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WEB MEASUREMENT KPIS

50+ Web Measurement KPIs – Analytics Demystified

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WEB MEASUREMENT KPIS

Ryan Stewart

I have an unhealthy obsession with being considered the world's top internet marketing expert. This blog is one of the channels I use to demonstrate that. I'm highly active on social media and love a good debate (internet trolls). Click the icons below and fire away.

Web Marketing Metrics and Analytics

I build a lot of web analytics measurement plans for my clients.

With no two websites the same, I need a multitude of key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure their goals.

Over the years I’ve been writing these KPIs down in a matrix to reference for future plans.

I decided to let that matrix live in this post.

**NOTE: I’ve also included the Google Analytics reports, segments and dimensions to view the KPI. For most KPIs, there are multiple reports, segments and dimensions you can use to pull the data. The ones I’ve listed are my personal preference.**

I organized the KPIs into 4 buckets:

  1. Return on investment (ROI)
  2. Lead Generation
  3. Intent to Purchase
  4. Engagement

KPIs to Measure Return on Investment

KPI: Cost per Visit

  • Good For: Measuring campaigns, campaign targeting, ROI
  • Report: Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium + Cost Data
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: None

cost-per-visit-analytics

Additional Notes:

I love KPIs that measure cost – these are the measurements that help calculate digital ROI. When working with costs, you’re going to need more than Google Analytics. You will need to pull data from anywhere you’re spending money: Facebook, Twitter, AdWords, Outbrain, PPC, etc.

Take that cost data and crosswalk it with traffic data in Analytics. For example:

– Cost from Facebook Ad Set 1 / Visits from Facebook Ad Set 1

– Cost from PPC Keyword 13 / Visits from PPC Keyword 13

You can get as granular as you like with the calculation – ad set, medium or campaign, they’re all gold!

EXPERT TIP:

Most analysts stop at campaign data. I like to go one step further.

SEO has costs – whether you’re paying an agency or not, someone within your organization is allocated to drive organic traffic.

That needs to be accounted for. I like to use:

Monthly cost for SEO / Visits from Organic

KPI: Cost per Sale

  • Good For: Measuring campaigns, campaign targeting, ROI
  • Report: Conversions > eCommerce > Sales Performance + Cost Data
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: None

sales-Performance-Google-Analytics-report

Additional Notes:

How much does each sale cost your business? In other words, are you getting a positive return on your marketing spend?

KPI: Sales per Channel

  • Good For: Measuring campaigns, campaign targeting, ROI
  • Report: Conversions > eCommerce > Sales Performance
  • Dimension: Traffic Medium
  • Segments: None

sales-Performance-Google-Analytics-report

Additional Notes:

How does each marketing channel impact your top line? This KPI will answer that question for you.

KPI: Sales per Visit

  • Good For: Measuring campaigns, scaling campaigns, ROI
  • Report: Conversions > eCommerce > Sales Performance + Cost Data
  • Dimension: Traffic Medium
  • Segments: None

sales-Performance-Google-Analytics-report

Additional Notes:

How much is each website visit worth to your business? Knowing this metric is huge. It allows you to scale (or descale) efforts.

KPI: Purchase History

  • Good For: eCommerce sites, understanding customer behavior, purchase intent
  • Report: Audience > Custom > Custom Variables
  • Dimension: eCommerce (depending on site type)
  • Segments: Traffic Type (optional)

average-order-value-google-analytics

Additional Notes:

Tracking purchase requires eCommerce implementation in your Google Analytics account. In addition, you’ll have to implement custom variables. Your configuration will look something like this:

_gaq.push([‘_setCustomVar’,5,’PurchHistory’,’1-3′,1]);

KPI: Cost per KPI

  • Good For: Measuring campaigns, campaign targeting, ROI
  • Report: Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium + Cost Data
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: None

cost-per-kpi-google

Additional Notes:

Arguably my favorite KPI! How much are you paying for your website’s key actions? See tips from cost per visit KPI above.

KPI: Time to Conversion

  • Good For: Measuring product performance, sales cycle
  • Report: Conversions > Muti Channel Funnels > Time Lag
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: None

time-to-conversion-report

Additional Notes:

Time to conversion is a great KPI to understand your sales cycle and how long it takes visitors to convert.

KPI: Cart Abandonment Rate

  • Good For: Measuring conversion optimization, customer pain points
  • Report: Conversions > Goals > Funnel Visualization
  • Dimension: Goal (the one you want to evaluate)
  • Segments: None

cart-abandonment-rate-analytics

Additional Notes:

If you own an eCommerce website, out this KPI at the top of your list. This measurement will let you know where customers exit the funnel – it’s your job to find out why.

KPI: Average Order Value

  • Good For: eCommerce sites, understanding customer behavior, purchase intent
  • Report: Audience > Custom > Custom Variables
  • Dimension: eCommerce (depending on site type)
  • Segments: Traffic Type (optional)

average-order-value-google-analytics

Additional Notes:

Tracking order value requires eCommerce implementation in your Google Analytics account.

KPIs to Measure Lead Generation Campaigns

KPI: Product or Service Page Conversion Rate

  • Good For: Measuring visitor intent, content performance, content messaging
  • Report: Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
  • Dimension: Pages / Session
  • Segments: Goal completions

pages-report-conversions-analytics

Additional Notes:

I use this KPI to measure how my services pages and blog posts are performing. I have opt in forms on all pages – I like to layer the conversion segment on top of the pages report to determine if my copy is persuasive enough to drive submissions.

KPI: Newsletter Sign Up Conversion Rate

  • Good For: Measuring content performance, content messaging, key site action
  • Report: Behavior > Events > Overview
  • Report 2: Conversions > Goals > Overview
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: Traffic Type (optional)

newsletter-conversion-report-analytics

Additional Notes:

If your newsletter form does not redirect to a thank you page on submission, you’ll have to set up Event tracking.

However, once an Event is created it can be tracked as a Goal. I strongly recommend converting all Events to Goals because the depth of reporting is 100 times better.

Read how to create Events and convert them to Goals here.

KPI: Landing Page Bounce Rate

  • Good For: Measuring paid traffic performance, content performance
  • Report: Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: Traffic Type (optional)

landing-pages-report-analytics

Additional Notes:

Bounce rate is a valuable measurement that needs to be analyzed properly. A bounce is defined as a user that visits your site and leaves without viewing another page. There are dozens of key actions a user can take on your site while remaining on the same page (time on site, submit a form, share on social media, comment, etc). I strongly suggest you look at bounced visits as a segment – analyze the actions those users did (or didn’t take) before leaving.

KPI: Form Conversion Rate

  • Good For: Measuring paid traffic performance, content performance
  • Report: Conversions > Goals > Goal URLs
  • Dimension: Goal Previous Step
  • Segments: Traffic Type (optional)

goal-urls-report

Additional Notes:

If you don’t sell anything on your website then form submissions are “macro” conversions. I like to add the previous URL dimension when reporting – it helps to visualize the content that drives the most conversions.

KPI: Form Abandonment Rate

  • Good For: Measuring paid traffic performance, content performance
  • Report: Conversions > Goals > Funnel Visualization
  • Dimension: Goal (the one you want to evaluate)
  • Segments: None

form-abandonment-rate-analytics

Additional Notes:

Perhaps more important than % of form completed are the % of users who begin to fill out a form and abandon it.

You can get great insights on how to improve form UX, form UI and overall satisfaction from this measurement.

Note: My website’s forms only have a one screen so the screenshot is a bad example. This KPI works best with forms that have multiple page submissions.

KPI: Email Open Rate

  • Good For: Measuring data quality, lead generation efforts
  • Report: Non Google Analytics – use your email provider’s data
  • Dimension:None
  • Segments: None

email-open-rate-report

 

Additional Notes:

Email open rate = # of emails opened / # of emails sent.

It gives you insight into the quality of leads you’re generating.

KPI: Email Click Through Rate

  • Good For: Measuring data quality, lead generation efforts
  • Report: Non Google Analytics – use your email provider’s data
  • Dimension:None
  • Segments: None

email-open-rate-report

Additional Notes:

More important that email open rate is email click through rate. This measures the number of subscribers that click the links in your email.

This gives you tremendous insights into the quality of your lead generation efforts.

If users aren’t engaging with your email content you need to take a closer look at your lead gen campaigns.

 

KPIs to Measure Intent to Purchase

KPI: Branded Keyword Visits

  • Good For: Measuring brand exposure, brand demand, offline advertising efforts
  • Report: Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Queries
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: None

branded-keywords-report-google-analytics

Additional Notes:

You can also run the report Acquisition > Campaigns > Organic Keywords but you get jammed up by the (not provided) data.

The report I’ve outlined is my way around it.

KPI: Direct Visits

  • Good For: Measuring intent to purchase, brand exposure, brand demand, offline advertising efforts
  • Report: Audience > Overview
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: Direct Traffic

direct-traffic-report-google-analytics

Additional Notes:

“Direct/None” traffic confuses the crap out of a lot of marketers.

If you’re tagging all outbound URLs (as you should be) then direct visits are straight forward.

  1. Results of offline advertising (people typing in your URL directly)
  2. Results of referral traffic (from domains Google doesn’t recognize)
  3. Results of people returning directly to your site (generally to make a purchase or contact you)

According to Google’s case studies, direct traffic is responsible for more sales than any other medium. Direct traffic is a good thing!

KPI: Store Locator / Contact a Sales Rep Usage Rate

  • Good For: Measuring visitor intent
  • Report: Behavior > Events > Overview
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: None

store-locator-analytics

Additional Notes:

Some businesses require customers to make purchases in a store, warehouse or through a rep. These business types should have a store locator widget on their website and they should be tracking usage through custom Events.

Widget Usage Rate = # of Events triggered / Sessions

KPI: Direct Email Rate

  • Good For: Measuring visitor intent
  • Report: Behavior > Events > Overview
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: Traffic Source

email-contact-rate-kpi-analytics

Additional Notes:

Your website should have a direct contact email.

You can track these by setting up an Event that triggers when a user clicks the link or by counting the number of direct emails you receive.

Direct Email Rate = # of Emails Received / Sessions

KPI: Call Rate

  • Good For: Measuring visitor intent
  • Report: Acquisition > Overview + Call Data
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: None

call-tracking-analytics

Additional Notes:

Call tracking is easy from mobile (click to call) but more difficult with desktop. If you’re an organization that relies on phone leads, you should have a system set up.

There are a number of vendors that offer call tracking and analytics. If you’re on a budget, simply get an 800 number that is only displayed on your website.

Call Rate = # 800 Calls / Sessions

 

KPIs to Measure Website Engagement

KPI: 301 Redirect Rate

  • Good For: Measuring offline advertising efforts
  • Report: Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: None

measuring-301-redirect-google-analytics

Additional Notes:

This is HUGE for businesses that advertise offline.

When you advertise, you should always include a call to action that drives traffic to a web property (your site, micro site, etc).

The best practice is to create a short vanity URL and 301 (permanent redirect) that URL into a landing page on your site.

Here’s how to measure that in Google Analytics:

  1. In Google’s URL Builder Tool enter the URL of your main site using “Redirect” as campaign source, “Offline Ad” as campaign medium and name of vanity URL as campaign name
  2. Change the .htaccess file on the vanity URL domain server with a rewrite rule, replacing parameters as needed
  3. Enter the URL you generated with the URL builder Tool

301 Redirect Rate = 301 Campaign Sessions / Sessions

Now you can measure the reach and effect of offline ads!

KPI: 301 Conversion Rate

  • Good For: Measuring offline advertising efforts
  • Report: Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns
  • Dimension: Goals
  • Segments: None

301-redirect-conversion-rate

Additional Notes:

Ready to really see the value of your offline efforts?

This is it.

Measuring how many users visit the vanity URL (provided in the ad) and then come to your site and take meaningful action will change the way you look at advertising.

301 Conversion Rate = 301 Campaign Goal Conversions / Sessions

KPI: Inbound Links

  • Good For: Measuring content performance, link outreach validation
  • Report: Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: None

Referral-Traffic-report-analytics

Additional Notes:

So many SEOs neglect Analytics and it drives me crazy.

I check this report daily to see if my content has generated any inbound links.

If it has, I check the domain to make sure it’s a link that I want – in today’s SEO, not all links are good links!

KPI: Visitor Loyalty

  • Good For: Measuring purchase intent, content performance
  • Report: Audience > Behavior > New vs. Returning
  • Dimension: eCommerce (depending on site type)
  • Segments: Traffic Type (optional)

new-vs-returning-report-analytics

Additional Notes:

Visitor loyalty is defined as a visitor who returns to your site within a certain time period – I like to set the cookie at 30 days.

This is a highly underrated KPI – people who return to your website show signs of purchase intent, lead intent or they really like your work.

Either way, all good things.

KPI: Exit Survey Completion Rate

  • Good For: Measuring brand management, customer data
  • Report: Behavior > Events > Overview
  • Report 2: Conversions > Goals > Overview
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: Traffic Type (optional)

newsletter-conversion-report-analytics

Additional Notes:

Like newsletter sign ups, exit surveys will need to be tracked as a custom Event.

KPI: Follower Growth Rate

  • Good For: Measuring content performance, micro conversions, community building
  • Report: Behavior > Events > Overview
  • Report 2: Conversions > Goals > Overview
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: Traffic Type (optional)

newsletter-conversion-report-analytics

Additional Notes:

Follower Growth Rate = # of social media follows / Page Sessions.

This is a great indicator of how your audience reacts to your content.

Tracking it can be tricky – the way I do is by setting up a custom Event that fires when a user clicks one of the ‘follow’ buttons in my blog SEO.

KPI: Social Media Share Rate

  • Good For: Measuring content performance, micro conversions, community building
  • Report: Behavior > Events > Overview
  • Report 2: Conversions > Goals > Overview
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: Traffic Type (optional)

newsletter-conversion-report-analytics

Additional Notes:

Social Media Share Rate = # of social media shares / Page Sessions.

See social media follow rate (above).

KPI: Comment Rate

  • Good For: Measuring content performance, visitor engagement
  • Report: Behavior > Events > Overview
  • Report 2: Conversions > Goals > Overview
  • Dimension: None
  • Segments: Traffic Type (optional)

newsletter-conversion-report-analytics

Additional Notes:

Comment Rate = # comments on a page / page sessions.

Comments need to be set up as a custom Event before being tracked as a Goal.

KPI: Pages per Session

  • Good For: Measuring content performance, UI performance, overall website engagement
  • Report: Audience > Overview
  • Dimension: Pages / Session
  • Segments: Layer segments based on your analysis (traffic source, page ID, etc)

pages-per-session-google-analytics

Additional Notes:

This is a web analytics 101 measurement, but still very useful to determine content quality and user engagement.

KPI: New Visitors

  • Good For: Measuring brand exposure, content performance, campaign performance
  • Report: Audience > Overview
  • Dimension: % New Sessions
  • Segments: New Users

new-visitors-report-google-analytics

Additional Notes:

I read a lot of Analytics blogs and a lot of them try and downplay the important of traffic.

That’s horse crap.

Traffic is the most important measure of your website’s success. Without traffic, nothing else is possible!

What are your favorite KPIs? Leave them in the comments below!

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18 Comments

  1. I’m getting into call tracking so I might take your advice on going the budget route and getting an #800. But I wonder if I will be able to record the calls from that?

    • Ryan Stewart

      hey Bart,
      most call tracking platforms have built in analytics – you should be set.

  2. I never heard about or used KPIs. Good to know that it can measure bounce rate. But is bounce rate really that important. After all, we never really know why a person leaves a site when they did. Maybe they found what they wanted on that page – or even clicked an ad or something.

  3. Categorizing KPI very useful in the analysis of data to achieve the goal. Very inspiring.

  4. That explanation of KPI growth chart really help me. Bookmarked & sharing this on G+ and Facebook!

  5. Inspiring article. Categorizing KPI like this is very helpful in analyzing the web.

  6. Great pictures & charts breaking down the different facets of KPI. I can tell you put a lot of thought into this. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tomasz

      Penny,Really interesting issue much of the effrot, technology, time and cost dedicated to generating the precise, deep and accurate data from which actionable insights can be derived is liable to be underexploited in business term unless the ultimate analysis and conclusions are derived from qualitative interpretation which contextualises and explains what is actually happening and why. This is an interdisciplinary challenge involving a merger of web analytics technologies and the established methodologies of qualitative and quantitative market research and no doubt others.Robert MarcusTechnology Law Solutions

  7. I think I will just hire you to do it for me lol…not my forte. I know what I’m good at and I’ll just stick with that and outsource the rest to pros like you.

  8. Kick ass list indeed! You really know how to bring it!

  9. hmm now this is something I never heard of. I can use this KPI to measure conversion rate. This is is super helpful!

  10. The cart abandonment rate is what really catches me the most here. I really needed this info because my abandoment rate has been abnormally high over past month.

  11. Hi Ryan

    I am trying to create the following reports in GA but not able to figure it out. Can you please advise how I can do same as your posts are very helpful. Thanks and look forward to hearing from you

    1.Traffic Source Report – Broken down by
    a) New v/s Returning User and b) Further by the characteristics of our most valuable users, what type of content they consume etc. c) Also,this would include their source broken by categories like Social, referrals, organic search, Paid search, etc.
    3.Conversion Events Report – This should be Broken down as follows
    1.Like us on Facebook, 2.Follow us on Twitter 3.Share an article on their own social profiles, 4.Consume multiple page views in a single session, 5.Spend more than the average time on site and 6.Visit more than once within a certain period of time 7.PV/Visit > 3, PV/Visit> 5 Conversion Goal Tracking
    4.Content Analysis Report – Separated by Content Type as under (current Dash will be modified to incorporate below)
    1.News Items, Article Items, 2.Review Items and 3.Photo Galleries. 4.Hub pages Report

    5.SEO Report – To help answer the question and understand following key information:
    a.”How can they improve titles, key word density and other SEO activities b.What auto makes / models are people searching for the most using the on-site search box and the make / model drop-down box. c.What are the most popular articles by topic / by make-model etc. d.Content Section – i. Which articles and stories are getting the most page views – ii. Which articles are generating the most conversions iii.Which articles are generating the most shares -which articles generate the most repeat visits -which organic key words are most popular with users, how did readers find our site, iv. What kind of back links do we get and from where?, v. Which posts are most popular (will use Page Titles here/t Title of article itself) vi. Which search terms are used to find us and where do our readers come from i.e. Geographic location?

    6.Social Media Dashboard Report : This Report should basically monitor and provide insight to only Social media performance as outlined below
    a. FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Other Traffic data including BR, Avg time spent on page, and Sessions b. Top Socially Referred Pages c. Most shared content and where it was shared (something you had mentioned you wanted to track) d. Social media sessions broken by source based on Reading an article e. Social media Visitors by location and from which Mobile devices f. You tube visitsg. % of Website traffic from Social media

  12. OK thanks

  13. Thanks a lot.. Very helpful.

  14. Ryan, this is by far the best guide on what to track and why. Period! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Lanette

      Your story was really inoimratfve, thanks!

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