Web Metrics That Matter

By: Amy Hissrich

These sample outreach, engagement, and conversion metrics can help you design a measurement program that supports your website goals.

How do you know if your website or social media campaign is working? The best way to tell is to have specific and measurable metrics for success for each of your online efforts.

While it's easy to fall into analysis paralysis if you try to track everything, aligning your metrics to your strategy will give you a clear starting point. Collecting these metrics in a dashboard gives you a good indicator (pun intended) of what's working and what needs attention. We see effective metrics falling along three main lines—outreach, engagement, and conversion—and have included some examples below with hypothetical numbers to get you started.

Website     Website     Website  
Inbound Links 3,768   Returning Visitors 100,000   Information Requests Received 250
Avg. Search Results Position 1.34   Bounce Rate 0.2   Website Signups 3,500
Page Rank of Home Page 6   Page Views 1,650,000   Visitors Reaching Signup Pages 200
Social Bookmarks 54   Avg. Pages/Visit 3.3   Abandoned Signup/Purchase 23
Total Visits 500,000   Avg. Minutes/Visit 2.5   + Add Additional Milestones For Your Site Visitors  
Unique Visitors 400,000   Items Posted by Visitors
(photos, blog, etc.)
Community Members Not Reached 500,000   Comments/Critiques/Ratings by Visitors 150      
Blog     Blog     Outcomes  
Inbound Links 3,200   Returning Visitors 30,000   Event Registrations Completed 177
Avg. Search Results Placement 3.22   Bounce Rate 0.8   Items Purchased 50
Page Rank 6   Minutes/Visit 2.5   Memberships Renewed 140
Technorati Rank 8,953   Comments/Trackbacks by Visitors 150   Volunteers Signed Up 100
Social Bookmarks 37         Advocacy Actions Taken 200
Total Visits 100,000         + Add Additional Outcomes For Your Organization  
Unique Visitors 50,000            
Microblog (Twitter)     Microblog (Twitter)        
Followers 875   Direct Messages Received 50      
Tweets 54   @Responses Received 100      
Retweets 100            
Mentions 220            
Clickthroughs to Website 200            
Social Network (Facebook)     Social Network Interactions (Facebook)        
Friends/Fans 875   Items Posted by Friends 50      
Updates 54   Comments/Ratings by Friends 100      
Clickthroughs to Website 200   + Interaction With Other Facebook Apps/Activities Here        
Email Blast              
Subscribers 15,000            
Messages Sent 4            
Messages Opened 12,000 (35%)            
Clickthroughs to Website 7,200 (12%)            
Subscribers 50            
Posts 10            
Clickthroughs to Full Article/Post 50            

  • Track the metrics that match the outreach strategies, engagement tactics, key goals, and tools you use.
  • Segment your data to provide targeted insights (e.g., who visits, best sources of web traffic).
  • Consider how you will obtain data to compute metrics.

David Hollender is principal internet communications strategist for Mind Sky. Amy Hissrich is director of web strategy for ASAE & The Center. Emails: [email protected], [email protected]