Many of us track page views, unique visitors, followers and fan counts. We obsess over click-through rates, bounce rates, cart abandonment rates and load times — and with good reason. These are key metrics that serve as proxies for brand health and can aid or impede business growth.
However, there are other metrics you should be watching — not just for their absolute value or monthly change, but also for the story they may be telling you about your brand at a deeper level.
1. Time spent per page
When you examine your site's analytics, you probably focus on the places where users spend the most time. These are the best and most important sections of your website, right? Not necessarily. High time spent per page can also indicate a particular page isn't getting users the information they need fast enough, or is otherwise confusing to navigate. If users are spending minutes on a page without a video, article or other interactive element on it, you likely have a problem. Use your judgment, or add a "Did you find this page useful?" button to be sure.
The first phase of the social web was all about presence; the goal was just to be there. The second phase was about volume: How can I amass the largest follower count to share my message with? Now, we're in the epoch of engagement. It's far better to have fewer, loyal, active brand fans who distribute your message as brand evangelists than a large group of anonymous fans who visited your page once for a coupon and never returned. Retweets, favorites, comments and shares signify active engagement with your brand's content. Track them.
3. Unfollows and defriends
It's no longer sufficient simply to track your overall follower and fan counts. They don't tell the full story. Today, brands are publishers, and we need to look not just at who's joining us, but at who's taking their business, time and attention elsewhere. Track the movement of users who unfollow or defriend your brand and make sure you understand why.
4. Seven-day and 30-day active users
It's all well and good to tout the size of your app's or site's audience, but what percentage of those users return on a regular basis? And when they return, are they using new features, exploring new sections of your site, signing up to hear more from you, downloading something or moving toward a purchase? Are they coming at the same time each day or month? Find out, and optimize your communications accordingly.
5. Exit page/last page visited
For users who come to your site and visit at least two pages, where do they exit? If any page accounts for 5% or more of your total exits, you need to revise that page. Add a clearer call-to-action or suggest a related page to visit. Do what you have to do, but extend the user experience so you don't lose your audience.
6. Human response lag
We've all built automated responses into our system (e.g., "Thanks for contacting us"), but users who contact our brand — and are by definition potential or existing customers — deserve a human response. Whether it's connecting them with a salesperson or sending them the link to a page that's readily available on the website, track how long it takes your team to respond to these inquiries, and then shorten it. Once you have some data around the types of inquiries you typically receive, go ahead and draft some boilerplate email responses, but have them come from a human, preferably a knowledgeable one, on your team.
These are just a handful from a list of hundreds. What are your key metrics?
View the original article here: http://mashable.com/2013/07/10/6-digital-metrics/