Defining What Data to Collect

Use your site's specific goals and objectives to define your business metrics so you can get the reports you need. These reports will influence the way you change your website for best results.

You need concrete measurements to know what you can improve to achieve the goals you have set for your site. Some general types of sites have certain typical metrics you can use to identify where change is needed.

The following are some typical metrics you might gather on a general content site using Webtrends Analytics:

Average page views per visit
Content sites desire an increasing amount of pages views per visit. By examining this metric in relation to content groups, you may gain more perspective on what areas are generating the most interest.
Average visits per visitor
How often are visitors returning each day, week, or month? This is an important metric that may indicate the success of a particular campaign.
Clickthroughs of on-site ads
Since many content sites are supported through advertising, monitoring the number of clickthroughs of these ads help you gauge the value of the ad.
First-time versus returning visitors
Does the content effectively engage visitors enough to make them return? By tracking the ratio between new and return visits over a period of time, you can determine if your site is attracting enough returning visitors.
Average visit frequency and recency
You will want frequency to be high and recency to be low to retain and grow your audience.
Content group activity and history metrics
If a content group experiences fewer and fewer visits, then you can investigate and take action.
Number of search engine referrals
The number of visits referred by search engines is usually a critical metric for most content sites.
Specialized conversion rates
Conversion rates typically explore how many visitors move from one step to the next in a scenario that you are monitoring. Media sites may want visitors to register for topical newsletters to increase ad revenues and drive repeat traffic to the site.

Regardless of your specific site objectives, measuring the visitors in each step of a scenario can help you determine where in the process you are losing the most people and then take action to improve the situation. You might, for example, improve the content in a sequence of steps that leads to the purchase of an item. In most cases, it is best to make small, incremental changes to your website, and then measure your visitors to get a new set of results.

For more information, see Guide to Web Analytics