Header Background

What Website Metrics Should You Track? 31 Metrics, 9 Tools, & The Best KPIs Shortlist

Published December 21, 2022
/ Updated January 23, 2023

Here’s the problem: You’ve set up your website and begun publishing readworthy content but soon realize that it isn’t gaining viewers as anticipated.

Solution: Integrate website metrics to improve traffic and the viewer’s experience. Identify where the problem lies by looking at data-driven metrics.

88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience. Your website is the stepping stone for moving consumers down the marketing funnel.

Let’s dive into the website metrics, KPIs, and tools to increase the value of your website’s performance and engagement.

Website Metrics Definitions

What Are Website Metrics?

Website metrics numerically evaluate your website activities. Use website metrics to measure the overall success of your website goals.

Marketers use website metrics to enhance the user experience with the ultimate objective of converting website visitors to customers.

What Are Website Engagement Metrics?

Website Engagement Metrics

A series of website metrics that measure the interactions viewers have with your website.

Evaluate website engagement metrics to align your internet marketing strategy with the user’s interest.

What Are Website Performance Metrics?

Website Performance Metrics

Website metrics that analyze your webpage’s functions.

Your website is one of the first impressions viewers have of your business. Develop a user-friendly website to improve visitor retention and increase conversions.

Website Engagement Metrics

While there are many website engagement metrics, the following are the ones we have used the most at CoSchedule to make strategic website decisions:

  1. Total Visitors
  2. New Visitors
  3. Returning Visitors
  4. Pageviews
  5. Sessions
  6. Goal Conversions
  7. Time On Page
  8. Session Duration
  9. Pageviews Per Session
  10. Sessions Per Visitor
  11. Total Visitors By Page
  12. Total Goal Conversions By Page
  13. Pageviews By Page
  14. Top Entry Pages By Users
  15. Top Entry Pages By Channel
  16. Bounce Rate
  17. Exit Pages
  18. Exit Rate

These all fall within four key categories:

  1. The number of users and activity attracted by website content
  2. The time these users spent consuming content
  3. Which content influenced action
  4. How these users leave your website

1. Number Of Users, Pageviews, Sessions, & Conversion Events

Total Visitors

Total visitors are shown through the total number of users – new and returning. Users initiate at least one session during the selected time range.

Calculate the number of website visitors to measure the popularity of your webpage and the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.

In Google Analytics, find the amount of “Users” under Audience > Overview.

Google analytics report showing total users

New Visitors

New visitors are first-time website viewers that contribute to total visitors. New visitors capitalize on the success of your website’s ability to drive new traffic.

Google Analytics recognizes new visitors as “New Users” of the website. Similarly to total visitors, find this website metric under Audience > Overview.

Total new user tracking report from google analytics

Returning Visitors

Returning visitors are the number of recurring webpage viewers as a subsection of total visitors. Returning visitors prove the impact your website has on the audience.

Calculate returning visitors with Google Analytics:

Total Visitors - New Visitors = Returning Visitors

Pageviews

Pageviews are the total number of website pages that visitors click on. Repeated views are accounted for since pageviews help marketers determine the audience’s interest.

Track “Pageviews” with Google Analytics under Audience > Overview to follow the visitor’s behavior.

Google analytics report showing total page views

Sessions

A session is the time a user engages with your website.

Sessions collect every user interaction on your website to track other metrics – pageviews, traffic sources, and transactions.

On Google Analytics, “Sessions” are counted as the amount of initiated sessions.

Google analytics report showing total sessions recorded by the users

Goal Conversions

Goal conversions, known as goal completions, occur when website visitors complete a specific action – online purchase, email sign-up, etc. Conversions contribute to the success of your business.

Google Analytics allows you to view “Goal Completion” and “Goal Conversion Rate” under Conversions > Goals > Overview.

Google analytics report showing total goal completion for a page

2. Time Spent Consuming Content & Amount Consumed

Time On Page

The time on the page is calculated by averaging the number of times users spend viewing a specific page. This website metric allows marketers to analyze specific page performance.

Google Analytics displays “Average Time on Page” through Behavior > Overview.

Google analytics average time on page report

The benchmark for the “Average Time on Page” is 52 seconds.

Session Duration

Session duration calculates the average time of a session. Session duration contributes to user engagement as it illustrates the number of time visitors views your site.

Google Analytics shows the “Average Session Duration” through Audience > Overview.

Google analytics results showing average session duration

Pageviews Per Session

Pageviews Per Session is the average number of pages users view during a specific session. This website metric shows user engagement by highlighting how many pages viewers interact with when visiting your website.

Use Google Analytics to view “Pages/Session” by Audience > Overview.

Google analytics page views per session metrics

Sessions Per Visitor

When users start a new session or are on the website longer than 30 minutes, a new session will begin.

Sessions per visitor calculate the average number of sessions users partake in. This enables marketers to assess the effectiveness of their website, which leads to viewers returning.

As shown below, Google Analytics showcases the “Number of Sessions per User” through Audience > Overview.

Google analytics number of sessions per user results

3. Page- & Content-Specific Performance

Total Visitors By Page

Calculate the total number of visitors by specific pages to view the web pages bringing in the most traffic.

Try Google Analytics Custom Reports to set up a Page By Users report, or use this template link to configure your data: Total Visitors By Page.

Total Goal Conversions By Page

This website metric tracks the specific pages that have led to goal conversions. Total goal conversions by page metric measure your marketing performance and set standards for improvement.

Google Analytics locates “Goal Conversions by Page” through Conversions > Goals > Overview.

Pageviews By Page

Pageviews By Page allows you to see how many views specific pages receive. Analyze this website metric to gauge the audience’s interests.

On Google Analytics, Under Behavior > Site Content > All Pages on Google Analytics, view the “Pageviews By Page” metric.

Top Entry Pages By Users

The Top Entry Pages By Users metric shows the specific web pages on which users enter your website. Use this website metric to understand what pages are bringing in traffic.

Create a Custom Report in Google Analytics or use the template link CoSchedule created: Entrances By Landing Page

Top Entry Pages By Channel

The Top Entry Page By Channel metric shows the specific channels through which users enter your website. This website metric aids in establishing the origin of the user’s website experience.

Test out the Custom Reports on Google Analytics or CoSchedule made a template link for you: Entrances By Channel.

With the filter optional, customize the regex field to add your landing page filter.Google analytics allows the user to filter results by specific criteria

4. Bounce & Exit Metrics

Bounce Rate

The Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors leaving the webpage without taking any action. Marketers use the bounce rate to explain why readers are leaving the site.

Google Analytics provides the “Bounce Rate” metric under Audience > Overview.

Google analytics bounce rate metrics

The optimal range for a Bounce Rate is between 26% to 40%.

Exit Pages

Exit pages are the number of times visitors exit your site from a specified page. Exit pages inform your team on the pages that cause viewers to leave.

With Google Analytics, view “Exit Pages” by clicking Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages.

Exit Rate

Exit rate is the percentage of users that exit a specific page after viewing the page. Use this metric to tell you what your viewers are doing when they arrive at your webpage.

Exit rate= Number of exits/number of page views

Google Analytics calculates “Exit Percentage” under Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages.

Website Performance Metrics

The website performance metrics we review as a best practice at CoSchedule include the following, which we recommend for most marketing teams:

  1. % Pages With Good Mobile Page Experience
  2. Core Web Vitals Mobile Poor, Need Improvement, & Good URLs
  3. Largest Contentful Paint Mobile Poor, Need Improvement, & Good Percentages
  4. Largest Contentful Paint Mobile Time
  5. First Input Delay (FID) Time
  6. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) Time
  7. First Contentful Paint (FCP) Time
  8. Interaction To Net Paint (INP) Time
  9. Time To First Byte (TTFB) Time
  10. Page Mobile Performance Value
  11. Page Lighthouse Mobile Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  12. Page Lighthouse Mobile Time To Interactive
  13. Page Total Blocking Time

You can review website performance metrics across your entire site and dig deep into specific URLs.

1. Site-Wide Performance Metrics

% Pages With Good Mobile Page Experience

Analyze the percentage of mobile-friendly web pages to enhance the mobile experience for viewers.

Use Google Search Console > Page Experience to view the “Percentage of Pages with Good Mobile Page Experience.”

Core Web Vitals Mobile Poor (Need Improvement, & Good URLs)

Core Web Vitals show URL performance to understand the user’s experience on specific web pages. A “Good” Core Web Vital scores higher on Google.

Core Web Vitals are determined through the Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift.

Website core vitals

Find “Core Web Vitals” on Google Search Console > Core Web Vitals.

Largest Contentful Paint Mobile (Poor, Need Improvement, & Good Percentages)

The Largest Contentful Paint is one of the three Core Web Vital metrics. LCP measures the loading time of the largest image or text block.

A fast LCP reassures website visitors that the page is effective.

Analyze the “Largest Contentful Paint” on Google Data Studio > CrUX Dashboard > Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Website metric of largest contentful paint

2. Page-Specific Performance Metrics

Mobile Performance Value

53% of mobile website visitors will abandon the website it if takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Ensure each webpage is performing properly to encourage users to visit your website.

The Mobile Performance Value quantifies your website’s mobile experience through LCP, TTI, etc.

Lighthouse Mobile Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

The Largest Contentful Paint measures the loading experience for users by averaging the time it takes for the largest content element – images, heading text, etc. – to load.

This webpage metric can be calculated using Google Lighthouse Extension to run reports on the performance of your webpage.

Largest contentful paint per page

Lighthouse Mobile Time To Interactive

Time To Interactive (TTI) calculates the page’s load responsiveness. TTI shows when the page is ready for user activity and ensures the page is usable.

Google Lighthouse Chrome Extension evaluates this webpage metric, as well.

Time to interactive metric from google lighthouse

Total Blocking Time

Total Blocking Time (TBT) computes the time the user was prevented from using the webpage.

Identify the web pages that are causing interference with the user’s experience to keep viewers coming back to your website.

The Google Lighthouse Extension times the “Total Blocking Time.” 

Largest Contentful Paint Mobile Time

The largest Contentful Paint on PageSpeed Insights shows the time it takes to load the main content. LCP time aids in providing a relevant page to users.

Largest contentful mobile time metric from page speed insight

First Input Delay (FID) Time

First Input Delay Time measures the time from the first interaction – clicks, taps, and key presses – to the time when the browser can begin processing a response to the interaction.

FID quantifies the user experience with unresponsive pages. Use this webpage metric to assess the quality of the user experience even when the page is still loading.

PageSpeed Insights tracks the time of FID.

Metric regarding first input delay from page speed insights

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) Time

Cumulative Layout Shift time calculates the largest burst of a layout shift – moving text, disappearing link, or page movement. Provide viewers with a low CLS for a satisfactory user experience.

Use PageSpeed Insights to calculate the CLS time for you.

Website metrics cumulative layout shift from page speed insights

First Contentful Paint (FCP) Time

First, Contentful Paint Time shows the time it takes for the webpage to load any part of the page’s contents – background image, images, or text.

Calculate the load speed with FCP on PageSpeed Insights to assure the viewer that the webpage is helpful.First contentful paint metric from page speed insights

Interaction To Net Paint (INP) Time

The Interaction To Net Paint Time represents the webpage’s responsiveness time to any interaction – clicking a link, tapping on the page, or pressing a key.

Assess the INP Time on PageSpeed Insights to survey the user’s experience with webpage interactions.

Interactive to net paint time metric from page speed insights

Time To First Byte (TTFB) Time

Time To First Byte measures the time between the start of a request and the start of the response. This website metric identifies the response speed to requests to establish a valuable user experience.

Time to First Byte metric

PageSpeed Insights runs a TTFB test.

Time to First Byte results from page speed insights

The 5 Best Website KPIs Shortlist

We’ve measured a lot of website KPIs over the years at CoSchedule. Sometimes it may feel like there are too many metrics out there. We feel you.

We actively hope to influence the following website metrics the most; therefore, we recommend the following shortlist for businesses hoping to influence website growth primarily through organic search tactics.

1. Total Visitors By Channel

When your marketing team focuses on one of these avenues more than others, the KPI should be growth in that area. For CoSchedule, we hope to influence the most gains through the KPI of organic search, but we find it valuable to keep a pulse on all channel performance.

  • Organic Search
  • Direct
  • Referral
  • Email
  • Social
  • Paid Search
  • Display
  • (Other)

2. Total Visitors By Tactic

Most websites contain site areas. At CoSchedule, we’ve found tracking the number of users who visit each area valuable. Naturally, where we invest our publishing resources, is where we expect growth.

We measure users who engage with our Marketing Hub, Marketing Strategy Hub, Content Marketing Hub, Agile Marketing Hub, Marketing Ideas Hub, Marketing Dictionary, Blog, and Product pages. By measuring users by the grouping of content, we know what’s working (and what’s not) and decide where we may want to invest future resources.

  • Product Pages/Site Areas
  • Blog
  • Content Hubs/Microsites

3. Website Speed & Usability Performance

Again, CoSchedule has a primary objective to influence traffic growth through search engine optimization. While publishing great content that follows Google’s best practices (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness), we know Google values high-performing webpages—fast and user-friendly.

Therefore, we have technical goals to increase page load speed, and we measure success from a high level by influencing the following website metrics:

  • % Pages With Good Mobile Page Experience
  • Core Web Vitals Mobile Poor, Need Improvement, & Good URLs
  • Largest Contentful Paint Mobile Poor, Need Improvement, & Good Percentages

4. Total Keyword Rankings

Because we aim to grow traffic via organic search, a lead indicator for attracting more website users is actual keyword rankings. Therefore, we set KPIs to measure the rankings for all keywords we target:

  • Domain Rating
  • Total # 1-3 Organic Keywords
  • Total # 4-10 Organic Keywords
  • Total # Organic Keywords

5. Conversions

And, of course, marketing aims to influence profitable customer action. We primarily measure conversions for leading indicators of revenue:

  • Email subscribers
  • Software signups
  • Customer conversions
How Can You Find Website Metrics? The 9 Best Analytics Tools

While there are many website analytics tools, the following list will help you measure all of the website metrics detailed throughout this piece.

  1. Google Analytics
  2. Google Search Console
  3. Google Data Studio
  4. PageSpeed Insights
  5. Mixpanel
  6. Adobe Analytics
  7. Amplitude Analytics
  8. VWO
  9. AHREFs

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides you with free metric tools you need to run a successful website.

Understand the consumer journey with reports – Realtime, Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions – to improve your website.

2. Google Search Console

Google Search Console optimizes your website with free tools and reports to help you rank on Google.

Google Search Console Reports

  • Performance: Examines the overall performance of your website
  • Index: Analyzes your website for content and meaning
  • Experience: Reports the user experience
  • Enhancements: Helps you find ways to improve your website

3. Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a free data visualization tool to make reports easier to understand. Save time and enhance communication between employees and stakeholders.

4. PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights optimizes website performance by finding and fixing issues on your website.

Improve your website on mobile and desktop devices to benefit your search engine rankings and customer satisfaction.

5. Mixpanel

Mixpanel monitors user behavior through event data– impressions, engagements, etc. – and profile data. Marketers use this website metric tool to understand customers, spot trends, predict results, and advise decisions.

6. Adobe Analytics

Adobe Analytics analyzes user journey data to build a better customer experience.

Adobe Web Analytics Features

  • Ad Hoc Analysis: Builds custom analysis reports
  • Flow Analysis: Shows the user journey through webpages
  • Advanced Segmentation: Uncovers characteristics of high-performing segments

7. Amplitude Analytics

Amplitude Analytics uses behavior reports to understand user interactions, drive conversions, and increase growth.

8. VWO

VWO runs A/B testing on websites, apps, and products to evaluate your business strategy.

9. AHREFs

Ahrefs calculates the overall health of your website by analyzing your website’s links, keyword rankings, and SEO health. Rank higher on search engines and gain more traffic with this website metric tool.