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3 Performance Metrics That Can Indicate The Quality Of Traffic to Your Site

January 16th, 2009 | | Basic SEO Tips

There is a series of performance metrics that you can utilize to determine how well your search engine optimization is going. Actually, the list of metrics that you can monitor in order to gauge your progress can go on and on. Today, I will focus on three basic stats that indicate the quality of visitors that you are driving to your site.

Average pageviews: Increasing your visits/pageviews to your site is extremely important for any SEO campaign, however you can’t sacrifice quality for quantity. Pageviews per visitor is a very telling metric. If your average pageview per visitor is going down as your total number of visits is increasing, is there something wrong? Very possibly. Getting users to your site is not the end result. You want to deepen the engagement with your audience, get them to interact with your site, and thoroughly review your content.

A high average pageview per visitor can be the result of a few things: your traffic is highly targeted and qualified, or the content on your site is optimized well and effectively presented. Conversely, a low average pageviews indicates that the traffic coming to the site has not been appropriately targeted to what the site offers or that the site does not deliver what was promised to the visitor.

Bounce rate: Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.  Use this metric to measure visit quality – a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren’t relevant to your visitors. The more compelling your website and landing pages, the more visitors will stay on your site, and eventually take action.

Time on Site: Time on site is another way of measuring visitor quality. If visitors spend a long time visiting your site, they may be interacting extensively with it. This is another metric that can indicate how well your optimization strategy is going. Are users taking the time to browse your site thoroughly? How can you engage them for a longer period of time?

However, Time on site can be misleading because visitors often leave browser windows open when they are not actually viewing or using your site. Just an FYI.

These last three metrics are qualify focused. If any of these metrics are lower than what you expect, you have some work cut out for you. The first two tactics on which you can focus your attention are the content on your site and your cross linking strategy.

By writing copy that is intriguing, and approriate for your audience, you will deepen the engagement with your audience. If you improve your cross-linking methods within and throughout your site, users will dig deeper into your site. And that is what we’re shooting for, generating engaged users who don’t just causually stop by your site, but they are active visitors who listen to what you have to say, and eventually take action.

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