For 8 years all I did was analyze metrics for Style Unveiled ... metrics are anything having to do with a website and the traffic and flow of each visitor:
- page views
- unique visitors
- daily visitors
- popular content
- time spent on the website
- search queries
I learned what I could do with traffic, how to create an online environment that made people want to click around (not bounce out after 1 page view) and what all of it meant. I now apply those practices and that knowledge to every website I design. My goals are:
- create a homepage that makes a visitor want to click to see another page
- create a flow and design that leads the visitor to want to learn more about contacting my client
- select images that the visitor will want to 'pin' and blog posts they will want to share on FB
Metrics don't lie .... there is no way to fudge them or create metrics that look appealing ... metrics can also be confusing!! Have you ever tried to make sense of Google Analytics? That takes more than a wink and a smile ... which is why I am obsessed with Squarespace metrics << there's an article you will find useful if you are considering switching to Squarespace or if you already have a Squarespace website.
Today I want to specifically talk about daily visitors, page views and audience size. Here is what these are broken down:
- Daily Visits: The number of times somebody clicked into your website
- Page Views: How many different pages were viewed
- Audience Size: How many unique visitors you had
Now, some may ask: aren't 'daily visits' and 'audience size' the same thing? No. Daily visits is the total number of times somebody clicks into your website ... which means that you could have returning visitors (which is awesome!!!) ... so those numbers mean different things. And if they are different: then yay for you!!! This means your brand is memorable and people are coming back for more!
Below are screenshots taken from the metrics of my clients ... REAL METRICS. Don't judge January 18th (wink, wink) because I took these screenshots when I woke up this morning at 5:00 am ... so today hasn't happened yet. But these numbers are very telling: these numbers tell you whether the websites I designed are working or not. They tell you if the person running this company is doing a good job of getting their company name out there and in a way that makes people want to visit their website. They tell you if the brand is memorable for all the right reasons and if people are coming back.
Using the image directly below: look at Jan 15th: you can see that there were 45 unique visitors (audience size) but that at least some of those people came back again! Each visitor clicked into an average of 3.5 page views! This is a HUGE WIN for my client ... and I'm celebrating too! This means that my design works well.
Another question that may be on your mind: what does all of this mean for my SEO (search engine optimization)? USER EXPERIENCE. Google is all about user experience ... if a website has 'clicks in' but not many page views it tells Google that the website isn't engaging the audience and Google may give that website a lower ranking. If Google sees a website with traffic and multiple or many page views per visitor they may rank that page higher because of the experience it believes each visitor is having. You want to engage your audience into clicking around.
You may recall me discussing the importance of MOBILE OPTIMIZATION about a million and one times here on The Editor's Touch ... and this all ties in!! If people are clicking into your website on a mobile device and you don't have a mobile optimized website then that visitor is going to be very cranky and 'click out' ... which tells Google: utoh, this website is creating a bad environment for visitors.