content. Are those visitors lying in the potential customer belt or are they rival professionals keeping a track of what you are doing?

Number of Unique Visitors

Essentially, this number tells you about how popular your website is. More the unique visitors, the better it is for your website’s popularity. Again this metric is not very actionable superficially, and you will have to check for the user’s activity on your website to understand whether the unique visitor is worth your attention.

Use analytics to find out what they clicked on, the source from where they landed to your website and other meaningful behavioral information about these unique visitors to have a larger picture.

What Then Is a True Metric?

Though there can not be any general formula to determine a universally accepted list of metrics, a true metric should have the following characteristics:

  • It should suggest an actionable
    Whenever you see a proper report about some metric, the results should convey an actionable that should be incorporated to get better results.For example, when you see a report about split-testing, you should be aware of what improvement your site needs so that the discrete consumer group gets to see different versions of the product and thus get a more personalized response.
  • It should be accessible and easily generated
    If you report about a tree falling in a forest and the report is incomprehensible, is it any valuable? In essence, the metrics should be reportable in a format such thati) all your team members can grasp them
    ii) everyone in your team can have access to the latest data reports

To make the accessibility feature even better, the duration between executing actionable and seeing results should not be very large.  To achieve that end, the metrics should be presented in a very simple way.

Some examples of metrics that you should really care about:

Email Newsletter Subscription

More the subscription, more the chances that you can get the subscribers converted into buyers.

Cost Per Lead

It is calculated by dividing the marketing expenses by the number of leads generated online. It can give you a rough idea about the amount you need to spend to get one customer onboard.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is one of the crucial metrics that you must look for since it is an indicator of whether your marketing efforts are working or not. Regarding results and total revenue generated, this metric can provide useful information.

The Average Length of Account Subscription

Just counting the number of subscriptions won’t help. To get desirable insight, it is recommended that you keep track of the duration of the account subscription. Also, you can analyze the number of account upgradations to keep a better check on your website’s performance.


Website’s metrics presents before you the macro picture of how the website has been able to engage its audience. It should also tell you about the progress you are making to increase its influence and by optimizing the areas that need improvement, you can design actionable tasks to make your website better. Also, these data sets are concise information about the trends that are working in the market, so with an intelligent choice of metrics that matter, you can predict consumer behavior, and that is key to your organization’s success.