Is There a Magic Metric?
There are many ways to analyze web traffic and web effectiveness. In fact, there are so many ways that most small business marketers can get overwhelmed pretty quickly.
The first step of course is to begin the practice of measuring and analyzing your web site’s effectiveness so that you can improve it. The easiest way to accomplish this is to install and use the free Google Analytics tool.
Once you this you can start to understand and tweak the many things it can measure. While there is no one metric that is the golden key, I suggest you start by gaining a full understanding of what Google calls bounce rate.
Bounce rate represents the average percentage of initial visitors to a site who “bounce” away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site. So, for the most part this is often referred to a the measure of a site’s stickyness. It can give you some clues as to whether or not your content is grabbing folks or not. It can also help you understand if your ads are targeting the right traffic.
There is no perfect bounce rate number, but aiming for 50% – meaning 50% of the visitors to your site take an action leading to another page, is probably a good target. The real goal of course is designing a site and pages that allow you to lower the bounce rate. Before you ever really worry about generating all kinds of traffic and winning key search phrases, get you content sticky!
The following video of Avinash Kaushik, Google Analytics Evangelist and author of the blog Occam’s Razor helps shed some light on the bounce rate metric.