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Website check: Top 4 site analytics to watch

What site analytics do you look at in your weekly website check? In other words, when you do your weekly quality control performance, what are the site metrics you use to gauge your online success?

If that question stumps you, then you’ve come to the right place. The truth is, it can be hard to determine just what elements of site analytics are the most important. But it is an issue you need to work on — it’s essential to your current and future success.

So, why do a weekly website check in the first place? To build success, you need to evolve your business, growing what’s working and improving (or eliminating) what isn’t. By looking at your site analytics on a regular basis — every month will work, every week is better — you can get a bird’s eye view of how your site really works for your visitors.

But let’s be clear: Some of the many site metrics available on Google Analytics are definitely more important than others. With that in mind, then, here is’s top four site analytics you should be paying the most attention to.

1. Unique Visitors
Find it: Visitors > Visitors Trending

Unique visitors are the new visitors to your site — not those returning, but those who have just discovered your website for the first time. Watching this number grow (or shrink) is an essential general gauge of your website’s success. All the following site metrics depend on this one.

2. Bounce Rate and Time on Site
Find it: Visitors > Visitors Trending

So you’re getting unique visitors to your site. Congratulations! But ask yourself this: How long are they sticking around?

“You have about three seconds to show your website visitor what to do next,” explains marketer Lisa Keller.  “If that’s not clear or your next step is not persuasive enough, a website visitor will likely leave your website without clicking anywhere else.”

Your “bounce rate” is the statistic that tracks how many visitors are leaving immediately without taking further action. This data will let you know where they were when they left. And knowing that can help you figure out why they left, and make the needed corrections to make sure they don’t leave next time.

3. Search Engine Referral Traffic
Find it: Traffic Sources > Search Engines

And where are all these visitors coming from? Does most of your traffic come from organic searches? PPC searches? Or direct links? Your Google Analytics “Traffic Sources” report has exact answers to those questions.

And not only can you see how much traffic you’re getting from search engines, you can see what keywords people are using to find your site in searches. This is, needless to say, essential for SEO. If you’re building your site or individual pages around specific search engine keywords, this is where you find out if that’s actually working.

4. Conversion Rate
Find it: Goals > Conversions

Finally, you need to learn how many of your visitors are actually converting. Depending on what your site’s niche is, conversions may mean different things. For gaming affiliates, it usually refers to when a visitor clicks an ad and pays for a service. It means different things for e-commerce websites or educational websites, but the idea is this: What action do you want visitors to take? And are they taking it?

Because conversion rates depend on your specific goals, you must set up Google Analytics to track those specific goals. Do it by heading to the “Goals” tab in your Analytics and entering the appropriate instructions.

Questions? Comments?

Which of these site metrics do you think are most important, and why? What specific site analytics have you used to measure and increase the success of your affiliate marketing site?