16 Website Metrics to Track for Growth in 2024 and Beyond

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Jamie Juviler
Jamie Juviler

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Website metrics tell the story of how visitors are engaging with your site. But, there are so many different metrics. It's tough to know where to start and which metrics can help with growth.

person viewing engagement metrics on a laptop

Do you want to know how many visitors you get or where they’re coming from? Is it more important to know how users find your site or what makes them bounce to another page of search results?

I spend a lot of time diving in and out of Google Analytics and CRMs analyzing just that – keeping clients and website owners up to date on what they care about when it comes to site performance. I could almost describe it as an artform, but it’s mostly a science. Like any scientific analysis, I sometimes have to reprioritize the best website metrics to track to reach sound conclusions and inform my strategies.

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Keep reading to learn the key website engagement metrics I’m paying attention to for a successful website in 2024. Hear what metrics website owners should be prioritizing for the upcoming year, how to analyze, track, and improve your metrics, and more.

Table of Contents

Ultimately, the goal of your site is to turn visitors into leads and leads into customers, but the journey there can be difficult to understand without hard data. Fortunately, website engagement metrics are here to clear things up.

With the help of an analytics tool like HubSpot or Google Analytics, you can use engagement metrics to see where your site is capturing attention, and where you can make some tweaks to increase engagement.

You might find that a page is formatted poorly or that your CTAs are underperforming. On the flip side, your engagement metrics may reveal that your marketing and content strategies are crushing it on every level. Either way, you won’t know until you lift the hood and see the data.

Before we do that, I wanted to note that since Google Analytics transitioned to the new GA4 format, some familiar favorites in terms of metrics have had an update. So, you won’t see measurements like Bounce Rate or Time on Page, for example. Some metrics have essentially just been renamed, and some have had a more extensive switch-up.

With so many website-relevant metrics available, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, especially if you’re just beginning. So, here are 16 of my favorite engagement metrics to inform your web strategy.

1. Views

Views (fromerly page views) measure the number of times a page on your website is seen by a visitor.

Each time a page on your website loads in a browser counts as one page view. So, if a visitor loads a page, then reloads the same page, this would count as two page views.

Pro tip: I like to use Page Views as a very broad reach metric for a website. It really doesn’t tell you too much beyond how many people have seen it, but from a growth perspective, that’s definitely something worth knowing.

2. Average Time on Page

Average time on page measures how long visitors spend on a web page on average.

Time on page can be an excellent indicator of how engaging and effective your content is — the longer you hold visitors on a page, the better. Longer time on page also suggests that you’re attracting quality visitors who value your information. At the same time, shorter times generally indicate less interest.

Pro tip: This metric is now called Average Engagement Time Per Session on GA4 — which I like because it covers not just how long someone sat on your web page, but how long they were actually paying attention and interacting.

3. Average Session Duration

Average session duration measures how long visitors spend per session on average. A session is a group of interactions with your site within a set period, typically one to two hours.

A session can be roughly equated to one person’s visit to your website. This could mean that person is viewing a single page or that they're exploring more of your site.

Pro tip: I typically use Average Session Duration in combination with other engagement metrics to tell a more complete picture of overall website engagement.

4. Pages per Session

Pages per session (“Views Per User” on GA4) is a calculation of the average number of pages a user views each session.

It’s another metric that needs context to be truly useful. So, I may look at this data point and think: While my average session duration might be high, how are visitors using this time? Do they stick to one or two pages, or do they explore further? Pages per session can answer these questions.

Pro tip: The biggest secret to increasing Pages per Session is good navigation and your internal linking structure. For example, including related posts at the bottom of your blogs.

5. Bounce Rate/Engagement Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who load one page on your website, then leave without interacting with the page or visiting any other pages. Instead, they “bounce” off of your website and go elsewhere.

One of the most interesting changes for me when GA4 came out was the replacement of Bounce Rate with a new metric called Engagement Rate.

Engagement Rate is essentially the opposite of Bounce Rate. Both measure how many sessions on your website were “engaged,” but Engagement Rate is a percentage showing the amount of sessions that were engaged, while Bounce Rate tells you the percentage of sessions that were not engaged.

Google defines an engaged session as “a session that lasts longer than 10 seconds, has a key event, or has at least 2 pageviews or screenviews.”

Even a couple of years later, I still have to mentally adjust to Engagement Rate versus Bounce Rate in GA4 properties. But you’ll still see Bounce Rate referenced on plenty of other third party tools that measure website performance.

Pro tip: When I see a super high bounce rate and the content looks generally good, the first thing I check is the page load speed. A slow website is the quickest way to make sure users don’t stay around.

6. Traffic Sources

Traffic sources measure where your website traffic is coming from.

This is one of the reports I spend the most time on, because my digital marketing projects typically involve multiple channels that need to be continuously evaluated.

While the amount and types of traffic sources vary by analytics tool, some common ones are:

  • Direct: These users arrive at your website through a browser bookmark or by entering the URL directly into the browser bar. This term can also be a catch-all term for traffic with an unknown source. Issues with cookies, source codes, and more can lead to traffic labeled as "Direct."
  • Organic search: These visitors arrived at your website through non-paid results on the search engine results page (SERP). Most likely, they found your site through Google Search, but other common sources include Bing, Yandex and DuckDuckGo.
  • Paid search: These visitors arrived by clicking ads displayed on search engine results pages.
  • Referrals: Referral traffic comes to your website through links on an external website.
  • Email: This traffic comes from links included in your emails.

Pro tip: Referral traffic can be something of a hidden gem. You can drill down into which websites are driving the most traffic your way and see if a partnership to boost this source is a viable option.

7. Social Referrals

Social referrals are referral traffic that comes from paid or organic social media.

According to 2022 Visual Objects research, social media is the top digital marketing tool for 67% of small businesses.

Every traffic source is useful to track. But because social media is so central to small businesses, you may want to track social media referrals specifically, because it’s a website engagement metric that tracks an important segment of your buyer journey.

For example, if I see a higher than average social referral number on a website’s analytics, it’s an indication to me that this is a channel worth investing into more to maximize its return.

Pro tip: When I’m working on social media campaigns, I often use social listening tools. Combining this information with data from your social referrals metric can help shape your content and engagement strategies.

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    8. New Visitor Sessions

    New visitor sessions measures the number of times a new unique user visits your site during a specific timeframe. If a user initiates more than one session during that time, they’re still counted as the same visitor.

    In GA4, you’ll find this labeled as New Users.

    One of the reasons I pay attention to new visitor sessions is the insights it provides into overall website and brand growth. Plus, if you combine it with other data like country sources, pages viewed, etc. it can give really good insight into how well you’re expanding into specific audience segments.

    Pro tip: Combine New Visitor Sessions with First Page Seen to understand how these new visitors are finding your site.

    Unique vs. New Visitors

    A unique visitor is a person who visits a website one or more times but is only tracked once during a reporting period. This website metric shows how many total users visit your site during a specific period.

    Important note: HubSpot doesn’t track unique visitors because this metric is based on user behavior and isn’t always reliable. A user may clear their cookies, use a different browser, or block cookies. Because their page views are still tracked, these actions will count toward multiple unique visitors for the same unique visitor. Read more here.

    Pro rip: One thing I like to combine with unique versus new visitors is taking a look at tools like Hotjar, which record and analyze how a user moves around on the page.

    9. Returning Visitor Sessions

    Returning (or repeat) visitors are users who visit your site more than once during a specific time frame.

    I sometimes think this engagement metric is a little undervalued. Sure, it’s great to be getting a ton of new visitors. But returning visitors are an indication of overall brand engagement and customer loyalty. If you run an online store, for example, or a content-heavy site like a news outlet, you definitely want to see people coming back time and again.

    Pro tip: If I’m seeing a lot of returning visitors, it’s a good opportunity to start providing more personalized experiences. This can further boost engagement with valuable visitors who are already returning to your site.

    10. Device Type

    Device Type measures the types of devices users visit your website with during a set period of time. This metric usually includes:

    • Device types (such as macOS mobile or Android tablet)
    • Number of visitors
    • Percentage of visitors per device

    Pro Tip: I like to look at device type for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if the expected user behavior is for mobile devices to be high and it’s not, I need to look at both the user experience on mobile and how well it’s performing through channels like organic search.

    Secondly, the split can have implications for how I design web pages and content. I might make different decisions for a B2B website with a majority desktop visits, for example, than I would for an e-Commerce site with lots of mobile shoppers.

    11. Conversion Rate

    Conversion rate (also called CVR) is the number of visitors who convert on your website. A conversion could be a completed web form, content downloads, trial sign-ups, or completed purchases.

    As a digital marketer, website conversions are my bread and butter. I need to know how many, where, and from which channel those conversions are coming from month over month. Plus, there’s no better indication of a user’s overall engagement with your website than deciding to fill in a form or make a purchase.

    Pro tip: On GA4, conversions are now grouped under Events with actual conversions labeled as “Key Events.”

    12. Exit Rate

    Exit rate is the average percentage of website visitors who exit from pages on your site.

    Since no one stays online forever, every page will have an exit rate, but a 100% exit rate can mean that you have performance issues on your site.

    Pro tip: When I look at Exit Rate or similar metrics, it’s on a page by page basis. If it’s a perfectly natural point for a user to leave the site then there’s no problem. But if it’s an important page with lots of important content and CTAs, or I can tell that a particular page is stopping a user mid-journey, it’s often time to go back to the drawing board in terms of design and/or content.

    13. Top Pages

    Top pages are the highest-value pages on your site. This term often refers to website pages with the most page views or conversions.

    The top pages metric helps me quickly understand which pages have the greatest impact on a site and guide my strategy for updates and changes.

    Pro tip: Don’t let your Top Pages send you to the bottom of the list looking for pages to fix. See if there’s opportunities to make your top pages perform even better.

    14. Top Exit Pages

    An exit page is the last page a visitor sees before leaving your site.

    Some exit pages are natural drop-off points, but top exit page metrics can also reveal a need for site updates to create a better user experience. Again, this is where I want to carefully evaluate the role of the page in a user journey and how I can upgrade the page to better meet intent and user goals to improve engagement.

    Pro tip: Try including CTAs on your top exit pages that have real value to the visitor, like an offer or a freebie.

    15. Revenue Attribution

    Revenue attribution tracks site visitors from when they first land on a website to the point of purchase.

    It tracks marketing, sales, and other activities until that user generates revenue. It also tracks how much income that user produces.

    Pro tip: I find revenue attribution is a great complement to conversion tracking. While conversion metrics track individual actions, like clicking on a CTA, revenue attribution follows visitors through the full buyer journey, providing me with important insights on how I can boost website revenue generation overall.

    16. Event Tracking

    Events are actions that users take on your site, like downloading a resource, clicking a link, submitting a form, and playing a video.

    Event tracking measures specific events — the unique actions you want visitors to take on your site.

    Event tracking is important because each business has unique needs. While there are website engagement metrics that every website can use, there’s no “one” most important metric. Event tracking metrics can help you focus on the specific website actions that drive your business growth.

    Pro tip: I often use Google Tag Manager to set up specific events to track and it can vary from project to project. For one website, there might be a specific button click I want to pay close attention to. Another one I commonly use is tracking file downloads, especially if there’s a lot of valuable content on the site.

    How Website Metrics Can Help You Grow Your Website [+Data]

    Many businesses I work with aren’t sure where to start with website goals. For example, you might want to reach 150,000 unique visitors for your website’s first year. But HubSpot research says that only 15% of websites have an average of 100,000+ unique visitors per month.

    website engagement metrics

    So, do I use website metrics to grow a site and business? Website engagement metrics don‘t just measure site performance. They’re valuable resources for user experience, content optimization, and strategy.

    Website metrics help me:

    • Troubleshoot the customer experience.
    • Highlight and address pain points.
    • Focus on my best content.

    Metrics also offer useful benchmarks to compare a site performance with others in the industry.

    For example, 46% of businesses surveyed in 2022 saw monthly site traffic between 1,001 and 15K. 2023 HubSpot research says that almost 50% of websites get 4-6 page views per visit. And almost 2/3 of websites have an average bounce rate below 40%.

    Choosing the best website metrics for your goals is also important. The chart below shows the metrics that web analysts feel are most important in 2022:

    website engagement metrics

    Metrics can help you create more targeted content, improve SEO visibility, and connect with top referrals. This data can help your business build productive partnerships. It can improve sales and help you find more opportunities for growth.

    How to Track Your Website Metrics

    For each key website metric, this section gives you the process for analyzing and tracking it in HubSpot. It also offers tips and resources for improving your results.

    Before digging into the metrics I plan to measure, here are some of the top questions I want to answer about the website in question.

    • Am I hoping to improve traffic or conversions?
    • Am I more interested in returning visitors or the newest members of the audience?
    • Do I want to make improvements or focus on growth?

    Quickly tap into the questions your metrics need to answer. This can help you decide which metrics to prioritize as you begin the process of tracking engagement.

    1. Page Views

    How to Analyze Page Views

    A steady upward trend of page views usually means successful SEO, marketing, and brand awareness efforts. Page views can tell you generally how popular your site’s pages are and how much traffic your site is receiving as a whole. That said, they’re not useful without other metrics to give more context.

    High page views could result from a thriving ad campaign or SEO initiative, but it could indicate something negative. For example, users might be frequently reloading your pages — a sign of performance issues. Or they might be wandering around your site without a clear goal — a possible sign of poor navigation or site structure.

    And a lower page view count isn’t necessarily bad. If you want users to follow a specific path, fewer page views could mean they’re converting efficiently without loading many pages.

    Context is key when looking at raw page views. That’s why, while a good place to start, page views shouldn’t be the only metric you take into account.

    How to Track Page Views

    1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
    2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
    3. Click Traffic Analytics. You can adjust the date range and frequency (daily, weekly, or monthly) at the top of this page.
    4. Select the Pages tab.
    5. Select Page Views from the dropdown menu in the upper left of the chart to see how it's changed over time.

    website engagement, page views

    Note: Scroll down to the table below the chart and find the column labeled Views. The total will be listed at the bottom in the row labeled Total.

    website engagement, page views

    How to Improve Page Views

    There are many tactics I use to improve page views. Some solid strategies include:

    • Promoting related content in the sidebar.
    • Adding internal links.
    • Writing eye-catching headlines.
    • Improved site navigation.
    • Increasing post frequency.

    More resources for increasing page views:

    2. Average Time on Page

    How to Analyze Average Time on Page

    Contentsquare‘s 2022 Digital Experience Benchmark report says that the average time on page is 54 seconds. While that’s a good benchmark, meeting that standard doesn't mean your average time on page is ideal.

    Like page views, average time on page is also contextual. Ideally, I want visitors to spend more time on product pages and blog posts. To increase the time users spend on these pages, I’ll aim to add more relevant content to them. Making your content easy to read and understand and capturing your target audience are other top strategies.

    But on landing pages, higher time on page could indicate to me that there are barriers to conversion. For instance, content and CTAs could be confusing. See our guide to landing page design for pointers on improving this part of your site.

    How to Track Average Time on Page

    To track average time on page for your website overall, follow the steps below:

    1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
    2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
    3. Click Traffic Analytics.
    4. Select the Pages tab.
    5. Select Time on page from the dropdown menu in the upper left of the chart to see how it's changed over time.

    website engagement, time on page

    Note: Scroll down to the table below the chart for a column view of your data. If you’re viewing this information for the first time, you may need to click Edit Columns to add Time on Page to your results. The average will be listed at the bottom in the row labeled Report Total.

    website engagement, time on page

    To track average time on page for individual page or post, follow the steps below:

    1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
    2. Navigate to Marketing > Website > Website Pages or Blog.
    3. Click on a post page or post.
    4. Scroll to the box labeled Page metrics to see the Time Per Page View.

    website engagement, time on page

    How to Improve Average Time on Page

    Improving average time on page is all about giving visitors a reason to stay longer. I know that if I create a great experience, visitors will be likely to spend more time on the website. You can help persuade readers to stay by:

    • Meeting search intent.
    • Embedding multimedia content.
    • Optimizing page load times.
    • Creating unique content.
    • Offering value to users as they exit.

    3. Average Session Duration

    How to Analyze Average Session Duration

    Like average time on page, average session duration measures how long users usually spend on your website. It’s calculated by dividing the number of sessions over a set period of time by the total amount of time all users have spent on your site in that period.

    website engagement, average session duration formula

    Since users who spend more time on my website are more likely to convert, I focus a good portion of my efforts on increasing this metric.

    Session durations can also offer a clearer picture of your audience engagement. This is because a session describes the complete experience on your website, not just a page-by-page analysis.

    How to Track Average Session Duration

    1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
    2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
    3. Click Traffic Analytics.
    4. Select the Sources, Topic clusters, UTM Parameters, Device types, Countries, or Browsers tab.
    5. Select Avg. session length from the dropdown menu in the upper left of the chart to see how it's changed over time.

    website engagement, average session duration

    Note: Scroll down to the table below the chart and find the column labeled Avg. Session Length. The average will be listed at the bottom in the row labeled Report Total.

    website engagement, average session duration

    How to Improve Average Session Duration

    Improving your navigation, content, and visual design can promote longer sessions. Meeting search intent is also essential for longer sessions and time on page.

    HubSpot customers: You can improve your pages for search intent using HubSpot's built-in SEO tools.

    4. Pages per Session

    How to Analyze Pages per Session

    The pages per session metric shows that visitors want to explore your content. It can also show you which users are most likely to convert. You can also use this metric to follow visitors’ conversion paths. Use this metric to learn where visitors land on your site, and what pages lead them to the exit page (more on that later).

    But lower pages per session isn’t always a bad sign. For instance, if I’m working on a blog with lengthy articles, I expect fewer pages loaded per session. For long-form content, session duration and time on page might be more useful metrics.

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      How to Track Pages Per Session

      1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
      2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
      3. Click Traffic Analytics.
      4. Select the Sources, Topic clusters, UTM Parameters, Device types, Countries, or Browsers tab.
      5. Select Page views / session from the dropdown menu in the upper left of the chart to see how it's changed over time.

      website engagement, pages per session

      Note: Scroll down to the table below the chart and find the column labeled Page Views / Session. The average will be listed at the bottom in the row labeled Report Total.

      website engagement, pages per session

      How to Improve Pages Per Session

      If your Pages per Session count is low, add more prompts to explore your website. This can help users move from highly trafficked pages to other parts of your site to boost this metric.

      Some useful prompts you can add include:

      • Offers.
      • Related posts recommendations.
      • Inline links to product pages.

      5. Bounce Rate

      How to Analyze Bounce Rate

      A high bounce rate means your website is performing poorly. I always take time to dig into this because there can be several reasons for it, including:

      • Navigation may be confusing.
      • Content doesn’t match visitor intent.
      • CTAs are not obvious (or way too obvious).
      • Something may be broken on your site.

      In a survey by Top Design Firms, 42% of consumers said they will leave a website because of poor functionality. High bounce rates can also mean that your site doesn’t offer enough content-wise or design-wise to hold attention.

      If your site is experiencing a high bounce rate, home in on the individual pages with the highest bounce rates. Then, compare them to pages with lower bounce rates. This is a good way to see what’s working with your visitors, and what you can improve or remove.

      How to Track Bounce Rate

      1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
      2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
      3. Click Traffic Analytics.
      4. Select the Sources, Topic clusters, UTM Parameters, Device types, Countries, or Browsers tab.
      5. Select Bounce rate from the dropdown menu in the upper left of the chart to see how it's changed over time.

      website engagement, bounce rate

      Note: Scroll down to the table below the chart and find the column labeled Bounce Rate. The average will be listed at the bottom in the row labeled Report Total.

      website engagement, bounce rate

      How to Improve Bounce Rate

      Reducing bounce rate means that you need to analyze what causes visitors to bounce. Then, next steps might include:

      • Setting external links to open in new tabs.
      • Improving page load time.
      • Optimizing meta descriptions.

      For a more in-depth look at best practices, check out this guide to reducing bounce rate for any platform. Check out more tips here if your site is on WordPress.

      6. Traffic Sources

      How to Analyze Traffic Sources

      Every business has a different strategy to draw visitors, and this includes traffic sources. It’s useful to see how your traffic sources change over time. For most businesses, organic search traffic is the largest traffic source. So, improving it can also boost other sources like email and referrals.

      Also, consider which traffic sources convert best. According to research by FirstPageSage, organic and email traffic sources have the highest average conversion rates. Organic has a 2.6% conversion rate and email has a 2.4% for B2B businesses. If this is true of your business as well, then focus on increasing organic and email traffic.

      Phil Vallender, Director at Blend Marketing and HubSpot Elite partner, notes how traffic sources pair with other metrics, like conversion.

      He says, “I will always look at sessions, traffic sources, and conversion rates before anything else. When working to improve any of these metrics, many more engagement metrics become relevant and interesting, as they reveal where and how I can improve the customer experience.”

      How to Track Traffic Sources

      1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
      2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
      3. Click Traffic Analytics.
      4. Select the Sources tab.
      5. Select different metrics from the dropdown menu in the upper left of the chart to compare multiple sources' data.

      website engagement, bounce rate

      Note: Scroll down to the table below the chart to see the raw metrics based on each source.

      website engagement, bounce rate

      How to Improve Traffic Sources

      Improving traffic sources depends on which sources you want to improve. If you want to improve direct traffic, check that any redirects are properly set up. If you want to improve email traffic, consider A/B testing.

      For more best practices, check out our guide to diagnosing and fixing traffic drops.

      7. Social Referrals

      How to Analyze Social Referrals

      Social referrals can come from paid or organic social media. It's a good idea to separate these two types of social media and to track social media links with UTM codes whenever possible.

      HubSpot customers: HubSpot's social publishing tool automatically adds this tracking if there is a campaign associated with your post.

      With consistent data, you can start measuring your social referrals. When looking at this metric I always first check how much traffic is coming from each referral source page. Next, I check to see how these referred users engage with the website.

      Then, I track conversions and goal completions from these users. It helps me see how my social media performance is impacting the website and highlights any differences in the user experience between my top channels.

      Think about how your website and social media channels work as an ecosystem. Each social media channel is unique and satisfies different user needs. Your social referrals can show you which content is most interesting to these different segments of your audience.

      How to Track Social Referrals

      1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
      2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
      3. Click Traffic Analytics.
      4. Select the Sources tab.
      5. Scan the chart to see how social referrals compare to other traffic sources for your website. You can also compare this data with historical data.
      6. Scroll down to the table below the chart to isolate organic or paid social metrics.

      How to Improve Social Referrals

      Use your analysis to create the best social media strategy for website referrals. Choose the right content for each platform and develop content that's relevant to each audience. You may also want to collaborate with partners and influencers on social media to increase your social referrals.

      8. New Visitor Sessions

      How to Analyze New Visitor Sessions

      Like page views, look for a consistent upward trend in your new visitor sessions. It's also a good idea to track how this number changes after design changes, SEO updates, and marketing plays. A stagnant or decreasing number of new visitors is a sign that you might need to reassess your strategy.

      How to Track New Visitor Sessions

      1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
      2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
      3. Click Traffic Analytics.
      4. Select the Sources, Topic clusters, UTM Parameters, Device types, Countries, or Browsers tab.
      5. Select New visitor sessions from the dropdown menu in the upper left of the chart to see how it's changed over time.

      website engagement, new visitor

      Note: Scroll down to the table below the chart and find the column labeled New Visitor Sessions. The total will be listed at the bottom in the row labeled Report Total.

      website engagement, new visitor

      How to Improve New Visitor Sessions

      Increasing new visitor sessions means looking closely at your analytics. Instead of general solutions, I look to my data to find solutions that draw targeted new users.

      Ways to improve your new visitor numbers can include:

      • Design changes.
      • SEO or marketing strategy updates.
      • Generating more backlinks.
      • Promoting highly targeted content on social media.
      • Working with influencers to attract new audiences.

      Strategies for improving new visitors can also focus on strategy. For example, if your website doesn't include a blog, you may want to add a blog to your business website to boost unique visitor numbers.

      More resources:

      9. Returning Visitor Sessions

      How to Analyze Repeat Visitors

      Returning visitors to your website are important. This is because they can show you the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, branding, and content strategy.

      Return visitors can also give you insights into:

      • Your most loyal customers.
      • The products your customers like best.
      • Content that's most helpful.

      Segmenting your return visitors can be useful if you‘re still building buyer personas for your business. It can also help you get a clearer sense of your customers’ top needs and pain points.

      But if you‘re looking at website engagement metrics, it’s also important to compare new and returning users. Comparing your new and repeat visitors gives you a sense of how “sticky” your website is. It helps you answer the question — do first-time visitors find enough value that they want to come back again?

      It can be tricky to maintain an ideal ratio of repeat to new visitors. You want to balance a flow of net new visitors at the top of the funnel with a steady audience of returning users.

      Aim for a repeat visitor rate of 10% (meaning one in 10 visitors is a repeat visitor) to 30%. Anything lower than 10% probably means your site lacks enough value to retain new visitors. Anything higher than 30% likely means you’re not bringing in enough fresh traffic to grow your base.

      I will caveat this by saying there are some websites where this metric is less important than others. If you’re a one-time service provider (think home improvement or a lawyer), it’s unlikely that you’ll have a flock of repeat visitors in the same way a recipe blog would have, for example. For that reason, I always try to source industry benchmarks for these figures to guide my Repeat Visitors goals.

      How to Track Repeat Visitors

      1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
      2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
      3. Click Traffic Analytics.
      4. Select the Sources, Topic clusters, UTM Parameters, Device types, Countries, or Browsers tab.
      5. Select New session % from the dropdown menu in the upper left of the chart to see how it's changed over time.

      website engagement, new visitor

      Note: Scroll down to the table below the chart and find the column labeled New Session %. The average will be listed at the bottom in the row labeled Report Total.

      website engagement, new visitor

      How to Improve Ratio of Returning to New Visitors

      If your ratio of repeat to new visitors is low on new traffic, you can focus on organic search optimization and campaigns for new visitors.

      If you want to improve your returning visitor numbers, turn your attention to email and overall site quality. This gives a more positive first impression and encourages return visits. Strategic retargeting ads can help you target the best prospects in your returning user audience.

      Suzanne Bull, director of content and communications at Cambridge Education Group (Digital), said, "We’ve looked at improving pages with a high number of new visitors. By providing better links to more Top-of-the-Funnel content on these pages, we’ve seen an improvement in conversion rates.

      Visitors can take a clearer journey through content they’ll value, according to Bull, building trust and keeping them engaged to the point that they inquire.

      10. Device Type

      How to Analyze Device Type

      Device-type metrics can help you improve the customer experience for visitors. Whether they‘re using a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop computer, Mac or PC, this data can give you a clearer picture of your users’ wants and needs.

      Besides using this data to refine your buyer persona analyses, this information is essential for your website design. Responsive design principles can help you make your website look great on any device.

      But, the site design process includes many details and decisions. This means that some mobile users will see a hamburger menu instead of a button with your CTA. It may mean an infographic that fills the tablet screen instead of being quick and easy to scan on a desktop monitor.

      Device types can impact conversion, buyer journey flow, and more. Besides tracking my most popular device types, I always check other metrics like bounce rate or CTA clicks. This comparison can help me see how device type is impacting my numbers.

      How to Track Device Type

      1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
      2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
      3. Click Traffic Analytics.
      4. Select the Device types tab.
      5. Scroll down to the table below the chart to see more metrics by device type. You can also click into device type metrics to get operating system information and more.

      website engagement, device

      How to Improve Device Type

      Mobile devices generate 61% of global traffic online, as of 2024. Some websites or industry audiences might just convert better on a desktop. But device type can have a big impact on user experience. So, if you notice higher bounce rates or lower conversion, it's important to take action quickly and test your ideas.

      Device type tracking can also help you measure what users are prioritizing at different points in the buyer journey. Try to analyze page-specific data to measure how top pages perform by device type.

      Then, use this data to run testing for different UX and content changes. For example, if a blog post has higher numbers for desktop than mobile, you may want to test breaking the text into shorter sentences and paragraphs.

      More resources:

      11. Conversion Rate

      How to Analyze Conversion Rate

      Since you’ll probably have multiple points of conversion, you can compare CVRs across different CTAs and landing pages.

      For underperforming CTAs, I typically revisit the site design and content to tailor the offer or placement to better align with the surrounding content. The conversion may also be too difficult or confusing, in which case I would try to remove friction for the visitor.

      You can also break down conversion rate into different subtypes, including visitor-to-lead CVR, lead-to-customer CVR, and visitor-to-customer CVR — this detailed information gives more insight into where your funnel excels or needs improvement.

      How to Track Conversion Rate

      There are multiple ways to track conversion rates in HubSpot. Let's outline them all below.

      1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
      2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
      3. Click Traffic Analytics.
      4. Select the Pages tab.
      5. Select Page view to submission rate, Page view to contact rate, or Page view to customer rate, or CTA rate from the dropdown menu in the upper left of the chart to see how it's changed over time.

      website engagement, conversion rate

      Note: Scroll down to the table below the chart to see each of these metrics based on each page. The averages will be listed at the bottom in the row labeled Report Total.

      website engagement, conversion rate

      How to Improve Conversion Rate

      There are many possibilities for a low CVR, which means there are dozens of ways to improve it.

      Bull, for example, said that Cambridge Education Group (Digital) is focused on improving their visitor-to-lead CVR: “With HubSpot analytics, we’ve been able to identify pages where views are high but conversion is low and made significant improvements to rates by improving CTAs on the page. This has encompassed looking at the CTA design, position on page, and copy.”

      Wellers Partner Chris Thompson says his company is also focused on CVR. “More focus will shift to our conversion rate, specifically our visitor-to-lead conversion rates as well as our visitor-to-client conversions. We are going to bring on new personnel to help write conversion-based content related to our top-performing posts, and further design work around our calls to action.”

      For a better understanding of all the ways you can improve CVR on your site, check out our guide to conversion rate optimization.

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        12. Exit Rate

        How to Analyze Exit Rate

        According to HubSpot research, almost 67% of websites have an average bounce rate of 40% or less.

        At the same time, only 11% of websites have an average bounce rate of 60% and above. So, if your overall website bounce rate is above 60%, you may want to do some troubleshooting. A bounce rate of 0% is also a concern, and if you see this on your site, it might be a sign of technical issues.

        To begin analyzing, I always separate my metrics by page type (such as landing pages, blog pages, etc.). This can give me an idea of whether a high or low bounce rate is coming from user behavior or site performance.

        Next, I look at the average bounce rates for each group to see where I might need to make site updates. A high bounce rate can mean UX issues on a blog page, but it could be the right rate for a landing page.

        How to Track Exit Rate

        1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
        2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
        3. Click Traffic Analytics.
        4. Select the Pages tab.
        5. Select Exit rate from the dropdown menu in the upper left of the chart to see how this metric changes over time.

        website engagement, exit rate

        Note: Scroll down to the table below the chart and find the column labeled Exits Per Pageview. The total will be listed at the bottom in the row labeled Report Total.

        website engagement, exit rate

        How to Improve Exit Rate

        You can try to prolong your visitors’ sessions as much as possible, but everyone has to leave your site at some point. Bounce rates are useful because they help you understand how visitors use and interact with your site.

        So, spend some time tracking this data and you can use it to find problems you might not know that your users are having. Then you can improve your website experience and conversion funnel with this information.

        13. Top Pages

        How to Analyze Top Pages

        Top pages are another metric that's useful for problem-solving. For example, say I’m trying to figure out which blog posts are best for lead generation. If the top blog post for leads is the same as the top post for page views, I can logically assume that page views drive lead generation for that post.

        But what if the second-to-the-top post for leads isn't in the top ten for page views? In that case, you might want to analyze the ratio of leads to page views to rank your top pages for leads. Then, you can analyze those pages for the strategies your audience is responding to.

        It‘s also important to track whether top pages are relevant to your business niche and goals. While it’s great to get high traffic on your website, if that traffic isn‘t converting, it’s not contributing to business growth.

        How to Track Top Pages

        1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
        2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
        3. Click Traffic Analytics. Select the date range you want to analyze.
        4. Select the Pages tab.
        5. Scroll down to the table below the chart and scan the column for the category of top pages you want. You may also want to click Edit columns to select the types of data you want to compare for each page on the list.
        6. Click Export at the top, to the left of the Save Report button. Then, sort your spreadsheet to analyze your top posts.

        How to Improve Top Pages

        While tactics to improve page views, time on page, and other metrics can boost top pages, more advanced strategies can also help. For example, topic clusters and historic optimization are both approaches that HubSpot uses to improve top pages.

        14. Top Exit Pages

        How to Analyze Exit Pages

        While exit rate is important, it's also a good idea to analyze top exit pages. This metric shows you the percentage of users who exit on this page during the session. So, your top exit pages can show you which pages quickly answer user queries. With a closer look, top exit pages can also highlight:

        • Broken links or formatting issues.
        • Unmet user intent.
        • Thin or irrelevant content.
        • Site structure errors.
        • Whether the page is performing as intended.

        How to Track Exit Pages

        1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
        2. Navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools.
        3. Click Traffic Analytics.
        4. Select the Pages tab.
        5. Select Exits from the dropdown menu in the upper left of the chart to see how this metric changes over time.

        website engagement, top pages

        Note: Scroll down to the table below the chart and find the column labeled Exits. You may also want to click Edit columns to select the types of data you want to compare for each page on the list. Then, click Export at the top, to the left of the Save Report button. You can sort your spreadsheet to analyze your top exit pages.

        How to Improve Exit Pages

        There are many strategies to make sure your top exit pages are performing the way that you want them to. Useful places to start include:

        • Finding the right placement for CTAs
        • Updating CTA messaging
        • Improving and optimizing content
        • Tracking page speed
        • Building buyer personas to meet user needs

        You may also want to use a Website Grader or learn some technical SEO skills to quickly notice and fix minor site performance issues.

        15. Revenue Attribution

        How to Analyze Revenue Attribution

        Since a customer can have hundreds of interactions with a brand before ever making a purchase, understanding the customer journey is difficult. That's where attribution modeling comes in.

        Attribution modeling lets you measure what channels and assets are creating sales opportunities. This will offer hard evidence that your marketing team and organization as a whole needs to invest in and amplify similar resources in the future.

        Christina Kay, Vice President of Marketing at ResellerRatings, also says that this type of attribution can help you think of the relationship between common website metrics and your bottom line.

        "Tracking and measuring revenue in particular will help you think of your funnel and give a full view of your website’s goals. That’s because using revenue as an engagement metric combines a lot of the metrics mentioned above,” Kay says.

        For example, a dip in revenue may point to decreasing order value as a result of increased bounce rate and abandonment rate on a web page where lots of widgets, images, and videos have been added.

        How to Track Revenue Attribution

        To track attributed revenue for all asset types and channels on your site, follow the steps below:

        1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
        2. Navigate to Reports > Reports.
        3. Click Create Report in the top right-hand corner.
        4. Under Create Reports from Scratch, select Attribution.
        5. Scroll down to Revenue, then select Which parts of web traffic are driving revenue over time?
        6. Click Next in the top right-hand corner.
        7. Customize your report with chart types, attribution models, campaigns, and more.

        To track attributed revenue for an individual page or post, follow the steps below:

        1. Log into your HubSpot Account.
        2. Navigate to Marketing >Website > Website Pages or Marketing > Landing Pages or Marketing > Website > Blog.
        3. Click on a post page or post.
        4. Scroll to the box labeled Page metrics to see the Attributed Revenue.

        website engagement, revenue

        How to Improve Revenue Attribution

        Attribution reports help show which pages and channels drive the most conversions. This can help you optimize your budget and efforts.

        If I’m looking to increase generated revenue, I might create more content related to topics or formats that have the highest attributed revenue. Other strategies are investing in channels with the highest attributed revenue or promoting and optimizing web pages that users view most before becoming a customer.

        This post includes formulas that can help you calculate web traffic to increase revenue.

        16. Event Tracking

        How to Analyze Event Tracking

        Event tracking can help you discover what people are interested in or ignoring on your site, where they‘re getting stuck or abandoning the customer journey, and what they want or care about that’s persuading them to convert.

        For example, you may identify a form where a large percentage of visitors abandon your site. Analyzing that form may reveal a broken link or another reason that's causing visitors to drop out of the funnel. You can fix this issue to increase conversions.

        When I spot an issue like this, the first thing I look at is the number of fields on the form and the information I’m asking for. You’d be surprised what removing the Phone Number field from a form can do for conversion rates.

        Matthew Wood, a HubSpot Diamond Partner, stressed the importance of this metric.

        He said, “When we look at both new websites and the performance of our current clients’ websites one of our main focuses is behavior flow and events tracking. We want to know how the users are moving around the website… Since we have spent time and money getting the user to the website, keeping them on it and getting them to the right pages is just as important.”

        How to Track Events

        There are many ways to create custom events in HubSpot. This user guide to creating custom behavioral events has detailed instructions.

        website engagement, track events

        How to Improve Event Tracking

        To increase event completions on your site, find problematic events and then investigate and remove any barriers that are preventing visitors from taking the intended action.

        This HubSpot academy course will show you how to track behavioral events. This can help if you’re not sure how to track an event that’s unique to your business.

        How to Improve Website Engagement Metrics

        Like any website owner or digital marketer, I’ve had moments of panic when looking through website metrics. So, while analyzing them is a great first step, how do you improve the ones that fall below par? Here are a few of my top tips for improving website engagement metrics, from improving technical performance to building delightful user experiences.

        how to improve website engagement metrics

        1. Create top-of-the-line content.

        It might sound like an obvious thing, but I regularly have to work on websites that are either thin or poor quality in terms of content. It’s a tip that extends to everything, but I always start with messaging and copy, then worry about the visuals.

        Ultimately, users want to engage with websites that are relevant to them, provide useful information and are easy on the eye. So, while I know it can be tempting to sacrifice quality for time when it comes to websites, I also know that solid, well researched and thoughtful content is absolutely imperative for driving engagement.

        2. Provide a good mobile experience.

        As of 2024, just over 60% of all internet traffic happened through mobile devices - a sharp increase from just over 37% in 2015. “Mobile first” isn’t just a trendy buzzword, it’s a reality that I and other digital marketers have been forced to get to grips with fast.

        But what goes into a “good” mobile experience? First, you need developers who are experts at ensuring your desktop experience translates almost seamlessly to mobile devices. You might need to streamline your navigation to something more simple, and your content needs to be just as readable and easy to digest on smaller screens.

        I always focus on the technical experience on mobile, too. Websites are typically slower on mobile devices and networks by nature, so I typically use PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse to identify how I can improve website load times.

        3. Optimize website speed everywhere.

        Site speed isn’t just important for mobile. How quickly your site loads for users is essential for engagement on all types of devices. Poor website speed and slow loading content results in high bounce rates (or low engagement rates, now that we’ve transitioned to the GA4 version of Google Analytics).

        When working through website speed analysis, I take four main considerations into account:

        • Is my site properly structured, or is the bulky architecture and code bloat causing it to slow down?
        • Should I consider a Content Display Network (CDN) or transition to a new server provider to improve speed?
        • Have I fully optimized the on-page content, like videos and images, to reduce their file size?
        • Is there an opportunity to apply lazy loading or pagination to improve the load times for on-page content?

        4. Make your calls-to-action clear (and enticing).

        I’ve tested out a lot of calls-to-action (CTAs) over the years, and there are two things that have always become clear to me:

        First, just let your CTA say what it needs to say. Sometimes, marketers and web developers think they can be clever or sneaky about CTAs, phrasing them vaguely, or even downright dishonestly, to encourage more conversions. Ultimately, this will backfire. Either the user doesn’t engage at all, or they’ll have a frustrating experience and feel a little duped.

        There’s a time and a place to get creative with your CTA copy. For the most part, I’ve found that the clearest, most straightforward language wins out in testing.

        5. Use fun and engaging multimedia.

        Don’t get me wrong, good copy is absolutely essential. However, when it comes to website engagement, the graphics, images, and videos you use are equally (if not more) important. Before anyone has a chance to read the copy I’ve crafted, they’ve taken in the look and feel of the website in milliseconds.

        Strong copy should support engaging visuals and vice versa. The best websites know when to use visuals, when to use copy, and when to combine the two for maximum engagement.

        Even though I always start with the copy for a webpage, my editing process involves thinking about the following questions.

        • Can I take this written copy and create a video to embed on the page to cater to different content preferences?
        • Rather than using paragraphs, can I combine these points into an interesting chart or infographic to guide the user better through the information?
        • Would some iconography spice up this section of paragraphs?

        Try this out with a couple of pages on your site, and keep track of the before-and-after engagement rate. You’ll see what a difference this can make.

        6. Make social sharing an option.

        This point is particularly salient for blog posts and articles. A key measure of engagement is whether your website visitors think your content is worth sharing with people. Social media is the most natural place for them to do that, so why not make it easy for them?

        Not only does this look good for search engines like Google that rank your pages in organic search results, but it also brings more people to your website. Plus, those people are more likely to engage because the content comes recommended by their peers through a social share.

        I always aim to include individual social share buttons as a global element on blog posts and articles. I’ll usually include Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) at the very least, along with LinkedIn if it’s a B2B website. An email share button can go a long way, too.

        7. Make it interactive.

        I’ve always loved taking opportunities to make website pages more fun, not least because I see the results reflected directly in site engagement metrics. Now, I love the fact that there’s so much scope for implementing interactivity on a site.

        It can be as simple as a hover effect on your CTA buttons. Or some fun styling on the user’s cursor. But you can also make it more immersive and implement interactivity in a way that’s designed to keep users on the page and clicking.

        Here are some of my go-to's:

        • Embedded quizzes or polls.
        • Interactive product tours (I have used this for SaaS products, but another good example is 360 degree virtual tours for in-person businesses or real estate sites).
        • Calculators or tools embedded right on the page or custom built by a developer.
        • Interactive timelines for telling your brand story.
        • Digital flipbooks with interactive elements for your brochures.
        • Gamified elements like progress bars, badges or leaderboards, particularly for community-based websites.

        The sky's the limit if you’ve got ideas and access to developers with the right know-how. Plus, there are so many tools available now to help you create these with minimal skill levels.

        8. Add live chat functionality.

        I’m a huge fan of live chat as both a digital marketer and a user. When a website visitor is in a hurry, nothing makes them bounce faster than having to dig around to find what they need.

        Live chat, whether manned by real people or a chatbot, helps them find what they need as quickly as possible.

        I like using HubSpot’s chatbot feature, especially because it’s so easy to track the interactions and impact if you use HubSpot as your CRM. But I’ve also used Intercom and Zendesk, and there are tons more out there to try (both free and paid).

        9. Personalize the experience.

        Personalization isn’t just for paid ads. There is a lot you can do to personalize a user’s experience as they journey through your website, and I’ll always aim to implement it where I can because it drives engagement metrics up massively.

        At the higher end of the personalization scale, dynamic content is used to personalize the experience in real time. Let’s say I have a certain segment of users who visit my outdoor goods ecommerce store regularly but just don’t seem to engage much or buy anything. I know their age range, location, and general product preferences.

        So, I’ll use a tool that identifies that they previously looked at hiking equipment and make sure related products are suggested to them. Or that something they spent time looking at before is now available at a discount to them.

        But personalization doesn’t have to be that in-depth. Even customizing the language and content of your page based on a visitor’s location is a great way to personalize their journey a little.

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          10. Use social proof.

          Scams abound on the internet and so do options. Online consumers have more choice than ever before and it’s getting competitive out there. So, a little social proof can go a long way towards keeping someone on your site and encouraging further engagement.

          At the very least, I’ll always add customer reviews to a website. It can be a feed from somewhere like Google reviews, or more selective customer testimonials depending on the site. Where possible, I also like to include video testimonials and the logos of any notable publications that have written about the brand.

          11. Navigation is everything.

          In most instances, you want a user to click beyond the first page they land on. Perhaps you want them to explore your online store or check out the multitude of services you offer. It’s rarely good news for engagement if someone lands on the homepage, and that’s as far as they get.

          It’s part of the reason I pay such close attention to navigation in relation to engagement metrics. Where did they go on the website? How long are they spending on specific pages? Which journeys are ending in response to a CTA, and which are still resulting in a drop off?

          Clear and simple navigation is a must. But I always take it back a step to the user journey and build the navigation from there. It’s about leveraging navigation to guide the user through your site, rather than presenting an overwhelming set of options.

          12. Don’t let your content stagnate

          This is a practice that I use most frequently in relation to organic search performance. Search engines like fresh, up-to-date content to showcase in search results. But why is that? Well, mostly, it’s because that’s what users like, too.

          Firstly, the information on your website should be up-to-date and refreshed so that it aligns as closely as possible with your current offerings. There’s nothing more frustrating than clicking a broken link or contacting a business only to find out the promotion you saw on their website is no longer running.

          Secondly, outdated content (old statistics or old information) makes it look like you don’t keep up with your own website. If a user feels like no one is “there,” they’re far less likely to stay engaged.

          13. Use pop-ups to target exit intent.

          Pop-ups are a super effective method for boosting the number of visitors who engage with a CTA on your site. I recommend them for almost every site I work on for that reason.

          But they’re also useful for extending someone’s stay and boosting up those engagement metrics, particularly when they show up on exit intent.

          Exit intent is usually flagged when a visitor moves their mouse up the screen and off the page when they’re about to close the website. When that happens, I’ll have a pop-up appear with a compelling offer.

          Maybe it’s a webinar or a free asset to download (those usually have the most impact), but you can also go for a higher intent CTA like a demo or an offer to subscribe to your newsletter.

          14. Engage in A/B testing.

          What works for one website won’t necessarily work for all. The tactics I use to maintain and improve engagement metrics can vary from one site to another. Or at least, the way I implement them does. But users can still surprise me, and that’s where A/B testing comes in.

          A/B testing means coming up with two different versions of an element and displaying them to different visitors to see which drives more engagement. It’s usually a 50/50 split, and you need enough users to have gone through the test to have definitive data on what works best. One good example that I use frequently is A/B testing button colors on a website to see which drives more clicks.

          You can test almost any element on your page. The site navigation, the fields on your website forms, even the content on a page. Depending on the site builder or platform you’re using, how you implement A/B testing can vary. You might use a plugin or a third-party tool, depending on what works best.

          Are your visitors engaged?

          Building a website is a challenge — getting people to your website is even tougher. After completing all that work, you’ll want to see something come out of it, namely conversions and sales.

          Website engagement metrics will tell you how well you’re accomplishing this next step. These analytics are simple and actionable. They point you to where engagement issues might be so you can address them.

          A web strategy isn’t much without engagement metrics. So, if you haven’t started crunching the numbers, now’s the time.

          Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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          Topics: Web Analytics

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