Identifying and Interpreting the Key Performance Indicators in Web Analytics

Identifying and Interpreting the Key Performance Indicators in Web Analytics

August 13, 2021

Web analytics softwares have changed the way we measure the success of our online marketing campaign. Earlier, measurement of SEO efforts revolved around the search engine rankings of a website for a set of targeted keywords.  The use of server log details gave online marketing professionals and website owners some more insight into the website usage and helped them define some new metrics to track the progress of an online marketing campaign. With the advent of more advanced page tagging and hybrid web analytics sofwares, both free and paid, we have a whole lot of data and performance metrics at our disposal. However, it is quite likely for someone to get lost within the heap of data provided by these applications making it difficult to find the meaningful data out of it. I am going to mention some of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) pay attention, what useful information you can derive from them, and how other performance metrics affect these KPIs. Please note that this post focus mainly on Google Analytics which is most widely used web analytics software.  


This is the most obvious metric to look for. All the hard work done in an Internet Marketing campaign is derive good amount of visitor traffic to your website. More the visitor traffic, better the website is performing. However, it is not only the quality of the visitor traffic that matters but the quality as well. For e.g., if am only running an SEO campaign, then majority of my traffic should be organic search engine traffic. We should also check the top 20 keywords deriving traffic to our website. Are majority of these the ones we are targeting? Are most of my visitors coming from the geographical area/country where I offer my services?

Bounce Rate

When a visitor visits your websites and exits the website from landing page itself, it is known as a Bounced Visit. I.e., visits with a single page view. Bounce Rate is calculated percentage of bounced visits as against total number of visits in a period of time. A high bounce rate means that users are not associating your website with the product or service they were expecting to look for.  Or your webpage design and architecture needs overhauling. Check the top list of 15-20 top landing pages and sort them to find pages with highest bounce rates. Then check the keywords through which visitors are landing on these pages. Are these keywords relevant to the page content? Are all the navigational and functional elements working fine? These top landing pages receive majority of your visitor traffic and hence changes made to these should impact your overall bounce rate. If you have enough time, dig deeper into the landing page list to work out the pages with high Bounce Rates.


A Goal or Conversion can be defined as a transaction, sale, download, subscription, page views or any other metric which shows if your website is fulfilling its business objective. This is by far one of the most important KPI to measure. The number of conversions will provide you the real picture on whether your online business is really succeeding or not. The main purpose of every online marketing campaign should be to increase conversions. And it is the conversion rate of your website which tells you the quality of visitor traffic and that of your website itself. Typically, the conversion rate of 2% is considered to be an average but it can vary considerably depending upon the industry segment and the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Site Overlay

This is the least known feature in Google Analytics but can be of great use for usability experts who want dig deeper to the level of user behavior in order to improve the website structure. This feature shows the number of clicks on each hyperlink of the webpage as the percentage of total number of visits on that page. You can check which links attract most user attention and which the least. Based on this info, you can restructure your webpage like changing the navigation menu and making the Call For Actions (CFAs) more prominent.

PageViews Per Visit

This is one of the important but a bit overrated factors. This is also one of the most misinterpreted factors. Universally, a lot of average page views per visit are viewed as a sign that the website is engaging and users are finding it interesting to dig further. But on the other hand, a lot of page views per visit can also mean that visitors are not able to locate the product or info easily on the website. A higher number of average page views can also mean that visitors are distracted from main goal i.e. conversions. The number of page views per visit should be correlated with the conversion rate of the website to see if is beneficial for website or not. Higher number of page views is particularly beneficial for websites providing information, news or websites with impressions based advertising.


This feature in Google Analytics helps you compare your website’s metrics or performance with industry averages.  Although the data sources are ambiguous, still it can provide introspect as to what others have achieved.  To view this data, you must first agree to share your websites’ data anonymously with Google’s benchmarking service.   You can see where your website stands as compared with other websites within your industry segment. This can provide a thorough understanding of the areas in which we are beating our competition and in which we need to improve.

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