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Metrics 101: Getting to grips with your website performance indicators

So, your latest Google Analytics report brought back a few home truths about your content strategy.

Maybe your conversion rates aren’t as high as you would like them to be, or an unacceptable proportion of users are failing to engage with your website and leaving shortly after arriving.

With so many different factors affecting website visitor behaviour, and a multitude of strategies available to help you tackle problems and improve your digital marketing returns, it can be difficult to know where to start.

One particularly important stage of the process is familiarising yourself with essential metrics.

What are your metrics telling you?

A content marketing strategy is an ongoing process that takes time to refine and develop. When it comes to the performance of your website, various aspects of your plan may need tweaking to give you the best outcomes.

You should be frequently collecting and examining data to help you pinpoint areas that require closer attention and could necessitate a change in strategy. 

There are metrics for just about everything. Most parts of your business – whether marketing-related or not – can be boiled down to a numerical unit, and your content is no different.

If this is new territory for you, start out by focusing on the ones that have the greatest significance in terms of website performance.

Bounce rate

When it comes to conversion, bounce rate is a good metric to start with. This measures the number of people that leave your website after viewing the first page – as opposed to continuing through to other areas on your site.

A high bounce rate can mean a number of things; perhaps your content is easy to digest and answers your audience’s questions quickly.

However, if users are taking in the content and then leaving without converting, it could be a sign that your marketing isn’t doing a good job of convincing customers that your product or service is the best option for them.

Time on page

Another useful metric to consult here is the average time spent on page. This will show you how long people are hanging around and engaging with your content before leaving your website. If the typical visitor spends only a short amount of time reading before navigating away, you may have to reconsider the relevance of your topics.

Alternatively, this could reflect your site’s usability or your calls to action. Maybe your goal is to increase the number of people signing up to a newsletter but you aren’t doing enough to incentivise the customer to share their contact details. This could indicate a problem with your action buttons (the icon a user clicks to go through with the process) or suggest that your content isn’t quite hitting the mark.

These are all things you can access through your metrics with a view to finding the solution and moving forward.


With traffic, it’s important to remember that you don’t want hordes of people flooding onto your site, only to click away immediately when they realise they’re in the wrong place. Although quantity is a significant part of this metric, quality is just as important, if not more so.

You want the right people to come to your site, engage with your content and hopefully take something valuable away with them.

If the content you wish to drive the most traffic to is hosted on your site then you can measure its performance using tools like Google Analytics. This will show you the number of people viewing particular pieces of content and interacting with it.

If traffic is of poor quality, it’s likely you’ll see a high bounce rate and low page dwell times. This could be an indicator that your SEO strategy needs adjusting or that you should be doing more to build relationships, brand awareness and engagement on social media.

Taking SEO as an example, are you using the right keywords? If users aren’t staying around to read what you have to say, it could mean that your keyword strategy isn’t quite right and you’re bringing in the wrong kind of traffic.

These are just a few examples of useful metrics, and there are many more you can use to gauge your website performance and optimise your content strategy.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by this aspect of your marketing and want some expert support, Axonn can help.