While your company’s goals will vary based on your business model and industry, there are certain objectives that are widely shared by all businesses looking to attract and keep clients: acquiring customers, engaging them, and creating loyalty so they’ll keep coming back and buying more.

When it comes to tracking your performance for these three universal goals, are you using the right digital analytics data and KPIs?

This 2-part series is designed to help you brush up on the basics and make sure you’re covering your bases when it comes to tracking important KPIs. Here we’ll highlight the essential basic KPIs you should be following to measure traffic acquisition and visitor engagement on your website. We’ll also give you a few ideas for going further with some more advanced KPIs.


Driving and acquiring quality traffic

Engaging, converting, and creating loyalty with customers will be easier if your audience is already qualified and relevant to begin with. This is why it’s important to assess the quality of your traffic – to see which channels are not only performing best in terms of traffic volumes, but also in terms of behaviour. In other words, you need to identify which sources bring visitors who are interested in your content, engaged, and likely to convert.


Must-have KPIs

  • Volume indicators: Number of visits, number of unique visitors
  • Engagement indicators: Bounce rate, number of pages viewed per visit, time spent on site per visit
  • Conversions & profitability indicators: Number of conversions, conversion rate, sales revenue generated

Be sure to examine these KPIs for each of your different traffic sources:

  • Search engines (organic traffic)
  • Paid search and display campaigns
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Social networks
  • Referrer sites
  • Direct traffic


In doing so, you’ll be able to evaluate how well each traffic source drives visitors to your web or mobile site who are likely to stay, engage with your content, and eventually convert. You might observe that while certain sources drive high volumes of traffic, their engagement- or conversion-related KPIs are low. In this case, consider why these users were enticed to visit your site, but did not want to stay or go further. (Is there a disconnect between your ad message and your website? Is your landing page not sufficiently directive? Be prepared to investigate!)


For deeper insights about how people are arriving on your site and the performance of your traffic sources, analyse the following:

  • Device types (computer, tablet, smartphone) per traffic source

By studying the breakdown of traffic from each type of device, you can adjust and optimise your campaigns and landing pages accordingly. For example, imagine that the majority of visitors from your email campaigns arrive on your site using a smartphone. With this in mind, you would likely want to optimise your email marketing campaigns and landing pages for mobile devices.

  • Share of visits landing on a brand-related page (like an “About us” or “Company history” page), main traffic sources to these brand-related pages, and bounce rate

With this analysis, you can determine what attracts the most traffic: your brand, a specific branded product, or other specific content. Analyse the share of visits to brand-related pages over time to see if your brand awareness is growing. Measure bounce rate on brand-related pages to know if your brand inspires people to discover more of your site (…or not).

  • Share of visits landing on a product or category page, main traffic sources to these product or category pages, and bounce rate

See if a certain product, product line, or content category is outshining others when it comes to driving traffic. Measure bounce rate on these product or category pages to see if these types of products are inspiring people to browse other site content (…or not).

  • % new visits for each traffic source

See which traffic sources or campaigns bring you new visitors, and which bring returning visitors over the long run.


Engaging your site visitors

Depending on the type of web or mobile site you offer and the content you make available, you might define “visitor engagement” in different ways. It might mean viewing product information, watching videos, reading articles, using any tools you offer (like a search bar, calculator, or map), adding items to a shopping basket, or clicking to share content on social networks… just to name a few.

Your main KPIs for on-site engagement should reflect your particular business goals and site content. But generally speaking, you should track the following for your site overall, as well as for each category or type of content:


Must-have KPIs

  • Bounce rate
  • Average number of pages viewed per visit
  • Average time spent on site per visit

These KPIs will give you a high-level view of your site’s ability to engage users. Then, by studying these KPIs for each individual type of content or category, you’ll be able to see if certain site sections are not engaging enough and need to be optimised, or if certain content formats generate deeper user engagement than others, for example.


For a more detailed view of how visitors are interacting with your site, analyse the following:

  • Your site’s most-used tools or features (store locator, calculator, search bar, product comparison tool, virtual tour, product sheet download, etc.)
  • Percentage of visitors that used a tool or feature, and tool usage rate
    Analysing this data can help you understand which of your site’s features are most effective in engaging visitors and leading to conversions. It can also tell you which tools might need to be optimised for better usability.
  • How is your internal search tool being used? (average number of searches made per visit, number of searches returning zero results, most-searched keywords)
    Ever wonder what your users really want? Data from your internal search tool holds the answer. By analysing how visitors are using your search feature, you’ll get direct insights into what they’re looking for (and whether they’re finding it).
  • % of visits ending on a search results page (after using your internal search)
    Building on the previous analysis, this indicator will tell you how often your visitors leave your site because they’re not finding what they want.
  • Clicks on social sharing buttons, and number of clicks by type of share (email, Facebook, Twitter…)
    Discover which products, topics, and content formats best resonate with your users (enough to make them want to share the information with others!). Analyse where and how visitors share, according to content types. For example, you might notice that your product demo videos are most often shared on Facebook, whereas articles are typically shared on Twitter. Specific insights like these will help you optimise your marketing initiatives across channels.
  • % of users reaching a key step during their visit
    Depending on your business, site content and goals, you’ll have established certain key steps you want users to reach during their visit to your site. For example, an “add to basket” for e-commerce sites, a video play for media sites, or a request for more information for financial sites… By measuring the share of visitors who are actually arriving at this goal, you can assess if your site is adequately engaging users and pushing them forward into your conversion funnel.
  • Number of new account creations
  • Rate of new account creation


Read on for part 2 of this series, in which we’ll look at KPIs for measuring customer retention and loyalty behaviours on your site.



A Silicon Valley native, Ashley has 10 years of experience as a marketing writer and previously worked in B2B digital marketing at Google. She joined AT Internet in 2014 to help create and deploy our international communications in 6 languages. She enjoys distilling complex topics from the ever-changing digital universe into clear, actionable ideas.

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