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In today’s digital age, access to website metrics is readily available to business owners. Website metrics are quantifiable measures that can be used to track and assess a business. Using metrics can help a business owner know what is going on with their business and help highlight success, as well as specific areas of weakness. Analyzing metrics can provide total visibility to see what’s going on – what’s working and what’s not working.
As many of our readers already know, metrics can be used to track website performance, campaigns, conversions, social reach and monitor new leads. When you use metrics, you can take the guesswork out of knowing if an advertisement or email blast has an impact and is worth the investment of time and money. Metrics can be tailored to key audiences; from investors to customers, and employees to stakeholders.
For most businesses, website metrics represent a largely unexplored area, one in which more businesses should pay attention. In addition, many businesses need guidance on what metrics are important to track, and what they mean.
With all the information that can be measured, in an effort to educate business owners about metrics that are good to track we are starting a type of blog where each week we will publish a new metric that we will explain and give an example of how to use. We will explore different types of website metrics (traffic and desirable action) and how metrics can be used to implement changes to a website.
This week, as the introduction to this type of post, we will focus on: Sessions
Sessions are the number of interactions on a website within a given time frame. The number of sessions to a website is a relative number. For example, a session can contain multiple page views, transactions, or social interactions. By default, a session lasts until there is 30 minutes of inactivity, but you can adjust this as needed. Unless your direct competitor publishes their website sessions, you really cannot compare your sessions to another site’s sessions.
Sessions are a good way to find out what percentage of returning and new users (visitors) you have to your website. Returning users are the number of users who have had repeated sessions on your website. By default, user lifetimes are set for 2 years from the date of their last session. Depending on the type of business, your goal may be the repeat or new visits. Once you know which type of users you are after, you will know if you are reaching your target users.
If your target users are returning users, you may be able to draw a direct relationship between low repeat users to poor website design.
Come back next Friday, when we will be talking about bounce rate and top exit pages.